Enjoy plenty of Hemp Seed Oil benefits for skin when you use our skincare range. Order yours from our online catalog today and enjoy free shipping! So, what about hemp seed oil? What is hemp seed oil, how do we use it and wait… hemp? Isn’t that made from cannabis, meaning that it’s illegal? Here’s the Sönd lowdown on hemp seed oil and how it can benefit our skin.
Benefits of Hemp Oil
Description: This perfectly balanced oil has an impressive list of proven benefits
to the consumer. The product’s ideal balance as a cosmetic oil and as a
fashionable ingredient meets the demands of the millennium’s market.
Hemp oil has been used for centuries for its medicinal and nutritional properties.
Today’s emphasis on environmentally-sound products calls for a multipurpose
ingredient such as hemp seed oil that we use in all of our beauty products. It is
a perfectly balanced oil with an impressive list of proven benefits to the consumer.
Across the globe, hemp products are renowned for their versatility. This popular
material is used in clothing, accessories, home furnishings and even
automobiles. Hemp is no longer confused as a “cannabis” product but is relished
for its own reputation.
Hemp Seed Oil has unique anti-inflammatory properties that are not often found
in other oils. This, added to its antioxidant properties, allows Hemp Seed Oil to
help heal and detoxify your skin, as well as even out your skin tone.
Some cosmetics use Hemp Seed Oil to take care of skin lesions and blotches
that may occur as a result of excessively dry skin. Since it won’t clog your pores
like many other oils, you can safely use Hemp Seed Oil to moisturize your skin,
and do so without any greasy buildup. It has high fluidity and lubricity and is
absorbed quickly and efficiently into the skin. Hemp Seed Oil also provides mild
UV protection, which helps prevent damage and diseases related to
over-exposure to the sun.
Four thousand years ago, China’s Emperor Sheng Nung used hemp for
rheumatism and constipation treatments. Buddha supposedly ate one hemp
seed per day while fasting. Romans used hemp fibers in their ropes and sails.
Gutenberg’s Bible, the American Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence were all printed on hemp paper. France’s Nîmes weavers used
hemp in manufacturing the first denim (De Nîmes). Since hemp made up the
very first jeans, contemporary fashion has turned to hemp fiber. Hemp is not a
trend that any industry can afford to miss. Armani, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren
all use hemp in their fashion lines. “I believe that hemp is going to be the fiber of
choice for the millennium,” said Calvin Klein.
This “choice” plant is actually a tall weed that grows worldwide. It has many applications, aside from its excellent use in hemp seed oil form. The plant itself grows rapidly (four times faster than trees). Hemp has been highlighted lately for its environmental soundness. A renewable biomass, hemp is grown without fertilizer or pesticides. In fact, the plant is a fertilizer itself. Therefore, without involving costly and potentially environmentally-damaging chemicals, hemp is a hardy, cost-efficient botanical that grows without damaging either the wallet or the environment.
It’s no wonder that hemp is so widely used these days. Not only is the fiber used in paper, textiles and hemp beauty products, but its hardiness makes it ideal for the building industry. Hemp is also edible and may even be found in modern food products; the nutritious oil helps reduce LDL cholesterol content.
Clearly, hemp has many beneficial uses but its full potential is realized in the form of hemp seed oil. The oil is edible, pleasing to the touch and perfectly balanced. The cosmetic industry leaders recognize the desirability of high essential fatty acid contents. Hemp seed oil contains one of the highest levels of essential fatty acids: 76%.
Essential Fatty Acids and the Skin
Moisture regulation is carried out through a layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is comprised of skin cells held together by lipids. Our skin cells are continuously dying, shedding and being replaced by new ones. This cycle is controlled by the health of the stratum corneum, or “barrier” layer. The key to the integrity of this barrier is moisture, specifically keeping water inside the skin. In order to do this you need to apply a humectant (something that attracts or holds water). Hemp Seed Oil replenishes our EFA’s (essential fatty acids), which helps our skin hold moisture, making it a natural humectant. The effectiveness of our barrier function is what determines the moisture level of our skin, thus the health, softness and smoothness. EFA’s specifically Omega 6, Omega 3 and Omega 9 preserve this barrier.
