While cannabis skin care only went mainstream a few short months ago, it’s already evolving. Consumers are demanding more — and one of the things they want is cruelty-free products.
Cruelty-free products get their name because they aren’t tested on animals, nor do they contain ingredients that are derived from animals. A growing number of brands now offer such products infused with cannabis — like Lord Jones’ body lotions, Kush Queen’s bath bombs, or Wildflower’s face and body soaps.
The roots of the cruelty-free movement stretch back to the early 20th century, but its first major brush with the skin care world came in 1980, when animal rights advocates waged a successful campaign to make the beauty company Revlon stop using the Draize test. This was “the gold standard” of cosmetics testing, in which chemicals were applied to the eyes and skin of animals to determine if they were safe for use on humans. Today, such tests are banned by the European Union — though they’re still mandatory in China, and widely permitted under US law.
Still, most people would prefer to avoid products tested on animals, which is why cruelty-free skin care is more popular than ever (bonus points if they’re also organically produced or vegan-friendly). If you’re wondering how to tell the real deal from the marketing fluff, there are now a number of certifications — Leaping Bunny and Beauty Without Bunnies, for example — with reputations for independent testing and integrity. There’s also an app, Cruelty Cutter, which can help you identify immediately if a brand is cruelty-free.
How to Tell If Your Cannabis Skin Care Is Cruelty-Free
The easiest way to tell if a cannabis skin care product is cruelty-free is to look at the packaging. If it hasn’t been tested on animals, there will be a stamp, sticker, or label that says so. However, all certifications don’t carry the same weight — if you’re serious about going cruelty-free, you’ll want to look for the ones below.
Leaping Bunny is the only internationally-recognized certification for cruelty-free products, and most other certifications are measured against it. The program began in the mid 1990s, when a group of international animal rights agencies banded together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC).
Leaping Bunny isn’t the only rabbit-themed game in town, though, and it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that PETA has a cruelty-free certification program as well.
Beauty Without Bunnies is now one of the most respected certification programs of its kind and, although it doesn’t have the status of Leaping Bunny, it’s taken seriously by industry experts.
But when the range of cruelty free cosmetics and skin care products is expanding so rapidly, why choose ones that contain cannabis?
The Benefits of Using Cruelty-Free Cannabis Products
As great as cruelty-free skin care is great for animals, cannabis is great for your skin. Here are the five biggest benefits of products that tick both boxes in your skin care routine.
1. They Fight Acne
Acne is the most common skin complaint in the world. It’s caused by bacteria that breed in pores that have been clogged by excess oil and dead skin cells. Studies have shown that cannabis oils can help to get rid of pimples and restore your skin to health.
They do this by helping the body’s internal regulation system to balance your levels of sebum, the natural oil of the skin. When there’s too much of it, breakouts are soon to follow. When there’s too little, the skin becomes dry and irritated. Cannabis helps keep things just right.
2. They’re Gentle on Sensitive Skin
Who hasn’t been excited to try out a new lotion or face cream, only to find out that it irritated their skin, caused a rash, or even lead to flaking skin (or worse)? Good news: cannabis skin care products are some of the most gentle on the market. In fact, they’re so gentle that they’re being increasingly used by men and women with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea whose skin is extremely sensitive to harsh ingredients.
3. They Have Anti-Aging Benefits
Researchers have discovered that some of the chemicals found in cannabis plants are highly potent antioxidants. This means that they kill off free radicals, which attack healthy skin cells and cause the seven signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Using a cannabis skin care product, whether it’s a serum or a cleansing oil, will infuse the skin with rich antioxidant properties that could make it look years younger.
4. They Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a common problem when it comes to skin care. The skin can become inflamed for many different reasons, from hormonal breakouts to allergic reactions. You’ll know your skin is inflamed if it’s puffy, swollen, red, and tender or painful. Studies have shown that the chemicals in cannabis (namely CBD and THC) have powerful natural anti-inflammatory abilities and can reduce these symptoms significantly.
5. They’re Antibacterial and Antifungal
Keeping the skin free of bacteria and fungus is one of the best things you can do for your complexion. Fungal infections can take hold anywhere on the body, but they’re most common in the folds of the skin like under the breasts and in the groin area. Bacterial infections (such as acne and impetigo) can wreak havoc with your skin too, so using a cannabis-infused cream or lotion that will fight off bacteria and fungus is a great preventative measure to take.