The CBD Beauty Wave – Fad or the Future?


Beauty has always been sought after. Everyone wants to “look good”. Some come by it naturally while others get a little help from the cosmetic counter and beauty advisors. But these days, cosmetics are losing their popularity as consumers become more focused on skin care. According to a market report by the NPD Group covering the 12-month period that ended October 2019, sellers of prestige treatment products are running 16% ahead in the U.S. compared with an 8% increase from the year prior, while makeup had only grown by 3%. (1)

People want to look good naturally. They are wearing less makeup and spending more money on taking care of their skin. In North America, this may have something to do with the aging Baby Boomer population, but it may have more to do with the wealth of information available to consumers via the internet and the fact that people have realized that a good skin care regime is something you need to start in your 20’s and maintain throughout your life.

Another reason for the considerable growth in skincare products are men. Last year men’s skincare product sales jumped 11%, outpacing growth in all other men’s grooming categories including bath and shower, deodorant and hair care. In total, last year men spent $6.9 billion in the U.S. on grooming products. (2) As new products targeting men continue to roll out, this trend will continue to grow.

CBD Enters the Skincare Sector

CBD is now gaining acceptance as a natural ingredient in skincare formulations, with a variety of claimed wellness and cosmetic benefits, such as being anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-pollution with collagen-promoting properties and as an antidote to anxiety and stress. (3) However, the scarcity of clinical research makes it difficult to confirm all the benefits or even determine correct dosage for treatment. However, as research results continue to emerge, these questions are sure to be answered. This uncertainty doesn’t seem to be slowing down the growing popularity of CBD integrated skincare products.

An interesting fact about this industry is that despite the popularity of skincare products containing CBD, the major players in the industry have not yet entered the market. To date, only two multinationals, L’Oriel and Este Lauder have started to offer products containing Hemp seed oil but these are nothing more than a cautious testing of this unregulated market.

This leaves the field wide open for independent brands to gain traction in this traditionally high-end luxury space. No doubt, in time, as regulations become standardized and more research becomes available, we are sure to see CBD offerings from the major brands as well.

What can CBD Do for Your Skin?

Recent research, as well as personal testimony from people who have used CBD suggests there are many benefits to this natural substance – including treating chronic pain, anxiety and depression, insomnia, inflammation, and even epilepsy. (4)  But it is skincare products where it seems to have gained the greatest acceptance. Products such as CBD Cleansing Balm, CBD Glow Oil and CBD Face Cream can be great additions to your daily skincare routine.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of CBD on your Skin

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD is one reason arthritis patients are beginning to use it for pain relief, however these same anti-inflammatory properties can also be applied to skincare by helping to reduce itchiness, puffiness, redness and sore skin which can result from conditions such as Rosacea, Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis.

Relieves dry skin

In terms of treating Eczema and Psoriasis and dry skin in general, Psoriasis Cream contains a blend of active ingredients like salicylic acid and natural ingredient CBD to provide relief and help prevent symptoms recurrence. CBD integrated creams and oils such as CBD Body Oil or CBD Face Cream help to keep the skin hydrated thereby reducing dry skin and the itchiness and discomfort caused by this. It has also been reported that CBD integrated creams and oils can be used to treat Eczema by stimulating the death of abnormal cells that may be causing the condition. (6)

Reduces oil-production in skin

It is a known fact that one of the key causes of acne is excess oil production in the skin. CBD Cleansing Balm and CBD Sleeping Mask can help to regulate this oil production, improve the condition of your skin and prevent breakouts. As an anti-inflammatory, it can also help to reduce the soreness caused by acne and leave your skin feeling calmer, less sensitive, and with reduced redness. The article CBD as a Treatment for Acne discusses how CBD can be used as a possible treatment for acne.

Soothing sore eyes

The anti-inflammatory properties in CBD make this a fantastic ingredient for an eye serum. If you suffer from sore and puffy eyes, or you want to get rid of grey shadows underneath your eyes, using CBD Eye Serum could be your solution. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, D-Panthenol and Fucogel® to protect and hydrate; caffeine to reduce puffiness and Vitamin C for revitalized and refreshed looking skin. The regenerative properties of CBD can also help to reduce the signs of fine lines around the eye area.

Maintains skin health

CBD Beauty Serum is formulated with vitamins and proven ingredients – including Vitamins E and hyaluronic acid and allantoin to moisturize, Matrixyl® to reduce fine lines. The antioxidant properties of CBD can assist in keeping your skin protected from sun damage and free radicals, helping to give your skin a radiant, healthy glow.


Another wonderful benefit of using CBD integrated skincare products is that it can help to regenerate your skin cells – making your skin renewed and fresh looking. Antioxidants present also help to protect your skin from damage from the outside world helping your skin to stay youthful and vibrant. (4) Finally, it has been shown to stimulate collagen production, making the skin and muscles firmer and connective tissue and bones stronger. (5)

Know Your CBD

CBD is what is known as a phytocannabinoid , in other words, it is a cannabinoid that comes from a plant. In most cases it comes from Hemp through an extraction process. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD at 99% purity. It is obtained through an additional extraction process after the phytocannabinoids have been extracted. Premium products will typically use CBD isolate in order to provide maximum benefit from the CBD.

