Of all the ingredients that had a big moment in 2018, cannabidiol, or CBD for short, could easily be called the star. The non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant has made its way into dozens of makeup and skin-care products — from bath bombs to mascara — even Sephora has given the stuff its stamp of approval. The compound has long been used as a pain reliever, but thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD-infused products are said to be beneficial for those with acne, rosacea, or eczema, too. "It can also have an indirect benefit on 'inflam-aging,' or aging caused by chronic skin inflammation," cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson told Refinery29.
Seeing as CBD has had such a meteoric rise to stardom in the beauty industry, it comes as no surprise that aestheticians have started using the ingredient in their treatments. Ildi Pekar, a celebrity facialist based in New York City has gone a step further, creating an entire treatment dedicated to helping the skin with a CBD facial.
Pekar's facial is more of a body treatment than a traditional facial. In fact, apart from the cleansing and moisturizing steps, there weren't many elements of the procedure I recognized. Pekar's treatment uses CBD in three forms: a relaxing CBD tincture that's taken orally, a CBD mask to soothe skin, and a CBD moisturizer to top it all off.
Apart from the CBD-infused products, Pekar uses a couple of machines to intensify the soothing and relaxing benefits. The first was an electrostatic polarization machine, which uses electricity to send vibrations through the skin and muscles to soothe, improve circulation, and cut down on. The second was an oxygenating machine that employs negative ion therapy to balance the skin's pH.
"There's a tremendous placebo effect with cannabis-based medicines, especially anything pertaining to topicals and massage," warns Ethan Russo, MD, board certified neurologist and past president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. And while I can't say the facial made a huge difference, I can say that the 90-minute procedure was the most relaxing treatment I've ever had. And that, coupled with my post-facial glow, made me feel like a million bucks for the rest of the day.