Is Luxury CBD Skincare Worth the Hype — and the Price?

What is the deal with CBD skincare? I hear about it everywhere and guess what—now I want in. I’ve tried CBD outside of skincare on more than one occasion, like taking one or two gummies to give me that relaxed feeling that I wasn’t able to create on my own. Side note, I know some folks can get that feeling from weed but I tried it once and it didn’t really work for me, so it was official that CBD was the way to go. If it worked to relax my body in ways I couldn’t, then surely the effect on my skin would be similar—right?

While I know about the use of CBD to treat things like anxiety and pain, I don’t understand how it works for the skin. There aren’t many products that can do it all, work on your body from the inside out AND from the outside in. So with an understanding of how CBD works on my body and mind, I started on a short journey to see if I could get my skin on board too.

When I approached my 30s, I realized if I wanted my skin to stay as “good” as it had been, I needed to put more effort into taking care of it. As a result, skincare has become something I’ve taken a serious interest in. The first step was to learn the type of skin I have (oily skin that is prone to breakouts) and meet it where it was. I wanted—needed—products aimed at reducing oil production, and those with ingredients to target breakouts. I also have small bumps on my forehead which I wanted to get under control. My starter research on CBD skincare told me that it could help reduce inflammation from breakouts and generally calm skin, but with all the hype around it certainly it was going to help with more.

Here is where the experience started to get overwhelming—there are so many companies and products out there pushing CBD as the new hot thing in skincare while ALSO promising that theirs is the best choice. I just needed to pick one and jump in, well, not in a rash way though. This time, I wanted to slowly add products to my existing routine to be sure not to shock my skin. One time, I tried a new cleanser and moisturizer at the same time and had terrible breakouts all over my face and I was not about to go through that again. My skin and I were finally ready to get started—Enter Flora + Bast.

Four CBD skincare products from Flora+Bast overlaid on a photo of someones hand.

CBD Skincare products from Flora + Bast

Flora + Bast, a wellness company that focuses on CBD skincare, sent me over a box full of goodies. They say “Wellness is a lifestyle decision, and that natural products designed, preserved, and delivered properly outperform any synthetic product.” I liked the sound of their holistic approach to using CBD in their skincare. They go right to the source and use real plants to reap the most benefits of CBD. Using the natural version rather than the synthetic made me feel more confident in the effectiveness of their products.

I decided on the Clarifying Facial Cleanser Concentrate and Clarifying Facial Treatment, mostly because they would address my specific skin issues the best. The packaging says that it can take upwards of a month to really start seeing results. I introduced them into my skincare routine separately so I could more easily pinpoint any changes to my skin. Because I’ve been using the same skincare products for over a year, I was worried about the new products causing breakouts since that’s what I was trying to reduce, but I had to lean into the experience, trust the products and go for what I hoped would be a successful skincare ride.

CBD Skincare product from Flora+Bast overlaid on a photo of someones hand.

Clarifying Facial Cleanser Concentrate from Flora + Bast ($33)

After a few days of putting my standard cleanser to the side, I was ready to work the Clarifying Facial Cleanser Concentrate into my routine. It’s a Castille-inspired cleanser that clears breakouts without irritating your skin’s acid mantle. Cannabinoids balance your skin’s oil production, and terpenes have antimicrobial effects that go deep into your skin. After going to Google to untangle all those words, I learned the acid mantle is a thin layer on the top of your skin that keeps bacteria out. Basically, it’s our skin’s first line of defense against bad stuff. Companies have to get better at descriptions. I read over the product description a couple of times to make sure that it did what I needed it to do. I feel pretty safe in saying that the average user isn’t going to be familiar with all the technical terms. I’m already starting my morning or getting ready for bed when I do skincare, the last thing I want to do is have to dust off my dictionary before using the product.