Hemp Seed Oil is made up of 80% essential fatty acid, the highest amount of any other plant. It prevents moisture loss on a physiological level; it does not just merely “coat” the skin as do other oils. It contains the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 based on our cells needs. Hemp Seed Oil so closely matches our own skin’s lipids that it’s able to penetrate inside our cells and lubricate the surface between them, allowing the EFA’s to enter our body. For this reason EFA’s have been proven to provide a healthy moisture balance and play a preventative role in skin aging.
Skin that’s lacking in EFA’s allows a greater loss of moisture, causing dryness. Dry skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, cracking, scaling, and loss of elasticity can be reversed by using skin care products containing Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Regular use of medicinal Hemp Seed Oil can help reduce any skin discomfort. It soothes and restores dry damaged skin, leaving it smooth, silky, and moisturized. It is also an excellent choice for hair and lip care.
EFAs (essential fatty acids) are very important in cell membranes. The more saturated the fatty acid, the less fluid the membrane. PUFA (poly-unsaturated fatty acids) are incorporated in the 2 position of the phospholipids constituting cell membrane. Afluid membrane is crucial for proper cell function. EFAs and their importance to the skin have been the subject of many studies.
Horrobin (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 1989 20 1045-1053) and later Wright (Br. J. Dermatol. 1991 125 503-515) have reviewed Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency (EFAD) consequences on the skin. They found that EFAD can lead to:
Hypertrophy of the sebaceous glands and hyperkeratosis of sebaceous ducts;
Weakened cutaneous capillaries;
Increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and
Thin, discolored hair, or hair loss
Furthermore, EFAD plays a role in atopic eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Our Gypsy Cream is great for soothing these type of skin symptoms.
Nutgeren, et. al. (Biochim. Biophis. Acta. 1985 834 429-436) proved that EFAs are absolutely necessary for maintaining the proper skin condition of water barrier in the skin. Direct topical application on linoleic acid (LA) to the skin restores the barrier in animals with EFAD. It as been shown that radiolabeled LA is incorporated mostly in an acyl ceramide (ceramide 1) in which LA was esterified to the end position of a very long chain unsaturated omega fatty acid. In EFAD, LA is replaced by oleic acid in the ceramide, which is unable to form a normal water barrier.
PUFA supplementation influences the rate of biosynthesis of EFA derivatives as it seems to depend on the size of the precursors pool. Supplementing gamma linoleic acid (GLA) results in an increase of the less inflammatory PGE2. Similarly long chain omega-3 acids supplementation induces a marked reduction in LA and arachidonic acid (AA) in membrane lipids and also result in local generation of the less inflammatory PGE3.
Also, dihomo gamma linoleic acid (DGLA) is converted in the skin to PGE1, which is known to raise the levels of cAMP which in turn inhibits PLA2 and so exerts anti-inflammatory effects by keeping AA locked into the phospholipidic membrane. Thus access of free AA to cyclo-oxygenase is denied and pro-inflammatory PG2 level is reduced. This implies the necessity of a well balanced mix of PUFA in the diet and in topical application.
The Right Prostaglandins are Extremely Important
Larregue (Prostaglandines et thromboxanes Masson 1997) reviewed the importance of prostaglandin (PG) in skin. PGs are not stored but are synthesized on request after being stimulated. PG2 are synthesized from AA present in cell membranes.
PG2 is a powerful vasodilator and contributes to the characteristic edema related to inflammation. It must be noted that PG1 and PG3 are less pro-inflammatory. PGs are also immune modulators: PGE2 is a powerful inhibitor of cytotoxic T cells activity. In situ PG production happens simultaneously with UV erythema. Therefore omega-3 PUFA, by helping prevent PG2, has a photo-protective effect on skin.
