The last few years have a huge rise in hemp-based products. And not just in clothing and food, but in skincare too.
By now most of us know the positive benefits that come from including ingredients like vitamin C or retinol in your skincare routine - as there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up the efficacy of these actives. But what about hemp? What does it actually do? And are the results proven?
Below find your guide to hemp in skincare.
What benefits does hemp have for your skin?
Hemp in skincare is generally made from hemp oil - a product that comes from the hemp seeds. It does not use CBD oil, another by-product of the marijuana plant. And CBD skincare is a whole different area.
Unlike some other products that come from marijuana, hemp seed oil has very negligible levels of THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) and is not classed as a drug. Instead this nourishing and vitamin-rich oil, is used for it's numerous health benefits.
Hemp seed oil is extremely beneficial to the skin owing to its moisturising properties. It's known to moisturise and nourish the skin's barrier without clogging pores. And it moisturising in a way that can help to balance out oily skin and reduce the overproduction of oil. The fatty acids in the oil (omega-6) has antiflammatory properties and encourages cell turnover - which leads to skin repair and growth. All of these properties combine means that hemp seed oil is an excellent anti-ageing ingredient that can reduce the appearance of fine lines and marks and also reduce the rate future skin ageing. Likewise, it an ingredient that has also been shown to help with eczema and dermatitis owing to the rich, moisturising properties which preserve the skin barrier.
Are these results tested or proven?
Yes, they are. Studies such as this one which looks at plants that assist in treating skin diseases show scientifically that hemp oil has excellent moisturising. This study shows the positive influence of hemp oil's fatty acids. There are many more too.
Of course, as this ingredient is relatively new to skincare and has only been researched in depth within the last two decades, more investigation needs to be done. Especially if we are to discover the full suite of benefits.
Are there other benefits to hemp?
One of the other key reasons why people choose hemp over other moisturising skincare compounds is for environmental reasons. Crops like hemp require 50 percent less water to grow when compared with crops like cotton. Excess water used in farming is extremely damaging to the planet and to communities that have a water shortage. So, low-water crops are more ethical and sustainable.
Hemp is also a hardy crop, requiring a very low level of pesticide (if any at all) to stay healthy and grow. Plus, it's a crop where just about every part of the plant can be used, so there is very little waste to come from growing it.
Then there are the huge benefits to the physical landscape. Hemp crops absorb toxic metals, prevent soil erosion and regenerate soil. Just a few reasons why many people are actively choosing hemp over other ingredients. It's an Earth-friendly choice.
Best hemp skincare products
There are many hemp-infused skincare products on the market but I definitely have a few favourites from what I've tried.
Cannabella's suite of hemp serums are ones to look out for. Australian made, 100% botanical, organic and vegan, they tick all the ethical boxes. They're also incredibly nourishing and I loved using them in the cooler weather. I particularly loved the Clarify Serum which helped to control my t-zone congestion.
The Body Shop
I couldn't possibly write an article about hemp without taking about The Body Shop's range of hemp skincare. The hand scrub is a savour for tired, overwashed hands. And I must have gone through at least five bottles of the hemp shower oil. It cleanses your body while moisturising it at the same time so you don't have to spend the extra time rubbing body cream into your legs. It's such a time saver.
Swisse also has a great hemp skincare range. I love the hydrating body wash and definitely the cream cleanser for your face. Swisse only uses Australian cold-pressed hemp seed oil in it's formulations, so the nutrient content is quite high.