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Science meets wellness in new CBD brand

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Lockdown inspired Sharon to learn more about CBD

The founder of a new CBD brand has revealed how a challenging period during lockdown last year helped her to see the light. 

New wellness brand Liminal Beauty is taking a fresh approach to CBD with a range of body treatment balms and fragranced candles. 

Its founder, Sharon Cheng, has spent years in the beauty industry after graduating in cosmetic science and working as a chemist and product developer for British brands, including Molton Brown.

But as the country was plunged into lockdown at the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, Sharon, 34, found herself faced with a personal realisation that when it comes to wellness, what’s on the inside matters more.

“Lockdown was quite challenging for me,” she tells Cannabis Health.

“I was struggling with stress and anxiety and decided to look into what was out there and how I could help myself. 

“That’s when I started learning a bit more about CBD.”

Sharon, who experiences flare ups of eczema during stressful periods, began to use topical products on her skin.

“The eczema usually appears on my skin before I even know I’m stressed and I found the topical CBD products really helpful,” she says.

“Learning about the science behind CBD was a complete eye opener for me. Combining my beauty background with the scientific research felt like a perfect fit.”

In the height of lockdown Sharon left her job and spent months researching ingredients and developing her own unique formulas at her London home.

Almost a year later, in January 2021, Liminal Beauty finally launched. 

The initial collection of vegan, cruelty-free candles and treatment balms are formulated with CBD isolate and come in Sandalwood and Rose fragrances.

“Where I got the CBD from was really important,” she explains.

“It took me a long time to find a supplier who could give me the sustainability assurance, consistency and documentation I was looking for.”

Sharon continues: “I wanted to approach it from a home and lifestyle point of view, rather than taking the more common, dietary supplement route. 

“Having worked with multiple brands on fragrance and candles previously, this is an area I have experience in and it’s a concept which is very much trending at the moment.”

CBD is known for its ability to bind with the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin receptors in the brain to help lift moods, while the scents of sandalwood and rose oil can increase delta and theta brain waves, leading to feelings of deep relaxation.

However, coming from a science background, Sharon is cautious about overstating the existing evidence for the potential properties of the cannabinoid. 

“There is so much more opportunity in terms of research and so much more to be explored when it comes to CBD,” she says. 

“For me it’s about taking the research that is there and combining it with a product which people can enjoy at home, to help them switch off and create a space for relaxation.

“It doesn’t work for everyone and we are in no way saying it’s the cure for everything.

“Instead, Liminal Beauty is about creating an environment at home which will have a positive effect on your mind and body.”

Despite the stress of launching a small company in the midst of a global pandemic, Sharon says she feels “all the better” for having discovered CBD. 

“There are so many people struggling with stress and anxiety right now, and I was one of them,” she adds.

“CBD has become a big part of my own life. I burn the Sandalwood candle every night when I do my evening yoga and it gives me time and space to unwind at the end of the day. 

“This combined with making some small lifestyle changes has made me feel so much better.”

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Beauty & Skincare

“Innovation requires brave decisions” – Gen-Z beauty brand hits 1.7 million Tik Tok views

Love MeMeMe has successfully utilised Tik Tok marketing to attract a Gen-Z customer base

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Gen-Z: A group of young people hug in front of a camera while all are wearing a light pink colour.

 Rebekah Hall CEO at South West Brands explains the importance of influencer marketing as the brand hits 1.7 million views on TikTok with their hashtag, #metheloveofmyownlife.

New CBD brand Love, MeMeMe – which is aimed at Gen-Z consumers rather than millennials or baby boomers – offers a range of gender-neutral, self-care beauty items including lip balms, hair masks and body butter.

As part of a marketing campaign, Love, MeMeMe partnered with TikTok influencers to launch the products. Liana Jade, Miah Carter, Max Ragan, Chloe Rose, Bobbie, Elvira Styles and Hani Hans endorsed the brand on the platform. Each one of the influencers explained what self-love means to them and what their self-love tips are.

Gen-Z marketing

Gen-Z consumers are described as those born between 1997 and 2012. This explains the TikTok focus, it is estimated that by the end of this year, there will be more Gen-Z users on TikTok than on Instagram, with 37.3 million members of the Gen Z population using the platform.

Although Snapchat is currently one of the biggest platforms amongst this age group, it is thought that TikTok will overtake it by 2023.

It’s working for Love, MeMeMe who have gained 1.7 million views on the platform in just under a week.

Rebekah Hall explains that it’s about capturing the imagination and featuring new and exciting ingredients aimed to get younger beauty connoisseurs interested.

“Love, MeMeMe has really caught the imagination of our target Gen Z audience,” says Rebekah.

“It’s fun, beautifully packaged and affordably priced. I think the fact that the product portfolio is so well-considered, with ingredients like SPF and retinol working alongside CBD, has given the brand credibility.”

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She adds that Gen-Z has a different approach to CBD as they are more adventurous and interested in new products.

