Forget what you’ve heard – there’s a new breed of hemp beauty buys revitalising its reputation
Trends come and go… but it seems that the desire for skincare products derived from cannabis is here to stay. You may well remember the buzz that surrounded the hemp-harnessing beauty buys from The Body Shop in the 1990s, but its reputation has undergone some serious upgrading since then. No longer seen as a hippy’s favourite ingredient, hemp is starting to be spoken of in the same positive tones as CBD… but why does the tide seem to be turning in its favour, and what is hemp good for?
Hemp oil is extracted by pressing cannabis seeds to remove the fatty oil, and as with many seeds and nuts, they’re absolutely packed with omega fatty acids.
Hemp oil is high in omegas 3, 6 and 9, which are great when applied to the skin. If you have a tired, dull complexion, rubbing hemp oil into your skin will boost the vitality of your visage, while those with dry skin will appreciate the humectant, moisture-preserving properties of hemp oil. This helps to improve the suppleness of skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and even soothe conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Natalie Balmond, creative director of Balmonds (balmonds.co.uk), is a fan of hemp beauty. “The great thing about hemp is that the essential fatty acids it contains actually regulate and normalise the production of skin cells,” she says. “So something like psoriasis, which involves the overproduction of skin cells (causing flaky, scaly skin) is helped by hemp. The nutrients nourish the skin, providing building blocks for the epidermis to repair and regenerate. This means hemp is also great for ageing, oily, and dry skin.”
The omegas in hemp oil are also said to improve joint health, so when you’re struck with aches and pains, simply rub some of this into the affected area, and see if it makes a difference for you.
As if all this wasn’t enough, hemp is also ‘non-comedogenic’, meaning that it doesn’t block pores, so those with oily or blemish-prone skin take note: hemp oil won’t cause breakouts.
Now, have you ever heard of ‘terpenes’? The word passed us by, too, but these underthe- radar compounds are fragrant oils that are found in many plants, including hemp. They don’t just produce the smell and taste of botanicals; they also have plenty of beauty benefits. Terpenes that are found in hemp plants include limonene, which has anti-inflammatory properties; pinene, with anti-ageing effects, and myrcene, which is an effective antibacterial. To reap the benefits of these fragrant little wonders, look out for hemp oils which have not been overlyrefined, as terpenes can be removed when the oil is distilled.
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