Five Emerging CBD Brands Generating Buzz In The Beauty Industry

As the CBD market mushrooms, beauty brands wielding the ingredient are burrowing into every niche imaginable. From K-beauty to social consciousness, they’re multiplying with different takes on the compound and audiences to deliver it to. Here, we explore five emerging brands generating CBD buzz in the beauty industry in unique ways.

Kana Skincare: The K-Beauty Concept

Janice Buu, a former behavioral therapist, initially encountered CBD when the mother of an autistic client of hers gave CBD oil to her toddler daughter, who experienced profoundly positive changes. Quickly enamored with CBD and cannabis generally, Buu started DankGals in 2013 to build a supportive community around cannabis with seminars and yoga events, and the business has expanded to sell a wide array of cannabis-related merchandise. Buu’s beauty venture Kana Skincare combines her interest in CBD with her Korean background steeped in beauty. Her mother is Korean and father is Chinese. “I’ve really dried my skin out with Sephora-bought face masks. CBD is so soothing, and it can be formulated for all skin types,” says Buu. “This is an ingredient that everybody is going to be adding to traditional skincare.”

After two years of research and development, Kana, a brand centered around Korean skincare recipes, launched in December with Lavender Hemp Sleeping Mask, a product containing 28 botanical actives, including 50 to 100 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD per 50 milliliters. The CBD is extracted with a low-temperature carbon dioxide extraction processes, and Buu details it’s encapsulated in Kana’s formulas to amplify its power 16 to 20 times. Kana has extended from the $55 Lavender Hemp Sleep Mask to the $85 EGF + Hemp Active Botanical Essence and $65 Purple Rice Hemp Sleeping Mask. A face oil is in the works. Buu believes Kana’s K-beauty stance and elegant packaging – it features frosted glass jars – can open up a broad swath of consumers to the possibilities of CBD. “I want women to not put themselves in a box. If they’re a therapist or a lawyer, they shouldn’t think they can’t use cannabis because they’re in that position,” she says. “If they try things that aren’t their usual go-to, they will experience surprising results.”

kana skincare cbd
Kana Skincare takes a K-beauty approach to CBD.

Juna: The Farm-To-Drop Specialist

Jewel Zimmer, a pastry chef by trade, employed the precision and care for ingredients that characterizes fine dining to create cannabis and hemp brand Juna. She hunted down Northern California farmers selling produce to upscale restaurants and also growing cannabis to find the ingredients for three of Juna’s products priced from $58 to $64: the daily drops Gold and Jade with THC, and Nude with cannabis-derived CBD. A fourth $75 daily drops product called Nude uses hemp CBD sourced from Kentucky. “I wanted what we look for in food, the very best. I wanted the farms that, if the French Laundry knew about them, they’d buy them out for the whole year,” says Zimmer. Juna discloses the origins of its products’ full-spectrum main ingredients and their vintages on its website.

The brand, which suspends cannabis extracts in MCT or medium-chain triglyceride oil, suggests small CBD doses of 5 milliliters per serving. “The demographic we are going for is high-functioning individuals who maybe aren’t sleeping well or they’re stressed. We are all out of balance in some way,” says Zimmer. “Each dropper is calibrated so you add or subtract a milligram or two. You can really start to understand how and when your body needs the product, and what it’s doing with it.” Juna is sold at 10 dispensaries today, but Zimmer, no stranger to beauty distribution, views beauty retailers as a fit for its hemp drops. She previously worked at spa International Orange, where Juna is available, and launched a brand called {cocoa] absolute at Barneys New York in 2009. The now defunct brand focused on the benefits of raw cacao and inside-out beauty before it was a big trend. Zimmer considers Juna a continuation of her previous business and, perhaps no surprise, chocolate is on the brand’s upcoming menu.

Juna CBD
Products from Juna, a brand that takes CBD sourcing extremely seriously.

Undefined Beauty: The Indie Rebel

Undefined Beauty isn’t defined by CBD or anything else, for that matter. The hot ingredient in isolate form is in its debut product, Indigo Rose Glow Elixir, but it’s certainly not the only ingredient in the formula, which boasts a wide array of botanicals, including neem, grape seed, moringa, argan, jojoba and rose hip. “You are getting more bang for your buck when you have CBD in the formula,” says Undefined Beauty founder Dorian Morris, a beauty industry veteran whose career has wound through Coty, Sundial Brands and Kendo Brands. “You have these ingredients that work well individually, but, when you pair them with CBD, you get pretty powerful results.” The lightweight oil has a rose scent, a differentiator on the CBD beauty scene in which many products smell like cannabis, and it’s not exorbitant. The product retails at $44 for a 50-ml. size and $64 for a 100-ml. size. “I feel very strongly about the democratization of beauty,” says Morris. “Although CBD as an ingredient is extremely expensive, I wanted to make sure from a price point standpoint is very accessible, so everyone has access to super efficacious formulas that don’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Beginning with Indigo Rose, which has an innovation pipeline primed with some seven additional stockkeeping units, Morris foresees Undefined Beauty as a series of collections and already has at least three in mind stretching from natural feminine care to complexion products. “Undefined is a lifestyle brand. It’s about being unapologetic, unfiltered and uncompromising, and about breaking rules and doing things differently, and each collection will bring that vision to life,” she says. Initially, the brand is concentrating on direct-to-consumer distribution. However, Morris would like to strategically place it in retailers such as Violet Grey, Credo, Follain and The Detox Market where beauty upstarts have thrived. Beyond product sales, Undefined Beauty will weave a social mission into its business model. “As the brand grows, job opportunities from it will grow, and I will be able to empower communities around clean, non-toxic ingredients,” says Morris. “It’s not just about money. It’s about how I am able to make an impact with the brand.”

