In 2019, Cannabis surfaced as a major emerging trend in the food and beverage landscape – and now it’s emerging in beauty. Skincare is the primary driver in leading the beauty industry to incorporate Cannabis/CBD into products.
Remember in the 80s The Body Shop introduced its hemp range, but hemp lost its luster as a hero ingredient because CBD replaced it with its anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties, taking the spotlight.
For the time being, very few major beauty brands (whether prestige or mass) have dipped their toe in the Cannabis water – the exceptions being Estée Lauder’s Origins which introduced a face mask with hemp seed oil and Unilever’s Murad serum that contains hemp seed.
But given the explosion in Cannabis related products in adjacent categories, we’ll start to see the big beauty brands embrace the idea and introduce other offerings. For now, the CBD based beauty market seems to belong to the smaller, Indie brands.
One of those indie brands is BeBody, founded by well-known and established beauty executive, Kathryn Jourav or KJ, as she’s known. For 33 years, she has been in the front seat of beauty/skincare, beginning as an Estée Lauder beauty counter adviser in college.
She then grew her career and knowledge as an accomplished executive in the beauty business by successfully building brands and launching Tom Ford Beauty, Omorovicza and Charlotte Tilbury.
She founded BeBody in 2019 and the CBD infused skincare wellness line has already grown a steady following. As an established industry professional and entrepreneur, KJ shares her insights into this emerging area with Beauty Packaging’s readers
Q: What prompted you to create BeBody?
A: For 33 years, I have educated people on products and sold them products that made them feel good about themselves and their appearance. My experience prompted me to launch BeBody because I know that people are seeking more than just aesthetic solutions now – people crave a brand that is a movement – a brand that creates a community, with products, rituals, and culture/society - to be well and live well.
Q: What were some of the risks you took on, if any, in starting a company with arguably provocative ingredient stories?
A: I never viewed CBD as a risk; it just happened via collaboration and chance that we found CBD. The original January 2015 business did not have CBD as a part of the story. We tested its efficacy and it embodies our mission to empower movement. We view it as a good ingredient. We are not a CBD brand we just use it as one of the special ingredients.
Q: How does BeBody approach beauty -- what’s your mission and vision, your POV on women & beauty?
A. Our vision is to expose women and men to use the product every day. We created an easy to use good-for-you product line that feeds skin for energy and happier skin. When your skin is happier, you’re happier – it’s our largest organ and perhaps the one we neglect and even abuse the most.
We’ve learned through experience, global travels, yoga rituals and eating properly that a holistic wellness experience makes us all happier. Our goal to create a thriving brand community that is based on well-fed skin and a nourished spirit. As a brand community, we are approachable and want to teach be-well, live-well.
Q: Where do you see the future of the cannabis market as it relates to beauty, and even wellness, in the US?
A. The marijuana plant is a very unique plant that can-do incredible things - from making concrete for construction to helping children and adults with awful illnesses. It is unfortunate that the Federal government ‘s stance on CBD is negative and the proliferation of cheap offerings that claim to include CBD.
We are investing in our own high standard education on CBD and plan to create our own curriculum based on best-in-class information because we want our team to be BeBody-CBD-Certified to ensure they understand all the benefits the Cannabis plant has to offer.
All BeBody team members are charged with educating our community members on the beneficial properties of CBD. I see Cannabis as a wellness plant that supports well-being that results in beauty.
Q: What are the consumer benefits of CBD infusion into their skincare products - are there tangible skin benefits?
A. The tangible benefits include reducing inflammation and supporting the endocannabinoid system. 10 to 30mg of CBD a day is necessary to support the benefits that CBD provides. The most common recommendation for CBD absorption is using tinctures under the tongue for optimal absorption results.
I recommend preparing the skin with a polish product so that the CBD absorbs more effectively. We incorporate other ingredients such as turmeric and olive oils to reduce inflammation in the skin.
Q: How do these propositions differ from the mainstream corporate beauty industry offerings?
A. The benefits of caring for the body with a ritual of dry polishing and feeding the skin with the finest extra virgin olive oil containing a high content of polyphenols and squalene (strong antioxidants).
Q. Where would you place these benefits in the sea of competitive offerings - how can CBD make the beauty and skincare experience different or better for consumers?
A. CBD is one of many fine ingredients, it is a differentiator as it inspires clean beauty and starts a conversation on the benefits CBD.
Q. Are there other benefits beyond beauty/skin? What is the holistic brand experience that consumers step into with BeBody?
A. People tend to be detached from touching their skin; from spending time to take care of their skin. BeBody promotes the ritual of self- care for skin, getting inspired to make movement a critical part of the day and to be a part of the community, sharing opinions and support.
Q. How does CBD contribute to this experience?
A. The first thing you notice is the scent; CBD provides a scent that is grounding and has overall calming effect. One of the benefits of CBD is it acts as an anti-inflammatory so there are fewer aches and pains which enables/promotes more movement. As a result, all of this contributes to a better state of mind.
Q. How might women (and men) get over their intimidation of these benefits and ingredients? Are there consumer misperceptions or barriers to overcome?
A. I would encourage everyone to seek out education on CBD and the human endocannabinoid system, and how CBD supports that without getting you high. People need to think of it as a nutrient-filled plant instead of a drug - you won't test positive for THC and you won't get the munchies!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Elenita (Elle) Morris is President & CEO of SnapDragon, a female-owned and led global brand design consultancy. Follow Elle on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/elle-elenita-morris/.
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