This is what happened when Lily Allen tried a CBD facial

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CBD (aka cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of marijuana) is beauty’s biggest trend and is now being built into facials. Lily and the Stylist team put them to the test…

The momentum of CBD has been growing for some time now. First it made its way into food and drink, and then it began to trickle into the beauty industry. 

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant. It’s known for its healing, soothing and calming properties and is effective because we, as humans, have in-built receptors for cannabinoids. That means, when applied topically, it’s able to get to work straight away. 

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The ingredient first started being used within skincare products a couple of years ago (this is what happened when Stylist’s beauty editor only used CBD-infused products for a week), then it has slowly made its way into things like deodorant (that can help clear eczema) and has gradually been getting more and more popular since.

Now, CBD is being incorporated into facials up and down the country, and at the request this week’s guest editor Lily Allen, we sent her and three other Stylist team members to try them out.

Here’s how they got on…

The classic CBD facial

Tested by: Lily Allen, guest editor

What is it? A 45-minute facial that starts with a CBD-infused coffee. The treatment incorporates cleansing, a mask and an extended massage using CBD oils which help soothe skin. It promises to give dull skin a much-needed boost, leaving it looking healthy, glowing and radiant. 

Our verdict: “I love a facial. I’d had a chemical peel the week before I went for this one and for some reason I had quite a bad reaction to it. My skin wasn’t flaking like it sometimes can after a more extreme peel, but my face was quite sore. CBD is known for its healing properties, and this facial really helped to soothe my skin and clear up the after-effects of the peel. The whole experience was very relaxing – it started off with a cleanse, there was some exfoliation and then the therapist applied the CBD oil. I enjoyed it and it really calmed my skin down.” 

Young LDN CBD Facial, £75 (youngldn.com)

The cleansing CBD facial

Tested by: Meena Alexander, sub-editor

What is it? A cleansing and exfoliating facial with lymphatic drainage and microdermabrasion – a non-invasive procedure that helps remove layers of dead skin cells to reveal more radiant skin.

Our verdict: “CBD is said to have anti-inflammatory, soothing benefits, but I’ve always been sceptical. To begin, a cleanser, harsh exfoliator and 15-minute hyaluronic acid mask, all infused with hemp, left my skin feeling warm and very tingly. Then Kannaway Pure Gold Full Spectrum Hemp Oil was massaged into every nook and cranny of my face for 20 minutes, and it was pure bliss. Just as I was drifting off, a serum and moisturiser (more hemp) were smoothed onto my skin and I was presented with my before and after pictures: an undeniable rosy glow, smoother cheeks than I’ve had since the age of five and a drowsily content smile in the latter. Sold.” 

Blush + Blow CBD Detox Microdermabrasion Facial, £150 (blushandblowlondon.com)

The sensitive skin CBD facial

Tested by: Helen Bownass, entertainment director

What is it? An anti-inflammatory version of the signature Cowshed facial, it uses MariPharm’s CBD-infused cream. The aim is to help calm irritated, inflamed skin and address conditions like hormonal acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.

Our verdict: “I have little patches of eczema on my face and because I cycle a lot I get quite dry skin. So the treatment started with a really deep cleanse before the facalist had a thorough look at my skin and told me where some of the problem areas were. Next, she did a steam and extraction. Then the mask was put on, which was infused with CBD, before finishing with a facial massage and moisturiser. My skin felt lovely afterwards – calmer and softer – and although I don’t think it got rid of my eczema, I noticed my foundation has been much easier to apply. And it’s worth mentioning: that night, I slept so deeply.”

Cowshed CBD facial, £95, (cowshed.com)

The tailored CBD facial

Tested by: Ava Welsing- Kitcher, junior beauty writer

What is it? Using entirely natural, vegan and cruelty-free products, this facial is billed as the UK’s first CBD facial tailored to your individual needs.

Our verdict: “Using handmade products, the facial started with a Himalayan salt scrub before deeply massaging my face, arms and neck with CBD oil. I slipped into a deep meditative state as lymphatic drainage techniques helped to gently push the oil deep into my skin. After a night cream, lip scrub and balm, I rose from the table and my skin felt smooth, soothed, and lit from within – plus, I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been after a facial. Usually my skin reacts to applied oil by producing more oil (and spots), but my skin was still on its best behaviour days later. For relaxation, de-stressing and nourishment, this facial definitely covers all corners.” 

Graces London Personalised CBD Facial, £90 (rezaesthetics.com)

The at-home CBD products to try

Main image: Harry Pedersen

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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.