There are few things that make me feel more helpless than my cystic acne. Unlike pimples or blackheads, extractions won’t work on them (unless I want to ruin my skin), as the build-up is beneath the skin rather than above. I just have to power through it, applying topicals and hoping it goes away after a week. However, those pesky bumps often take their time, staying glued to my face for up to a week. And while I’ve come across some great spot treatments for when they’re already on the surface, I hadn’t really found anything that outright prevented the appearance. That is until I gave into the CBD for acne trend.
"Treating both inflammation and oil production, CBD targets the two biggest culprits in cases of active acne," Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD of Modern Dermatology in Connecticut says. "Additionally, CBD packs vitamins A, D, and E, and essential fatty acids, which all promote healthy skin. Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, so soothing products that lower inflammation will improve outbreaks." The ingredient also assists in regulating skin hydration and oil production on the sebaceous glans. "By reducing inflammation, it may allow sebum produced to travel to the surface without becoming clogged and trapped below the skin’s surface," Robinson says.
However, there’s still research to be done on the buzzy ingredient. "CBD does have anti-inflammatory properties so for that reason it may have some benefit, but clinical studies on a final formulation is always necessary to determine if a specific product is actually beneficial in the skin," Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, MD, Idaho-based clinical dermatologist says.
Her morning routine consists of simply splashing her face with water, followed by hydrating with Stratia Liquid Gold, a skin repair moisturizer that includes ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. “It’s definitely not moisturizing enough on its own, but layered with other stuff it adds just the extra oomph for me,” DdoesKeto says. Afterward, she applies a mixture—just a few drops of each—of Jason Vitamin E Oil ($8; amazon.com) and Now Foods Rose Hip Seed Oil ($13 for 2-pack; amazon.com) and then moisturizes with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($15; amazon.com). She finishes with EltaMD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($48; dermstore.com), an oil-free sunscreen that contains vitamin E to prevent damage from free-radicals and zinc oxide to protect from UV rays.
Many of us have dealt with acne at some point in our lives, whether it was hormonal pimples in high school, birth control breakouts, or acne that took us by surprise in adulthood (wait, now I have to pay off my student loans and combat zits that just won’t go away?!). WT-actual-F, universe? And why does it seem like adult acne is ten times harder to get rid of than uneven adolescent skin? At this age, a bottle of Proactiv just won’t cut it.
The fatty acids in the Stratia Liquid Gold keep the skin hydrated and plump, while the ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide in the CeraVe moisturizer protect the skin's barrier, lock in moisture, and even out skin color, New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD tells Health. Vitamin E and rose hip seed oil can help to neutralize free radicals, slow down the aging process, minimize fine lines, and give the skin a radiant glow, she adds. DdoesKeto’s sunscreen choice is one of Dr. Jaliman’s favorites, and is a great option for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin.
DdoesKeto says that once she hit puberty, she began to experience problematic skin (like so many of us do). Her skin had always been tight, dry, and sensitive, but when pimples began to crop up, she started reaching for products tailored toward oily skin and acne.
One day, DdoesKeto walked into Sephora, where an employee in the skincare section suggested it wasn’t that her skin was oily and causing acne, but rather that her face was reacting to being extremely dry and irritated. The woman suggested she switch to an oil-based cleanser, cut out all additives, and make moisturizing a priority.
As for the Redditor’s evening routine, not only is hemp oil anti-inflammatory, but it’s also deeply moisturizing , can regulate the skin’s level of oil production, and is non-comedogenic (read: won’t clog your pores.) Rich in GLA-Gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid), it can even help you achieve younger-looking skin by improving inner health, Dr. Jaliman notes. Even better news? It’s safe for all skin types.
Someone who has really irritated and inflamed, flaky skin—like DdoesKeto describes—is probably dealing with underlying rosacea, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. To treat conditions that cause severe dryness, like rosacea and eczema, you want to repair the skin barrier and improve hydration with emollients and humectants, which will also help calm skin, she adds.