There is almost nothing as pleasant as soaking in the sun while enjoying a cold drink with friends or a good book on your own. As good as it feels, however, people tend to forget that the sun imposes high risks for your skin. With skin cancer being one of the most common types of cancer, taking proper care of your skin is very important.

In a hunt for a solution to this growing problem, some people are considering using cannabidiol, normally referred to as CBD. Although CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat any particular disease or condition, many people wonder does CBD sunscreen work?

In this post, we’ll take a close look at this question. Before we can answer it, though, there are a few things you should understand about the sun, your skin, and sunscreen.

How does the sun affect your skin?

There are positive effects of enjoying the sun. Natural sunlight helps the skin manufacture vitamin D, which has an important role in bone formation. Ultraviolet radiation, however, is not so harmless.

The cells in the outer, or epidermal, layer of the skin contain a pigment called melanin. Melanin affects the skin by protecting it from the destructive effects of UV rays. When you stay in the sun for a longer period, the body starts producing more melanin to prevent the skin from burning. The pigment darkens which causes the skin to become tanned.

When the skin is frequently exposed to the sun without protection this inflammatory effect causes it to lose its elasticity and may result in premature aging. Longer periods under the sun can also cause UV rays to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. This damages skin cells and eventually causes sunburns. When skin is exposed to UV over many years without appropriate protection, the accumulated damage may also result in skin cancer.

People who generally produce less melanin are more sensitive to the effects of the sun and burn more easily. Even if your skin is not as sensitive, however, your tan only offers equivalent protection as SPF 2 sunscreen, and still allows half of the harmful sun radiation to enter the skin cells.

How does sunscreen protect your skin?

Most sunscreens contain emulsion and one or more active ingredients. The emulsion’s role is mainly to help you apply the product to your skin by using a cream, oil, or lotion. It may also add a nice aroma, make it last longer or be water-resistant, or add additional value by making your skin softer. However, it’s the active ingredient that does the actual work to protect your skin from UV rays.

Usually, the active ingredient either absorbs or reflects the UV radiation. UV absorbents are “organic” chemicals that absorb both types of UV light: UVA and UVB. 

UVA wavelengths penetrate the deeper skin layers and are known to cause more aggressive damage to the cells and contribute to skin cancer by affecting the immune response to cell damage. UVB wavelengths, on the other hand, are shorter and reach only the upper skin layers. They are responsible for most sunburns, although they may also have a role in developing skin cancer.

While many sunscreen products focus on either UVA or UVB wavelengths, there are also “broad spectrum” sunscreens. These are considered to bring the best protection as they guard your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

The second type of active ingredients, UV reflectors, contain oxides that work by scattering the radiation away from your skin. These could include titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and other active components.

What is SPF?

Every off-the-shelf sunscreen product specifies an SPF; it’s usually the first thing you notice on the label. Everyone knows that the higher the number, the better the protection. But do you know what SPF means and how it is calculated?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. When you apply a sunscreen product on your skin it doesn’t completely block UV radiation, but rather acts as a screen and allows a smaller amount to penetrate your skin. How much UV light reaches your skin is determined by the SPF.

An SPF of 30 means that 1/30 of UV light is reaching your skin cells, or about 3.33%. In other words, compared to unprotected exposure you could be exposed to direct sunlight for 30 times longer. So, if it is safe to soak in the sun for 10 minutes without protection, in theory by using an SPF 30 you could expand this period to 300 minutes or five hours. In real life, however, lying under the sun for five hours—especially close to noon—will most likely cause a sunburn.

How to properly use sunscreen

To make the most of your sunscreen, be sure to apply it about 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. This will allow for the product to react with the skin. While most sunscreen labels recommend reapplication every couple of hours, it is best to apply a second layer around 20 minutes after you are exposed to UV radiation. This would add additional protection and will allow you to apply the product to areas you may have missed previously.

If you go for a swim, don’t forget to reapply once your skin has dried, even if the sunscreen is water-resistant. Last, but not least, be generous with the amount you apply to each area. A teaspoon of quality sunscreen will be easily absorbed by each zone—limbs, front, back, and face.

Does CBD sunscreen work?

Over the last decade, there has been renewed enthusiasm about living green and returning to natural products. There has also been a rising interest in the benefits of CBD. CBD is one of the 113 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and the second most prevalent of the active ingredients.

Researchers are actively working towards uncovering the many potential benefits of CBD. People have started turning to CBD products in all kinds of forms, from oils to capsules to topical creams. But why CBD sunscreen and what does CBD have to do with sunburns?

Some of the latest CBD-related research focuses on proving its anti-inflammatory effect on human skin. Since sunburns are caused by damaged skin cells after prolonged exposure to UV light, the anti-inflammatory effect of topically-applied CBD may provide much-needed relief both during and after being exposed to the sun's radiation. In addition to soothing your skin, CBD sunscreen may also support cell renewal. The faster cells regenerate, the faster burns will fade away and disappear.

Although conclusive proof does not yet exist, studies are ongoing as to whether CBD sunscreen may also provide additional benefits to your skin. For example, researchers are considering whether the antioxidants in CBD are believed to be able to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals coming from UV rays, alcohol, tobacco, air pollution, unhealthy food, and other sources. Other users believe that the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD may also help prevent against premature skin aging, a common effect after frequent sun exposure, but formal results are still pending.

It’s important to note that the FDA makes no claims about the efficacy of CBD, and studies on the effects of cannabidiol are still ongoing. However, many satisfied users are already convinced that CBD will play a huge role in the future of organic skin products.

Why should you choose our CBD products?

While CBD oils may affect your entire body, a CBD sunscreen is a good alternative for those who want to experience cannabidiol without having to ingest it directly. Instead, you may just apply it directly to the areas of your body where you feel you need relief.

Our existing CBD topical cream and those in development contain or will contain several natural ingredients other than CBD that have a proven positive effect on the human skin, such as tea tree oil, organic aloe vera, organic arnica, and others. The topical cream also contains menthol, which would additionally cool your skin and leave you feeling refreshed.

By choosing our CBD creams, you are selecting a natural product tested on a batch-by-batch basis in a third-party laboratory to ensure it meets some of the highest standards in the field.