‘Hemp Seed Oil Saved My Skin From Breakouts—And Doctors Agree It‘s Legit’
Step aside, coconut oil.
When my skin started freaking out after I went off of birth control (yep, that’s a potential side effect), I was desperate for a solution. My normal skincare routine stopped working, and I wasn’t sure what to do.
I had been an avid user of face oil, but it turns out there are certain oils that aren’t as good for acne—olive and coconut, for instance, are comedogenic, meaning they will clog your pores. However, as I went digging around online there was one that kept showing up as friendly for all skin types, particularly the pimple-prone: hemp seed oil.
My skin was more calm, less red, and I wasn’t getting any new, major pimples.
After reading through Reddit reviews, I decided to go with Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Oil. I picked a bottle up at Whole Foods (you should be able to find it at any natural grocer) and applied it as the last step of my skincare routine. I poured a little in my palms, rubbed them together, then pressed into my skin. While the results weren’t immediate, after consistent use for one week straight, I started noticing that my skin was calmer and less red. And I wasn’t getting any new, major pimples. Since making the switch, I’ve tried going back to other moisturizers—but my skin would start acting up again.
One thing to note: You have to keep the oil refrigerated because it is cold-pressed so it’ll go bad if you leave it out.
Even though I already know it worked, I asked the experts for the real reason hemp seed oil is so good for acne-prone complexions. “This oil is particularly good for people prone to redness and skin irritations like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis because it’s high in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that help to hydrate the skin,” said Dr. Maura Henninger, a Naturopathic Doctor in New York City. “It’s also beneficial for acne-prone patients because of its antibacterial properties, thanks to those same omega acids.”
Dr. Henninger also noted that it’s a good oil for oily skin types because “it’s considered a dry oil, so it absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy.” Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees. “Hemp seed oil is rich in fatty acids, which help hydrate and soothe inflamed skin and may even control skin oil production that can help treat acne,” he said. He also assured me that hemp seed oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog my pores.
Why doctors think hemp seed oil is beneficial for inflamed skin.
Hemp Oil for Skin
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Hempseed oil is often referred to as “hemp oil,” and it’s harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is often unrefined. It’s a clear green oil and can have a nutty flavor.
It’s different from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is an extract of the cannabis plant and utilizes hemp flowers and leaves for its production.
Hempseed oil is made from the hemp seed itself and usually doesn’t contain any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component, although this seems to be widely disputed . According to 2017 research , CBD oil may also have very low and insignificant levels of THC.
Hemp oil has numerous health benefits, including those that improve skin health. It’s so beneficial for skin health thanks to its nourishing vitamins and moisturizing qualities.
There are a number of skin care benefits that you can get from using hempseed oil, either topically or by consuming it.
Moderates oil production
Hemp oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturize without clogging your pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production.
Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil.
Moisturizes and soothes inflammation
One of the omega-6 fatty acids that hemp oil contains is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory while simultaneously encouraging skin growth and new cell generation.
This can help to calm inflammation and irritation on the skin, including acne and some conditions like psoriasis, while keeping the skin nourished and moisturized.
Treats atopic dermatitis
Part of what makes hempseed oil so beneficial to the skin is that it’s rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these nutrients can help to treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.
One randomized, single-blind crossover study found evidence that dietary hempseed oil reduced the symptoms and appearance of clinical atopic dermatitis after 20 weeks.
Has anti-aging properties
In addition to moisturizing and soothing the skin, hemp oil has anti-aging properties. Hemp oil can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing.
The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp oil can’t be produced by the body but can play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to the diet.
Ready to get started? Buy hemp oil now.
There are several methods you can use to get the skin benefits from hemp oil.
Topical use of hemp oil
The first method is to apply the hemp oil directly to your skin. This can work if you have immediate irritation or dry patches of skin that you want to soothe quickly.
Before using the oil, try a patch test to make sure you won’t get an unwanted reaction:
- Wash and dry a small area of your upper arm (such as the crook of your elbow).
- Apply a small amount of the pure hemp oil. (If using the hemp and essential oil mixture described below, test in a separate spot from the pure oil and at a different time.)
- Cover the spot with a bandage and leave it in place for 24 hours, being careful not to get the bandage wet.
- If any redness, burning, itching, or other irritation occurs, you can assume you’re sensitive to the oil and shouldn’t use it. If you have a reaction, remove the bandage immediately and wash the spot with soap and water.
- If you don’t see or feel any reaction, then the oil is probably safe to use.
If you’re using the hemp oil to treat acne and want to apply it topically, apply the oil directly to clean skin and leave it on for one to two minutes before washing it away with warm water.
Hemp oil and essential oil mixture. You can also combine hemp oil and other anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients with a recipe like the following, which can be applied directly to the skin:
- 1/4 cup hemp oil
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (can be melted in the microwave; place desired amount in a microwaveable container and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted)
- 4 to 5 drops skin-boosting essential oil, like lavender or rosemary oil
Note: Essential oils, like lavender or rosemary oil, should only be used topically and in a diluted mixture. Do not take essential oils internally. Many are toxic.
Oral use of hemp oil
The second method is to ingest hemp oil, which can provide the same skin benefits and additional overall health benefits as using the oil topically. If you take hemp oil orally, there’s less risk of any skin irritation or break outs, although it may cause some temporary digestive upset.
Talk to your doctor before taking hemp oil orally.
If you do take it orally, you can have 1 to 2 teaspoons daily — either all at one time or divided into two doses.
If you don’t like the taste or consuming the hemp oil straight, you can also use it in different recipes. One option is to mix it into foods, like smoothies, salad dressings, or soup. Or you can use it for cooking.
Hempseed oil is often referred to as “hemp oil,” and it’s harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is often unrefined. It’s a clear green oil and can have a nutty flavor. Learn about the benefits of hemp oil for skin and how to implement it into your skincare routine.