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People may use face creams for various reasons, including moisturization, anti-aging, pimple reduction, and skin protection. Some newer face creams may contain cannabidiol (CBD), which may have beneficial properties.

A quick look at the best CBD face creams:

CBD is one of over 80 compounds within the cannabis plant. By extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with oil, it is possible to create CBD oil.

Manufacturers may combine CBD oil with other ingredients to create a CBD face cream or other skin care products.

Learn about CBD topicals here.

CBD face creams and other CBD products, such as face masks and serums, often claim to offer a range of potential benefits. These may include:

  • anti-aging effects
  • moisturizing the skin
  • acting as a protective barrier
  • reducing pimples
  • reducing fine lines
  • increasing elasticity

As with normal face creams, each product should have its own instructions for use. However, people will typically use these products once or twice a day after cleaning their face.

Learn about other CBD beauty products here.

The main difference between CBD face creams and regular face creams is the addition of CBD oil.

Research shows that CBD can have a direct antioxidant effect on a person’s skin. CBD oil produces a redox balance of the skin, balancing and modifying the level and activity of both oxidants and antioxidants. This may help the skin maintain its normal cellular metabolism, which may limit the aging process and promote more healthy looking skin.

CBD creams contain around 75% water, making them the lightest form of topicals. Due to this, people may find them easier to apply as they absorb into a person’s skin much quicker and easier.

On the other hand, according to research, the 6 most common ingredients found in everyday moisturizers are:

  • hydrocarbons such as petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin, squalene
  • silicones such as dimethicone
  • vegetable oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, soybean oil
  • animal fats such as mink oil, emu oil, lanolin
  • wax esters such as lanolin, beeswax
  • sterols such as cholesterol, ceramides

Most CBD face creams do not contain hydrocarbons, silicones, or animal fats. Instead, they contain essential and plant oils and beeswax in addition to their main ingredient, CBD oil.

CBD vs. regular face cream

Below is a comparison table between the main ingredients found in regular face creams compared to those found in CBD face creams.

CBD HydrocarbonsSiliconesVegetable oilsAnimal fatsWax estersSterols
CBD face creamsyesnonononobeeswaxno
Regular face creamsnoyesyesyesyesyesyes

Although there is not much scientific research exploring the benefits of CBD in face creams, research on the substance’s effect on the skin finds some potential benefits.


A 2020 study states that CBD oil has an anti-inflammatory effect, which may help with certain skin conditions. The American Academy of Dermatology Association adds that applying CBD oil to the skin may benefit those certain conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

A 2021 review of the cannabis plant also finds it may have antibacterial and antifungal effects, which may help reduce skin infections.

However, it is important to highlight that even though this research seems promising, most of the positive claims relating to CBD face creams are anecdotal.

Learn more about the benefits of CBD oil for skin here.

Potential risks

Very little scientific research explores the risk of CBD face creams.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any CBD products except Epidiolex, a prescription drug to treat certain types of seizures, due to potential side effects and unknown long-term effects.

The FDA cannot guarantee the effectiveness or safety of CBD in any skin care product. Therefore, a person should assess and evaluate any product claims. They can review third-party test certificates evaluating the ingredients’ purity and avoid companies claiming their products can cure medical conditions.

If an individual starts using a CBD face cream and notices any swelling, rash, or skin irritation, they should stop using the product and seek medical attention.

CBD oil is still not legal for use in all 50 states.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses CBD skin care products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.
  • Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for daily use: cbdMD Broad Spectrum Daily Moisturizer

This lightweight broad spectrum moisturizer contains hydrating ingredients, including:

CbdMD states that this daily moisturizer is comfortable enough to wear under make-up.

This product is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. It is free from sulfates, parabens, dyes, and perfumes.

cbdMD lab results are available to view online.

This daily moisturizer has a price of $23.00.

Read our review of cbdMD here.

Best for acne: Charlotte’s Web Acne Treatment Medicated Cream

This moisturizer may help people with acne, blemishes, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Ingredients include:

Learn about other CBD products for acne here.

