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Hemp oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin, and for good reason. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness to alleviate itching and irritation. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin.
Hemp oil contains unsurpassed essential fatty acids (EFAs). As we are increasingly learning, there are good fats and there are bad fats. What makes a good fat good has much to do with these EFAs, specifically omega-3 and omega-6, which are present in hemp oil in the perfect ratio of 1:3. Plus, hemp oil contains the anti-inflammatory gamma linoleic acid (GLA) as well as omega-9. Its fatty acid profile is better than fish oil’s, better than flaxseed oil’s–it is the best. Among many benefits, these EFAs provide for more elastic skin and shiny, stronger hair.
Hemp oil contains a power-packed punch of additional nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5, vitamin B9 (folate), and vitamin D (of which it is the only plant source), along with a useful dose of the antioxidant vitamin E (tocopherols) as well as all 10 amino acids for protein building. Add to that list chlorophyll (that’s why it’s green), phytosterols, phospholipids, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, and a bit of iron and zinc.
Hemp oil is extremely non-comodogenic. In other words, it doesn’t clog pores. And because its lipids mirror the lipids that our skin produces naturally, it works in sync with our body to soothe and cleanse. Healthy skin produces linoleic acid. If, for whatever reason, the skin can’t produce linoleic acid, it alternatively produces oleic acid, a thick and sticky pore blocker. Hemp oil contains the good linoleic acid.
Hemp oil is also a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin. Instead of sitting on top of the skin the way less-effective oils do, it’s able to penetrate the skin, moisturizing between cells and strengthening the cell matrix. It can get to hair roots, as well, strengthening the scalp and reducing dry flaking or dandruff. It evens out skin tone and reduces blotchiness.
How to Use It
- Alleviate dry skin. Rub the oil directly onto dry, cracked skin. For a deep conditioning treatment for hands and feet, massage in the oil then wear socks or gloves overnight to let it work its magic.
- Strengthen nails and heal cuticles. Massage a small amount of hemp oil directly into nails and cuticles–great for both fingernails and toenails.
- Remove makeup. Oil follows the “like dissolves like” rule, which means that hemp oil will dissolve the oils and waxes in makeup, especially in stubborn eye makeup. Gently rub a small amount of oil into the makeup and wipe with a cotton ball or a soft tissue.
- Mask overnight. Massage hemp oil into cleansed facial skin before bedtime.
- Steam facial skin. Massage a tablespoon of oil into the skin on your dry, clean face, massaging for several minutes. Then lay a hot (not scalding) damp washcloth over your face and let it sit until it cools. Wipe with the washcloth. Repeat with another hot washcloth until all the oil is wiped off. Washing your face afterwards is optional.
- Condition hair. Before shampooing, massage a tablespoon or so of hemp oil into your scalp and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, shampoo as normal. You might find you don’t need conditioner.
- Reduce acne. This may sound crazy, but this oil actually reduces acne. Massage hemp oil into problem areas and work it in gently for several minutes. The oil will actually draw out sebum plugs that cause whiteheads, blackheads, and even cysts. Do this daily during breakouts.
- Relieve Eczema A 2005 study found that 2 tablespoons of dietary hemp seed oil consumed daily may help relieve the effects of atopic dermatitis, or eczema.
- Support overall health. Eat it. You can eat it straight and enjoy its nutty flavor or you can put it in salad dressings, as a butter replacement on toast, rice, potatoes, vegetables…it’s delicious! Keep in mind that pure hemp seed oil cannot be used for high-heat cooking. It has a low smoke point and will totally break down even at a moderate heat, at which point all nutritional benefits are lost.