CBD Skincare & Cosmetics

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Exclusive Interview with Laura Lagano, Author of The CBD Oil Miracle

Integrative clinical nutritionist Laura Lagano, MS, RD, CDN, discovered the power of cannabidiol (CBD) when raising a child with a developmental delay. Laura includes CBD in her practice of integrating nutrition with cannabis and cannabinoids and other holistic approaches.

Her recent book, The CBD Oil Miracle, explains CBD with comprehensive, unbiased expertise. It includes how to use CBD for skincare conditions, among many other topics. Laura was kind enough to forward us a copy of the book and answer our questions. 


You mention that the market is exploding with choices, including a new CBD-infused mascara. How do you envision the future of CBD cosmetics?

CBD has already entered the beauty and skincare category in a significant way. This is the route of entry for cannabis (which includes both hemp-derived CBD and THC-containing marijuana) for many individuals. For those who still have “cannaphobia,” products that you apply to your body are more acceptable and less “threatening.” Because everyone is looking for a way to differentiate and because of the health benefits of the cannabis plant, companies will continue to look for ways to include cannabis compounds in products.


How can we guarantee product safety and effectiveness? Are certificates of analysis and ingredient lists the way for cosmetics? 

As with all products boasting CBD, the first thing to do is to make sure that the products actually contain CBD, which is derived from the aerial part (not seed) of the plant. Look for milligrams of CBD on the label, not only the milligrams of extract used. Companies are identifying CBD by several names including hemp CBD, full-spectrum extract, whole plant extract, phytocannabinoid-rich oil, and hemp extract oil.

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are a way to evaluate products—both topicals and ingestibles. Consumers can request COAs from the manufacturers. Some companies provide QR codes on labels that connect to COAs and lab information. For due diligence, consumers can follow-up with the lab that conducted the analysis to verify that the results match the product batch number. For those with multiple chemical sensitivities or with compromised immune systems, you can find a lab that you trust to do an independent COA and compare. COAs should be a way for consumers to determine safety of a product, however, both manufacturers and even labs have been known to falsify the documents.


There are many strong arguments for the treatment of various skin conditions in the book. How would you describe the current clinical research/science for CBD and skin conditions?

The cannabinoid known as cannabidiol, or CBD, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, the government holds a patent on CBD as an anti-oxidant and neuroprotectant. Both clinical studies and anecdotal clinical evidence have demonstrated effectiveness of CBD for multiple skin conditions. Of particular interest to both CDB topical manufacturers and dermatologists is that CBD applied to the skin has been shown to reduce lipid product from sebaceous glands. Overproduction of sebum is what contributes to acne. If you’re looking for an ingredient to soothe irritation and reduce redness, as well as potentially combat acne, CBD is extremely promising. Additionally, studies have revealed that CBD may help slow down signs of aging because of its neuro-regenerative and antioxidant properties.


Will dermatologists be turning to CBD any time soon?

Dermatologists, aestheticians, holistic practitioners, spa owners, and many individuals in the skincare and beauty business are already turning to CBD. It’s just the beginning of the CBD explosion in topically-applied products. We’re still discovering ways in which CBD and the other cannabinoids can help with skin conditions.


The book includes a list of ingredients to avoid (BHA, mineral oil, etc.). Are there any specific ingredients that work particularly well in conjunction with CBD for the purposes of skincare/cosmetics?

For nontoxic products that work well for skin health, consult the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep site, which lists ingredients that are safe for health. CBD can potentially be paired with any of the listed non-toxic ingredients for effectiveness. It’s preliminary to predict what works synergistically with CBD on the skin. A potential ingredient comes from the cannabis plant—hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is high in antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid is a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that does not clog pores or contribute to oily skin, boasting a comedogenic score of zero. The score, which ranges from zero to five, refers to the ability to cause blackheads and acne. Hemp seed oil is at one end of the spectrum with a zero rating and wheat germ oil is at the other end with a score of five.


What do you believe is the best type of CBD product for general skincare?

You can select CBD-containing products that contain other ingredients that are appropriate to your specific skin type. I also recommend simply using a good quality oral CBD oil that you can apply directly to the skin when treating small, targeted areas. Always be mindful about other ingredients that can be harmful to both the inner and outer body. Refer to the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group.


How would you summarize CBD’s effects on anti-aging and youthful skin? 

CBD is an anti-inflammatory. Oxidation and inflammation are primary contributors to aging—both inside and out. As a potent anti-inflammatory agent, CBD can help soothe and relax skin. Relaxation can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. CBD also appears to help stimulate and regulate oil production in the skin, which can help to mitigate dryness and wrinkles. As an anti-oxidant agent, CBD slows the breakdown of collagen and, in turn, lessen the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Overall, by reducing inflammation and counteracting oxidation (from free radical damage), CBD may help visibly diminish wrinkles, skin dullness, and ruddy skin tone. Wrinkles happen with age because the body becomes less effective at combatting inflammation, retaining moisture, and repairing itself. Healthy skin relies on a combination of factors—what you put in your body, what you put on your body, your toxic exposure, your ability to detoxify, smoking, stress, genetics, and much more. CBD is but one factor that can help maintain skin health.


What kind of CBD skincare results have you seen in your own life and the lives of your clients?

I’m an integrative clinical nutritionist, so my skincare routine includes consuming anti-inflammatory food, avoiding the sun, using non-toxic skincare and cosmetics, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate sleep, using stress-reduction techniques, and more. When I give clients products with CBD to use topically, I typically give them CBD to take orally, as well. I’ve seen accelerated wound-healing time post-surgery, acne eruptions decrease, chronic pain decrease, and eczema patches dramatically lessen.

You write that for CBD skincare and beauty products, isolate is acceptable. Why does the entourage effect not stand for skincare/cosmetics?

Many manufacturers are using isolate because it’s easier to mix with other ingredients and does not require the same level of research and development. In some cases, it’s not only the CBD that may be having the positive impact, it’s also the other ingredients such as arnica and menthol for pain, and shea butter and coconut oil for dry skin. The entourage effect does matter. There are some products on the market that use whole plant or full-spectrum CBD. I suspect that we will see products with the acidic or unheated (non-decarboxylated) forms of CBD in the future plus products featuring the other cannabinoids.

Laura Lagano is an integrative clinical nutritionist with a private practice that focuses on brain, gut, and immune health. As a nutrition and cannabis educator, Laura has appeared on numerous radio interviews, podcasts, and summits and has been interviewed for both online and print publications. She wrote about her healing journey with her daughter Isabella in Kitchen Toke magazine and had the honor of interviewing Raphael Mechoulam, the grandfather of cannabis research, for Holistic Primary Care. She is the education director and co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy. For more information about CBD and how it can help with pain, mood, inflammation, skincare, and many other issues, contact Laura at To learn how you can join Laura as a cannabis practitioner, check out the Holistic Cannabis Academy.


Laura’s References

Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis

CBD exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes

The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease

Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids

A novel control of human keratin expression: cannabinoid receptor 1-mediated signaling down-regulates the expression of keratins K6 and K16 in human keratinocytes in vitro and in situ

Endocannabinoids modulate human epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and survival via the sequential engagement of cannabinoid receptor-1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1

Cannabinoid 1 receptors in keratinocytes modulate proinflammatory chemokine secretion and attenuate contact allergic inflammation

Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system

Topical cannabinoid agonists. An effective new possibility for treating chronic pruritus

The role of cannabinoids in dermatology

Cannabidiol upregulates melanogenesis through CB1 dependent pathway by activating p38 MAPK and p42/44 MAPK


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