stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
BEAUTY GOES GREEN
space
The beauty industry is jumping on the marijuana bandwagon despite a lack of evidence that it's a useful addition to skin care, Caitlin Agnew reports
space
By CAITLIN AGNEW
Special to The Globe and Mail
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Saturday, June 9, 2018 – Page P12

The beauty world loves a hot new ingredient. Walk into your local Sephora and you'll see signs for categories of products containing things such as rose, soy and various types of tea, each boasting its own unique self-care cachet. In 2018, nothing has more buzz in the beauty world than cannabis. The provocative plant has infiltrated skin care, cosmetics and fragrance, making bold promises of curing everything from inflammation to acne.

But are there really benefits behind the hype? You don't have to wait for recreational legalization to find out. While impeNDing changes to cannabis laws in Canada will no doubt increase interest in the beautifying nature of cannabis, its use in makeup, skin care and fragrance is already showing signs of growth. As the lingering social stigma surrounding cannabis use goes up in smoke, savvy beauty marketers are getting their customers high on the hype, while some experts are calling "puff puff bluff" on the lack of evidence of its effectiveness.

Part of the apothecary appeal of cannabis has to do with the growing popularity of the clean-beauty movement, says Amy Chung, beauty-industry analyst at marketresearch firm NPD Group. According to their Canadian research, facial skin-care products that focus solely on plant- or flower-based ingredients make up about 15 per cent of sales. Sales in this category were also up 15 per cent in the 12 months ending April, 2018. Chung sees this particular botanical as a niche ingredient that is undergoing a high-end makeover. "Now that natural beauty and clean beauty and green beauty is so cool and on the rise, you have these companies that are really capitalizing on that. They're taking a concept that's been done before and elevating it, repackaging it, making it a lot prettier and reintroducing it to the market."

Like any newly trendy ingredient, cannabis's efficacy in those types of products depends on who you ask - and how you're using it. Broadly, cannabis beauty products fall into two categories: those made with hemp-seed oil, a botanical extract rich in essential fatty acids, and those containing cannabidiol. Commonly referred to as CBD, cannabidiol is one of the many nonpsychoactive sisters of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that imparts the high (the Cannabis sativa plant has more than 100 different cannabinoids, chemicals that are also produced by the human body's endocannabinoid system, which helps modulate functions including sleep and appetite).

CBD is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can ease various skin conditions, and its applications for makeup and fragrance vary. It can be applied topically or sublingually, where the substance is absorbed by membranes under the tongue. Hemp and CBD oil in skin-care products available in Canada are legally sourced from hemp plants bred specifically to contain negligible amounts of THC (less than 0.3 per cent), meaning that it won't get you high and it won't show up on a drug test.

In makeup, hemp oil brings its veganfriendly conditioning properties to millennial-focused brands. Earlier this year, New York-based Milk Makeup launched Kush High Volume Mascara. Its name is a cutesy double-entendre ("Kush" being a name for a strain of Cannabis indica) for a product that uses CBD-rich oil as a thickening substitute for beeswax.

While smokers of cannabis have been known to go to great lengths to camouflage its unmistakably musky sillage, some perfumers are emphasizing the plant's herbaceous aroma. Balenciaga's Florabotanica contains a "formula of psychosensory plants," while By Kilian's Smoke for the Soul is described by the brand as a "forbidden flirtation with bitter psychotropic tobacco."

But it's the skin-care segment that has been the most eager to adopt cannabis into its formulas. "Hemp is a really interesting plant because it's been grown as a source of seed oil and fibre for a really, really long time," says Jennifer Hirsch, the global beauty botanist for The Body Shop, the Britain-based, botanically focused skin-care brand that launched its own hemp-based creams back in 1998. Hirsch says the benefits of using hemp oil - and plant oils in general - in skin care is that they have a similar makeup to the sebum, the oils and moisturizing factors that our skin naturally produces. "Basically, in augmenting the barrier system, it helps to reduce trans-epidermal water loss, and that leaves your skin better hydrated, and hydrated skin functions more optimally," she says. "We see that when you look at your skin as smoother, more supple skin."

