How to Moisturize with Hemp

Hemp oil, hemp seed oil, cannabis sativa seed oil, CBD oil – all these terms are floating around the hemp skin care market and it can be so confusing to sort it all out.  Will any of them make me high?  Do I have to purchase from a licensed cannabis distributor?  Will I smell like my hippie aunt if I lather it on my face? 

Let’s see if we can help sift through the overwhelming information surrounding hemp and its role in skin care.  

What to look for in a hemp moisturizer

Hemp Seed Oil vs Hemp Oil

By now if you’ve been reading some of our other blogs you’ll know that hemp seed oil and hemp oil are two different things.  Here’s a bit of a refresher though since it’s still pretty bewildering.  (And quite frankly, a lot of people mix them up on the internet!).

Let's start with what they have in common.

Both hemp seed (sometimes written as hempseed) oil and hemp oil come from the cannabis plant, specifically the species – Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis Sativa includes both hemp and marijuana, but as their name suggests, these two oils are sourced exclusively from hemp. 

hemp seeds and leaves


Now for their differences.

Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing only the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp seeds do not contain CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD and THC are cannabinoids aka naturally occurring chemical compounds.  You've probably heard of THC, the compound in cannabis that has psychoactive properties – in other words, the compound that gets you high. And CBD is now really making a name for itself too.

Which brings me to my next point.

Hemp oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant.  These parts of the plant contain high levels of CBD but since it’s the hemp variety of cannabis sativa, it contains little or no THC (less than 0.3%).  For this reason, hemp oil is also called "CBD oil".

Both oils are legal in Canada but hemp/CBD oil can only be sold by licensed producers.  Hemp seed oil on the other hand can be sold anywhere, including the grocery store!

Adding to this puzzle, "hemp oil" and "hemp seed oil" are terms sometimes used interchangeably (which is incorrect). Read labels carefully when buying new product so you know what you're getting. Now that we've reviewed the two, let's check out how they are each used.


What are their uses?

Hemp/CBD oil

Hemp oil (let's call it CBD oil from now on to avoid confusion) does have the same omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as its cousin hemp seed oil. It's of course the inclusion of CBD (cannabidiol) here that's the real point of difference. It's used therapeutically and medically.

CBD oil is regulated in Canada under the Cannabis Act and can only be purchased through a cannabis retailer.  Although studies have shown CBD to have a wide range of positive health benefits, so far, the FDA in the United States has only approved it for one use, which is to treat rare seizure disorders.  To date, Health Canada has not endorsed the use of CBD to treat seizures although studies are ongoing.  

Like hemp seed oil, CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties. When used topically it shows similar results in reducing inflammation and redness with the additional benefit of pain relief for muscles and joints.  It can potentially help with the distressing effects of anxiety and mood disorders.  One study of 57 men showed that the ones who received CBD 90 minutes before a public speaking test reported significantly reduced anxiety than those who received a placebo.  (Braz J Psychiatry. 2019 Jan-Feb; 41(1): 9–14)

The potential medical use benefits of CBD have not yet been proven but the promise of it aiding in sleep, depression, PTSD among other ailments, makes it the new hot treatment option.  This opens up potential for health claims that are not yet substantiated.  We will be watching the news to see further studies on the medical benefits of CBD oil. 

Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is used orally for its health benefits.  It contains high levels of fatty acids including omega 3 and 6, as well as antioxidants.  Hemp seed oil has a nutty, earthy flavour that tastes delicious when mixed into salad dressings, smoothies and soups.  When taken orally it reduces cholesterol levels, as well as inflammation associated with heart disease.  

If you’re looking to boost your immune system, regular use of hemp seed oil as a supplement can help.  The fatty acids synthesize endocannabinoids which in turn benefit our immune system.  Hemp seed oil can also be used as a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory for people suffering from a variety of ailments including arthritis, fibromyalgia and even menstrual cramps.  

Studies show that the gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) found in hemp seeds helps to reduce sugar cravings and acts as an appetite suppressant.  It’s even being lauded as a tool to improve memory and cognitive function and in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms. 

And these are just the benefits of consuming hemp seed oil orally.  It's also used topically.

The same fatty acids that work internally bring moisture to skin and hair.  Applying hemp seed oil to your hair adds moisture and shine. On your scalp it heals issues such as dandruff and itchiness.  

Hemp seed oil is used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Hemp seed oil is an emollient which as we’ve discussed in other blogs, works to soften and smooth the skin. Since it is very similar in consistency to the oil on our skin, it fills in the cracks between skin cells that appear when skin is dry.  It won’t clog pores and it regulates our skin’s own production of oil.  

In short, it's the perfect moisturizer. So let's get to it, shall we? Here's how to moisturize your skin with hemp (seed oil)! At empyri our products are made with ethically sourced, Canadian produced hemp seed oil and we want you to add hemp to your moisturizing routine.

When to use hemp moisturizer 

During Summer 

Ahh summer… time to crawl out of the dry, over-heated homes we've have been hibernating in since January (it's a Canadian thing!) and head to the beach or an outdoor patio.  But those of us who suffer from dry, flaky, red skin from eczema or psoriasis don’t love the extra skin exposure that comes from shedding those winter clothes.  

Tip 1: Don't Skip Steps

In the summer months, it can be temping to skip right to slathering on your sunscreen, speeding past the moisturizer step in our skin care routine. While wearing sunscreen is 100% the most important thing you can do to keep skin healthy, we don't want you to stop moisturizing too. Hydrated skin IS healthy skin!

