How do CBD oil beauty products work?
You've probably already heard a lot about CBD oil in beauty, and if you haven’t, expect clients to start asking questions soon. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil comes from the cannabis sativa plant but doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, so is fully legal in the UK.
The difference between CBD and cannabis as a drug lies in the strain of the plant it is extracted from – hemp or marijuana. While the marijuana plant contains very high levels of THC (the psychoactive compound that gets weed users “high”), alongside cannabidiol, hemp generally contains less than 0.3%, making it a safe source of THC-free CBD.
In beauty, CBD oil is being used for its soothing and antioxidant properties, making it an appealing plant-based alternative for all manner of consumers, be they concerned about skin sensitivity, lines and wrinkles, or the effects of pollution on the skin. “The benefits of CBD oil are still relatively unknown to the average client, although we’re slowly seeing awareness influencing demand,” says Kirsten Maine, co-director of Live True, which has several hair and beauty salons across London and started offering a CBD facial in January.
The treatment uses CBD oil-infused products from MGC Derma, a high-end skincare brand that grows hemp in Europe and has a comprehensive range of CBD products, which are used alongside peptides and stem cells in a full facial protocol. “We designed a facial that incorporates the oil at every stage so that clients can truly benefit from the active ingredient,” says Maine.
Another early adopter of CBD products was London-based aesthetic clinic The Harley Street Skin Clinic, which began its own case studies into the effects of CBD on the skin after becoming aware of the ingredient as an anxiety suppressant. “We always conduct an efficacy trial for a minimum of six months with any ingredient new to the menu, and we tested both CBD cream and topical oil for skin concerns such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema,” explains co-founder Lesley Reynolds.
The clinic’s CBD facial combines machine-based technology with massage and products from Dutch brand Maripharm, which has 20 years of research into CBD behind it. Interestingly, the treatment begins with the therapist administering a drop of pure CBD oil orally “to aid relaxation, reduce anxiety, calm tight muscles and gently alleviate pain, should it exist”, Reynolds explains, adding, “We do insist that clients either check with their own physician or have a consultation with one of the clinic doctors beforehand to ensure there is absolutely no anticipated interaction with existing medications or conditions, however tenuous the risk.”
CBD’s plant-based, vegan credentials make it a timely addition to treatment menus, likely to strike a chord with clients who lead eco or health-conscious lifestyles, as well as those who want to explore natural anti-ageing ingredients before turning to more advanced procedures. “We were surprised by how popular the facial is with such a wide cross-section of clients. While it certainly has age-defying and calming properties that might appeal to some clients, the skin-brightening and plant-based origins of the CBD oil appeal to others,” says Maine.
Meanwhile, The Harley Street Skin Clinic has seen the highest uptake from clients wanting help to combat lifestyle stress and the skin challenges that come with living in the city. “CBD soothes skin that is affected by pollution, emotional stress, a bad diet, smoking and alcohol… it’s a potential leveller to combat lifestyle and environment issues,” says Reynolds, “and the proven anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil can help with healing, whether skin is red, dry or irritated.”
Hot CBD oil products
It’s not just salons that are recognising the part CBD oil can play in tackling clients’ pollution-ravaged skin. Murad was one of the first professional skincare brands to tap into the cannabis beauty trend with its Revitalixir Recovery Serum. The serum contains cannabis sativa seed oil, which, while not a source of cannabidiol, is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and is rich in omega fatty acids that can easily penetrate the skin.
“We are leveraging cannabis sativa seed oil for its barrier lipid replenishment abilities,” explains Kristen Robinson, senior director of product development at Murad. “Because hemp seed oil supports resilience in the skin barrier, it works very well with the key technologies used in Revitalixir to relax the look of expression lines, and boost hydration, refining texture and soothing the skin.”