But dermatologist Dr. Gurbir Dhadwal says that not enough studies or trials have been done to indicate the effectiveness of cannabis to treat any medical skin conditions. "There may be components that are helpful, but we just don't know yet," he says. At Guildford Dermatology where he practises in Surrey, B.C., Dhadwal sees patients from a wide range of backgrounds who are inquiring about and using skin care that contains cannabis-derived ingredients to treat the symptoms of everything from rashes to skin cancer. "Using it for skin cancer to me seems quite frightening because what happens if it gets worse and we don't know? If someone is using it for a rash and their rash gets worse, well, that's unfortunate but it's typically not going to take their life."

Using hemp oil to tend to skin is nothing new. The Body Shop's Hirsch posits that it's likely been used on skin for several millennia in much the same way olive oil has.

What is new to the current market is the addition of CBD. In the United States, where recreational cannabis consumption is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, indie skin-care brands are marketing CBD-enhanced topical products in luxe, minimalist packaging.

At the forefront is Lord Jones, a California-based maker of CBD-infused candies, tinctures and skin-care products. The brand has a high-profile following that includes Canadian stylist Karla Welch, who uses its body lotion on her A-List clients'

feet before red-carpet appearances. Actor and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg is one half of Whoopi & Maya, a line of female-focused soaks, rubs, tinctures and edibles that contain both THC and CBD. Celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown, meanwhile, told The New York Times she prefers Theramu, a brand of wellness-focused tinctures, balms and bath crystals made with CBD and emu oils.

Even with these celebrity endorsements and the changing legal landscape around cannabis consumption, it hasn't been smooth sailing for the United States' topical CBD brands, and you won't find any mention of Theramu's key ingredient on its website or packaging. "One of the things that has plagued the industry here in the U.S. is banking and credit-card processing," Theramu's CEO Joel Greengrass says. "Every company that I know, including us, has lost both their banking and credit-card processing many times."

The payment-processing issue is a roadblock that illustrates the continuing confusion surrounding the legality of cannabis at all levels, and part of the reason why the evidence of its health and wellness benefits is mostly anecdotal. A client before joining Theramu, Greengrass uses his company's products to manage his symptoms of multiple sclerosis, taking an elixir twice daily and applying the topical balm nightly on his legs and the base of his neck. "We have a lot of nerves that come into one area there," he says. "And then every morning, I put it on the bottom of my feet before I put my socks on because that's where I get a lot of cramping. My feet are like baby feet right now because of the side effect of it being such an amazing moisturizer."

Blazing the CBD trail in Canada is Calyx Wellness Centre, which bills itself as the country's first CBD boutique, located in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. In 2016, Danielle Blair opened Calyx after her husband used CBD to recover from severe headaches as a result of a brain tumour. In addition to CBD products for people and their pets, Calyx offers reiki treatments, crystal healing and education.

This spring, however, Blair stopped carrying topical CBD products, mainly because she believes sublingual application is more reliable and effective in terms of both cost and benefit. "Topical is great for pain management as an anti-inflammatory but, if you're looking at something like a beauty skin-care product because you have acne or rosacea or eczema or something like that, I would always suggest sublingual because it works from the inside out," she says. With topical skin care, "it's almost like you're paying just because it's a cool additive rather than because it's something that's effective."

According to Dhadwal, the dermatologist, the lack of scientific proof is partially owing to medical cannabis occupying an unregulated space for so long. "It's sort of hard to give people clear advice because there is no clear advice," he says. "In general, the problem is that the research is super-inconclusive and there's not a lot of it."

Associated Graphic

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL; ISTOCK (PLANT IMAGE).

1. Malin+Goetz Cannabis Eau de Parfum, US$165 through malinandgoetz.com. 2. Marley Natural Hemp Seed Lip Balm, $6.50 through marleynatural.com. 3. The Body Shop Hemp Hard-Working Hand Protector, $30 at The Body Shop (thebodyshop.ca). 4. Eve Lom Radiance Face Oil, $104 at Murale. 5. Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, $29 at Sephora (sephora.ca). 6. Theramu Relieve, US$70 through theramu.com.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Heather_Mallick Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page