Pubdate: Mon, 01 May 2006
Source: Alive: Canadian Journal of Health and Nutrition (Canada)
Author: Denise Knabe


Hempseed (Cannabis sativa L.) is one of the healthiest, nontoxic, and
abundant sources of oil. Beauty products made from organic,
cold-pressed hempseed oil are great for skin, scalp, nails, and hair
because they are an excellent source of the essential fatty acids
(EFAs) omega-3 and omega-6.

According to an Italian study published in the July-August 2005 issue
of the Journal of Cosmetic Science, hempseed oil has positive effects
on the skin--its unsaturated essential fatty acids do indeed alleviate
dryness and conditions related to aging.

Radiant Beauty

Dr. Udo Erasmus, author of Fats That Heal and Fats That Kill (alive
Books, 2005), draws a correlation between essential fatty acids and
healthy skin when he writes that a balanced intake of EFAs is an
important part of a nutritional program for healthy, radiant skin.

Erasmus goes on to say that dietary intake of omega-6 (n-6 linoleic)
essential fatty acid has doubled since the 1850s but the intake of
omega-3 (n-3 alpha-linolenic) essential fatty acid is either too low
or inadequate in most of the population. This imbalance of EFAs
contributes to increased incidence of dry skin, dandruff, eczema and
psoriasis-like inflammatory skin conditions, acne, cracked heels,
toxic deposits in the skin, and increased risk of sunburn and skin

Inside and Out

Because hempseed oil contains a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6
EFAs, as well as vitamin E, it is a perfect oil to consume for
excellent skin health. Substantiating this point, Finnish researchers
investigated anecdotal evidence that indicated dietary hempseed oil is
useful in treating skin conditions, specifically, symptoms of atopic
(allergic) dermatitis. They published their findings in April 2005 in
the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, stating that after 20 weeks
in a randomized study during which participants took 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
hempseed oil daily, atopic patients reported less dryness and
itchiness and reduced need for topical medication. Researchers linked
these improvements to the balanced and abundant supply of essential
fatty acids in hempseed oil.

Do these dietary benefits extend to topical application of hempseed
oil? We know that our skin has the ability to absorb toxic substances
with which it comes in contact. Therefore, skin may also be able to
absorb healthy substances in beauty products applied to the skin, such
as the EFAs, vitamins, and minerals in hempseed oil.

When to Use Hempseed Beauty Products

The best cosmetics and lotions for our skin contain humectants and
emollients. Humectants are substances that attract water when used in
conditions of high humidity (apply moisturizers containing organic
hempseed oil immediately after showering or bathing), and emollients
are an emulsion of water and oil mixed together. The better emollients
for dry skin contain more oil and less water. The oils in emollients
restore lipids to the skin and make it smoother.

For beautiful, glowing skin, ask your health food store for soaps,
moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and other beauty products
containing organically grown hempseed oil. We can be good to ourselves
and good to our planet.