When it comes to skincare, Sephora doesn’t play. Ever since hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) took over as the hottest beauty and wellness ingredient, we’ve seen it infused into all kinds of lotions, potions, and serums. But the beauty giant would never add a new category without doing its homework. That’s precisely why Sephora’s CBD selection is hyper-curated.
“We tested hundreds of CBD products,” says Cindy Deily, Sephora VP of Skincare Merchandising. Considering texture, absorption, potency, and demonstrable results, only CBD sourced from high-quality full- or broad-spectrum, domestically-sourced hemp made the cut. Unlike CBD isolate, the above still has terpenes, omega fatty acids, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Though CBD is a powerhouse on its own, it plays well with others. In Sephora’s standout offerings, it’s paired with other powerful actives to exponentially boost CBD’s transformative properties. Below, the best-bud pairings to look for, plus six of the most impressive products you can find in Sephora.
CBD + menthol
Hello, soft, supple skin; goodbye, annoying little issues. Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion can be used to hydrate and smooth skin, but also as an aid for angry cuticles, post-sun skin, or been-in-heels-for-too-long feet.
Massaging it on feels heavenly, thanks to a dose of refreshing menthol extract that cools skin for up to 30 minutes. The shea butter-infused lotion smells meadow-like, not medicinal, and leaves skin hydrated and energized.
CBD + botanicals
Botanical oils, pressed from plants, nuts, and seeds, are nature’s skincare MVPs, quenching dryness while delivering antioxidants, vitamins, and benefits such as brightening (soy) and speedy cell turnover (rosehip).
Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD pairs the hemp extract with organic, cold-pressed argan oil, a tried-and-true skin powerhouse. Maran is obsessed with the hydrating ingredient—around which her entire line is based—for good reason: “There’s a lot of data for argan being anti-inflammatory and beneficial for dry, mature, rosacea- or acne-prone skin,” says Engelman. And with a zero rating on the comedogenic scale, it won’t clog your pores or leave you greasy.
Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum is the class overachiever, packed with a whopping 500mg of CBD per bottle and 20 nourishing botanical oils. We’re talking everything from protective sunflower seed and rosehip oils to resurfacing sea buckthorn fruit extract, all of which combines for a smoother, more glowing complexion.
CBD + hemp oil
To soak up all benefits of hemp, try an oil serum. Flora + Bast Age Adapting CBD Serum contains over 300mg of CBD oil, essential fatty acids, and no water (which makes for higher potency and great absorption).
Both CBD and hemp have free-radical-fighting essential fatty acids to slow the signs of aging, plus the oil’s low molecular weight means it “can penetrate the epidermis and help hydrate skin to deeper levels,” explains NYC dermatologist Dendy Engelman. If any of your anti-aging products leave skin dry or irritated, this oil-serum can help.
“If [you’re] using alpha or beta hydroxies or retinol, hydrating at night is a good antidote to those side effects,” Engelman says. For peak absorption, press into clean, damp skin before layering on other products.
CBD + adaptogens
In herbal medicine, adaptogens are non-toxic plants that help the body adapt to stress and maintain a sense of well-being. Basically, they achieve a myriad of benefits with more chill than your average ingredient.
Ashwagandha may be a trendy ingredient in the West now, but the healing root has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. It’s been shown to help balance hormones, lower oil-spiking cortisol levels, and reduce the look of redness. Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil combines the skin-calming adaptogen with CBD to thwart overactive oil glands and help prevent blemishes from forming.
The equilibrating power of adaptogens works synergistically with CBD. Take the skin-restoring trio in Farmacy Better Daze Ahead CBD Moisturizer that helps balance skin and guards against environmental stress.
“Even if skin doesn’t look red and inflamed, there may be subclinical inflammation,” says Engelman. “Treating it before it’s visible can help interrupt the creation of acne lesions.”