CBD Cream vs CBD Oil: A Comparative Guide To Topical CBD Application

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At the best of times, navigating the maze that is skincare isn't easy. There are so many things to consider, so many rules about ingredients and skin types, and then there's the small matter of price. At Amphora, all we know is that your options for skincare just got a little more exciting. We are currently in development of a new range of CBD-infused skincare products packed with healing and revitalising, all-natural ingredients. CBD makes an excellent addition to skincare products, a fact that has been corroborated by a number of studies into the potentially balancing effects of this cannabis constituent on the skin.

This article will be exploring the differences and respective perks and drawbacks of CBD creams versus CBD body oils.

What is CBD? A primer on this cannabis constituent

If you need a reminder, cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that naturally occurs throughout cannabis Sativa - a subspecies belonging to the cannabis family.

Cannabis Sativa has two plants to its name: hemp (which is rich in CBD, and is consequently the primary source of CBD used by companies for their wellness products) and marijuana. Marijuana also possesses cannabidiol, but not as much as hemp. The overriding cannabinoid present in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has garnered a dubious reputation for its intoxicating abilities. Simply put, when THC is taken in large enough doses, it will often cause a user's "high".

What is a CBD topical?

A CBD topical is something you apply to your skin. A topical can take many forms: a balm, a salve, a lotion, a serum, a cream, or an oil. Topicals, as their name suggests, are to be applied to the external body only. In other words, they should not be consumed orally.

Usually, CBD topicals can be spread around any part of the body as liberally as you like, meaning there are no limits to how much you can or should take, unlike other CBD formats.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate is one of the main three CBD refinements in the CBD market (the other two are full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD). CBD isolate is also the kind of CBD refinement we use for our topicals here at Amphora.

Typically, the hemp plant (as well as other plants in the cannabis family) is packed with a vast range of all-natural phytochemicals. These phytochemicals may include over 100 cannabinoids (including CBD and THC), a host of terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. However, when the hemp plant undergoes extraction and refinement to be made into CBD products, companies like ourselves often remove these additional components of cannabis to produce a pure, cannabidiol concentrate. This is CBD isolate.

So, why would we banish these other compounds? Making a CBD isolate has its own set of advantages. Firstly, the plant's THC is guaranteed to be absent from CBD isolate. This is excellent news for those who are wary of this cannabinoid and its associations with recreational marijuana. With CBD isolate, there are no terpenes, other cannabinoids, or compounds contaminating the extract; this enables users to enjoy CBD on its own, in a highly concentrated form. You also have the reassurance that a CBD isolate refinement has through careful purification processes, which will have gotten rid of any unwanted contaminants that may have been polluting the quality of the plant, such as heavy metals and/or pesticides. Essentially, CBD isolate is the cleanest and purest refinement out there.

This CBD refinement may be found in powder form or as a liquid/oil. Our CBD topicals have CBD isolate infused into them, so you will barely even notice that cannabidiol is present, but the effects on your skin will speak for themselves.

CBD cream

Advantages of CBD cream

  • Thanks to their higher water content and lower viscosity, CBD body creams and lotions are more quickly absorbed by the skin than oils. So, if you don't have the time to be waiting around for your skincare to sink in, a body cream may better suit your routine.
  • CBD creams may be better-suited to sensitive skin. Though this all depends on the ingredients, as some topicals may have fewer ingredients to cause reactions. Whether you are using CBD oil or cream, we recommend doing a patch test on a small area of your skin and leaving it on for 24 hours to monitor whether your skin reacts.
  • CBD creams may be great for targeting a specific skin issue, such as inflammation, scarring, blemishes, lines, marks and uneven skin tone.
  • Best for moisturising purposes.Given that lotions combine oil and water, they are thought to potentially work better for dry skin. Being water-based, they may be better at penetrating the skin and delivering their hydrating ingredients that may improve the skin's ability to maintain moisture.

Disadvantages of CBD cream

  • The high water content may be a disadvantage in the eyes of many consumers, who value the use of other ingredients more.
  • Some CBD creams out there may contain questionable ingredients and additives, so always ensure you read the label before making any purchases. Ideally, the cream should be packed with nature-derived ingredients. A good tip is to make sure that you can actually pronounce most of the ingredients listed - if not, you may be looking at a cream with too many unnatural chemicals.