Undefined CBD 2
Undefined Beauty is making its debut with Indigo Rose Glow Elixir, a face oil that combines CBD with ingredients such as jojoba, camellia, moringa, argan and rose hip.

Tulip: The CBD Connoisseur

Before the hoards descended on the CBD segment, Victoria England was a cannabis advocate. England, whose husband is a second-generation hemp farmer, has worked with cannabis for almost 20 years and is a founding member of Women Cultivating Community, an organization dedicated to empowering women involved in cannabis. “I believe in cannabis as medicine, and completely believe in CBD as an anti-aging and anti-anxiety ingredient,” says England. For most of the 11-year history of her natural perfume brand Tulip, though, she opted not to put that belief into practice in the beauty category, which largely wasn’t on board with her support of cannabis. However, as interest in CBD exploded, she decided to expand Tulip with four active hemp extract products priced from $58 to $80: Ageless Light Moisturizer, Calming Eye Cream, Protective Veil Serum and Nourish Serum. The formulas contain full-spectrum CBD oil free of pesticides and other contaminants, and the CBD dosages run from 150 to 200 milligrams per product.

Tulip’s CBD products distinguish themselves from the CBD pack by pairing the ingredient with humic acid. England explains, “Humic fulvic has become popular as a supplement to help our bodies absorb nutrients as it does for plants. As a skincare ingredient, it is being used to deliver minerals to the skin, to protect the skin from free radicals and to help the epidermis absorb good nutrients.” She also depends upon her experience in fragrance to scent the products with, for instance, frankincense in the Ageless Light Moisturizer, the CBD skincare product England pegs as Tulip’s possible bestseller. As England pitches Tulip’s CBD offerings to retailers, she senses there remains caution on their part to leap into products with the ingredient. England says, “I consider myself a pioneer, and I will be very appreciative of the first major retailer to step up to the plate and be a pioneer as well. We cannot do it without them, and they cannot do it without us as pioneers with authentic backgrounds.”

Tulip CBD
Tulip built on founder Victoria England’s vast experience with cannabis to release four CBD skincare products, including Calming Eye Cream.

Lab to Beauty: The Pot Of CBD Gold

Lab to Beauty elevates CBD to the top tier of the beauty category. The new brand from The Advantage Co., a wide-ranging enterprise encompassing fashion, beauty, technology and more, painstakingly brings CBD from plant to product. “We wanted to produce it in a food-grade, FDA- and GMP-compliant facility without the use of harsh chemicals,” says Katherine Ragusa, CEO of The Advantage Co., who created Lab to Beauty with her sister and brand developer Alison Ragusa. “Through the process, we were able to obtain the purest form of CBD.” Lab To Beauty has put the concentrated CBD isloate in five products priced from $35 to $85 designed to be internal and external skincare essentials: The Balancing Face Wash, The Green Cure Mask, The Quick Fix Serum, The Omega Fatty Facial Moisturizer and The CBD Drops. The Ragusas anticipate The Quick Fix Serum and The Green Cure Mask will be bestsellers. Alison says, “Inflammation is the biggest concern we are trying to fight. What excites me about CBD is there’s possibly nothing better to fight inflammation.”

Lab to Beauty is the fifth beauty brand the Ragusa siblings have jointly developed. Earlier beauty brands they birthed are Bogavia, Modern Luxuri, Pure+Fresh and Grivani. Katherine predicts Lab to Beauty’s sales will best the previous properties. She says, “Because of the combination of research and development, and timing, I feel it’s going to be the biggest launch we’ve ever had.” Lab to Beauty is touching down at Barneys New York next month for a pop-up running from Nov. 12 to 25. While Barneys New York, of course, is a precipitous start for the brand, Katherine and Alison picture Lab to Beauty spreading across many avenues of distribution in the fitness, wellness and beauty fields, and beyond. Alison concludes, “Everyone wants CBD and, at a certain point, everyone is going to absolutely need it.”

Lab to beauty CBD
Lab to Beauty is taking CBD in a luxury direction with a pop-up at Barneys New York running from Nov. 12 to 25.