Health & Beauty

Everything You Need To Know About Hemp Products, According To An Expert

By Sophie Oddo
7th Jul 2020

If you’ve never heard of hemp beauty products before, prepare for your life to change. Or if you have but you’ve mistakenly thought they were taboo, then prepare to get schooled on this powerful and perfectly-innocent plant.

Hemp has been nourishing dry skin for decades and the team at The Body Shop have harnessed the goodness of these little seeds since 1992, so with that said, we’ve enlisted their help to give us the lowdown on all things hemp seed oil and why it’s become such a trending ingredient in the beauty industry. 

What Is It?

Hemp is used in beauty products by extracting hemp seed oil that comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. Having been a rich source of food, fibre and vegetable oil for thousands of years, packed with tons of protein and nourishing fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6, it’s no wonder this plant is hailed as a ‘miracle crop’. If you’re curious about the smell of hemp beauty products, The Body Shop Product Specialist Melissa Gregory explains that their products smell just as amazing as their results, “Hemp has a slight scent; I describe it as fresh and earthy. It doesn’t hang around too long, making it perfect for you to layer your everyday fragrance”.

What Is The Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil And CBD?

A common confusion regarding hemp seed oil is its association with Cannabidiol (CBD). While both are derived from varieties of the cannabis plant, their make-up and benefits are completely different. Put simply, the hemp seed oil is extracted from the small seeds of the plant, which contain only trace amounts of cannabinoids, but are richer in nutrients and fatty acids that help to keep hair and skin nourished—which is why it has become such a popular ingredient in food and skincare products. Alternatively, CBD oil is derived from the cannabis leaves, flowers and stalks, where cannabinoids have far higher trace levels. Because of its high concentration, CBD oil is more beneficial for holistic remedies.

Why Should I Use It?

When it comes to the cosmetic industry, there are few ingredients that compare to the performance and efficacy of hemp as its incredibly nourishing qualities restores and repairs both skin and hair. Melissa loves incorporating hemp products into her routine for added hydration, “I love starting the day with a Hemp Hydrating & Protecting Shower Oil, the foam body wash cleanses my skin without drying it out and leaves it with a healthy glow. Then a few times a week I will end the day with a Hemp Overnight Nourishing Mask. I simply apply a thick layer to my face, leave for 15mins, wipe off any excess and then off to sleep I go. The next morning my skin feels super soft and comforted.”

Is It Sustainable?

Aside from being wonderfully-nourishing and helping to restore the skin barrier to lock in moisture, it’s also considered a ‘miracle’ crop due to its incredible regenerative abilities. Hemp plants help to structure soil and regenerate land between food crops and are known to be four times more effective at capturing CO2 than trees. The crops also don’t require any pesticides or herbicides, providing habitat for wildlife. As not all hemp seel oil is sourced in the same way, it’s important to ensure your products are being sourced ethically and sustainably. The Body Shop sources their hemp seed oil from a cooperative of 300 farmers in France, where the farmers have devised a way to use the hemp plant in its entirety. The oil from the seed is used in beauty products, the press cake is used as a high protein animal feed, the plant fibre is used to make cloth and rope and even the woody core is used to produce a strong fibre for door panels, natural insulation, equine bedding and sustainable building material used in the construction industry. This takes zero waste to a whole new level. 

Where Do I Start?

If you’re unfamiliar with hemp products, it can be hard to know where to start. Melissa Gregory recommends starting with a couple of products to feel your way through hemp products, “If I had to pick a power combo it would certainly include our Hemp Hand Protector, the results are almost instant when treating ultra-dry skin. And our Hemp Heavy Duty Lip Care, which is the perfect balm to soften and protect lips —  it can even be worn under your lipstick!”

Keen to see and feel the ample benefits from hemp products? Check out The Body Shop’s full Hemp range here and thank us later.

Image credit: Valentin Lacoste

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by The Body Shop and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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