What is CBD skin care worth? Industry executives talk market opportunities as retailers buy in

As companies prepare for legal changes to the hemp industry after the plant’s federal reclassification, a sleeping giant in the CBD sector is beginning to step into its full financial potential: skin-care products.

The $18 billion U.S. skin-care industry is seeing a flood of CBD entrants, including large retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Sephora and Barneys.

The skin-care scramble makes sense considering the national market for hemp-derived CBD is expected to balloon to $7 billion by 2023, according to Hemp Industry Daily market projections.

As retail giants enter the CBD skin-care sector, hemp and CBD companies rely on their expertise to reserve a substantial piece of the market.

Hemp Industry Daily spoke with several CBD skin-care executives about cannabidiol’s market potential and why its value extends far beyond this trend.

What is the scope of the CBD skin-care market?

Christie Tarleton

Christie Tarleton, co-founder, Yuyo Botanics, Nashville, Tennessee: Skin care is the most accessible (CBD) route because you’re not ingesting it. The biggest fear people have (about CBD) is ingesting it and getting high.

When you have skin care, it opens up a lot of other minds. You can’t get high. There are so many benefits to hemp that are medical.

Jenelle Kim, co-founder, JBK Wellness Labs, San Diego: Hemp has been around for thousands of years. While the CBD industry now is really taking hold, it’s existed in Chinese medicine since 2700 B.C.E. (Before Common Era). It was known to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs of Chinese medicine. That takes away from of the uncertainty.

Jenelle Kim and Craig Nandoo

We get multiple inquiries every day about CBD and skin care, also on the nutritional side. There are so many people looking.

The difference now is people are coming to much more awareness of proper manufacturing processes. Maybe two years ago, people didn’t know the difference, whether it was made in somebody’s home, an unlicensed facility. They now know the difference.

Martha Van Inwegen, co-founder, Life Elements, Atascadero, California: There is a flood of new products hitting the market every day.

We started experimenting with cannabis, THC and CBD blends, over three years ago. … The restrictions on producing and selling hemp-derived CBD were quite a bit less (than THC products) – albeit, there still was a lot of gray area, specifically with banking issues until the 2018 Farm Bill passed.

Casey Georgeson

Casey Georgeson, founder, Saint Jane Beauty, San Francisco: The market for CBD in skin care is just getting started as people discover how powerful this ingredient is. But the devotion so many people have speaks volumes about its potency.

Amy Andrle, co-founder, L’eela Body Care, Denver: We always come back to, not, “Why would you use CBD on your skin?” but, “Why would you not use it?” … We want to normalize CBD.

The demographic of sales expanded beyond the areas that we expected initially. Midwest states like Iowa, Michigan and Oklahoma are taking up a larger percentage of sales than initially expected. With the normalization of this product, where it’s actually going has no limit.

Where will CBD skin care be in 10 years?

Julie Perington

Julie Perington, co-owner, JL Essencials, Boulder, Colorado: I think it’s going to be really big once it’s technically allowed to be sold. Right now, for the bigger skin care companies, because it’s not (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved, they’re really aren’t able get into the market.

Craig Nandoo, co-founder, JBK Wellness Labs, San Diego: In 10 years, CBD will be mainstream. Before, it was kind of an intriguing, mysterious ingredient that people were starting to talk about.

It’s becoming part of the common vernacular. There are mainstream companies that have traditionally not associated with hemp because it’s not been their space now wanting to put CBD in their products. Big-box retailers and department stores are becoming much more open to it.

Van Inwegen: We’d like to believe that state and federal rules will come into alignment so that the following issues will gain some clarity and make it easier for the consumer to understand. These issues include:

  • Standardized nomenclature for CBD dosages and types.
  • CBD isolates versus full-spectrum products.
  • Best farming and cultivation practices.
  • Standardized best manufacturing processes for CBD-specific products.
  • Accelerated efficacy testing so consumers can read between the lines of marketing claims versus established facts.

Amy Andrle

Andrle: In 10 years, it will be a completely normalized product. It’s just going to be another amazing ingredient, and some people will opt for products that obtain that ingredient. It will be as common as Argan oil, vitamin C in serums. It’s just going to fall in line for consumers.

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Lindsey Bartlett can be reached at [email protected]

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