Choosing hemp to moisturize in the summer can help with sunburned skin. The rich fatty acids (especially gamma-linolenic acid or GLA) in hemp seed oil soothes inflamed, irritated skin.  And for those eczema sufferers worried about showing more skin in t-shirt weather, hemp moisturizer will soften and heal those scaly, red patches.

Tip 2: Oil for the oily

Moisturizing in heat (and sweat!) of sticky summer can be a nightmare for oily skin and acne prone skin. Acne flare-ups are frustrating anytime, but especially in the summer when most of us want to go natural and make-up free. Choosing hemp to moisturize will help. 

Hemp seed oil neutralizes the sebum that causes breakouts and diminishes the redness associated with pimples.  For something super lightweight, choose empyri's hemp face cream with hyaluronic acid. It smooths and hydrates, and also helps to regulate your skin's oil production.

During Winter

In the winter, the air is drier, both indoors and out.  This period of low humidity is the time we need all the help we can get in treating dry skin.  

Tip 1: Double Trouble

During the winter, use both a face oil and a moisturizer. In colder months, our skin’s own natural moisture barrier is depleted from exposure to the outside elements and could use a boost. The serum's job is to soak in deeply to replenish hydration and draw water to your skin's surface. The cream seals in all of that moisture and protects it from dry air, wind, etc.   

Hemp seed oil helps your skin retain moisture as well as restore what is stripped away from dry winter air.  Using hemp products on damp skin after cleansing locks in the skin’s natural oils as well as create a natural skin barrier to retain moisture.

Tip 2: Lip Love

Lips need some extra love in the winter.  The thinner skin and constant exposure mean that they have a tendency to dry and crack in winter.  After cleansing my skin, I like to apply empyri moisturizing hemp serum to my entire face, including my lips to lock in moisture and fill in the cracks caused by exposure to harsh winter air. Follow with your favourite lip balm to seal it in.

Benefits of Moisturizing with Hemp vs CBD

So, if hempseed oil and hemp (CBD) oil come from the same plant and have many of the same properties, which one is better for moisturizing?  

Hemp seed oil is better for the skin.  Its the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant that contain all the skin nourishing benefits. Hemp seeds stores the plant's essential fatty acids, amino acids as well as antioxidants such as vitamin E.  

Hemp seed oil has the ability to relieve dryness and at the same time, balance the skin’s natural oils. This makes it the ideal moisturizer for oily, dry and combination skin.  

CBD oil is a cannabis-based medicine that is made from the flower, stalk and leaves of the plant and contains cannabinoids (except THC).  It is beneficial for ailments such as pain, stiffness or even arthritis.  It’s also shown to assist with sleep, reduce anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation. 


Can you put moisturizer on wet skin?

It depends on what type of moisturizer.

Face oils like empyri's cannabis sativa moisturizing serum not only can, but MUST be applied to damp/wet skin. Since face oils contain zero water, you need to add moisture to the surface of your face oil to seal in. And that moisture doesn't have to be just plain water. My favourite way moisten skin is using empyri's hydrating toner. It's alcohol-free (alcohol in skin care products is very drying) and uses botanical extracts and gentle floral waters suitable for sensitive skin.

Face creams and lotions are applied to dry skin because they already contain water. But there's no harm in applying a cream to slightly damp skin, especially on your body. Just be prepared to wait a few extra minutes for everything to soak in.

How long does it take for moisturizer to absorb

Again, this answer really depends on the formulation of the moisturizer. Like most creams, our holistic hydration hemp moisturizer absorbs almost immediately when applied to dry skin. Our hemp serum on the other hand takes a few minutes to be fully absorbed.

The reason for this is that it's formulated with 3 different properties of absorption. First, there are fast-absorbing oils that deliver active ingredients to the deepest layers of the skin. Next, there are mid-absorbing oils who's main function is to make the skin hydrated. Last, there are "slow"-absorbing oils that linger near the surface to help seal in moisture.

With face oils, apply moisturizer and then brush your teeth! By the time you've rinsed, you'll be good to go with your next step.

How to Prevent Dry Skin in The Future

Preventing dry skin in the future is about more than just the moisturizer you choose. Although by this point, we hope you're choosing a hemp moisturizer! Maintaining healthy skin hydration starts with how you're cleansing, both face and body. Dissolve your day - sunscreen, sweat, dirt, food from children's sticky fingers... but leave your natural oils alone!

Even if you don't have dry skin, you don't want to disrupt the natural oil that your body produces. They protect your skin from moisture loss. In pursuit of clean skin, always choose gentle products. Empyri's hemp face wash is an oil cleanser that uses hemp seed oil. All of our customers love the way this product leaves skin feeling both clean and moisturized. And since hemp seed oil regulates oil production, it's safe for folks with acne prone skin too.

For your body, you can prevent dry skin by choosing hemp body soap. Fortified with hydrolyzed hemp seed extract, this plant powerhouse has the same skin hydration benefits as hemp seed oil plus its clinically proven to reduce flakiness caused by dry skin.

Just as eating healthy plants nourishes our bodies, using products that contain hemp seed oil is nourishment for our skin.  It's a natural and proven way to treat dry skin. with no side effects except for a small percentage who may be allergic to hemp.

Beauty trends come and go but moisturizing with hemp is here to stay.  Hemp's advantages for all ages and skin types means that it will stand the test of time. 


You Are Loved. 


Jennifer Grant with Hemp Roots


Author Bio: Jennifer is the president and founder of empyri.  Jennifer’s passion for formulation and product development was set ablaze in 2019, when she incorporated the healing power of cannabis roots into her long-standing three-step skin care system. Armed with scientific evidence on the actives in cannabis roots and seeds, a clean and conscious brand was born. Using her masters degree in bio-chemical engineering, Jennifer is forging a path to ...READ FULL BIO