After a year of seeing cocktail nails, coathanger eyebrows, ombre lashes and Christmas nose hair extensions in the spotlight, we’re well overdue for a beauty trend that a) won’t get you kicked out of church, and b) has some form of dermatological benefit.
Enter: cannabis skin care.
Err, is it legal?
Since 2012, nine U.S. states have legalised recreational cannabis, and another 22 have given it the nod for medical use. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the land Down Under.
However, Victoria has led the charge by introducing legislation to legalise medical cannabis at the beginning of 2017, all the other states and territories have since followed suit. What this means for Australia is that one day soon chronic pain sufferers will have access to alternative medicines, and the rest of us will enjoy silky smooth skin.
So how does it work?
So why is cannabis skin care smoking up the global beauty industry? To understand that, you have to understand the core ingredient—CBD.
CBD stands for cannabidiol which is one of the purified active compounds found in hemp plants. It’s not psychoactive, which means massaging it into your t-zone can’t ‘get you high’ (it’s the psychoactive compound, THC, that does that), but studies have found that it does have a whole host of health benefits.
This includes reducing pain and inflammation for those suffering from eczema, psoriasis and acne, as well as supporting the anti-ageing, antioxidant, analgesic and anti-anxiety properties found in traditional skin care products.
Earlier this year, Olivia Wilde told the New York Times she was a huge believer in CBD body lotions because of the relaxing benefits they had on her skin. The likes of Busy Phillips, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mandy Moore have also been heard singing their praises of the new trend too.
So......where can we get it?
It seems the new ingredient is destined for more than just fifteen minutes in the spotlight, with an increasing number of major retailers around the world putting their hands up to have it lathered on their shelves.
Earlier this year, Cult Beauty—the UK’s leading online makeup and skin care retailer—joined the ranks of CBD stockists when it launched its first partnership with a cannabis-based brand—MGC Derma. Co-founder, Alexia Inge, told Harper’s Bazaar:
“The legalisation of Marijuana [in multiple American states] has led to a flurry of research on the effects it has on the human body. It’s widely celebrated for its medicinal properties, but one of the unexpected side effects was the discovery of how amazingly calming and anti-inflammatory certain cannabinoids are on the skin”.
Which brands should I look for?
As we mentioned earlier, one of the names setting the bar high for CBD skin care is European brand, MGC Derma, who are in fact owned by an Australian pharmaceuticals company called MGC Pharma, which specialises in Cannabis-based solutions for the symptoms of conditions like epilepsy.
Not only does MGC Derma have the upper-hand in terms of medical research-backed formulas, but their products have proven results when it comes to achieving the kind of smooth skin that makes Gwyneth Paltrow jealous.
Their range includes three dedicated lines—anti-aging, essentials and Derma Plus—and no less than eighteen different cream, balms and serums for every skin type under the sun (and the SPF protection to protect you from it!).
Also stocked by Cult Beauty is Kiki Health, which has a CBD Oil Collection dedicated to products containing high quality, whole plant extracts. They have three types of oils available in different levels of CBD concentration, ranging from 5-25%.
A third brand making waves in Hollywood is Lord Jones who use a unique ‘pain and wellness’ formula in their body lotion to provide relief from pain, inflammation and a variety of skin conditions.
Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean you can’t lather up with any of these products at the moment, however, if you do make your way overseas to certain places in the U.S. and Europe, you can drink it for all they care.
What about In Australia?
For now, while we’re still waiting for the pollies to get their act together and bring this trend Down Under, there are a couple of ways you can get your hands on cannabis-inspired products here in Australia.
The Body Shop’s Hemp Heavy Duty Lip Care is infused with hemp seed oil that soothes even the most chapped lips. Alternatively, Malin+Goetz have an entire range that uses the spicy floral notes of bergamot, black pepper, magnolia and patchouli to recreate the scent in its perfumes, candles and body wash.
Image credit: Pericone MD