1 June 2021 --- As the natural trend evolves to meet ever-changing consumer attitudes and behaviors, we explore the cannabidiol (CBD) trend and its popularity among brands in the beauty and personal care (BPC). We talk to Imogen Matthews, Premium Beauty Insights Consultant to find out more about CBD in the era of evolving naturals.
CBD opportunities and obstacles
From skin care to hair care, BPC brands and ingredient companies are curious about the seemingly meteoric rise of CBD in the beauty sphere and are exploring its potential for their brands.
Huge consumer interest and huge growth potential make CBD a core part of the evolving naturals beauty trend. “CBD has to be the biggest trend within the naturals space right now,” says Imogen Matthews, Premium Beauty Insights Consultant.
However, considerable consumer confusion and concerns relating to its legal status risk scuppering consumer uptake within the current BPC sphere. Unlike other trends, specific challenges impact CBD, namely regulation and consumer perception over its presence and usage in BPC, with consumers worrying CBD products may be harmful.
Despite its phenomenal popularity, Matthews states: “Major beauty brands have been reluctant to get involved, possibly because of its association with the illegal drug cannabis and the lack of formal accreditation.”
CBD is known for being a highly efficacious ingredient. However, problems around its effectiveness are also impacting consumer’s confidence in picking up CBD products. “The category has had a bad rap due to the number of products launching with low (less than 1%) or no THC, making them largely ineffective,” confirms Matthews.
Click to EnlargeCBD is rich in fatty acids and vitamins, making it perfect for skin care.CBD in BPC today
Cannabidiol, which is more commonly referred to as CBD, derives from the cannabis plant. However, due to the extraction process that takes place, CBD only contains traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive element associated with getting high from smoking the substance. CBD is well-respected and used in BPC formulations due to it being rich in fatty acids and containing several vitamins, including A, D and E.
There is some evidence to show that CBD can have anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin, which can convey a range of skin care benefits in personal care such as soothing and moisturizing for sensitive skin, reducing redness and skin smoothing.
According to Innova, research indicates CBD can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions associated with inflammation, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. More limited evidence pointing to scalp and hair care applications exists, Innova shares, with some BPC brands making hair regrowth claims.
Detailing the ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding regulation (not to mention the variations that exist between geographic areas globally), Innova explains: “The first measure has been to legalize CBD as a medicine or for therapeutic uses in many developed countries, while there is little to no regulatory specifics for cosmetics and personal care, which can lead to problem gray areas.”
Regarding the approval process and necessary requirements, Innova states in its Top 20 Industry-Wide Trends that “the general rule is that it should include less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in its dry form.”
Click to EnlargeCBD product launches
Despite consumer confusion and concerns, BPC brands are utilizing science and the popularity of CBD to unveil their latest innovations, with interesting product launches coming to the fore.
Matthews shares some of the good examples of brands she has seen moving into the CBD space:
● Premium beauty brand, This Works, was acquired by Canopy Growth in 2019, in a move that reflects a commitment to the CBD category. The acquisition resulted in the launch of its range of CBD booster products designed to be used as stand-alone intensive treatments or as an addition to other skin care products.
● OTO strives to give clarity to CBD through its website. It aims to create the finest CBD experiences using optimum levels of CBD. For example, its Ritual CBD Serum contains pure CBD paired with complementary botanicals and is formulated to encourage repair and rejuvenation of the skin. Each product claims to deliver an optimum amount of 40-60mg of pure CBD per day.
Belinda Carli, Cosmetics Chemist and Founder of the Institute of Personal Care Science (IPCS) has seen several new ingredients launches emerge targeting face and body care, with clinical efficacy data to support their use and cosmetic claims. Products include:
● Encapsulated CBD in Lipobelle Pino C by Mibelle Biochemistry
● Cannabis plant stem cells by Vytrus Biotech with microbiota benefits such as Kannabia Sense
● Hemp Butters with standardized content of CBD, such as the ingredient released by Hallstar
To overcome the uncertainty and concerns over the regulatory environment surrounding CBD, some ingredient companies are exploring smart innovations. Examples include two ingredients and brands that are thought to activate the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2):
● CLR Berlin has launched AnnonaSense CLR derived from custard apple
● Ashland has launched cb2-skin, derived from the patchouli plant
From the brand perspective, large multinationals have on the whole typically avoided the CBD trend, due to its legal status causing ambiguity, Innova research shows. However, that may be changing. In 2020, Avon released its CBD skin care line and Colgate Palmolive bought CBD personal care company Hello Products. Indie beauty brands have also been entering the arena, particularly in the Americas, with notable brands in CBD including Kuida, cbdMD and Yuyo Botanics.
Future of CBD in categories
Looking ahead, the evolving naturals trend is expected to see the growth of functional natural ingredients, Innova predicts. BPC brands that receive the strongest response from consumers are likely to be those using hero ingredients with perceived natural moisturizing and healing benefits like CBD.
Drawing on the popularity of moisturizing and hydration claims, Innova highlights Revuele CBD nourishing and moisturizing intensive facial cream in its Skin Care Trends Analysis 2021 report. The CBD product was launched in 2020 and claims to soothe, protect and rejuvenate the skin, while also protecting against external factors.
“CBD is resonating most strongly with consumers in skin care as a natural anti-aging and anti-inflammatory substance,” says Matthews.
“It has the power to be a true disruptor in the beauty and wellness space, due to its natural/ethical credentials, but this can only happen if the whole industry gets on board with the CBD trend,” Matthews concludes.
In the future, Innova’s insights predict the current CBD focus on skin care will broaden to body care, scalp care and greater choice in hair care.
“This is definitely a trend with huge potential and although the future of the category will rest on the legal status of CBD for cosmetics and personal care, legislation is gradually opening up, which will allow this trend to develop at full throttle,” explains Innova in its Top 20 Industry-Wide Trends on CBD.
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist