The evolution of CBD in the beauty industry

Several years ago, CBD – Cannabidiol, entered the Beauty scene. New product lines with CBD as a key ingredient have emerged – oils, gummies, capsules and skincare. Each product claimed to have incredible therapeutic benefits. Let’s start with what CBD is, then discuss how the now cannabis-savvy consumer views CBD-infused beauty products.

CBD comes from the Sativa plant, as does THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the brother of CBD which is the part of the plant that creates a “high”). Sativa has been documented as being used for medicinal purposes as early as 750 BC in China. CBD is touted to relieve anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PSD) and to promote better sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it claims to be “non-psychoactive” and consumers can enjoy the health benefits of the plant without the high.

Cannabis has become so accepted in our society that it has gained enormous status in North America and continues to grow, gaining essential commodity status in the United States and Canada last year. And with more US states voting to legalize cannabis for recreational use, many industry experts have suggested that the cannabis industry will prove recession-proof after the pandemic.


It’s not a solo act anymore

CBD is no longer a key ingredient in the brand. Clever companies supplement the beauty-supporting properties of the cannabinoid by blending it with other star ingredients like argan oil and adaptogens. Meanwhile, forward-thinking companies are experimenting with minor cannabinoids like rest-promoting CBN and anti-inflammatory CBG. Skincare brands like Colorado’s Trust Biologic are experimenting with multi-cannabinoid blends to increase effectiveness. The company recently released a moisturizer that blends CBD and CBG in equal parts, as they claim this balance boosts the product’s anti-inflammatory effects, regulates oil levels in the skin, and controls bacteria that cause oiliness. ‘acne.

To enhance the performance of CBD, many brands blend cannabinoids with other proven skincare ingredients.


Californian skincare brand Wldkat blends CBD and hemp seed oil with adaptogens (including functional mushrooms and saffron extract) to instill feelings of calm, energy or concentration.

Argan oil and vitamin E complement CBD in shampoos and conditioners from American hair care brand Candor. Used together, the brand claims that these ingredients support scalp health. And in the UK, skincare brand Sens8ate blends CBD with other nourishing oils – like rosehip oil and marula oil – on its face line.


Formulate for Beauty Efficacy

The research is leading to improved knowledge on how to maximize the skin care effects of CBD. The American brand Dieux is funding clinical trials to find out how it deploys and doses CBD. This science-backed approach has helped turn its serums and masks into stars; its reusable CBD eye mask is selling out steadily.


Diversifying CBD Beauty Consumers

From stressed mothers to Gen Z majors, beauty brands are doubling down on the message that everyone can benefit from CBD.

  • To market its CBD-infused personal lubricants, California-based brand Personal Fav engages in conversations ranging from toxic additives in sex toys to overlooked LGBTQ+ icons.


  • Californian brand Undefined – a participant in US superstore Target’s 2021 beauty accelerator program, calls its CBD skincare “clean, mindful and inclusive plant magic”. Its packaging features women of color to highlight its target audience.


  • Mexican brand Xula addresses issues like sleep, stress, and PMS with its “ancestral herbal remedies” that blend full-spectrum CBD with herbs common in Mexican culture.


  • American CBD brand Happy Dance is positioning its infused face creams as a solution for millennial moms who want to feel and look alert.


  • US CBD retailer Fleur Marche’s infused patches are designed to target wellness needs – like energy or sleep – in a youth-friendly format (see Starface in Gen Z Brands to Know). The patches are Fleur Marche’s first house-brand product and represent a more youthful aesthetic than the items stocked on its online store.

CBD was once a key benefit when present in products. Today, the most discerning consumers ask questions such as “how can this CBD product fit into my specific lifestyle?” or “I’m looking for CBD and more benefits.” CBD has officially taken hold of the mainstream and mainstream channels, so smart brands must continue to address growing consumer needs/questions through education, brand values, and intimate understanding. customer needs where CBD as an ingredient can provide real value.

Ms. Elenita (Elle) Morris is Senior Vice President of Global Strategy at Marks, part of SGS & Co., a brand experience agency providing global insight with local relevance in North America, Europe, in Asia and beyond. She is a recognized thought leader in the design of consumer packaged goods brands with particular expertise in the areas of beauty, hair care and skin care. Follow Elle Morris on LinkedIn.

Comments are closed.