When my skin started freaking out after I went off of birth control (yep, that’s a potential side effect), I was desperate for a solution. My normal skincare routine stopped working, and I wasn’t sure what to do.
I had been an avid user of face oil, but it turns out there are certain oils that aren’t as good for acne—olive and coconut, for instance, are comedogenic, meaning they will clog your pores. However, as I went digging around online there was one that kept showing up as friendly for all skin types, particularly the pimple-prone: hemp seed oil.
After reading through Reddit reviews, I decided to go with Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Oil. I picked a bottle up at Whole Foods (you should be able to find it at any natural grocer) and applied it as the last step of my skincare routine. I poured a little in my palms, rubbed them together, then pressed into my skin. While the results weren’t immediate, after consistent use for one week straight, I started noticing that my skin was calmer and less red. And I wasn’t getting any new, major pimples. Since making the switch, I’ve tried going back to other moisturizers—but my skin would start acting up again.
One thing to note: You have to keep the oil refrigerated because it is cold-pressed so it’ll go bad if you leave it out.
Even though I already know it worked, I asked the experts for the real reason hemp seed oil is so good for acne-prone complexions. “This oil is particularly good for people prone to redness and skin irritations like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis because it’s high in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that help to hydrate the skin,” said Dr. Maura Henninger, a Naturopathic Doctor in New York City. “It’s also beneficial for acne-prone patients because of its antibacterial properties, thanks to those same omega acids.”
Dr. Henninger also noted that it’s a good oil for oily skin types because “it’s considered a dry oil, so it absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy.” Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees. “Hemp seed oil is rich in fatty acids, which help hydrate and soothe inflamed skin and may even control skin oil production that can help treat acne,” he said. He also assured me that hemp seed oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog my pores.