The endocannabinoid system is a relatively new discovery and plays a vital role in skin health. CBD skin care is key to activating cannabinoid receptors, which help achieve benefits in the skin. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, we sit down with Shauna Blanch, COO and Founder of Color Up skin care, and Ashley Deckard, the Assistant Director of Education, to find out what estheticians need to know about the endocannabinoid system.
ASCP Esty Talk with hosts Ella Cressman and Maggie Staszcuk
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast, hosted by licensed estheticians, Ella Cressman, ASCP Skin Deep Magazine contributor and Maggie Staszcuk, ASCP Education Program Manager. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, ingredient junkie and esthetic cheerleader! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several successful skin care brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry, and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Education Program Manager.
Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:
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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
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0:01:37.2 Maggie Staszcuk: Hello and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your host today, Maggie Staszcuk, an ASCP's Education Program Manager. I'm very excited to be joined by the team at Color Up for a two-part podcast focused on CBD. Today we're talking about the endocannabinoid system with the co-founder and COO of Color Up, Shauna Blanch, and Assistant Director of Education, Ashley Deckard. Welcome to Esty Talk.
0:02:00.9 Shauna Blanch: Thank you so much Maggie. Excited to be here.
0:02:03.1 MS: So I have to say, I know nothing about the endocannabinoid system. What do I need to know as an aesthetician?
0:02:10.8 SB: The main thing that you need to know as an aesthetician is how the system works in terms of skincare. So we have an endocannabinoid system that is naturally functioning without supplementation, but when it comes to skincare, our CB2 receptors can support us in balancing out skin conditions such as premature aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, dryness or excess oiliness. So those CB2 receptors are going to communicate with the CBD, which is one of many cannabinoids, but CBD is best responding with those CB2 receptors, and it's turning on the system as soon as we start the application process. So I would say [chuckle] in a nutshell, that is the first thing that you need to know.
0:03:00.5 MS: What is an endocannabinoid?
0:03:04.1 SB: So an endocannabinoid is an endogenous neurotransmitter that our body naturally produces. And the way that we can stimulate this without phytocannabinoid supplementation is through things like running, yoga, meditation, listening to music, laughing. It's actually nicknamed our joy or bliss molecule. So all the things that we can do to support ourselves in feeling good is going to activate this endocannabinoid system, which I just think is super cool that we're able to activate the system by doing things that make us feel well. And that's just the important thing to keep in mind is when our bodies are feeling well, that's when homeostasis is able to happen. Because when we're in constant stress, which is pretty common, I'm sure all of us have had times in our lives where we just feel consistently stressed and we feel like we just have to get from one to-do, to the next, to the next. We forget to prioritize things that make us well. And this is just such a great reminder that in order for us to function at the most optimal level, we need to be well.
0:04:09.8 MS: It's so crazy for me to wrap my mind around this concept of there is an endocannabinoid system and our body is taking in this substance like CBD and then regulating up or down as you explain it. I feel like there's a little solar system inside our body with little aliens and...
0:04:33.6 Ashley Deckard: I love that analogy.
0:04:36.8 SB: It really is. And I just think of it as like a caretaking part of ourselves. It's the system in our body that's really focused on like, "Hey, it's important that you feel balanced, it's important that you feel well." And when you prioritize that, then everything else will kind of follow.
0:04:52.8 MS: So when it comes to skincare, why does this matter?
0:04:56.5 SB: So it is going to be... Our endocannabinoid system within our skin is going to be responsible for our skin's homeostasis specifically. So that means that within our endogenous cannabinoid system, it works with every single system in our body. So I think it's important to separate that, that, one, our endogenous cannabinoid system is functioning with every single major body system. And that includes our skin, it has its own separate one as well. And that is going to help with regulation in terms of skin cell proliferation, within the hair follicle and just throughout the layers of the skin as well, and then within all of our skin functions.
0:05:43.4 MS: So somebody is gonna put CBD on their skin and that CBD then has the ability to regulate all these things basically?
0:05:51.4 SB: Yeah. So it's going to support in the function of regulation. So it doesn't mean that it will regulate everything completely, it means that it's going to turn on that receptor system in order for our endocannabinoid system to turn on, and then it will go through its regulation process. Now, this is happening without supplementation, but because a lot of the times we end up in an endocannabinoid system deficiency because of diet, because hemp isn't really something that's included in our diet unless we specifically supplement with it, then that receptor system can sometimes be turned off. And so that's where CBD supplementation in terms of internals and skincare can be helpful to turn that on so that we are functioning at optimal levels and controlling homeostasis.
0:06:41.5 MS: Hold that thought. We'll be right back.
