So what’s new in the world of CBD or cannabidiol skincare? It is now a couple of years since we first covered cannabinoids as skincare ingredients in our blog and podcast, so we thought it was high time to revisit CBD. Cannabidiol cosmetics are now mainstreaming as major supermarket and drugstore shelves testify. You can find CBD cosmetics ranging from skincare to haircare as well as, more surprisingly, in cosmetics like makeup – even in mascara!
With CBD in cosmetics almost commonplace – though still illegal as well as highly regulated in some parts of the world – we wondered whether brands’ and consumers’ fascination with cannabinoids is likely to fade. Is the beauty industry milking the CBD trend as a cash-cow while it lasts? Has it gone slightly mad in its application of cannabinoids in formulations where it makes no sense? And just how can natural, indie beauty formulators work with CBD in their formulations – and gain a share of what is now a very crowded CBD skincare marketplace?
To answer these questions and more, podcast host, chartered environmentalist, biologist and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier turned to Colleen Quinn, who is an award-winning, celebrated clinical aromatherapist, cosmetic chemist and researcher specialising in cannabis research, formulations and education. With a book on CBD skincare publishing as we go to press, Colleen is certainly the go-to industry expert to help unpack the truths from the myths and make sense of CBD as a highly effective, active cosmetic ingredient.
Meet our podcast guest
Colleen Quinn, Founder LabAroma and Labcannamist
Colleen Quinn is committed to delivering functional, therapeutic, plant-based products. Her mission is to inspire and empower people to become a confident plant enthusiasts skilled in curating truly effective therapeutic plant remedies by understanding plant science and backed with evidence. Colleen creatively married aromatherapy and technology to create in 2013 LabAroma, a plant chemistry-based learning tool for the aromatherapy and herbal industry. Seven years later, LabAroma is the world’s leading plant science blending tool with users in twenty four countries reaching the far corners of the globe and now available in four languages. Colleen also founded Labcannamist, an online educational platform running a training programme teaching informative and practical cannabis science and formulations and has just published the CBD Beauty Book.
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In this episode on CBD skincare, you will:
- Find out that cannabinoids were barely talked about by the cosmetic industry until a few years ago as CBD is found only in a few plants; chiefly hemp but also in plants like kale and cocoa.
- Discover that so far around 113 cannabinoids have been identified but that science is still learning about their therapeutic and other properties. There are myriad classifications of cannabinoids which include Cannabidiol (CBD) an active ingredient in cannabis that is derived directly from the hemp plant, as well as THC, which is a psychoactive that is prohibited or highly restricted.
- Hear about Delta-8, a cannabinoid which is predicted to be the ‘next big thing’ in CBD skincare. Delta-8 has pain relief, antioxidant and skin soothing properties but it still sits in a grey area when it comes to the legality of its use. Brands need to be cautious about using it at this stage.
- Be assured that CBD is here to stay, but is likely to become just another active ingredient to choose as the hype wanes and the CBD trend plateaus out.
Key take-outs when formulating with CBD include:
- Ensure your use of CBD comes from a place of purpose not just revenue. CBD opens up a lot of possibilities as a highly effective active ingredient that can work alone in a formulation. But, make sure you have a genuine, authentic reason to include it in your cosmetic product rather than use it simply because it’s on trend.
- Do your homework and research CBD with your target customers and market. Ask if CBD is an ingredient suited to resolving their skincare issues and whether they will respond positively to its inclusion in your products.
- Find a good CBD supply partner for your source of CBD as it will be your hero ingredient. The closer you source your ingredients to their place of harvest and processing, the better. You need to vet your sources and know the provenance of your CBD to ensure you have confidence in their methods and paperwork.
- Learn that CBD while common in cosmetics is not legal for use in all parts of the world. CBD is legal in cosmetics in the UK, for example, so long as the THC level is below 0.2 per cent. Do not assume that if it is legal in the country where you produce CBD skincare that you can export or sell your CBD products legally in other jurisdictions. Many shippers and couriers won’t carry CBD products at all – so check this too.
Find Colleen Quinn and her work on:
CBD Training programme: Labcannamist
The CBD Beauty Book
Colleen’s book ‘The CBD Beauty Book‘, subtitled ‘Make your own natural beauty products with the goodness extracted from hemp’ publishes 13th July, 2021 and is available from leading bookstores online. The CBD Beauty Book shows you how to incorporate CBD oil into a range of homemade beauty products for your face, body, and hair, all made with natural, vegan, and nut-free ingredients. Recipes include an anti-ageing rosehip serum, anti-inflammatory mango face mask, vanilla-enriched body butter, arnica muscle massage oil, and lavender sleep spray.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.