Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

I Had A CBD Facial To Help My Skin Disorder. This Is What Happened.

A new treatment promises to help with itching and dryness.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

CBD has been inching its way into beauty products over the last year, having been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties—and claiming to ease anything from wrinkles to dark spots. Though research on CBD and skincare is still its infancy, you can find products all over the market with various ratios of CBD and differing price points.

Angie Piccirillo

CBD's potential medicinal properties have particular interest to me because I currently suffer from very dry skin and a disorder called dermatographic urticaria, also known as "skin writing." I  can write my name on my arm with the backside of a pen, and have it turn into a giant hive in less than two minutes. Plus, I can scratch my forehead to alleviate an itch and leave patches of rough dry skin everywhere around me. Gross, right?

Despite the lotions, potions, and prescriptions my dermatologist has given me, they haven’t alleviated all of my dry skin issues—so I’m always willing to try products that claim to calm everything down. I’ve tried other CBD products like CBD lip balm and Hemp-based lotion, but I hadn’t seen a real difference in my itchy skin. Many CBD and THC topicals aren’t necessarily even made to hydrate skin, but are instead made to alleviate pain, and often include high THC ratios — and frankly, they’re often very sticky and thick. So when I heard of STEAM, I was very interested in how this cannabis-enhanced beauty brand might be different from others.

Related: Beyond CBD: Four Emerging Cannabinoids To Watch In Skincare And Topicals

The promise

Company Co-founder Carla Gentile explains that “STEAM products were designed to create balance in the skin using the entourage effect of THC and CBD activated together. We know that beauty begins with balance, and this is what creates clarity of the mind and skin.” 

The biggest questions I had were: What makes this brand different from all the others, and why will it work any better than all the ones I’ve tried? According to the other STEAM co-founder, Brittnie Green, the answer lies in the product's quality. “The CBD beauty and skincare industry remains widely unregulated and is not subject to the strict testing standards that California’s testing for THC requires," she says. "These are the most stringent in the world and STEAM exceeds these standards. All of our formulations pass California’s Phase 3 testing for our THC containing product line, and are tested six times before reaching the consumer.”

Another difference with STEAM is that it’s made for both men and women. According to Green, it's the first product of its kind to launch with formulas for hair and scalp.

Related: 5 Calming CBD and Hemp Oils For Coronavirus Stress

The facial

STEAM debuted its CBD-only line at Fred Segal Sunset and its partnership with Recess Worldwide at an exclusive pop-up last month, (the THC versions are only available via dispensary, SERRA), offering up 30-minute facials with skin-experts for patchy itchy customers like me to try.

I eagerly made my appointment looking for some relief. Full disclosure: I received my treatment and products complementary.

Once at the store, my skin expert gently applied the face wash, laid me under a lavender-scented steamer, and then followed it up with the most amazing Gua Sha massage (that’s with the little stones to help it absorb more!) using the STEAM CBD face oil. Of course, I left feeling like my face was finally hydrated — but the real test would be if it stayed that way when I used the product on my own… 

I was sent home with both the THC and CBD products but I immediately wondered if I would feel any sort of “highs” from the THC version? Carla explains, “the THC in our products does not penetrate into the bloodstream. This means there’s zero psychoactive effect or “high” generated in response to applying our products. In order to penetrate into the bloodstream, products would have to be transdermal with applications like a patch, which we don’t offer. STEAM’s products are focused on healing topical inflammation and creating balance in the skin.”  

The results

I used the CBD Face Oil for a week after the initial facial and immediately noticed results — and after using the THC body oil on my arms for a week, for once in my life, I didn’t have embarrassing flakes of skin falling off of me. I also didn’t feel high, as promised.

I will admit — this is in no way a “miracle drug”. In fact, I’m still having to take my normal doctor recommended allergy pills to help with my skin’s condition, but these products have definitely helped me. 

Carla made one last recommendation for people who have very inflamed skin like me, “Begin using it at night. You'll wake up to your skin feeling calm and hydrated. Use the “Make Over Face Wash” first to help restore the pH of your skin, followed by the “Ultimate Defender Face Oil.” The brand includes shampoo, conditioner, hair & scalp oil, face oil, face wash, body wash, body cream, and body oil — all of which I’m excited to try. The CBD-only line will be available at STEAM’s exclusive retail partner Fred Segal Sunset and the brand’s own e-commerce site, while the THC products are available at the cannabis industry’s very-first beauty counter at SERRA, the dispensary’s first Los Angeles Flagship, open now.