Founded in 2018 as a subsidiary of medical cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences, Kuida Skin Care offered a range of creams, oils, scrubs and sprays for the face, body, hands and hair using a proprietary blend of cannabidiol (CBD) and other active cosmetic ingredients. Available online and in stores across Colombia, North America, Hong Kong and the UK, the range most recently launched into premium beauty retailer Douglas across Spain.
Further European expansion was now on the cards for 2021, according to Elsa Navarro, VP for marketing and wellbeing at Kuida Skin Care.
“Right now, we’re designing the strategy. If you ask me, it would be amazing to reach Germany as it’s the most advanced market in terms of the consumer knowing about CBD – that is one of our goals,” Navarro told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
However, expansion plans would depend on regulations and rely on significant consumer education, she said.
Cannabis beauty – ‘don’t believe everything you read’
“We need to take a step back and tell people: ‘don’t believe everything you read’,” Navarro said.
“[Consumers] need to understand why and what they are consuming and if they really need it, as with any other active ingredient. That’s the biggest opportunity that we have, to create a new market that is for the long run. …The biggest opportunity is restarting the market in Europe, to be completely honest with you. It’s about getting into the teaching of CBD performance on the skin but giving it with real information.”
This real information, she said, had to be science – proving the efficacy of CBD and other cannabis components or any active ingredients in beauty formulations.
“We have to respond as cannabis companies to trigger and be a catalyst to that research, otherwise I don’t think [the market] is going to last a long time.”
“…We’re seeing that there’s a lack of interest in the industry, in general, on understanding how CBD is going to act on the skin, and that’s an approach we’re taking really seriously,” she said.
A science-first approach to ‘dignify the active ingredient’
Kuida was working with a leading LATAM dermatologist who was specialised in anti-aging on all its research and development projects, Navarro said, and planned to continue collaborative scientific research on CBD and other cannabis actives. The company was involved in three lines of research related to skin-related pathologies with cannabis, for example, working with a public hospital in Colombia well referenced as a centre for skin research, she said.
“We’re developing and researching a lot more to be able to launch new lines within the brand, not only to different genders but also in different stages of skin care, and we’re really clear when we say we are cosmeceuticals. We won’t be talking about claims and pathologies until we have enough scientific support. This is about dignifying the active ingredient and taking it for the long run.”
“…We’ve always said we don’t want to get into the business for 15-minutes of fame and give the active ingredients lots of properties we haven’t been able to prove,” she said.
CBD cosmetics ‘from women to women’
As part of its deeper push into Europe, Kuida just launched a global multimedia campaign entitled ‘for women by women’ – spotlighting the universal appeal of self-care and how its range addressed genuine needs for all women.
“The bottom line is we are creating a brand that opens the conversation in a really honest manner that is trying to gain that closeness with women around the world,” Navarro said.
The Kuida Skin Care team was already made up of a diverse group of international women, each with a lot of experience in the beauty sector – a strength the company wanted to play to moving forward, she said. And this latest campaign also featured a range of diverse female Colombian brand ambassadors, including writer Amalia Andrade and journalist Jessica de la Peña.
Kuida wanted to expand its reach to women across the globe, Navarro said, particularly Asia-Pacific – “one of the main goals next year”.
“…To be able to see that we all relate across the world, no matter where we come from – that is being women; different women – is going to hold this brand together and open lots of international opportunities.”
Alvarro Torres, CEO and director of Khiron Life Sciences, previously said the future of beauty was now about “making that connection” with consumers following the COVID-19 pandemic and that there was considerable opportunity to “rebrand” business efforts.