Marshall, et. al. (Progr Lipid Res 1981 20 7312-734) demonstrate that nutritional balance between omega-3 and omega-6 EFA affects prostaglandin synthesis in the immune system improving certain skin inflammatory pathologies. This is due to the competitive inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase which does not release as much pro-inflammatory AA derived PG2, favoring the less active PG3. High LNA levels in the diet led to a decreased capacity for cyclo-oxygenase produced PGE syntheses in the thymus and spleen due to the preference of desaturase and elongase enzymes for the omega-3 EFA. This causes a larger decrease in AA than may be expected on the basis of dietary LA/LNA ratio.
Finally, Ziboh (Arch. Dermatol. 1989 125 241-245) has studied the accumulation in psoriasis lesions of leukotriene B4, the major pro-inflammatory metabolite of AA. He proved that GLA and EPA present in fish oil are potent inhibitors of leukotriene B4 generation. They seem to work by competitive inhibition of 5 lipoxygenase.
PUFA Metabolism in the Skin
The enzymes involved in PUFA metabolism are crucial. Unfortunately, the key enzyme, Æ6 desaturase enzymes and cannot convert LA to GLA nor DGLA to AA, but it can convert GLA to DGLA. The epidermis is therefore dependent on the continual formation of GLA and AA by the liver and on the transport to the skin by the blood.
Kassis et. al. (Arch. Dermatol. Res. 1983 275 9-13) proved that a person’s capacity to convert LA to GLA decreases with age, as do the levels of PGE1. Æ6 desaturase is inhibited by many exogenous factors such as diet, stress and aging. Therefore, a GLA deficit leads to: a lack of PG1, an off-balance PG1/PG2 ratio and various cutaneous problems related to aging, such as skin dryness, itching, erythema and skin thinning. A well-balanced oil has to be supplemented to counter this consequence of aging by circumventing the key Æ6 desaturase stage.
Benefits of Topical EFAs
Topical application studies proved that PUFA or preferably PUFA-rich vegetable oils (released by the skin esterase) are beneficial to the skin. Prottey et. al. (J. Invest. Dermatol. 1975 64 228-234) demonstrated that, after cutaneous application of sunflower seed oil, which is rich in LA, to the right forearm of EFAD volunteers for two weeks, the level of LA in their epidermal lipids was markedly increased, the rate of TEWL was significantly lowered and the scaly lesions had disappeared. No such changes were seen in the volunteers’ left forearms after cutaneous application of olive oil (containing nearly no LA .
Proksch et. al. (Br. J. Dermatol. 1993 128 473-482) demonstrated that disrupting the barrier function by topical aceton
e treatment results in an increase of free fatty acids, sphingolipids and cholesterol in the living layer of the epidermis, leading to barrier repair. DNA synthesis is also stimulated the same way as by occlusion. This is a possible second mechanism by which the epidermis repairs its barrier function of omega-6 PUFA limits DNA synthesis and helps restore the barrier function.
Coupland (Active Ingredient Conference Paris 1997 195-201) described how damaged or inflamed skin can be treated with oils containing GLA and SDA due to a reduction in inflammatory metabolites: PG. Photo-damaged skin may also benefit from these natural oils by inhibiting the secretion of TNF∝. Morganti et. al. (J. Appl. Cosm. 1985 3 211-222) showed that EFA application improves skin’s hydration capacity and protects aged skin against environmental insults. A cream containing 3% EFA prevents much better skin atrophy induced by a cortisone like compound which accelerates the skin’s aging process.
All these data point out the great benefits of topical PUFA supplementation with the right balance of PUFA for helping:
correct the consequences of dry skin (more by structural change than by occlusivity);
contribute to skin aging prevention and
provide relief for skin inflammatory condition
The Wonder Oil
Hemp seed oil’s unique composition makes it the optimal active ingredient choice. It possess one of the highest PUFA contents but also has a perfect balance, providing the four essential fatty acids beneficial to the skin: LA, GLA, LNA, and SDA.
