Is Hemp The Buzzy New Ingredient In Skincare?

Read on to know why hemp oil is enjoying a happy ‘high’ at the moment.

Published On Aug 17, 2022 | Updated On Mar 05, 2024


Everywhere you look, hemp and hemp-based products have made it big across industries, be it in fashion, food or wellness. It’s no surprise then that this trending ingredient has found its way into skincare as well, where it has been embraced for its skin-healing and moisturising benefits.

But if there was ever a misunderstood skincare ingredient, it would have to be hemp oil. You’ve also most likely heard of its cousin CBD (cannabidiol) oil, and the two are often mistakenly used interchangeably. So, if you’re confused with between the two, this is how they differ: While both CBD oil and hemp oil are extracts of the cannabis sativa plant (also known as cannabis or hemp), CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves, and flowers and contains a higher concentration of CBD. While it is not intoxicating or psychoactive, CBD is used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, migraines, epilepsy, depression, and anxiety. 

Hemp oil or hemp seed oil, on the other hand, comes from the seeds of the same plant, but the seeds do not contain CBD or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the active chemical in cannabis and the psychoactive substance that produces the “high” associated with the marijuana plant. To further clear the air, hemp, by definition, is a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent or less THC, while marijuana contains more than 0.3 percent THC. Now owing to the relative lack of this chemical, hemp oil is safe for skin and even consumption in the form of gummies, capsules, and more, without any hallucinogenic effects whatsoever.

So, why is this seed extract the new hot favourite in skincare? Zee Zest chats with celebrity cosmetologist and dermatologist Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director of Delhi-based ISSAC Luxe to find out more about hemp oil.

Dr Gupta says, “Hemp is suddenly a trending ingredient in many skincare products because it is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids (omega 6 and 9), nutrients, proteins, minerals (zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron) &vitamins like vitamin E, C and B3,” adding further, “The benefits of hemp oil were long reaped by the people from the northern hill regions but recently, this trend has been catching up with the people from the city too, as they realise the great skincare benefits derived from hemp oil. It has non-comedogenic properties and is considered a powerful hydrating agent.”

She shares that some of the skincare benefits of hemp include aiding in dry skin conditions, sensitive skin and inflammatory skin problems. It is used as moisturising and soothing agent to treat dryness. In oily skin, hemp leaf extracts maintain production of oil and sebum; it also helps to get rid of acne breakouts by shortening its lifespan. Additionally, it enhances the overall appearance and texture of skin, and improves signs of ageing.

Gupta suggests that due to lack of reliable information and substantial data on whether hemp (in skincare or consumption) is potentially safe or not during pregnancy & lactation or for children, it should be avoided in these cases. Also, if you find yourself having an allergic reaction to hemp, it is better not to use it again, she points out.

According to studies, says Gupta, hemp oil is good for all types of skins but it is best suited for dry skin as it deeply moisturises the skin, rejuvenates and nourishes tight or dry skin, and prevents flakiness and itchiness. Mixing hemp seed oil with essential oils like rosemary, tea tree, chamomile, or lavender, can further help relieve dryness, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. “When used on the face, it regulates oil production to moisturise without clogging pores. It can improve dry, itchy skin and help symptoms of eczema. It works well as a hair conditioner too,” she says. 

8 Hemp-based products you can try:


This rich hand cream helps soften and protect dry to very dry hands. It is dermatologically tested and contains Community Trade hemp seed oil. You can also swipe some onto your elbows if you’re dealing with dry, flaky skin there for some relief.


This hemp-infused foaming face wash removes pollutants and excess oils while calming and relaxing the skin. Packed with the goodness of hemp seed oil, vitamin C, and pomegranate& mulberry extracts,this facewash offers anti-aging skin benefits such as skin repair and restoration. It comes with a built-in brush to wash away excess oil, impurities and dirt.


Enriched with 100 per cent pure, organic hemp seed oil, this body butter intensely moisturises to give soft, supple and smooth skin. An Ayurvedic formulation, it provides deep repair and intense nourishment while offering therapeutic comfort. 


With pro-ceramides, this serum’s potent but kind-to-skin formula penetrates deep into the skin to boost natural ceramide production which calms and repairs compromised skin, helping build a strong skin barrier. While it is suitable for all skin types, it has been specially designed for sensitive skin users with pH of 5.5-6.5. It contains 10 per cent hemp seed oil and Vitamin B3.


This paraben-free, vegan shower gel is packed with the essence of Himalayan hemp and lathers to gently purify your skin. Enriched with aloe vera, the shower gel provides hydration to leave your skin soft and moisturised.


Dealing with a stressed scalp? Then hemp can come to the rescue here too. Infused with hemp seed oil that is rich in omega 3 and 6, as well as fatty acids that are deeply nourishing, these help relax a stressed scalp and restore weak, damaged hair by deeply nourishing them.


Part of the brand’s Apothecary range, this rich and nourishing creamy lotion is made with hemp seed oil to give your hands and body extra hydration. It contains essential oils of cypress, armoise, thyme and tagetes which are considered to have soothing and calming qualities.


This antioxidant-packed cleanser is infused with cold-pressed matcha green tea, hemp seed extracts, hyaluronic acid and grapefruit essential oil that work together to give your face a good cleanse without disrupting the natural skin barrier. It is pH balanced, non-drying, hydrating, non-comedogenic and is gentle enough for all skin types.

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