We’ve all heard that CBD is good for general health but does it naturally follow that it would be good for skincare? Inquiring minds NEED to know.

So we asked the CEO, Derek Chase, of Flora+Bast — a successful leader in ‘cannabis-based anti-aging therapies’ — all of our pressing questions.

They have just launched an ‘age-adapting’ CBD skin serum ($77) which the company says can give you your best skin. We’ll let Derek explain.


Derek, your bio explains how you discovered the therapeutic value of CBD for people with epilepsy but how did you make the jump to CBD skincare?


My life circumstances and experiences, really.  Growing up with problematic skin, I dealt with acne, like any awkward teen – scouring stores shelves and doctors offices for something that would limit anxiety-producing breakouts.  I took gut-ruining antibiotics and employed harsh cleansers and ointments, all of which had little effect, except irritation and more anxiety.  After college, I went to work for Johnson & Johnson, who owns Neutrogena, and after 2 years with their OTC consumer healthcare division, I was able to get myself a roll out in Los Angeles at Neutrogena HQ.

Now fully smitten with beauty and skincare, I was recruited away to L’Oreal’s Maybelline-Garnier-essie division, progressing through rolls at Baxter of California and then Kiehl’s.  While, from a work perspective, I was all in on beauty, my personal passions were geared towards the wellness category, which is what led me to leave Kiehl’s to start my own consulting business, enlisting clients like Quest Nutrition, The Charlie Foundation, and Legendary Foods, while still keeping a steady clientele of beauty brands like Youth to the People, PiperWei, and Rudy’s Barbershop.  When considering our plans for a cannabis brand, I fused these two worlds, which birthed FLORA + BAST.


Does CBD absorb into the skin?


Yes, it absorbs into the skin, but not the bloodstream, unless assisted by a transdermal patch.  CBD, when applied topically, absorbs into the top layer of your skin (epidermis) and interact with immune receptors that are responsible for 1) oil production; 2) inflammation; and 3) cell generation.  These are the metabolic root of most skincare concerns, especially acne, rosacea, and dermatitis, for which there are scant effective therapies.


What would you say is the main benefits of your CBD facial oil? (Which feels amazing by the way and didn’t make our skin break out.)


Rather than causing imbalances like most of the performance-based product out there (think retinol, vitamin C, Hydroxy Acids, etc…), our product is designed to deliver cannabis-derived actives in the most gentle and bioavailable manner possible.  We don’t use water, which allows us to strike preservatives, surfactants, emulsifiers, etc… from our product, and we strike a small molecule fatty acids profile to expedite absorption and avoid issues with other skincare items and makeup.  Similar to the callouts in the previous question, the biggest benefits to our serum are:

  • Balances oil production – whether you’re dry or oily, CBD helps balance sebum production from the inside out, enhancing skin health and reducing blemishes and breakouts.
  • Reduces inflammation – most 1st world inhabitants experience at least some bouts of unhealthy inflammation – in fact it is the underlying cause of most, if not all, chronic illnesses.  By reducing inflammation, skin is brought back into homeostasis where it can heal itself naturally. 
  • CBD primes the skin and protects it from irritation when using more aggressive products like retinoids and glycolic acids, delivering enhanced results without the downtime.
  • CBD and other cannabinoids are oil-soluble, so they don’t need to be chemically modified to fit into a cosmetic format.  As such, we don’t have to add ingredients that often cause more problems than the actives deliver in therapeutic value.
  • Lastly, all of our items are food-grade, so we recommend sublingual administration (holding under the tongue or swishing around your mouth) to help deliver a more robust metabolic effect.  CBD delivers powerful systemic effects that lead to healthier skin, like the balancing of circadian rhythms that enhance sleep quality and therefore skin recovery and aging, and reducing anxiety, which leads to proper immune function (think of skin is an immune organ).

4) What skin issues does your Flora+Bast skin serum address?

1. Any inflammation-based disorder (acne, rosacea, dermatitis)

2. Oil related issues – in both directions

3. Hyper-pigmentation

4. Elasticity

5. Line and wrinkles

5) What’s next for Flora+Bast? What new CDB products are you working on bringing to market? 

We are hard at work on our innovation pipeline, which is split between wellness and skincare.  For wellness products, we quickly learned how big of an issue sleep really is in America.  Sleep is the foundation of skin health, so we are aligning most of our innovation budget to launch first-to-market items, and we are studying the results so ensure that our claims are true and transparent. On the skincare side, we are very lucky to have two of the top labs in the US working on our innovation, which is performance-based, and focuses on results without the irritation.


Editor’s note: An astute reader asked how this cannabis serum could be integrated with the Retinols in her beauty routine. We asked the expert, Derek Chase.

Derek Chase:

‘CBD and other cannabinoids help prime and prepare the skin for more aggressive treatments, such as retinoids, hydroxy acids, and vitamin c. Applied prior to these ingredient-containing products, CBD will limit the potential irritation and inflammation caused by these ingredients, resulting in less irritation, faster recovery time, and thus, a better skincare outcome.’






About The Author


Evan Hosie has worked as a Women's Lifestyle editor/writer (expert in the beauty and fashion vertical); created the Pop Culture section for Radaronline.com; never met a gadget she didn't want, and spends waaaaay too much time on Social Media.

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