Many people are surprised when they find out the range of products available on the CBD topicals market. Those experienced in the market know if they want a product like CBD cream with eucalyptus rather than an ointment or a salve. Unfortunately, those new to the industry may struggle to find the right product for their needs.
One mistake a lot of people make is to use the different CBD topical terms interchangeably. You can rub a salve, ointment, cream, lotion, or gel into the skin. All of them are designed for use in a specific area of the body. Indeed, research suggests that CBD topicals can help with arthritis due to the cannabinoid’s potential anti-inflammatory properties.
However, you might find one CBD topical more suitable for you than another. Therefore, this article looks into the differences between topicals, which are mainly based on ingredients and texture.
How Are CBD Creams Different from Ointments?
Different water and oil ratios dictate the textures of CBD topicals, and your product choice might depend on your skin concern. Certain topicals have heavier textures than others and might not prove the best option for your skin type.
Creams and ointments are among the two most popular CBD topicals. The main difference lies in the oil-to-water ratio. CBD ointments normally contain a 4:1 oil to water ratio, whereas CBD creams typically have a 1:1 ratio.
As one might expect, ointments are thicker than creams. Due to their high oil content, you can spread ointments further across your skin than creams. An ointment remains on top of your skin instead of being absorbed immediately. Consequently, your skin gets more protection against moisture loss. While it may take longer for a CBD ointment to take effect, its benefits could last longer.
In contrast, CBD creams absorb into the skin quickly, making them a good option if you’re seeking a fast-acting product. A cream is typically useful for individuals with rashes or dry skin.
How Are CBD Lotions Different from Creams?
Lotions and creams are arguably the CBD topicals that cause the greatest level of confusion. While creams have equal parts oil and water, lotions generally have a higher percentage of water. As a result, a CBD lotion has an even thinner texture than a CBD cream. Lotions absorb into the skin very quickly and are ideal for everyday use.
What Are CBD Gels & How Do They Differ?
While not as popular as other CBD topicals, gels are available from a few top brands. They normally consist of alcohol, water, and cellulose. If you have oily skin, it is worth looking for a CBD gel that doesn’t contain oil. Some people find that gels are especially useful as a facial moisturizer.
However, individuals with dry skin are better served looking for an alternative CBD topical product. Gels are absorbed by the skin so rapidly that no moisture barrier is left. Also, people with sensitive skin should avoid any gel product that contains alcohol.
Who Should Use CBD Balms?
Going back to the other end of the thickness scale, CBD balms often have a waxy texture. Their base ingredients may include fatty oils and waxes instead of water. Due to their slow absorption rate, these strongly concentrated products remain on the skin’s surface. Balms also create a strong moisture barrier, making them an excellent choice for people with extremely dry skin.
What About CBD Salves?
This is another product with a relatively thick texture and normally consists of infused oils, herbs, and beeswax. CBD salves are similar to balms but are a little easier to rub into the skin. This means they absorb into the skin faster, making them a slightly better option if you want fast effects.
CBD Topicals – Which One Should I Choose?
Ultimately, if you have dry skin, CBD ointments, creams, balms, or salves are worth considering as their thick formulas trap moisture. CBD creams are also a decent option if you want to avoid the greasy residue associated with oil-based products.
CBD lotions are ideal for normal skin that doesn’t require the high oil content of other formulations. CBD gels are products best used if you have oily skin.
In the end, CBD topicals mainly differ based on their base ingredients, which results in varying textures. All of them could prove beneficial for certain skin conditions or if you need relief from chronic pain. Consider your skin type and why you use CBD before making a purchase.