No other oil provides the necessary EFAs with the right balance. Although any PUFA-containing oil is good, an oil such as hemp seed oil (with the right biological ratio between omega-3/omega-6) provides all the benefits.
Hemp seed oil is pressed from a safe vegetable , hemp, which is a fiber-type weed of the Cannabis sativa species. The plant has dark green leaves and grows worldwide. Cannabis sativa can be separated into two categories:
Hemp (drug type): the leaves are rich in THC (Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol) do not contain its precursor CBD (cannabidiol), and is used for its psychotropic properties;
Hemp (fiber type): contains very low levels of THC and does contain CBD.
In France, several hemp varieties are authorized for crops because they contain only traces of THC (less than 0.3%). It is very easy to check the quality of the seeds by chromatography. The seeds do not need to be sterilized, which allows the vitamin content to remain unchanged.
So even if hemp seed oil is described by its INCI name (Cannabis sativa seed oil) it contains only traces of THC (less than 10 ppm for selected oils) and is perfectly safe for nutritional and cosmetic use.
Dr. U. Erasmus’ book: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, (1993, Alive Books Canada), praises hemp seed oil for its nutritional benefits. Hemp seed oil helps:
Reduce LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure for cardiovascular disease prevention;
Alleviate painful rheumatoid arthritis after a 12-week treatment;
Relieve the symptoms of PNS and menopause with one teaspoon a day for three months and
Improve health by sustaining the immune system.
Dr. Erasmus also recommends hemp seed oil as a salad oil for its pleasant nutty flavor. Two tablespoons a day provide the daily EFA requirements.
Hemp Seed Oil in Cosmetics
In addition to its outstanding composition, hemp seed oil’s unique texture imparts excellent skin feel. It is non-greasy, has high fluidity and lubricity and is absorbed quickly and efficiently in the skin. In fact, hemp seed oil is considered the “driest” vegetable oil.
Hemp seed oil’s unique texture and activity on the skin (including the scalp) targets it toward many beneficial uses in cosmetic products. It is recommended in skin care formulas that protect or provide anti-aging benefits, as well as dry-, mature- and sensitive skin products. It can be used at 3% in hand, foot or body creams. It can be used at 10% levels in after-sun products as well as lipsticks, lip balms and nail treatments. Hemp seed oil can also be used (3%) in cosmetic powders, liquid makeup and glossy hair conditioners that strengthen or prevent splitting and thinning. It is recommended for use (up to 10% for atopic eczema, acne and psoriasis treatment) and may be used at full strength for aromatherapy purposes and in body and massage oils.
Hemp seed oil is an excellent active ingredient in all of the above cosmetic applications. Hemp seed oil is the right choice. Not only is it fashionable, but it is the natural solution to the industry’s need for a rich oil that tests boundaries. Hemp seed oil is defined by unique properties that indulge the consumer in countless benefits. When used as an active ingredient, hemp seed oil follows a trend that you can bank on.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil on Skin of All Types?
Here at Sönd, we speak a lot about the use of oils on our face. Should we, or shouldn’t we? Is it ever ok to use facial oils on oily skin?
In this Article
(Short answer – yes. Long answer – but not all kinds of oils. It’s better to use an oil that acts as an emollient if you have oily skin, such as jojoba and argan oils. They’ll penetrate deeply into the layers of the skin, nourishing and hydrating it, rather than sitting on top of it, adding to excess shine and the other problems of oily skin.)
So, what about hemp seed oil? What is hemp seed oil, how do we use it and wait. hemp? Isn’t that made from cannabis, meaning that it’s illegal? (No!)
Here’s the Sönd lowdown on the health benefits of hemp oil on skin.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seed and fibrous stems of the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s usually extracted by cold press methods, meaning that there’s only minimal processing involved, with no heat or chemical solvents used to extract the oil (which can degrade the nutritional quality of the resulting oil).
