The “it” cannabinoid is the hottest ingredient in skincare,
but will it make you hot?
The CBD beauty market is on track to reach $25 billion globally in the next 10 years—a mind-blowing figure when you consider that five years ago, most of us hadn’t even heard of CBD. I hadn’t. Then I had, and soon it was everywhere, being sold as a potential cure for everything, hawked by everyone—the gas station attendant pushing CBD gummies. The elderly neighbor talking about the CBD tincture that got him back on the pickleball court. The girl from high school who stumbled into my DMs reciting practiced MLM scripts and urging everyone in her orbit to join her marketing mission, to get in on the ground level of the cannabinoid craze.
I think about that girl often, especially as I click through my inbox, which received an average of 11 unsolicited emails related to CBD every day of 2019, many of those pitch-ing stories on the latest and greatest and most innovative, game-changing CBD product to hit the (already saturated) marketplace. She’s got a whole lot of competition. And it grows by the day.
The “it” cannabinoid roared onto everybody and their grandmother’s radar in 2018, and today’s infused offerings run the gamut from awesome to abhorrent. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell the difference between the two, but fret not: we’re here to help. CBD is a beautiful thing with beautiful potential in the beauty industry. So many readers have asked me about CBD beauty products, so I put together this tutorial for you all. If you like it or if you’re new here, don’t forget to click “like” and subscribe and let me know in the comments. Appreciate you!
First, the Legalities
Late 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration amended federal law, changing the definition of “marijuana” to exclude hemp—a type of cannabis Sativa that contains less than 0.3 per- cent THC by dry weight. Any CBD derived from hemp is A-OK with DEA.
Oversight of the popular cannabinoid now falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, which retains the authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds (hemp included).
That said, the FDA doesn’t do much regulating of the cosmetics industry in general, only stepping in to prevent
products from maiming or killing consumers. The FDA defines cosmetics as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced to, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and articles intend- ed for use as a component of any such articles.”
Basically, anything you’d find at Sephora.
So to recap: cannabis + cosmetics = legal. But are cannabis cosmetics beneficial, or are companies just capitalizing on the hype, snake-oil- salesman-style? Ingest- ing cannabis is known to have benefits, but does it do anything when it’s just slathered on your skin? Does it have any beauty benefits?
That’s subjective since beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all. The science behind these cannabinoid-laden skincare and beauty products is definitely not full coverage. To use another makeup analogy, it’s more Alicia Keys than Ariana Grande.
But you can find wor- thy products that fit your needs: do some research, ask friends for recommendations, and read up on the products and the companies you’re considering. And do as any Sephora VIB (Very Important Beauty, of course) would: check the customer reviews, which more often than not offer more insight about whether a product is right for you than any marketing campaign ever could.
Most department and specialty stores have
a growing number of cannabis-related products in their portfolio of offerings. But to find the high-end products worthy of your attention and your dollars, start with the high-end stores 370% employing discerning buyers whose job it is to vet products before agreeing to sell them to their customers. You’ll find top-quality lines with price tags to match at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and so on. At Sephora, you’re likely to find the most robust number of cannabis-de-rived beauty boosters for your perusal.
Sephora’s lineup includes items such as Herbivore’s Emerald CBD + adaptogens deep moisture glow oil ($58), made with full-spectrum CBD oil, plus hemp seed oil. Farmacy makes the Better Daze Ahead CBD moisturizer ($68); Kiehl’s has a cannabis Sativa seed oil herbal concentrate ($50), and Milk Makeup has KUSH mascaras and lip glosses made with hemp-derived cannabis seed oil.
It’s worth noting here that cannabis Sativa seed oil, cannabis seed oil, and hemp seed oil are the same thing, and that thing is very different than CBD oil. You’ve likely used hemp seed oil before—it’s been around for centuries, and it’s often used as a base ingredient. It’s inexpensive; it’s a good moisturizer, and it doesn’t clog pores (so it’s unlikely to cause breakouts).
CBD oil, on the other hand, comes not from hemp seeds, but from the plant’s stalks and stems. Because it comes from the whole plant, it contains the same valuable vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in hemp, as well as the cannabinoids. This magical combo is thought to be why CBD oil may calm irritated skin and combat acne. CBD has antioxidant properties more powerful than vitamins C and E. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and it has conditioning/lipid-producing properties that makes it a great moisturizer.
Dr. Cheryl Bugailiskis, a board-certified pediatrician and cannabis specialist with HelloMD, spoke with online magazine Bustle about why our skin can potentially respond very well to CBD. Turns out, the skin has the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors, to which cannabinoids like CBD bind upon application, working with our endocannabinoid system to help the body reach a state of balance.
Bugailiskis says when CBD is used for therapeutic purposes tied to the skin, it’s believed to work by impacting our skin’s cannabinoid receptors “to better regulate pain, inflammation, bacteria, lipid production (which can lead to acne), the release of histamine, as well as skin- cell proliferation (which causes psoriasis). While more research is needed, some studies indicate CBD could be effective in calming irritated skin and reducing redness, helping to lessen visible signs of aging, and as a potentially powerful way to combat acne.”
Clearly, there’s a lot of goodness packed into one plant. And our bodies are basically designed to reap its benefits, so slather on a liberal application and reapply as needed.