Keeping up with what’s what in the world of skincare can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to ingredients. Sure, the likes of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid have been tried, tested and proven their worth to take up space in our bathroom cabinets—but what about those buzzy ingredients that come out of nowhere and disappear just as fast? When basically everyone started raving about CBD a couple of years ago I was certain that it would fall into the latter category: a trending beauty fad that wouldn’t last. Pretty much all of the press releases that landed in my inbox were focused on CBD oils and their magical abilities to ease stress, calm anxiety and reduce pain and I wrote it off as a bit of a placebo to wellbeing. If it works for you? Great. But I wasn’t buying into it.
Fast forward to now, however, and there is no sign that CBD is going anywhere. In fact, its popularity as a scientific skincare ingredient—and not just as a stress-reliever—is growing fast. So, when Paula’s Choice, one of my favourite skincare brands of all time, launched a CBD collection last month my interest was finally piqued. And when I learnt at the launch event that CBD could actually be beneficial for acne-prone skin? Well, I was sold.
Before I give you the full lowdown on my new favourite CBD skincare product however, let’s delve a little deeper into what CBD actually is. Cannabidiol—CBD for short—is an active compound, also known as a cannabinoid, naturally found in the cannabis plant. “What makes CBD and cannabinoids so fascinating is the human body also has a complex endocannabinoid system that is found extensively in skin,” explains Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice. It can be consumed—which is where we see the mood-calming, pain-relieving, wellbeing benefits mentioned earlier—but it can also be used topically to treat an array of skin conditions including eczema, rosacea and acne.
I have to say, despite my initial scepticism, I’ve been using the Paula’s Choice CBD Skin Transformative Treatment Milk (£43) for the past few weeks and I’m genuinely impressed. While it isn’t the only thing that I’ve recently changed in my skincare routine, I have had a particularly rough few months of dealing with painful breakouts and since using this product my skin has felt and looked so much calmer. It has a really lightweight consistency that sinks in quickly and feels instantly soothing on the skin—especially on areas with angry, active blemishes—and it immediately brings down redness in those spots. With frequent use, my breakouts have reduced and overall my skin feels calmer and looks more even in tone.
All sounds pretty impressive, right? Well, yes. But how does CBD actually work within skincare products to give such impressive results? I caught up with Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, to find out.