The CBD Starter Pack: 12 Beauty Products Actually Worth Buying

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the buzziest ingredients in the beauty industry at the moment. New CBD-infused serums, supplements, bath balms, and more are hitting the market at such an overwhelming rate that for those of us new to the stuff, it can feel intimidating to start figuring out how CBD might fit into your beauty routine and what products to buy.

Let's begin with a quick-and-dirty rundown of what CBD is and what it does. "CBD is one of over a hundred active compounds (or cannabinoids) in the cannabis [aka, hemp] plant," explains Cindy Capobianco, president and co-founder of Lord Jones, one of the current most popular CBD beauty brands. CBD is super versatile: It can be ingested in various forms or applied topically and can have a massive variety of different benefits depending on how you consume it. 

"When used topically, CBD has been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief and aid to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea," says Capobianco. "When ingested, CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, providing pain relief, mood stabilization, relief from anxiety, and promoting an overall calm sense of well-being."

As cannabis laws become laxer around the country and studies of CBD's benefits gain more support, the beauty industry—and Hollywood—is beginning to rally around the ingredient. CBD has become such a mainstream cultural phenomenon that over the past year or two, celebrities like Mandy Moore, Olivia Wilde, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Jaime King have all openly endorsed CBD-infused beauty and wellness products.

In fact, a few months ago, I ran into Jaime King at an event for MedMen (a California dispensary) celebrating the launch of one of the brand's issues of Ember (its quarterly cannabis journal), where she told me: "I've seen the way that CBD works for people who are suffering from all different types of conditions and diseases, like epilepsy, cancer, PCOS, and endometriosis—but without getting high. And it has beauty benefits too. We have so much more research to do, but it's an exciting time to see what kind of properties in this plant can be healthy for people."

Bottom line: CBD is legit. But not all CBD products will be equally effective or right for you personally. That's why we tapped a few trusted CBD experts to put together this beginner's guide to CBD, including what to look for and what to buy. One of these experts is Kerrigan Behrens, co-founder of CBD wellness brand Sagely Naturals, who says "Oils, tinctures, gummies—the options for CBD in today’s landscape seem endless. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. And although there is no one-size-fits-all recommended dosage or timing, there are ways to maximize the efficacy of CBD by mindfully selecting your delivery method. Understanding the various ingestion methods available and your personal needs can help you feel better placed to decide what’s right for your personal wellness journey."