Perhaps the most common type of product that has hit the market is simply CBD oil, which can be taken orally. Brands such as Disciple (who offer varying strengths of their formula and now offer CBD patches), and OHNE (whose CBD oil focuses on relieving period pain) have cashed in on the CBD trend, which shows no sign of slowing down.
All things CBD taken pretty much every area of health and beauty by storm these past couple of years. There seemingly isn’t a brand that hasn’t dabbled with the ingredient, the benefits of which supposedly include everything from moisturising skin to easing anxiety. But I have to admit, I have yet to come across a nail polish that has been infused with the stuff — until now, that is. Nails Inc’s Cannabis Savita-Infused nail polish has just dropped, and I am totally intrigued by the product, along with the other bits in the four-piece collection.
Before taking a look at the new ‘Just Kinda Bliss’ line, let’s first discuss some of the most popular and successful CBD and Cannabis Savita beauty and health products that have come to market, to get a little context.
Then came the skincare, and varying other beauty products. The most popular form of CBD and cannabis skincare is an oil or serum, to be used after cleansing and before moisturising. Herbivore’s Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil, and Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate are both two great options. I also like The Inkey List’s Hemp Oil Cream Moisturiser, which can be used last in your routine.
There are also entire lines dedicated to cannabis, such as Milk Makeup’s Kush collection. The range includes a face mask, lip balm, and even a mascara, all of which are infused with Cannabis Savita Seed Oil.
Perhaps the most exciting part? The scent of the balm lasted all night. and I could still smell it when I woke up the next morning. Scents are generally considered to have certain effects on the brain due to conditioning (not because they change your brain chemistry in any way) and I’ve definitely been conditioned to associate lavender with feeling relaxed, so the mood-boosting effect that manicure had on me lasted an extra half day until I took a shower.
In addition to feeling well moisturized, I must admit I also felt very chill. I was in the middle of a work-from-home week between Christmas and New Year’s — a generally more chill time overall. Still, after the manicure, the tension that tends to hang out around my eyes and forehead had dissolved, and I didn’t feel myself getting irritated on my train ride back home even once. My experience is barely backed up by science: The majority of studies about the mental health benefits for CBD have 1.) mostly been on animals, and 2.) involved eating the cannabinoid, not slathering it on your skin after you get your nails done.
Dr. Ross C Radusky, MD, a dermatologist at SoHo Skin & Laser Dermatology, P.C. who the American Academy of Dermatology recommends as an expert on CBD, agrees that more research needs to happen before we call CBD a cure-all, but tells me that some studies have found that "topically applied CBD can lower the body’s inflammatory response in conditions like eczema-prone skin and in certain particularly itchy conditions." He goes on to say that "if CBD applied to the skin can lower inflammation in [those conditions], it’s possible it can do the same in other high-inflammation skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis, and certain types of hair loss. But, the jury is still out and more research is needed." Radusky recommends checking in with a board-certified dermatologist before you start any sort of CBD treatment to make sure there aren’t any risks specific to you.
Then came the best part: A 10-minute hand and forearm massage with the balm and oil mix. It was so relaxing. Something in either the balm or the oil (or both?) had a cooling effect that I felt enhanced the muscle-soothing effects of the massage. This might not have just been a placebo effect: Some studies have shown that topical CBD can provide pain relief for rats with arthritis, though so far there’s nothing beyond anecdotal evidence for humans (add my manicure experience to that list).
I definitely also noticed that the balm and oil combo had benefits for my skin and mood well after I stepped out of Garcia’s studio. My appointment happened on a very cold night (my feet started to go numb on the eight-minute walk from her studio to the subway, despite wearing boots and heavy socks) but my cuticles and hands still looked pretty hydrated by the time I got home.
The majority of the manicure was pretty standard: I was getting gel extensions, so Garcia prepped my nails with the usual polish removal, filing, and cuticle pushing. Then, she applied the extensions and gel polish, which involved going under the UV light several times. Here’s what my nails looked like right after she applied the extensions.
Personally, I’ve found that popping a CBD gummy can help soothe minor feelings of anxiety, ingesting CBN oil (cannabinol, another cannabis-derived compound) right before bed will sometimes help me sleep better, and that my skin really likes beauty products with CBD. I have no idea if the first two are related to the placebo effect, nor do I know if it’s actually the other ingredients in my products that my skin likes — but I’ve definitely never had a negative reaction to any of these. Of course, it’s always highly recommended that you check in with your own doctors before introducing any sort of new ingredient to your routine, even if it’s just an herbal supplement.
When it comes to putting the stuff on your skin instead of ingesting it, there’s even less evidence out there: Palermino points to a 2009 study that shows the endocannabinoid system (a bodily system of cell receptors that is widely cited as proof that there’s potential for cannabis products to have all kinds of positive effects — pain relief, lowered anxiety, etc — on your body and brain) is definitely present in the skin and potentially regulates inflammation, oil production, and cell growth — but we’re still not sure how to best take advantage of that. There will need to be more studies done to figure out how much CBD will actually provide skin benefits, and how exactly to best deliver it into your system.
It sure seems like CBD has become the new coconut oil. Not just because proponents of each claim miraculous/astounding/"I swear it works" effects in helping with inflammation, but because that meme about putting coconut oil on everything including your bank account suddenly seems much more accurate if you swap in CBD. So when CBD manicures started popping up on the menus of several nail salons I already frequent in NYC (plus in articles about new spa offerings in other states across the country), I didn’t even feel the slightest blip of surprise.