Cannabinoids and Cosmetics: what’s now, new, and next in the cannabis beauty market

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Aleksandr_Kravtsov)
© Getty Images \ (Aleksandr_Kravtsov)

Related tags cannabinoids CBD Skin care

CBD, CBG, CBC, CBDV, and THCV from cultivated and biotech sources continue to gain momentum as topical skin care ingredients. Here Cosmetics Design looks at new ingredient technologies, new applications, and new products in cannabinoid beauty.

And that short list of cannabinoids is only the start of it. There are nearly 20 known cannabinoids that can be derived from cultivated cannabis as well as compounds from other plants and sources that act on the human endocannabinoid system. Biotech also opens up the potential for not only bioidentical cannabinoids to be produced at scale but also for the development of designer cannabinoids.

Boosting the benefits of CBD with innovative ingredient technology

One of the most obviously promising skin care benefits of CBD is anti-inflammation. And ingredient makers are developing new ways to deliver that benefit as well as to enhance it.

Early last year, Mibelle Biotech launched an ingredient called Lipobelle Pino C, which is encapsulated CBD combined with an extract from the Swiss stone pine tree (also known as the Arolla pine).

The encapsulation makes it easier to include CBD in skin care product formulations and “improves…its bioavailability into the skin,” ​according to a media release about the ingredient. While the Swiss stone pine extract provides an additional anti-inflammation benefit.

The ingredient is available in two versions, one that includes alcohol and one that is alcohol-free. The INCI information (as listed on the Mibelle site) follows:

Lipobelle Pino C: Pinus Cembra Wood Extract (and) Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (and) Cannabis Sativa Leaf Extract (and) Lecithin (and) Alcohol (and) Pentylene Glycol (and) Tocopherol (and) Aqua / Water

Lipobelle Pino C oA: Pinus Cembra Wood Extract (and) Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (and) Cannabis Sativa Leaf Extract (and) Lecithin (and) Tocopherol (and) Glycerin (and) Maltodextrin (and) Aqua/Water

Cannabinoids show potential in both emerging and existing beauty categories

In recent Cosmetics Design coverage of the scalp care category​, Christian Kasteler, Head of R&D for the Utah-based contract manufacturer Dynamic Blending, called attention to several overlooked ingredients in this emerging category, including vitamins and caffeine. He also told this publication that “CBD, CBG, and new cannabinoids are something [formulators and brands] should look at.”

Wellness brands like Sagely, founded by Kerrigan Behrens and Kaley Nicol​, are formulating skin care, topical pain management products, and everything in between with CBD. In response to consumer demand, Sagely recently launched new topical and ingestible products that address inflammation and muscle pain. The brand’s new Extra Strength Relief & Recovery Spray, Relief & Recovery Active Roll-on, and Relief & Recovery Softgels “expand our lineup to give consumers products they have been asking for”​ Behrens tells the press. “We are thrilled,” she says, “to offer these exciting innovations so people can continue to do more of what they love, enabled by the healing power of CBD.”

While brands like Rest Day are promoting a collection of CBD bath soaks​ as Springtime selfcare products. According to a spokesperson for the Rest Day brand, the “Lavender, Lemon Grass and Eucalyptus Mini Recovery soaks [are] each packed with 25mg of CBD. These Mini Recovery Soaks are perfect for sore feet, tender joints, aching hands, or even a luxury mani-pedi. From post-race feet to arthritis, you will love the pain-relieving properties and pleasant smell.”

And a brand called BOTA (owned by Balanced Health Botanicals) makes skin care products with CBD that promise to “hydrate, calm, recover and renew to help you feel your best,” ​according to the brand’s ecommerce site.

Still at this point, much of cannabinoid skin care is a balance between the benefits consumers expect, the claims that can or can’t be made about cannabinoids, and creative ingredient develop and product formulating strategies that allow for brands to meet consumer expectations, align with regulatory guidelines, and create products that can compete in the beauty marketplace.

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