A New Type of SPF: Protecting Your Skin with CBD

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UBV Protection

I recently befriended some young women on a trip to the beach. They were in their early 20s, smart, beautiful, and full of youthful curiosity. One day, while sitting by the pool, they looked over at me and asked with earnest sincerity, “What’s one piece of advice you would give to people our age?” My answer? “Wear sunscreen! Everyday. Regardless of the weather. On your face, your hands, your legs. Any part of your body that is exposed to the sun, protect it!”

Shielding your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays aren’t just the first line of defense against skin cancer, but the best thing a person can do to slow those dreaded seven signs of aging.

CBD is an amazing addition to any sunscreen regimen for a few main reasons: fatty acids, anti-inflammation, and the activation of the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.


Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and it is especially on the rise among young adults. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. The AAD goes on to warn that nonmelanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affects more than 3 million Americans a year.

CBD compounds interact with nearby receptors in the skin to stimulate the endocannabinoid system. That means that CBD applied to the skin activates the area’s natural defenses to help mitigate the skin’s response to sun damage and encourage the renewal of skin cells.


It’s the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause both short term and long-term damage to the skin. UVA and UVB being the two types we should be concerned about. To put it simply, UVB are the rays that affect the top layers of the skin causing your skin to tan or burn while UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, damaging the skin’s elasticity which leads to wrinkles, age spots,  and sagging skin.

For truly effective sun protection, everyone should be using a broad-spectrum sunscreen which shields the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Zinc oxide is a compound that has long been used as the main ingredient in sunscreen due to its ability to form a layer on the skin that blocks and reflects the sun’s rays. Similarly, CBD creates a natural layer of SPF on the skin’s surface. This works because CBD is rich in essential fatty acids which have limited absorption into the skin. These fatty acids sit atop the epidermis to help your skin produce a natural oil barrier (sebum), which simultaneously protects and hydrates.

Adding CBD to your sunscreen ensures that you are covering all your bases and providing your skin with a broad spectrum and multiple lines of defense.

and After

We’ve talked before about CBD’s ability to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Following sun exposure, important epidermal Langerhans cells become inactivated or lost altogether. Further effects of sun exposure include thickening of the epidermis and increased production of melanin, the pigment produced that gives skin the appearance of tanning (which is the body’s natural protection against future exposure). CBD hydrates, soothes, and invigorates the skin’s cell turnover and renewal.

Furthermore, as an antioxidant, CBD slows down the development of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging associated with prolonged UVA exposure.

If you’re using a CBD sunscreen that contains hemp oil, you’ll get even more benefits. Hemp oil contains high levels of vitamins A, C, and D, which also aid in skin cell repair.

Finally, CBD works with our endocannabinoid system to regenerate basal cells, which make up 90 percent of our skin. By regulating and manipulating the life cycles of these cells, CBD can assist cell regrowth. Our skin contains a high concentration of CB2 receptors, which provide a pathway to our endocannabinoid system through absorption. When applied topically, CBD promotes the renewal of skin cells, which is an integral part of maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

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