CBD for acne: Everything you need to know


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Over 90% of the global population suffer from acne at some point in their life. Despite its prevalence, acne can affect an individual's mental health and sociability, due to its knock-on effects. Many have found that using CBD oil for acne can help. Not only can it eliminate acne, but it also gives the skin a natural, healthy glow. However, we're still waiting for research to catch up, confirming the connection between CBD and good skin. That being said, we want to tell you what we already know.

At The Extract, we have all the latest CBD-related information. Whether you're a CBD enthusiast, a skinfluencer looking for the latest must-have product, or just want to improve your skin, read on.

What is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been a hot topic in both the holistic and medical worlds for the past decade. In fact, it's touted for its array of medicinal benefits.

These tantalising stories suggest that CBD oil can help you with anything from helping reduce anxiety with CBD and depression to Parkinson’s disease. CBD oil is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Many users state that CBD has helped them with various illnesses and disorders.

Although CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, it is a non-intoxicating substance. This means that it has no use as a recreational narcotic and won’t get you ‘high’.

The sheer idea of the cannabis plant might be intimidating to some. However, rest assured there are no major side effects associated with CBD oil.

Furthermore, CBD oil has no known overdose limit. Still, it's important to understand how much CBD oil you should take. That being said, CBD oil is non-addictive, making it safe for all age groups to use.

CBD is part of a group of molecules called cannabinoids, of which there are over 100 naturally occurring within the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids can be ingested and will subsequently elicit an effect upon entering the body.

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What causes acne?

Acne is most common in teenagers, particularly when going through puberty. However, it can affect people of all ages.

Acne can cause whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. This is due to hair follicles on the face and upper body becoming clogged with oil and dead skin.

The area around the face and upper body have the most oil-producing glands. These oil glands (sebaceous glands) are connected to your hair follicles and can result in acne for four main reasons: –

Causes of acne
  • Excess oil production – The sebaceous glands can overproduce oil (or sebum), leading to greasy-looking skin. This can also cause blocked follicles.
  • Follicles become clogged by oil and dead skin – Blocked follicles become inflamed, resulting in a build-up of dead skin cells. As more oil and dead skin are produced, cyst-like lumps can form under the skin.
  • The build-up of bacteria – This is caused by the inability to clear the pores. Here, the pores are infected with bacteria. This can worsen inflammation, compounding the problem.
  • Hormones, medication, and stress – A number of factors can make acne worse. This includes androgens, hormones released through puberty that enlarges sebaceous glands, causing blockages. However, acne can also be attributed to certain medications and high-stress levels.
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In addition to this, acne can be caused by a poor diet and inadequate hygiene.

Can CBD oil help with acne?

CBD oil can have a positive effect on acne-prone skin. This is because CBD helps to reduce excess oil production at the source. This prevents the follicles from becoming clogged with oil.

Therefore, you'll experience a reduction in dead skin build-up, consequently stopping acne from forming.

This is due to CBD's anti-inflammatory properties. By exhibiting this on the oil-producing glands, CBD skincare enthusiasts will see a reduction in oil production.

Furthermore, CBD is widely accepted to be an excellent aid in regenerating the skin.

Does it work for body acne?

More often than not, body acne occurs because of the same reason — excess oil production. Thus, CBD oil marketed for one type of acne should work on body acne, too.

Can CBD oil help acne scars?

Preliminary studies have shown that topical CBD application can improve hydration and elasticity. This promotes healing, which can help reduce acne scars.

Can CBD oil help with my cystic acne?

Most dermatologists recommend invasive treatments to help with cystic acne. This can range from expensive injections to painful chemical peels.

However, this doesn't have to be the case. Cystic acne treatments don't have to be painful and expensive — especially not with CBD. Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson has stated that CBD oil can help with cystic acne.

This is because CBD's anti-inflammatory properties can help to lower inflammation, which can reduce cystic acne outbreaks.

If you're looking to treat cystic acne with CBD oil, we'd recommend the Luxury Facial Oil from Poko. It contains 300 mg of CBD isolate, to soothe your skin while keeping it hydrated.

CBD oil and the endocannabinoid system

Consisting of over 37 trillion individual cells, the human body is very complex. Many of the pathways in the human body are well understood, such as the digestive system.

Others, like the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), are not. That being said, scientists and medical professionals are making progress every day.

