Eight CBD Beauty Trends On The Horizon
CBD draws comparisons to caffeine, aspirin, and castor, canola and argan oils. No matter the comparison, the bottom line is that CBD, the cannabis constituent that won’t get you high, is infiltrating every merchandise product category and subcategory in the consumer packaged goods segment. At Beauty Independent, we’ve squirted, spritzed, slathered and swallowed CBD formulas for research purposes, of course. From our extensive research, we’ve boiled down the cannabis cacophony to eight trends that will be shaping the CBD beauty and wellness phenomenon in the months ahead.
1. Make way for more cannabinoids
When it comes to industrial hemp and medical cannabis, there are two primary cannabinoids, THC and CBD; the other 100-plus are minor. Still, recent research of these cannabinoids are showing promise as wellness solutions. CBG, for example, is thought to have antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. “The drivers are always CBD and THC and the others are always supportive,” explains Jessica Assaf, co-founder and chief education officer of Prima. “It’s not about dissecting the plant, it’s about finding out how all of these compounds work together and mimicking that outside of the plant in products.” Savvy CBD brands like Soul Addict are rethinking how they present themselves to highlight cannabinoid complexity. “We’re looking into rebranding as a cannabinoid company, so not just talking about ourselves as a CBD company,” says Soul Addict founder Laura White. “If you have a full-spectrum product, there are so many cannabinoids that are working together to produce this one effect that we find really helpful. We’re leaving out this whole side of how it’s working with our body when we don’t talk about all the cannabinoids together and just talk about CBD. I think that’s where the industry is going to head in the next year.”
2. CBD as a bridge to THC
THC may be ready for mainstreaming. The infamous cannabinoid is being recognized for its qualities beyond psychoactivity. “For certain people, THC is really effective for pain relief,” says Assaf. “For so long, we’ve been stuck in one piece of THC’s identity that we forgot about the fact that, for certain issues, it’s the most effective cannabinoid. It would be like taking a pharmaceutical medicine and identifying it as one of the side effects—like, if a pharmaceutical drug made you drowsy, so you called it a sleep medication—but the benefit is beyond the side effect.” Dispensaries carry THC beauty and wellness products from the likes of Quim Rock, Papa & Barkley and Whoopi & Maya that could be draws for cannabis beauty consumers after they experiment with CBD offerings.
3. Provide proof
The CBD hoards range dramatically in ingredient integrity and results. To distinguish themselves from their subpar competitors, rigorous CBD purveyors will be taking their testing levels up a notch. Similar to advanced skincare, clinical trials by third-party researchers will become increasingly common in the CBD beauty category. Svn Space co-founder Grace Saari, director of marketing and e-commerce, says, “Although there are amazing benefits, until we have clinical trials and testing done to make those claims, we can only rely on the testimonials provided and the few studies done.”
4. CBD beauty product types proliferate
In the wellness and beauty categories, CBD products have popped up largely to address pain, anxiety and skincare generally, but brands are narrowing the CBD field with their merchandise. Saint Jane Beauty launched CBD lip gloss, and Necessary Luxury introduced CBD aromatherapy mist. Shauna Blanch, COO and co-founder of Color Up Therapeutics, predicts a major makeup push for CBD. She says, “We will start to see CBD-infused makeup hit the scene this year in a big way. Think foundation and blush for all-day coverage and care to mascara, eye pencils and brow gels.” Acne and hair growth products could be forthcoming CBD sweet spots, too. Standard Dose founder Anthony Saniger commends the brand Hora’s Overnight Exfoliating Mask as a stellar acne antidote, and he’s on the hunt for other acne remedies to round out the e-tailer’s skincare assortment. Dawn Blackstone, head of marketing at hemp haircare brand Earthly Body, contends CBD is ideal for hair and scalp care. She says, “CBD contains all 21 amino acids and a ton of other vitamins, so it really helps build body in your hair and can actually help fight against hair loss.”
5. The Demographics of CBD Widen
Millennials have been the great proselytizers of CBD. They may beg to differ, but CBD isn’t solely suited to them. Especially as CBD beauty and wellness products tackle serious concerns, their demographic targets mature. The sophisticated skincare brand 707 Flora is aimed at older millennial and gen x consumers, and CEO and founder Joan Sutton thinks CBD’s reach is much broader. She shares, “My parents are in a retirement home in Daly City, and the seniors there are all over CBD.” The mall-ifaction of CBD is poised to spread the ingredient to cities and towns throughout the country, vastly growing its consumer base and giving CBD purveyors opportunities to pursue consumer groups previously unfamiliar with or intimidated by CBD.
6. Indies ASCEND As Giants Dawdle (But Not For Too Long)
Beauty conglomerates are dabbling, but not diving into cannabis. Hello, Calm, the cannabis sativa seed oil face mask sans CBD from Estee Lauder’s brand Origins is characteristic of their reticent steps. Huge companies have a lot to risk. What if a payment processor unfriendly to hemp cancels payment processing for their entire enterprise? What if the government of a key country abroad condemns a big firm for its connection, however tenuous, to marijuana? Undoubtedly, CPG giants will figure out strategies for CBD involvement whether through incubation, acquisition, minor investments or joint ventures. While they’re waiting, startups are jockeying for top CBD market positions. “This plays out really clearly when you see what indie CBD brands like VerVefy are creating while the bigger players like L’Oréal wait and see, but the wait-and-see players won’t last long and, when they are ready, you will see big money dumped into CBD beauty by the big girls on the block,” says Cheyana Van Dender, co-founder of CBD skincare brand VerVefy. “For today, it’s the smaller brands and many that are women-driven that are disrupting the market.”
7. CBD Assists Post-Treatment Recovery
In the professional channel, spas and salons are enthusiastically embracing CBD products. Facials and manicures incorporating them are proliferating. Dermatologist’s offices and medical spas represent another distribution frontier for CBD. The ingredient’s benefits can be harnessed for post-treatment care. Blanch says, “From microblading and microneedling to waxing, lip injections, fillers and Botox, CBD is a powerful player in proper healing and recovery time.”
8. The Source Matters
According to New Frontier Data, China commands over a third of the global hemp market, and CBD oil is pouring into the United States from the Asian powerhouse. Verdant, a CBD specialist that bottles American-grown full-spectrum hemp extract, warns customers to stay away from products with CBD from China due to the possibilities of heavy metals, cheap carrier oils and high THC concentrations in them. As information about Chinese CBD stocks is disseminated, consumers are beginning to ask about CBD sources. CBD beauty startup Flora + Bast sticks to domestic farms to ensure it puts premium CBD in its products and supports small businesses. President Derek Chase says, “We want to serve the public good and bring back things like family farming that we are losing.”
Feature image credit: Soul Addict