Cannabis is big news in the beauty industry, but are the products with it in any good? Stylist’s Beauty editor Lucy Partington tried a few to find out.
I’m quite strict when it comes to my skincare choices. I stick to what I know works and I’m a fan of active ingredients – I use acids and retinol without fear and my skin is probably the best it’s ever been.
But lately there’s been an influx of products landing on the Stylist beauty desk that have one common ingredient: cannabis. It’s mostly in the form of cannabidiol (CBD), or hemp, and it’s taking the beauty world by storm. But why the sudden interest?
Nativ Segev, co-founder and MD of MGC Pharmaceuticals, believes it’s because the world is opening up to the concept of cannabis as medicine, so all the other benefits of the cannabis plant are being highlighted too. “That means more time and money is being invested into research all over the world, which is providing evidence about the real benefits of cannabis-based products,” he says.
It’s probably worth mentioning the fact that there is a very distinct difference between cannabidiol, the active ingredient used in cosmetics, and THC – which is the psychoactive element of cannabis. “The plant itself has more than 150 different elements within it, called phytocannabinoids. Of those 150, only one – THC – has adverse effects (AKA gets you high),” explains Segev.
However, cannabis is said to have soothing, calming and line-fighting abilities when it’s topically applied – which is what I’m most interested in. Here are the products I incorporated into my routine and how I got on…
The cleanser: Allies of Skin Fresh Slate Purifying Cleanser + Masque
There aren’t many CBD-infused cleansers, but this is formulated with hemp oil (which is made from a different part of the cannabis plant to CBD). Its hero ingredients are Manuka honey and salicylic acid so it’s not quite as potent on the cannabis front as it could be, but this has fast become a firm favourite of mine.
I’ve been using it as my second cleanse every evening and I’m convinced it helped stopped my monthly hormonal breakout in its tracks. It is quite thick, but I quite like that because it means I have to indulge in a little bit of facial massage to rub it in – never a bad thing!
The eye cream: MGC Derma CBD Stem Cells & Peptides Eye Cream
First: this is literally the biggest pot (no pun intended) I’ve ever seen. It’s massive and will last so long. I should also point out that I’m a cynic when it comes to eye cream: I don’t believe it can work harder than the products I put on the rest of my face. This one is enriched with CBD and peptides and promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, and it also claims to help restore the elasticity around the eyes.
Granted, a week probably isn’t long enough to notice a mega difference, but this stuff has firmly got me into the habit of applying eye cream. It’s not thick or greasy, it absorbs easily and after a stressful few days it did help reduce the puffiness I had delightfully acquired through a lack of sleep.
The perfume: Escentric Molecules Escentric 04
I’ve been wearing this perfume since it launched last year, and only when I was researching for this feature did I learn that, alongside notes of javanol, sandalwood, grapefruit, and rose, is a hint of marijuana. Who’d have guessed? This fragrance always gets me compliments though: it’s fresh and zesty but in a really good way – and that’s coming from somebody who famously doesn’t like grapefruit. In true Escentric Molecules style, it’s not a shouty scent and it won’t enter the room before you do, but that’s what makes me love it more.
The face oil: Votary Super Seed Facial Oil
There’s no room in my current routine for facial oil so incorporating this made me realise how much I do actually love using them. Votary oils are the best in my humble opinion – they’re made with natural plant oils which makes them super nourishing and a real treat to use. Especially at the end of a long day! I didn’t need to use much, a couple of drops after cleansing was enough to massage into my whole face and my skin literally drank it up. I definitely woke up more glowing than usual, too, which is always a good thing.
The shower gel: Malin + Goetz Cannabis Hand + Body Wash
A bit of a rogue choice and not entirely skincare, but this shower gel is warm and spicy and I found it really comforting and satisfying to use. It’s probably more a winter shower gel than a spring/summer one… if switching shower gel with the seasons is even a thing! It didn’t dry me out like some can, either, which is probably down to the amino acids in there. The scent flooded the bathroom and woke me up on tired mornings – something that’s always welcomed, especially towards the end of the week. And, importantly, it got the seal of approval from my housemates when I moved it from the shower to the sink – always a good sign!
Main Image: Pixabay