The ECS is present within all complex living organisms, from great apes to primitive sea life. Each organism naturally produces its own cannabinoids; these are responsible for a wide range of physiological outcomes.

Endocannabinoid Receptor

Ranging from memory to appetite, researchers have determined that the ECS is just as important as your ability to breathe. Without it, you wouldn’t survive.

Consuming cannabinoids such as CBD will interact with the ECS. They bind to receptors that are present in the brain, central nervous system, and on tissues throughout the body.

This causes a number of physiological effects. For example, one such effect, when applied to the skin, is reducing the symptoms of acne.

How to use CBD for your acne?

You might think that CBD oil should be applied directly to the affected area. However, this isn't always the case. While CBD skincare has anti-inflammatory effects, a CBD oil or serum cannot penetrate pores that are already blocked.

Furthermore, most forms of CBD skincare are produced in oils. Applying this directly onto oily skin can block your pores further, resulting in even more acne breakouts.

Earlier, we established that CBD helps to reduce oil production from the sebaceous glands. This is done by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). If you're reluctant to add a CBD oil to your acne-prone skin, we'd recommend a light CBD serum instead.

That being said, if your skin is extremely acne-prone, we'd recommend not adding any products to your skincare routine — regardless of whether or not they contain CBD. However, you can still use CBD to improve your skin. Instead of a topical, consider using a CBD tincture instead.

Simply place a few drops under your tongue, twice a day. This is enough to decrease excessive sebum production, consequently reducing the onset of acne.

Also Read:  CBD for anxiety - The benefits, dosage and drawbacks

Once your skin starts to clear, you can start using CBD-rich topicals on your skin — for example, an oil, a lotion, or a serum. That being said, we would also recommend that you continue ingesting CBD until your skin is soothed.

What is the best CBD oil for acne?

With the huge selection of CBD skincare on the market, finding a good CBD facial oil can be difficult. This is especially true if you want to address specific skincare concerns, such as acne. Many people might be wondering: can you put CBD oil on your face? The answer is generally, yes, however, we'd recommend using a specially formulated CBD face oil rather than pure CBD oil. A CBD facial oil would be easier to apply and it has the right dosage of CBD for each application. It can have other benefits, such as deep moisturisation.

We'd recommend the Luxury Facial Oil from Poko. Not only is it formulated with Vitamins A, D, E, and F, but it also contains 300 mg of CBD isolate to soothe acne-prone skin.

Poko Luxury Facial Oil

CBD for acne: Everything you need to know 1
  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD potency:300mg/30ml
  • COA: Available
Price: €-€€

If your skin veers towards oily, a facial oil might not sound like the best possible idea. However Poko's Luxury Facial Oil is not just for dry skin, it might be what your skin needs. This cocktail of botanical oils is infused with the calming goodness of CBD and helps to revitalise all skin types.

Baobab oil, moringa oil and crambe seed oil are all packed full of skin-loving omega fatty acids to help repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which helps to ward off free radicals which can age the skin.

The best CBD cream for acne

CBD oils might not be for everyone, especially if you already have oily skin. The good news is that you can still use CBD products to treat your acne. Instead of using oil, opt for a CBD cream instead.

CBD acne creams come in all price ranges. For a more affordable CBD acne cream, we'd recommend the CBD Infused Facial Moisturiser from Ambience. Retailing at £10.60, it's a lightweight CBD cream made for daily use.

It contains 50 mg of CBD, to keep your skin calm and soothed. Plus, it won't put a huge dent in your bank account.

That being said, one of the best CBD creams in the UK is none other than the Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser from Poko. Infused with 100 mg of CBD isolate, it reinforces your skin's natural moisture barrier with aloe vera juice.

Plus, it contains antibacterials like oat silk and oatmeal, to reduce acne-causing bacteria.

What is the best CBD serum in the UK for acne scars?

Tea tree oil is an all-natural way to fight acne. Full of microbial properties, dermatologists recommend tea tree oil as a home remedy for acne. This is why we recommend the CBD Soothing Serum from Poko.

It's formulated with tea tree oil to soothe sensitive, inflamed skin. Furthermore, the addition of 200 mg of CBD — along with a healthy dose of aloe vera — can speed up the healing process, making acne scars a thing of the past.

What do the studies say?