Instead, cold pressing is a mechanical process during which hemp seeds (or other oil seeds) are pressed using a hydraulic press to force the oil out of the seed through pressure.
The eagle eyed among us may recognise the name Cannabis sativa as being the plant that cannabis comes from. And you’d be right.
Cannabis products are derived from the buds and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant and contain two compounds – THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD, or cannabidiol. It’s the THC that’s responsible for the psychoactive properties and euphoric ‘highs’ of cannabis products. The higher the level of THC, the higher the high.
But CBD isn’t something that will make you high. It’s non addictive and won’t impact your day to day functioning, change your state of mind or cloud your thoughts, even though it comes from the same plant as cannabis.
CBD products such as CBD oils are becoming increasingly popular as advocates become aware of its incredible health benefits. These include helping to alleviate conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress and chronic pain and inflammation.
It’s also been linked with the improvement of skin complaints, such as acne. Research also continues into the positive effects of CBD on conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers and epilepsy.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause a feeling of being ‘stoned’ and it’s therefore legal to sell products that contain CBD in the UK, as long as the naturally occurring levels of THC are below 0.2% (below which is unlikely to cause any effects).
So, where does hemp fit into all this?
CBD is usually derived from industrial hemp which, as we mentioned above, is itself sourced from seeds and fibrous stems of the same plant as cannabis. Talking about hemp is impossible without talking about the difference between CBD and THC, so we thought it worthy of a mention here.
In a nutshell, hemp seed oil (and all hemp products) are legal and don’t cause a high or any type of stoned effect. Also commonly known as hemp oil (but this may still contain CBD and is therefore different, so always check the label), it has many health benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Our Overall Health?
Hemp seed oil is incredibly nutritious and is rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6 oils) and healthy polyunsaturated fats. It’s also rich in vitamin E and is a good source of a variety of minerals including calcium, iron and zinc.
These nutrients each have their own health benefits, but in particular, the healthy fats are linked to a decrease in inflammation, helping to protect against heart disease.
Hemp seed oil is also a good complete protein source which is beneficial for vegetarians and vegans due to its rich amino acid profile. But since we’re a skin care company, we are most interested in the health benefits of hemp seed oil on skin…
What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil on Skin?
Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain THC or very much CBD, and has its own unique nutritional profile and health benefits, especially to the skin. Since hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it’s also rich in anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation in the skin can lead to stressed out, misbehaving skin that can break out in acne spots or cause conditions such as rosacea or eczema to become worse.
Hemp seed oil can also help to moderate oil production when applied to the skin, as it helps to nourish and moisturise the skin without clogging the pores with excess oil. This means that those with oily skin can use hemp seed oil on their skin without having to worry about excess oil production and shine.
It also means that those with acne prone skin can use products containing hemp seed oil to help both moisturise and support their skin without upsetting it or causing acne outbreaks.
In terms of acne specifically, studies have shown that hemp seed oil can be very beneficial for acne prone skin since it has an anti-inflammatory effect. Also because, when used topically, it can enter the skin and accumulate in the sebaceous glands, the glands that produce sebum, the wax-like oily substance that’s naturally produced by the skin. There is also evidence that hemp seed oil can help to relieve dry skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis due to its abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
So, let’s look into each of the health benefits of hemp seed oil on skin.
1. What Does Hemp Seed Oil Do for Skin – Moisturising Effects
Perhaps the biggest benefit of hemp seed oil to the skin is its ability to effectively moisturise the skin.
Hemp seed oil is a type of emollient, which helps to support good skin elasticity, leaving the skin supple and smooth.
The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in hemp seed oil help to support the health and strength of the natural barrier function of the skin. This helps to lock in moisture, keeping the skin well hydrated.