Anyway, the cleanser got QUITE foamy, which usually means my skin is going to get that dry, tight, “too clean” feeling that is all too recognizable to me from foaming cleansers of my skincare past. After a few days, I followed up the cleanser using the Clarifying Facial Treatment as directed. It helped but because it’s a drier oil, I had to use nearly the maximum amount of drops (15) to put the moisture back in my skin. I’m usually not worried about hydration—I have oily skin and also use oil as a moisturizer—but my skin was still left feeling so uncomfortably stripped that I had to follow with another product that promised moisture.

CBD Skincare product from Flora+Bast overlaid on a photo of someones hand.

Clarifying Facial Duo from Flora + Bast ($131 if purchased together. Purchased separately Sooth + Hydrate Hydrosol $44, Full Size Clarifying Facial Treatment $88)

I thought I’d find relief in the Ceramide Moisture Seal, which is supposed to be used at the end of a routine. It is a potent oil to protect your skin from dry weather conditions and provides extra moisture—but it is a little too much for me. I saw some changes after a week of continued use of the cleanser and facial treatment. Dialing back the pumps of wash to avoid the tight feeling, helps reduce the drops of facial treatment I would need to restore moisture. As always with skincare and new products, it’s a delicate dance in finding that balance. A week or so after that though—along with using the other usual products in my routine—I saw more change. My forehead felt a bit smoother with less mini bumps, and my face generally felt softer and looked brighter. I was happy about it but then I remembered the price tag of these products that were gifted to me.

CBD Skincare product from Flora+Bast overlaid on a photo of someones hand.

Ceramide Moisture Seal from Flora + Bast $88

Flora + Bast isn’t cheap by any means—the full-size Clarifying Facial Treatment alone is $88. For me, money is tight right now so I don’t have a lot to spend on extras like skincare. I’m not above paying for quality products, but only if it is going to last. After 30 days of once-a-day use of the facial treatment, the bottle is still full! But then there’s the gamble of spending money on products you may get little to no use out of. The good thing is though, we can give those products to friends instead of letting them collect dust on the shelf. Look at me, spreading joy and building community one expensive barely used skincare product at a time.

The use of CBD in the Flora+Bast products has proven itself. It’s been just over a month and because of the clarifying facial treatment, my skin is more balanced—still oily—but balanced. And the little breakouts on my temples have all but disappeared. It hasn’t completely stopped my skin from being what it is, but the CBD definitely relaxed my skin’s oil production and that is a win. So that’s the deal with CBD skincare y’all. Worth the hype, not always worth the price, but if you have the time, patience—and a bit of extra cash—why not see if it’s a fit for you?


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Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 20 articles for us.

2 Comments

  1. Reading this company’s claim that their cleanser is “Castille-inspired” and also doesn’t disturb the acid mantle gave me pause, and the copy on their site gave me even more. I’ve made made all-natural soap from scratch and did a lot of research about the chemistry of it, on top of what I’d already read elsewhere about the acid mantle/moisture barrier of the skin. Here’s what I know.

    Castile is a traditional type of soap made from olive oil. As with all other soaps, lye is mixed with fat to go through the process of saponification. Saponification uses up all the lye — lye is a caustic, high ph chemical that can burn your skin, but when properly combined with a fat, it creates a surfactant, a type of molecule that attracts oils at one end and water at the other. Surfactants clean by dissolving oils and other substances so they are easily rinsed away.

    Soap is a harsh surfactant. It can be made with different blends of oils, with “nourishing” ingredients, and with a little extra oil that’s not saponified so it stays on your skin as a moisturizer. But no matter what’s added to it or what oils are used, soap is a harsh cleanser with a high PH that will disrupt your acid mantle.

    Most facial cleansers are made with synthetic detergents. These sound scary, but there are many kinds and they can be formulated to be much more gentle. Our skin didn’t evolve with soap and although we often do need to wash it with a cleanser because most of us put other stuff on it, from makeup to sunscreen, I would steer clear of this cleanser and, based on their misleading marketing, this brand.

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