Several studies have been conducted on using CBD for acne, with positive results and conclusions:

  • A 2014 study concluded that CBD inhibits oil production. It also highlighted CBD's anti-inflammatory effects on oil-producing glands. Researchers concluded in this CBD acne study that CBD is a “promising therapeutic agent”.
  • A 2019 study showed that CBD-ointments could reduce the appearance of scars from inflammatory skin conditions.

These studies look promising. However, they don't present enough research for CBD to be recommended as a viable medical treatment. That being said, anecdotal evidence strongly backs using CBD oil for acne.

Can CBD oil help with skin issues?

The anti-inflammatory action of CBD on skin cells has resulted in CBD also being linked with a number of other skin conditions. For example, CBD can help with psoriasis and itchy skin associated with some medical treatments.

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Preliminary studies into using CBD to treat psoriasis have yielded positive results. A review in 2013 concluded that CBD can reduce excess skin growth. This is done by shutting off certain receptors in people with psoriasis.

This could even have a positive effect on wound healing for all skin conditions.

A 2005 study reviewed the effects of CBD topicals on people on hemodialysis. Results showed that 81% of patients who used CBD cream experienced complete relief from their symptoms.

Best CBD skincare products UK for acne

There are many great CBD products that can help keep your skin clear. However, there are three products that stand head and shoulders above the rest. These products are perfected, giving you the results you want and need.

These CBD products are:

Poko CBD Soothing Serum

Poko CBD is known for its amazing CBD balms and creams and boasts numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot. However, when it comes to fighting acne, there's only one product that you really need.

That product is Poko's Soothing Serum. This serum is a welcome change from the other serums on the market. It utilises the hydrating, healing powers of aloe vera. This helps protect irritated skin by adding an all-natural supportive layer. The properties of this serum are boosted by the presence of CBD.

Poko Soothing Serum

CBD for acne: Everything you need to know 2
  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD potency:500mg/30ml
  • COA: Available
Price: €-€€

This serum is ideal for sensitive skin, it contains fruit extracts that are rich in vitamins, minerals and protein. This will then help to promote the growth of newer, healthier skin cells. Vegetable glycerin helps to keep the skin moisturised, which prevents the production of excess oil.

Soothing Serum uses the microbial properties of tea tree oil to help fight spot-causing bacteria. In combination with flower extracts and root extracts, the properties of these ingredients work together to combat spot-causing bacteria and excess oil. The lemon essential oil will help to nourish and cleanse the skin while root and flower extracts help reduce the appearance of scars.

In this guide, we will explain what CBD oil is, how it affects the body, and how it can help treat acne. We also explore relevant studies and anecdotal stories from the general public.

Verified CBD Daily Skin Re-Energizer

This amazing CBD skin cream is one of the best on the market at the moment. Sometimes beauty products can leave your skin looking tired and dull.

However, Verified CBD have gone out of their way to make sure this doesn't happen. Not only does this product clear up your skin; it also leaves your skin looking better than ever.

Abinoid Botanicals Face & Body Moisturizer

Abinoid Botanicals has come up with an incredible moisturiser. It can be used both on your face and body — making acne everywhere a thing of the past.

Abinoid Botanicals is known for their high-quality products. However, this cream is definitely one of their best ones yet. This moisturiser is a great addition to your morning routine because it's quick-acting and super effective.

The best acne treatments in the UK — What do the reviews say?

Acne treatments are generally only recommended for people who have tried over-the-counter medication. However, if OTC treatments haven't worked for you, you might be considering medical treatment to improve your skin.

Dermatologists recommend a variety of treatments to treat acne. This can include:

  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Chemical peels
  • Physical extraction
  • Steroid injections

Many of these treatments can be painful and time-consuming. They can also be expensive, as they are very rarely one-off solutions to an acne problem. Additionally, they can also have a number of side-effects, such as sensitive skin, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.

Many people with acne-prone skin also have sensitive skin. Therefore, we would recommend treating acne with topical treatments and opting for medical treatment as a final resort.


Although still in their infancy, clinical research results show that the use of CBD in acne treatment can be very effective. Skin specialists have concluded that more research is needed to support the growing number of anecdotal evidence.

The scientific theories for why CBD oil works are valid. It’s just a case of getting it all down on paper under the right clinical setting. Doing this will prove the effectiveness of CBD for acne.

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You may also like to read: CBD Oil for Pain-All you need to know

Michael Quinn

Michael is a 27-year-old Chemistry graduate from Stoke-on-Trent, England. When he’s not writing he’s travelling to music venues across the country with his sound-system

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