Food, medicine, paper, canvas. You name it, the hemp plant can do it. It’s been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Oriental Medicine for over 3,000 years, but the healing power of deep green, chlorophyll-dense hemp seed oil is only just making its mark in western skincare. Extracted from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant it’s not the same as CBD, which is taken from the flowers, leaves and stalks. CBD may contain the psychoactive compound THC. Hemp seed oil has zero or negligible levels of THC, and is legal everywhere when its THC content is less than 0.3%.
What makes hemp seed oil such a powerful skin healer? It’s an exceptional source of essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linoleic acid. In fact hemp seed oil is comprised of 60% linoleic acid, antioxidant vitamin E and beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals.
Here are the 7 benefits of nutrient-packed hemp seed oil.
With a similar make-up to skin’s natural lipids, hemp seed oil absorbs quickly without feeling greasy. It nourishes and softens dull, dry skin and acts as a humectant, drawing water to the upper layers of skin to keep it smooth, plump and hydrated. It also works wonders gently massaged into dry cuticles and nails and the scalp.
2. Restores the natural barrier
Fatty acids omega 3 and 6 are an essential ingredient of healthy cells and the skin’s protective upper layer. Without them skin cells can’t knit together effectively and a compromised barrier gives way to rough, dry skin, dermatitis, eczema and inflammation. Fatty acids help seal in moisture to keep skin feeling soft and supple.
3. Balances oily skin
Using oil on oily skin can feel counter-intuitive. But it helps fool skin into producing less sebum, by replenishing and signalling that there’s no need to pump out as much.
4. Saves skin from breakouts
Essential fatty acids also have anti-bacterial properties, so they’re extra beneficial for breakout-prone, inflammed skin. At night, after using a gentle cleanser, pat a small amount of cold-pressed hemp seed lightly over the face. Use consistently for the best results.
5. Doesn’t clog pores
Oils used in skincare are rated on the comedogenic scale of 0 (won’t block pores) to 5 (highly likely). Unlike pore-clogging oils such as coconut (5), which many dermatologists advise against using on the face, ultra-nourishing hemp seed oil has a rating of 0 and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy.
6. Soothes & calms skin
Another key function of fatty acids in the skin is to act as an anti-inflammatory. Dense in linoleic acid, hemp seed oil helps reduce redness and irritation and is especially soothing for eczema and psoriasis or after strong acid treatments to calm sore, stressed skin.