Globally, the market for legal and illegal cannabis stands at around €136bn (US$150bn), but by 2025 the market will surge to €150bn (US$166bn) and legal cannabis should represent 77% of the market, according to Euromonitor International.
In its recent White Paper Here Comes Cannabis – How Legalisation Will Disrupt Global Industries, the market research provider said cannabis was “poised to disrupt virtually every consumer industry” out there, and whilst cannabidiol (CBD) remained the “functional ingredient of choice”, formulations would likely evolve to include blends of cannabinoids as science advanced.
Skin care ‘main driver’ in cannabis beauty
Writing in the white paper, head of drinks and tobacco at Euromonitor International and author of the report Zora Milenkovic said hemp seed oil had been used in beauty for decades, notably by The Body Shop with its hemp range it introduced onto the market back in the 1980s.
However, Milenkovic said hemp had started to lose its buzz and been out-spotlighted by “the new superhero ingredient in beauty” – CBD. While hemp was still used in beauty products, she said products carried only “occasional references to hemp”, if any at all. Instead, messaging centred around CBD and its anti-oxidising, oil-balancing and anti-inflammatory properties.
While CBD-infused beauty products could be seen across the category – skin care, toiletries and cosmetics – she said: “Euromonitor International expects skin care, specifically brands operating in the therapeutic and dermocosmetics space, to be the main driver of cannabis beauty growth, tying in with current holistic and health-aligned beauty trends of repair, protection and therapy.”
‘Very few’ big brands in cannabis beauty, so far…
For the time being, Milenkovic said most players in the cannabis beauty space remained small; the likes of Milk Make-Up and MGC Derma. Ho Karan was another start-up example that CosmeticsDesign-Europe recently interviewed.
“Very few of the big beauty brands have cannabis products, with exceptions such as Unilever’s Murad serum (containing hemp seed) and Estée Lauder’s Origins face mask (containing hemp seed oil), though every major beauty player is likely to explore cannabis or CBD-infused beauty as part of their portfolio within the next five years,” she said.
Brands operating in the therpautic and dermocosmetics space, she said, would likely tie CBD into current holistic and health-aligned beauty trends. Incorporation of the psychoactive compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), she said, would likely be used to align with trends in neurocosmetics.
Irina Barbalova, global lead for beauty and personal care at Euromonitor International, said these “unique hero ingredients” offered manufacturers a “much-needed point of differentiation in a cluttered beauty environment”.
The remedial and therapeutic credentials of cannabis, Barbalova said, presented “an immediate investment prospect”, be it through own brand reinvention or external acquisition.
“With beauty increasingly seen through the lens of holistic wellness and more ethical consumption, exploring the cannabis space in terms of product formulation and overall proposition will be an opportunity hard to resist,” she said. “…While further research, regulation and education are key prerequisites, cannabis may well become as ubiquitous as any other mainstream beauty ingredient in the not-so-distant future.”
CBD Beauty webinar on-demand, EU regulatory overview
Earlier this month, CosmeticDesign senior editor Simon Pitman led an online webinar about CBD beauty, alongside our editor-in-chief of the Americas Stephen Daniells. If you missed it, you can catch up here: On-demand playback of How to Tap Into CBD Beauty The Right Way! webinar.
For a deep dive into current CBD beauty regulations in the European Union, we've also got you covered with our earlier in-depth coverage on how inspections throughout the EU market on CBD products would likely increase.