2. Hemp Seed Oil for Skin Conditions – Atopic Dermatitis
The omega fatty acids in hemp seed oil can also help to manage skin that’s prone to atopic dermatitis. Studies show that it can be effective if taken orally, as well as if applied to the skin.
3. Hemp Seed Oil for Skin Conditions – Acne
Acne is often caused by an overproduction of sebum, inflammation, a buildup of skin bacteria, or all three. Hemp seed oil contains compounds that can help to reduce oil production, inflammation and bacteria, making it ideal for managing acne prone skin.
4. Hemp Seed Oil for Balancing the Skin
If our skin becomes dry, or we have oily skin and we avoid moisturiser, both scenarios can send our skin into oil production overdrive to compensate for dryness. This can lead to clogged pores, acne breakouts and inflammation.
Since hemp seed oil is naturally hydrating and non-pore blocking, it’s ideal for balancing the skin.
5. Protection Against Sun Damage and Hyperpigmentation
The α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid found naturally in hemp seed oil can help to repair skin damage caused by the UV rays from the sun.
They can also help to suppress the overproduction of melanin, the compound in our skin that’s responsible for our skin colouring. UV light can cause melanin production to increase, causing areas of hyperpigmentation. Applying hemp seed oil to the skin can help to reduce hyperpigmentation.
6. Hemp Seed Oil for Skin Infections
Our skin can be prone to an overgrowth of the bacteria that occurs naturally on our skin. This can then lead to acne spots and breakouts. Hemp seed oil has a natural antibacterial property that helps to keep skin bacteria to manageable levels.
7. Hemp Seed Oil for Improved Skin Tone and Texture
As well as beneficial fatty acids, hemp seed oil is also rich in vitamins A, C and E that all help to rejuvenate the skin, helping to keep it looking fresh and youthful.
8. Hemp Seed Oil and Anti-Aging Properties
The vitamins A, C and E along with the omega fatty acids, help to keep the surface of the skin healthy, allowing it to hold onto water more efficiently. This helps to keep the skin hydrated and in turn keeps it plump with fewer visible fine lines and wrinkles.
9. Hemp Seed Oil and Free Radical Damage Protection
Free radicals are unstable molecules of oxygen that can cause damage to the skin cells, leading to free radical damage and eventually oxidative stress.
Since hemp seed oil helps to keep the natural barrier fiction of the skin strong, it can help to protect the skin cells against free radical damage. The consequence of this is less premature ageing caused by stressors such as UV damage, pollution, environmental toxins and exposure to harsh weather.
10. Hemp Seed Oil for Stress Relief!
If we’re feeling the stresses and strains of life, then our skin may well show the telltale signs by looking dull and lacking vibrancy. Simply using a product that contains hemp seed oil on the skin can lift the senses with its heavenly smell, ideal for both mind and skin!
Are There Any Side Effects to Using Hemp Seed Oil for the Skin?
Despite hemp seed oil coming from the same plant as cannabis, there are no known side effects to using hemp seed oil on your skin.
But just in case you’re sensitive to it, if you’ve never used it before, use it sparingly to begin with, before gradually building up. If you notice any itching, burning or rashes, stop using hemp seed oil.
Adding Hemp Seed Oil to your Skincare Routine
Our Midnight Feast Night Cream contains hemp seed oil (you’ll see it listed in our ingredients information as cannabis sativa seed oil). It’s ideal for use on cleansed skin at night, helping to nourish all skin types and feeding it with beneficial oils and nutrients.
The benefit of using our night cream over pure hemp seed oil is that it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving an oily film like some facial oils can. This can be uncomfortable and can even lead to breakouts and other problems, plus it can leave annoying oily residues on pillows and bedding!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.
Dr Anna Brilli
With more than 35 years of experience as a Medical Consultant and Holistic Nutritionist, Anna has developed her own alkaline-based approach for natural well-being. Annas holistic methodology helps slow down the ageing processes, cures problematic skin types and helps increase physical strength and mental clarity.