CBD oil

Advantages of topical oil

  • Where CBD creams may contain a lot of water, CBD body oils are typically made of oils alone, minus the water component.
  • CBD body oils do not usually need to contain preservatives. That said, usually, they will have a carrier oil, as well as antioxidants, like vitamin E or rosemary extract, to prevent the oil from going rancid and to guarantee a long shelf life.
  • The scent of body oils may come from pure essential oils or terpenes, rather than synthetic fragrances. While CBD body creams may employ synthetic fragrances to give them a pleasant smell, body oils may not need to do this due to being composed of pure essential oils derived from nature.
  • CBD oils are usually pure, natural products. As such, you might find that the list of ingredients is much shorter with oils when compared to creams. Ideally, these ingredients are also plant-derived, from seeds or fruits.
  • Oils may be more versatile. Some oils may be suitable to apply to your face, body, and sometimes even your hair. Anecdotal reports tell us that CBD may hold great promise for hair health and potentially stimulating hair growth.
  • Oils may make your skin more radiant and supple.Though cream may have better moisturising capacity, there's no doubt that body oils will give you glowing, supple skin.
  • Oils can potentially regulate sebum production: Many vegetable-based oils— such as jojoba, which is one of our favourite ingredients at Amphora— mimic the natural lipids found in our skin; their similar structures can help repair and re-regulate your skin's moisture barrier, which is responsible for oil production.

Disadvantages of topical oil

  • Body oils take longer to absorb,and may therefore feel like they're sitting on your skin for longer. If you apply your skincare in a rush, then, such as before work, CBD body oil may not be the ideal option for you. You may also find that body oil could transfer to your clothes if it hasn't been given sufficient time to absorb.
  • They work best on wet skindue to their occlusive nature. Oils will work better when your skin is wet, as the oil helps lock in that water. Of course, this isn't always helpful if you just want to apply your skincare without having a shower first.
  • They might feel greasier.Oils may leave your skin with a slightly greasier feeling than a light cream, especially when you consider that they take longer to absorb.
  • Body oils may be no good for oily skin. If you already have oily, spot-prone skin, a body oil may not be the best thing to apply, as it may exacerbate the problem where a CBD lotion or cream may potentially relieve it. Still, CBD is thought to potentially regulate sebum production.
  • Oils may expose you to photosensitivity.Photosensitivity is a process wherein a chemical absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light and causes a reaction, which is usually on the skin. Certain essential oils can contain constituents such as furocoumarins, coumarins, and linalool, which are potential photosensitisers. Furthermore, citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit can cause burns when exposed to UV light - so watch out for those in any CBD body oil. When exposed to the sun, then, oil on your skin could lead to skin damage such as redness, itching, burns, blisters, and skin discolouration, which could stay with you long-term. On that score, if you are on the fairer side, perhaps a cream would be slightly better suited to you, as these usually contain SPF.
  • Sometimes body oils are not helpful if you have sensitive skin. Essential oils (particularly those from the citrus family) have been known to irritate sensitive skin, as they often contain many potential allergens, like limonene, linalool and citronellol. As we mentioned earlier, doing a patch test before covering your entire body in an oil may be advisable if you are unsure about how your skin may react. Equally, if you know you are allergic to any of the ingredients, do not try to use the product.

CBD cream vs oil: which is the better topical?

We know you're looking for a conclusive, definitive verdict to the burning question: "CBD cream or CBD oil?". Truthfully, the answer is that it entirely depends on you.

Everyone's skin and preferences differ, so which type of skincare product you choose will be down to you and your unique needs.

Topical bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to how much of a compound (in this instance, CBD) is available for use by your body. It is measured in the form of a percentage. For example, the bioavailability of vaping is thought to be the highest of any CBD format, purportedly up to 56%. That means that your body may use roughly 52% of the CBD taken into the body.

With topicals, bioavailability is a whole different ball game. This is because the CBD in the topical will not come into contact with the bloodstream. Instead, the topical will sit on your skin and potentially affect your muscles and joints by working with your peripheral nervous system. As such, there is no conclusive bioavailability level for topical administration.

CBD skincare from Amphora: the possible benefits

There are ample benefits to be reaped when you opt for a CBD-infused topical for your skincare routine.


Do you have dry skin? We aren't surprised, given all the hand sanitiser we have gone through in the last year. Our CBD topicals, whichever you choose, have the potential to rejuvenate and hydrate your dry and scaly skin, restoring its natural moisture and leaving your skin silky and glowing.

