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Can CBD Help Sun Damaged Skin?

Can CBD Help Sun Damaged Skin?

It’s that time of year when we emerge from our winter cocoons, our skin a bit sensitive, bare, and ready to drink in that magical sustenance called “sunshine.”

But while we do our best to protect our skin against sun damage, it can (and does) happen. If you find yourself nursing a sunburn or wondering if your physical sunscreen could stand to level up with an infusion of CBD, read on.

CBD skincare may help sun damaged skin. Here’s how.

CBD soothes redness and inflammation from sunburn 

Red, inflamed skin that feels hot and sore to the touch? Welcome to the souvenir no one wants to bring home from a fun day outdoors: sunburn. 

While most of us think of sunburn as a result of spending too much time in bright sunlight with too little protection on our bare skin, sunburn can also occur on cloudy days, as well as from reflections on the water, on sand, and even on snow. That’s because sunburn is a result of UV light, which can be sneakily strong on cloudy days. In fact, UV light can even penetrate glass in your car window, or in your office at work. 

When a sunburn occurs, it’s because UV light has damaged skin cells. In response, our immune systems kick into gear. According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, “The immune system reacts by increasing blood flow to the affected areas, which causes the inflamed skin (erythema) known as sunburn.” 

Enter CBD–or cannabidiol–an active cannabinoid ingredient derived from the hemp plant, a type of cannabis plant that’s a cousin of marijuana.

Unlike the THC compound found in marijuana that creates that feeling of being “high,” though, CBD doesn’t have that ability. Instead, this plant-derived cannabinoid (or phytocannabinoid) works within the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help bring the body back to stasis, or a state of balance.

The ECS governs critical functions throughout the body, including but not limited to: metabolism, pain receptors, sleep, inflammation, and immune responses.  

When used topically via CBD skincare, CBD may help to relieve the pain, redness, and inflammation that are the telltale signs of sunburn. Using a water-based CBD serum infused with soothing organic botanicals, like MASK CBD Skincare face serums, can help calm skin while providing much needed hydration to skin. And with carefully selected organic ingredients chosen for their calming properties–including full spectrum CBD–these serums can take the sting and swelling out of recently sun damaged skin. One trick worth trying?

Keep a bottle of your MASK CBD skincare serum or CBD sheet mask in your refrigerator to cool and calm too sun-scorched skin on contact. 

Here is a before and after using our Ageless serum:

CBD reduces oxidative stress caused by UV exposure 

In addition to helping to ease the discomfort associated with sunburn, when it’s used over time, CBD may help to reduce the oxidative stress incurred by UV exposure. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, molecules that are generated as a normal course in cell metabolism.

Free radicals can also be generated outside of the body from external forces such as UV rays, cigarette smoke, air pollution, pesticides, and fast food. Because free radicals have an uneven number of electrons, they seek to become stable by “stealing” electrons from other, whole molecules.

Once the free radicals molecules become whole, they leave those now changed molecules in their wake to repeat this cycle, creating yet more free radicals. When too many free radicals are created, they can damage cells–including skin cells. This overabundance of free radicals is known as a phenomenon called “oxidative stress.” 

When our skin undergoes prolonged oxidative stress, it manifests as skin damage: Premature signs of aging that include fine lines and wrinkles, loss of skin-plumping collagen and elasticity, dark spots, and sagging.

But oxidative stress can also impact skin on a deeper level than meets the eye, damaging skin’s critical barrier function, leading to plummeting moisture levels, and even increasing skin’s overall sensitivity (think irritable, red, inflamed, or uncomfortable skin). 

“When CBD is used as part of a clean skincare routine, it may help to reduce the effects of oxidative stress caused by UV exposure,” notes Sarah Mirsini, founder of MASK CBD Skincare.

“CBD contains powerful antioxidants that combat the free radical damage that causes oxidative stress, and works within our body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation. While CBD studies are still ongoing, we’re very excited to see how CBD may reduce damage from UV exposure.”

 CBD protects skin with natural antibacterial properties 

A nasty sunburn can result in blisters or peeling, flaking skin–and that may open up skin to possible infection. CBD contains natural antibacterial properties, so while it is working topically to reduce oxidative stress and reduce redness and swelling, it may also help keep skin safer and cleaner by fighting bacteria. 

Cleaning the affected area with a clean washcloth and gentle soap should always be a top priority, but once skin is patted dry (gently!), a few drops of MASK CBD Skincare serum or a CBD sheet mask straight from the refrigerator can cool overheated skin while also helping to keep germs at bay. 

CBD can play well with sunscreen

Lastly, adding some CBD to your sunscreen right before you apply it may take it to the next level. With the potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in full spectrum CBD, adding CBD oil to your sunscreen can help further protect skin. 

“By adding a few drops of full spectrum CBD oil to your sunscreen right before you apply it, you can create a skincare-grade product that goes the extra mile to caring for your skin when you’re out in the sun,” notes Mirsini.

“CBD continues to excite us for its ability to support our bodies in myriad ways. While we hope research will reveal even more about this powerful cannabinoid, the proven ability of CBD to care for sun-damaged skin–and to support skin in conjunction with sunscreen during UV exposure–only reinforces our belief that CBD skincare is something everyone can benefit from.”