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Oils are hot in the beauty world. As a beauty editor, I’ve slathered everything short of butter onto my face: argan, coconut, rosehip, sandalwood, chia, neroli, calendula, mandarin, macadamia, rice bran, seabuckthorn, patchouli, grapefruit seed, sesame seed, soybean, sweet almond, pomegranate seed, lemon myrtle, sunflower seed—even extra virgin olive oil from my pantry when I was desperate. I’ve washed my face with oil-based cleansers, and dabbed expensive mixtures being sold as “face oils” onto my skin in hopes of achieving that Instagram-ready glow. Contrary to popular belief, the right oil is actually good for your face and won’t clog your pores. Your skin needs a reasonable amount of oil to do its business; as a matter of fact, if you scrub away all your natural face oil (as I was prone to do with rubbing alcohol as a frustrated and misguided pizza-faced teen), you may actually be prone to more breakouts as your skin tries to make up for the imbalance. As cannabis meets up with the mainstream beauty world, cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be the next big thing.


CBD Oil’s Benefits for Your Skin

Two dermatologists I consulted with, New York-based Whitney Bowe, MDand New Jersey-based Jeanette Jacknin, MD, both agreed that CBD’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits are clinically proven. “Studies have shown that the cannabinoids like CBD in marijuana are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis,” Jacknin told me. “Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is less pore clogging but a great moisturizer for dry, cracked skin.”

Previously, I had reviewed hemp-based beauty topicals and THC beauty products pioneering the way for cannabis in the skincare industry. This time, I tested the diverse range of CBD oil-based beauty products, which are both potent and legally available for shipping to most states. This is the new frontier in skincare—and these companies are paving the way. Go support them before Sephora hears about this.

~ Noel Duan, LEAFLY, May 16, 2017


SKIN DEEP

Beauty’s New High: CBD Oil

By Bee Shapiro

  •  Now that nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and with many other states with varying latitudes of access, cannabis has gotten a whole lot more sophisticated. And the beauty business is not about to miss out. Cannabis-derived ingredients feel trendy, and they may well offer a raft of possible benefits, which beauty brands are quick to tout. CBD oil, specifically, is nonpsychoactive (it won’t get you high) and is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression, stimulate appetite and have anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. Cannabis products also nod to enthusiasms that have already gained momentum in the beauty industry, like ingestibles (CBD-infused gummies, caramels and drops) and wellness (CBD lotions to relieve soreness from new year workouts). There are already devout fans, some boldfaced, who are drawn to CBD topical products largely for their pain-relieving properties. Olivia Wilde recently told this reporter that she used it to relieve physical aches during a Broadway run. The fashion stylist Karla Welch, who works with Ms. Wilde, Ruth Negga, Katy Perry and Sarah Paulson, uses Lord Jones CBD lotion on her clients’ feet when they walk the red carpet. “It’s perfect for long nights in high heels,” Ms. Welch said. “All my girls love it, and bottles live in my styling kit.” Jessica Richards, the founder of Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, is often a trendsetter in beauty retailing, and she started carrying Lord Jones in December. “I do so much SoulCycle that I have one hip that hurts,” she said. “I tried out the CBD lotion. It’s not a placebo. It really does work for pain management.”Image
From left, Vertly, Lord Jones and Khus & Khus CBD products.

Lord Jones, which is based in Los Angeles, is not the only brand to market a pain-relieving CBD body lotion, but it is one of the chicest. Founded in 2016 by Robert Rosenheck, who has a branding background, and his wife, Cindy Capobianco, who has led public relations for Banana Republic and marketing for Gap, it is a leader in a movement to make marijuana more attractive to a mainstream audience. The packaging, with a baronial crest and gold accents, would look at home in a fashionable department store. That celebrities use the products adds additional cachet. 

“The closer we get to de-stigmatizing cannabis, the better it is for all,” Ms. Capobianco said. That sentiment is shared by upstarts including Cannuka, a line of topical products containing CBD and manuka honey; Khus & Khus, a skin- and body-care line by the ayurvedic specialist Kristi Blustein; and Vertly, a line of lip balm by Claudia Mata, a former W magazine accessories editor, which is introducing body care this year. And beauty lines, including Malin & Goetz and Boy Smells, make reference to cannabis in their products purely for the scent. For example, Boy Smells has a cannabis-scented candle called Kush. “We’re aware that having a cannabis candle is a little provocative, but I personally love the flavor and smell of cannabis,” said Matthew Herman, a founder, who previously worked for the fashion labels Giles Deacon, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen. “It has a wet earth smell that is very attractive.”