Nature meets skin

Across our skincare range, there are several all-natural ingredients to look out for. Some examples of these are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Green tea extract
  • Honeysuckle extract
  • Jojoba oil

A potential supplement for inflammation

If you're in touch with the CBD world and the ever-evolving scientific research that goes with it, you may already be aware that CBD holds the potential to soothe symptoms of inflammation affecting the skin, muscles and joints. There is a deluge of preliminary studies that cite the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol when it comes to symptoms affecting the skin, due to its purported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been shown to improve some cases involving symptoms of:

Your skin isn't the only part of you that CBD may affect, however. Indeed, cannabidiol has been shown to potentially act on symptoms of inflammation and discomfort affecting the muscles and joints. According to a 2016 rodent study, CBD could possibly help impact symptoms of inflammation in the joints. There are further ongoing studies using human participants to try to corroborate these findings. Another study investigating how CBD might improve sports performance highlighted its potential to restore achy muscles from a state of discomfort and inflammation.


CBD creams and oils may also be used as a supplement to facilitate full-body relaxation. Why not use CBD oil for an at-home spa day? Buddy up with a loved one or your flatmate and have a day of spa treatments using CBD topicals. CBD topicals aren't like using normal topicals; they have the potential to provide additional benefits.

Lyphazome nanotechnology

At Amphora, we have adopted Lyphazome nanotechnology for parts of our skincare range. To understand what this means, let's remind ourselves what nano-delivery actually is.

Nano-delivery is the process of making the active ingredient as miniature as possible in order to get it to its target location(s). If the active ingredient is not the right size, then it can't reach the target. Non-nano topical products, for instance, do not travel past the dermis barrier. This kind of technology is thus extremely advantageous in terms of getting the most out of your CBD experience.

While traditional skincare products treat only the skin's surface, we care about penetrating deep into the epidermal layers of the skin. As such, we use Lyphazome nanotechnology to do just that. This technology time-releases ingredients deep within the skin's epidermal layers, using little delivery vessels known as "nanospheres" to encapsulate elements such as pharmaceutical-quality bioactives, actives, and moisture. Once a topical using Lyphazome nanotechnology has been applied, these nanospheres quickly penetrate the skin, sending time-released ingredients, reaching more of the skin than that of other products which don't use Lyphazome nanotechnology, and merely coat the surface.

Brighten up your look

Across our CBD infused range, we aim to tackle a whole slew of imperfections that may be affecting your skin. Whether that's sagging, puffiness, redness, fine lines or dark circles, our objective is to use our botanical blends to brighten and hydrate your skin, hopefully leaving it feeling and looking fresher and more radiant than ever.

Packed with antioxidants and potential anti-inflammatory properties, our products aim to moisturise and calm your skin. The antioxidants may potentially help fight the damage done by free radicals (unstable molecules that can wreak havoc on your body), environmental pollutants and stressors, and even shield your skin from these harmful processes.

Premium CBD

Premium, 'pharma' grade hemp, and the resulting CBD products, are similar to standard industrial hemp, but the former has been bred under stricter conditions, with higher standards, and (in the case of full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products) with high levels of cannabinoids.

In summary, both are great, but the quality of pharma grade CBD is perhaps a notch above that of standard industrial hemp.

Fast-acting, with long-lasting effects

All of our CBD skincare products are quickly absorbed, so you can be sure that no time is wasted before the ingredients potentially get to work on your skin. Not only that, but our products offer purported effects with great longevity, meaning your reapplication does not have to be obsessive.

Key considerations

There are some essential details to keep in mind both when choosing and after purchasing a CBD topical:

  • CBD topicals will not cure, treat, or prevent any ailments of the skin.
  • The condition of your skin primarily comes down to biological factors such as genetics and hormones, as well as environmental factors, such as your diet and the degree of air pollution in your surroundings. Your state of mind may also play a role in how your skin appears, as things like anxiety and stress can cause breakouts or inflammatory flare-ups. You can only control what you cancontrol, and a good skincare routine will undoubtedly contribute to better skin. Any of our skincare products would make a worthy addition to your skincare routine, but we cannot guarantee that it will transform the way your skin looks entirely.
  • CBD topicals should not be used in place of medically-prescribed creams or other topical medicines.
  • Suppose you have a medically diagnosed skin condition. In that case, it may be worth checking with your GP before purchasing a CBD skincare product, as certain conditions may be exacerbated by specific ingredients, and CBD may interfere with other medications you may be taking, topical or otherwise.
  • Should you encounter any adverse reactions from any skincare product, do not continue to use the product, and seek medical help if you are concerned.

Smoothing the way for smoother skin

Assembling the products for your skincare routine can feel like a gruelling task, as sometimes you have to shop around before finding the one that works for you. So, whether it is a topical oil you choose, or a CBD cream, we hope you are genuinely wowed by the natural skincare compound that is cannabidiol, and that it brings you the skin you want and deserve!




Written by  |  Infused Amphora Team 

The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil. 

Contributor  | Angus Taylor CEO



Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.