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0:08:08.1 MS: Okay, here we go. Let's get back to the podcast. So there's a lot of terms that I hear, like you just said hemp, for instance, CBD, we're talking about THC. For the aesthetician listening in that maybe isn't using these products in their treatment room or they're not familiar, how do you differentiate from all these different things in your product and apply it topically?
0:08:29.4 SB: So with hemp versus CBD, CBD actually comes from the flower of the female hemp plant. So that's where we talk about hemp derived CBD. We also have the cannabinoid THC that is derived from the hemp plant as well, which is different from marijuana. Marijuana is a completely different plant than a hemp plant, but it is going to be under the umbrella of cannabis.
0:09:00.9 AD: Back in the day before hemp and marijuana became illegal, people were utilizing it. It was in food, animals were eating hemp, people were eating animals. So we actually... Yeah, the endocannabinoid system was there and well known. It was just functioning properly. And then when we made it illegal, people weren't getting that supplementation anymore, which is why there is such a chance for us to have that deficiency and why we need supplementation in the world today, just like a lot of other things that we're not able to get. That's why it's a really good idea to supplement, is because the body actually was supposed to have those things always. And then in evolution we've kind of changed a little bit, not having access to it.
0:09:39.3 MS: Sure. That totally makes sense. So, obviously, you can supplement orally and then we have CBD and our products topically. What would be the difference between taking a product orally versus just having, say, your moisturizer with some CBD in it?
0:09:56.7 SB: So when it comes to internal supplementation, that is going to support in your different body systems in functioning in terms of homeostasis, so sleep regulation, reproduction and fertility, your musculatory system, your central nervous system function, peripheral nervous system function, including your skin. But when you supplement topically, it is going to support in reducing symptomatic things that we may see on the skin like redness, irritation, impaired barrier function, acne lesions, premature aging.
0:10:30.3 MS: Gotcha.
0:10:30.7 SB: Things like that. The other really cool thing about CBD is it's highly antioxidant, so making it really great in a place like Colorado where we tend to have a little more pollution because of how we're situated down in the valley in between the mountains. So antioxidants as we know, are really incredible too.
0:10:46.9 MS: Yeah, that totally makes sense. So let's say you have that aesthetician where maybe their niche market is the acne client, it would make sense, CBD is a good product for them to be utilizing, but is it gonna be one of those situations where they can sell that CBD product and boom, they're gonna see that acne clear up and go away?
0:11:10.3 SB: It totally depends on the client. I would say that acne is a really complicated skin disorder to treat. It's not something that is ever going to be a one and done. And as much as I wish that that was the answer for any one thing, I have a lot of tools in my tool belt as a practicing esthetician to support with treating acne, there is no one.
0:11:31.3 MS: Yeah, okay. So bad example, [laughter] not acne, maybe you have a client who is red or they're dry or whatever the condition is. The bottom line, they're gonna apply the CBD product, it's working with their endocannabinoid system, are they going to see that they apply that product and it is the cure for their condition?
0:11:52.2 SB: I would say that they will notice a shift in the symptoms of their skin. Just like with any skincare routine, when you apply a product, I think that the CBD can support in really immediately reducing acute symptoms, so things like dryness, itchiness, flakiness, you'll see a reduction in that right away. Your skin will feel more moisturized, more glowy. Those are the short-term things. And then over time you're able to see the benefits of a reduction in premature aging, supporting with your skin's system in order to reduce acne, because acne is so complicated and there are various different causes. I don't wanna say that this is the one thing, but in conjunction with a lot of different things, I think it can.
0:12:37.8 MS: Totally. That makes sense.
0:12:39.2 AD: And to note with that, I think it's really important to consider taking it internally and using it on the skin, because then you're using it internally, which is gonna help with inflammation and all those other organ systems, which is gonna also help to see some of those symptoms and things go away quicker.
0:12:56.9 MS: So is your endocannabinoid system always active and working or is taking CBD activating the system, turning it on?
0:13:05.8 SB: Taking CBD is going to turn on the system so that it's able to function. Yeah, that's what the really interesting thing is. You can think about it like a lock and key. So when you supplement with a phytocannabinoid, it's going to unlock those CB1 and CB2 receptors in order for your endogenous cannabinoid system to start working. Or when you're doing things in your lifestyle that are creating the neurotransmitter anandamide, it's able to unlock those CB1 and CB2 receptors and function that way.
0:13:34.2 AD: Which is another reason why it's great to take it in the morning or every day to just get it activated internally. And then you can be using it on your skin too, just help support that.
0:13:44.3 SB: Yeah. I think the other great thing to mention is that our skin is really a reflection of what's going on internally. So taking it and supporting with our body's just general regulation is going to show up on our skin as well.
0:13:56.5 MS: Very good information. I appreciate you guys joining us today. That concludes our show for today, and we thank you for listening. For more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Color Up or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.