Charlotte’s Web states that this cream is suitable for vegan, hypoallergenic, and gluten-free.

Charlotte’s Web Acne Treatment Medicated Cream lab results are available to view online.

This cream has a price of $29.99.

Read our review of Charlotte’s Web here.

Best anti-aging: Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum

This face serum features full-spectrum CBD, with the manufacturers claiming it is anti-aging and able to reduce redness. It contains 500 mg of CBD per bottle.

Learn about the best anti-aging serums here.

Ingredients include:

Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum lab results are available to view online.

This serum has a price of $125.00.

Learn about more CBD beauty products here.

The table below compares the CBD face creams above on key features:

PriceType of CBDPotencyCOAMain ingredients
cbdMD Broad Spectrum Daily Moisturizer$23broad spectrum 600 mg per bottleavailable online• hemp extract
• sacha inchi peptides
• rosehip seed oil
• algae extract
• glycerin
Charlotte’s Web Acne Treatment Medicated Cream$29.99broad spectrum200 mg per tubeavailable online• salicyllic acid
• bentonite clay
• hemp extract
• colloidal oatmeal
• sorbic acid
Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum$125full spectrum 500 mg per bottleavailable online • sunflower seed oil
• shea nut butter
• pomegranate seed extract
• grape seed oil
• full spectrum hemp extract

Some factors to consider when purchasing CBD face creams include:

  • Potency: People should ensure the company clearly advertises how much CBD is in the product or how much CBD is in one dose of face cream.
  • Third-party testing: Companies should always provide customers with easy-to-access certificates of analysis (COA) from third parties. The COA ensures the product is free from impurities and has the ingredients that manufacturers claim.
  • CBD type: There are three different types of CBD: broad spectrum, full spectrum, and CBD isolate. Broad spectrum and CBD isolate are usually free from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), unlike full-spectrum CBD. Learn more about the differences between CBD types.
  • Ingredients: People should only buy CBD face cream that lists all the ingredients in the product. Check the ingredients carefully to see if any have caused a previous adverse reaction.

Read our guide on how to shop for CBD here.

Before purchasing CBD products, such as face cream, a person should check whether the product they intend to buy is legal in their state.

Individuals should also contact a healthcare professional to ensure CBD face cream is safe for them to use. A doctor may recommend using a different product if they are currently using medications or creams or if they have a skin condition such as psoriasis and eczema.

Before using CBD cream on the face, an individual should perform a patch test. This involves using a small amount of cream on a small area of skin and waiting for 24 hours to ensure there is no adverse reaction to any of its ingredients.

Learn how to perform a patch test here.

If a person experiences a reaction, such as redness, swelling, or itchiness, they should stop using the product and seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

A person should follow any specific instructions on the package for how and when to use face cream.

In general, an individual applies a small amount of the cream to the face and uses their fingers to rub it gently into the skin.

If a person is using a product for the first time, they should test it on a small patch of skin and wait for 24 hours. If the product causes a reaction, such as redness or swelling, they should stop using it.

The following are some commonly asked questions about CBD and their answers.

Is CBD legal?

CBD that derives from hemp is legal federally. However, this form of CBD may not be legal in all states across the United States.

Some forms of CBD contain THC, which could potentially cause a positive drug test. Choosing broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products may reduce this risk.

A person can check the legality of CBD in their state of residence on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Is CBD cream anti-aging?

Scientific evidence shows that CBD produces a redox balance in the skin, which may help reduce signs of aging.

However, more research is necessary to determine the effective dose of CBD for visible benefits.

Does CBD cream help acne?

A 2018 review notes that CBD products may help relieve skin conditions such as acne. However, the authors also say there are not enough high quality studies that prove CBD is beneficial for the skin.

A person should not rely on CBD face cream to help reduce the appearance of acne. They should speak with a healthcare professional if they have concerns about this skin condition.

CBD face creams and products may offer a range of benefits, including anti-aging effects, improvements in complexion, a reduction of pimples, and moisturization.

However, as the FDA does not approve CBD cosmetics, a person should consider what they would like to gain from the product and examine all its ingredients to evaluate whether it can meet their needs safely.