Hemp usually refers to the plant Cannabis sativa, the seeds of which produce an oil that has been used as an edible and cosmetic product for approximately 3,000 years. The tradition continues well into the modern age, as many off-the-shelf lotions rely on hemp seed oil as a key ingredient. Like other skin-care lotions, hemp lotion aims to condition, moisturize and protect the skin, while helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A closer look at the proprieties of this oil provides plenty of insight as to what exactly makes hemp lotion beneficial to the skin.
Hemp seeds feature a high concentration of many skin-friendly vitamins, including the antioxidant vitamin E, which encourages healthy skin-tissue growth, and vitamin C. An essential building block of collagen, vitamin C lends your skin elasticity and an even tone, and it is also considered to be a skin brightener. Hemp seed oil's vitamin-B content -- which includes vitamin B6 among others -- encourages firmer skin by providing beneficial fatty acids.
Lotions that contain hemp seed oil provide the skin with beneficial fatty acids known as Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs. These include key omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which bolster your skin's suppleness and help it maintain its normal functions and appearance. Hemp-based lotions also feature numerous key amino acids, which help the skin generate collagen and elastin. In turn, healthy production of collagen and elastin prevents wrinkles and allows the skin to retain more moisture.
More Hemp Perks
According to lotion manufacturers such as the North American Hemp Company, the moisturizing ability of lotion with hemp seed oil may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and abrasions, as well as ease flaking, acne and inflammation. In contrast to heavily perfumed lotions, hemp seed lotions typically feature a more subtle scent with nutty, earthy undertones.
Thinking Outside the Skin
While hemp lotion helps you maintain smooth and youthful skin, it also gives the environment a helping hand. Unlike the petroleum- and mineral-based oils contained in many lotions and moisturizers, hemp serves as a completely renewable and sustainable resource. Additionally, this plant -- not to be confused with marijuana -- lends itself to more than 25,000 products, from biofuel to clothing and paper. Highly resistant hemp also reduces the need for pesticide usage, and, when pulped or processed, hemp requires no chlorine bleach and fewer chemicals than both wood and cotton do .
- Purdue University: Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America
- Michelle Phan: The Vitamin Beauty Guide
- Oregon State University: Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health
- Organic Authority: Are Essential Amino Acids the Key to Stimulating Collage in Your Skin?
- Mountain Rose Herbs: Hemp Seed Oil
- North American Hemp Company: Nutrition for Skin
- Forbes: Industrial Hemp: A Win-Win for the Economy and the Environment