Presently there are no industry standards for monitoring the quality and strength of CBD within cosmetic products. Labelling and messaging are often unclear, making it impossible for consumers to discriminate between products on the efficacy and authenticity of their claims. For example: a manufacturer who uses Hemp-seed oil in their skin cream may label it “CBD Hemp Oil” on the package when in reality Hemp oil comes from the seeds and contains little or no CBD. However, Hemp oil is often used in skin creams for its super nourishing benefits, but the claim of the manufacturer is misleading.

A reputable skincare product manufacturer using CBD will typically use CBD isolate and state on the package the amount of CBD used. Many manufacturers are also going a step further to have their products tested and certified by third party labs. This helps inspire confidence in the consumer. Further research and independent testing by manufacturers will ultimately determine the amount of CBD that should be added for optimum benefits. (7)

CBD Gaining Global Acceptance

The CBD beauty market is still a very new and emerging market. In December 2019 Canada legalized the use of CBD and other cannabinoids in topical formulations, including cosmetics and other toiletries. In the USA, the passing of the US Farm Bill in December 2018 was the catalyst to an explosion of commercial interest in CBD. The Bill effectively made Hemp-derived CBD legal nationwide.

Major chains in the US are now selling CBD cosmetics and skin care products in select states. CVS, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora, Walgreens, Wallmart, Kroger and Barneys. The luxury market (Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora and Barneys) have all installed full departments. This is particularly significant the growth of the CBD market because based on typical beauty market trends, the mass market often follows the prestige beauty industry, suggesting the second half of the year will see an explosion in CBD beauty products at chains.

The European Union allows for the use of CBD in cosmetics and skincare products only if it is Hemp-derived or synthetically produced. As a result, this market is evolving more slowly, but has tremendous potential.

Asia Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India) could be considered the sleeping giant in the global market. Although cannabis remains illegal throughout most of Asia, Asian beauty movements such as K-Beauty and J-Beauty are at the forefront of global skin care. Experts predict it will only be a matter of time before these countries embrace the CBD beauty trend. CBD products are legal in China if they have government approval and they are fully legal in Japan, South Korea and Thailand for medical use. (8)

How big is the CBD Beauty Wave?

The current global market size of the CBD beauty market, which includes Oils, Creams & Moisturizers, Masks & Serums, Cleansers, shampoo, soap, bath salts and cosmetic products was reportedly worth $710 million USD in 2018 and is expected to increase more than 30% by 2024 to $959 million USD. (9) In 2018 it was Hemp based skin care products that held the largest share of the market value at 62.8%. (10) With the rapid growth in CBD integrated products entering the market it is likely this number will decline as consumers learn more about the benefits of CBD for their skin.

It is anticipated that during the period 2018 – 2024 the majority of growth will come from the USA, however the estimated $959 million USD doesn’t even factor in the potential of the Asia Pacific market which experts predict it is only a matter of time before they adopt CBD into their skincare products. The size of this market will dwarf that of North America, Europe and Latin America. The CBD market in China alone is estimated to be worth $15 billion USD by 2020. (8)

One Canadian company has already entered into a distribution agreement with a leading consumer packaged goods company in China. The company has a distribution agreement for CBD and hemp-derived beauty and wellness products for the territories of People’s Republic of China (“China”) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  (11)

Education, Transparency and Standardization are Key

CBD is an emerging market with little or no regulations. The FDA has slapped the wrists of some companies for making unsubstantiated claims on their packaging. However, consumers are still largely in the dark. The term caveat emptor definitely applies to the current marketplace.

Reputable companies are attempting to provide education about the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids along with Hemp seed oil and its benefits. They are voluntarily having their products certified by third party labs for accuracy of ingredients and dosage and they are trying to provide accurate information on their packages. But none of these things are required and that has to change soon to protect consumers.

The education of consumers will come over time. There is a lot of information available on line and more being made available every day. A standard seal of certified quality needs to be established so consumers can easily recognize the product as one that has been tested and verified. Finally standards need to be put in place that clearly state what can be put on packaging. This will provide consumers with the assurance they need as well as companies with some guidance as to what can and cannot be stated.


It is clear, based on current estimates and market research that CBD integrated skin care products are much more than a fad. Existing research indicates it has a broad spectrum of possibilities for use in skincare, body care, make-up and hair care as a potential natural alternative to traditional cosmetic ingredients.

A survey conducted by A.T. Kearney of 2,000 consumers across all economic and demographic groups in the USA, revealed that “76% of consumers would try a legal, cannabis-infused, therapeutic product that does not produce a high and nearly half of those who responded positively said they would specifically try a cannabis-infused beauty product, demonstrating that the mainstream appetite for CBD is real. (9)

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