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Hemp seed oil for skin – what you need to know

  • 4 min read

Over recent years, we’ve seen a rise in products containing hemp seed oil for skin. Hailed for a number of benefits, hemp seed oil is used in a range of different industries.

Discover what you need to know about hemp seed oil, the benefits it can have on your skin, key differences between hemp seed oil and cannabinoids, and more information about our very own hemp seed oil lip balm

What is hemp seed oil?

Hemp seed oil, sometimes known just as hemp oil, is obtained from the cold-pressed seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. While the name cannabis sativa stirs up all kinds of images of illicit activities, you can rest assured that hemp seed oil contains no more than trace amounts of cannabinoids – a class of biological compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Arguably the most commonly thought of cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) which are classed as phytocannabinoids, as they are derived directly from nature and the cannabis plant. 

Hemp seed oil is used across a variety of industries, from food and drink to cosmetics. The ingredient has seen a boost in skincare products due to its range of benefits for the skin. Find out more about the hemp seed oil skin benefits you can expect when using a hemp seed oil infused product.  

4 benefits of hemp seed oil for skin

1. Strengthens the skin’s natural barrier

Hemp seed oil is high in linoleic acid (omega–6), a fatty acid that strengthens the skin barrier. It’s ideal for sensitive skin including sore chapped lips as it’s been proven to soothe and reduce redness in as little as 30 minutes.

Fatty acids are key components of ceramides – lipids which help to keep the skin as moisturized and nourished as possible. The skin barrier also helps the skin to retain moisture – so win, win! 

2. Protects against environmental aggressors

In strengthening the skin’s natural barrier, hemp seed oil can also help to protect the skin from environmental aggressors and free radical damage. Toxins from the outside world can easily cause damage to the skin, including UVA and UVB rays, pollution and smoking. 

Free radicals are released in the body when oxygen atoms split after coming into contact with another chemical. Antioxidants help to prevent free radicals causing damage to your skin cells by binding to free radicals, as they are stable enough to donate an electron and provide free radicals with an electron pairing. As the free radicals now have their missing electron pair, they do not need to ‘steal’ an electron from somewhere else and damage a healthy cell. 

Studies have shown that hemp seed oil is effective in reducing oxidative stress at the cellular level, citing the high content of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids as the likely reason why. 

3. High content of key skincare vitamins

Hemp seed oil has been found to contain an abundance of skincare vitamins including vitamins A, C and E. 

  • Vitamin A – increases cell regeneration, improves elasticity and boosts collagen.
  • Vitamin C – hydrating, skin brightening and can help to fade pigmentation.
  • Vitamin E – high in antioxidants, minimizes damage to the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots caused by UV rays.

4. Soothes stressed and irritated skin

One of the main hemp seed oil benefits is that hemp seed oil in skincare can help to relieve inflammation. This ingredient is often used in lip balms, as the inflammation-reducing and soothing properties make it perfect to combat red, chapped and sore lips. 

Distinguishing hemp seed oil, CBD and THC

While hemp seed oil, CBD and THC can often become confused and conflated in people’s minds, it’s important to establish the key differences. 

Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. The seeds are cold-pressed to form the green-tinted oil, which is then used in everything from skincare to cooking.

Both CBD and THC are forms of cannabinoids. However, THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. As THC is psychoactive, it is regulated and illegal in many countries, including the UK. 

Whereas in the UK, CBD is legal and not controlled. The only stipulations are that the CBD product should not contain any controlled substances, like THC.

Does hemp seed oil contain CBD?

Hemp seed oil typically contains a maximum of trace amounts of CBD. Depending on how the oil is processed, it could contain a minute amount of CBD, or none at all. 

Is hemp seed oil the same as CBD oil?

No, hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD, which is a cannabinoid. 

Does hemp seed oil contain THC?

No, hemp seed oil does not typically contain THC. Depending on how the oil has been processed, trace amounts of cannabinoids may be found, but within legal limits.

UpCircle’s hemp seed oil lip balm

Made from upcycled hemp seeds leftover from the food industry, the hemp seed oil we use in our lip balm is a responsibly sourced, linoleic-rich active oil with a standardized level of natural CBD. 

The seeds are harvested by hand and then pressed into oil for sale to the food industry. Unfortunately, a large proportion of these seeds are rejected as they are out of spec for food use. Those seeds are rescued, cold pressed and turned into our upcycled oil.

Proven to outperform standard hemp oil, the hemp seed oil used in our lip balm is a potent antioxidant and particularly ideal for dry, sensitive skin on the lips. The antioxidant properties also mean that it helps to shield your lips from environmental damage and helps to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.




You can find the Lip Balm with Hemp Seed Oil in our festive offerings, including in “The Festive Trio” Cracker and in the “Under the Mistletoe” Bauble. Not only that, but it’ll launch as its own standalone product very soon, watch this space! 

In the meantime, support your skin with cruelty-free and vegan skincare from UpCircle.