Mr. Herman also noted that the cannabis industry is undergoing a makeover. “A lot of my friends have been getting their products from more ‘luxury’ cannabis suppliers who are focusing on packaging and branding,” he said. “It’s not like pot is new, but for a long time you had to go to a head shop and buy a cheesy pipe. It was always a little gnarly. Now it’s fun to see modern, minimal, elevated designs.”But looks are one thing, efficacy is another. As CBD oil seeks to go mainstream, it’s tough to tell which products hold up to scrutiny. “I get sent a million different brands saying they have CBD, and the stuff doesn’t work,” Ms. Richards said, "That’s because there is confusion in the marketplace, said Verena von Pfetten, a onetime Lucky digital editor and a founder of Gossamer, a publication dedicated to the chic side of cannabis culture. “The cannabis plant is complex with many compounds,” Ms. von Pfetten said. “CBD is one of them, and THC is one of them.” There are studies, she said, showing that for pain relief, CBD works best within the plant’s cannabinoid system, meaning that combinations of compounds are more effective than isolated ones. That’s termed the “entourage effect,” and Lord Jones, for one, has sought to compensate for it by using CBD rendered from the entire hemp plant. “We’ve found CBD isolate, or crystals of pure CBD, to not work,” Ms. Capobianco said.

Speaking of hemp, there’s debate there, too. Hemp is a type of cannabis that has had the THC largely bred out of it. It’s legal across state lines, so only CBD derived from hemp can be distributed nationally. There is a lot less CBD and other cannabinoids in hemp than in cannabis strains that contain THC. “The reality is that the levels of active ingredient in hemp are so low that, though CBD definitely offers benefits, there might not be a wake-up-and-feel-it moment,” Ms. von Pfetten said. None of that is stopping companies from expanding beyond wellness into skin care. Lord Jones is introducing a face care line based on CBD early this year. Ildi Pekar, a facialist in Manhattan who has tended to Miranda Kerr and Irina Shayk, said that sales of her CBD facial oil are up and she plans on investing more in the ingredient, which she calls “the argan oil of the future.” 

The Beauty Industry Has Spoken: CBD Is the New Super Oil


A range of TheraJoy’s body products. Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer

Ever since Moroccanoil launched their argan-based hair care collection about a decade ago, consumers have been obsessed with the notion that moisturizing oils are essential for beauty care. Argan might have been this movement’s early rock star, but oils continue to be a beauty market craze, appearing in everything from your shampoo to your facial cleanser. And while argan remains a stalwart, the market is always ready to jump at a new oil trend.

Enter CBD or cannabidiol hemp oil, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has long been used for its therapeutic benefits, which include soothing skin, treating joint injuries and easing chronic pain—though it’s largely been shunned by western medicine due to its close relationship with its psychoactive sister, THC. But a few small studies have confirmed what has been thought by traditional cultures for years—a 2014 scientific report found that because of its anti-inflammatory and sebum-reducing properties, CBD and cannabis sativa can have a positive effect on acne-prone skin.

In the beauty industry’s experiments with CBD, a number of early adopters have confirmed the oil’s incredible moisturizing and skin soothing properties, due to its high levels of essential fatty acids. And for hair, they’re touting its ability to soften and thicken the follicles...

Moreover, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, introduced to the house this July, aims to remove Hemp from the list of federally controlled substances. This Act defines industrial hemp as containing less than 0.3 percent THC and acknowledges that “industrial hemp is a non-narcotic agricultural commodity that is used in tens of thousands of legal and legitimate products.”

“CBD derived from cannabis has some THC in it” says Fein. That’s why his company buys its organic hemp from Europe, where it can be legally sourced and lawfully imported into the U.S. “We want to stay in compliance,” he asserts.

There is still a lot of speculation around the beauty benefits of CBD, but nevertheless, beauty companies have jumped on board, infusing everything from bath bombs to pomade with this trending ingredient. Here are five products to try.