“I would describe Gen Z as CBD curious. They are adventurous and keen to try new things so seek out new products to see what they can do for them. They don’t necessarily view CBD through the same lens as an older audience who focus on it as a solution for symptom relief or through the lens of cannabis,” she says.

According to Rebekah, Tik Tok should be an important part of marketing to Gen-Z and brands need to be where their audience is.

“Tik Tok is the fastest growing social media platform and has completely changed the way our audience learn and ultimately shop. Creating a great brand is as much about where you turn up as how you turn up,” she adds.

“We are crystal clear about who our audience is for Love, MeMeMe, so we wanted to ensure the brand was appearing in the places that our target customers are spending their time. Innovation requires brave decisions and thinking differently and that is what we have aimed to do with Love, MeMeMe, to offer a point of difference to the CBD and skincare market.”

Gen-z: A group of beauty products in pink and red packaging

Gen-Z CBD use

These aren’t unusual figures for Gen-Z who are described as the first wave of truly digital native consumers. They aren’t just used to consistent connectivity but also, CBD and cannabis consumption becoming normalised.

In the US, a recent study from a Seattle-based cannabis data brand, Headset revealed that Gen-Z is the fastest-growing segment of the cannabis industry. In the past year, sales to Gen-Z surged by 127 percent with the biggest percentage among females. This is an even bigger amount when compared to sale increases among other generations. Millennial sales increased by 46 percent, Gen X increased by 29 percent and baby boomers by five percent.

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The same study also showed that Gen-Z prefers to smoke cannabis with only 10 percent spending money on other ways to consume CBD. This is down from 15 percent for other generations. They are also less brand loyal as well with only 20.6 percent preferring to stick to one brand.

There is more to come from Love, MeMeMe, adds Rebekah. “We’ve only just begun. You will have seen the start of our Me Movement which is a self-care squad led by British singer, songwriter, star Mae Muller and some of the biggest and most popular creators on Tik Tok. Our Me Movement will be appearing not only on Tik Tok but also spreading the self-love message in real life. Watch this space.”

Read more: CBD beauty sales soar: What does it actually do?

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Beauty & Skincare

95% of patients with rare skin condition report improvements with cannabis topicals

Epidermolysis Bullosa causes severe blistering which can become infected after any trauma or friction.

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Skin condition: A white cream with a green cannabis leaf on top. It is surrounded by dark oil bottles and a spoon that has cream on it. This is on a dark background

A new study of a rare skin condition has revealed that different preparations of cannabinoids could have benefits for patients with painful Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is the name of a group of rare inherited skin disorders that can cause the skin to become fragile.

It is thought to be caused by a gene mutation that makes the skin more fragile and any trauma or friction can cause painful blisters on the skin. There is currently no cure but treatment aims to prevent infection and reduce symptoms.

The study from the Netherlands and the United States analysed EB patients on five different continents who reported using cannabis preparations as a treatment for their rare skin condition.

The data is published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. The patients reported using topical cannabinoid products in addition to inhaling cannabis flowers. They also consumed cannabis-infused edibles.

Patients were given a survey on their skin condition that focused on monitoring effects including perceived EB symptom changes, medication use, and side effects. 

Skin condition results

Results recorded that 95 percent said the topicals improved their overall skin condition symptoms with 94 percent stating their pain levels were decreased.

A further 91 percent said they had less itching and 81 reported wound healing was improved. Most of the participants at 79 percent said they had decreased their medication for their skin condition. The only side effect with a notable significance was dry mouth at 44 percent.

The authors noted that cannabis improved patient’s “perception of pain, pruritus, wound-healing, and well-being … and reduced concomitant medication use.”

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They wrote that: “Future prospective controlled clinical studies are warranted to elucidate the potential role of CBMs (cannabis-based medicines) in EB treatment.”

Read more: Parkinson’s disease and CBD: New study reveals potentially positive effects

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Beauty & Skincare

Study: Could CBD help with alopecia?

A new study on topical CBD finds it may be as effective as other treatments on the market but further testing is needed

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Alopecia: A number of hair products on a white background including two hairbrushes, a bottle of oil, a spray bottle and two towels

A new study on alopecia revealed that topical CBD use over time may help with regrowth. It could offer an alternative, non-invasive treatment for the condition.

Androgenetic alopecia can sometimes be referred to as female or male pattern baldness. It can cause thin or bald patches across the head. There are different forms of alopecia such as alopecia areata that can cause hair to fall out in patches, these may connect becoming noticeable. It develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. It may also affect eyebrows, eyelashes and face while developing over time.

Alopecia study

The researchers stated that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis by regulating inflammatory response and regenerative progress.

The endocannabinoid system has three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. These receptors can be found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to them to send signals that the system needs to be active and do something. The main two receptors are CB1 which is found in the central nervous system and CB2 in the peripheral nervous system. Cannabinoids are thought to bind or influence these receptors.

All of these receptors relate to hair follicle function. Researchers examined if blocking the CB1 receptor on the hair follicle with CBD could have a result in hair shaft elongation. They noted that the effects are dose-dependent and higher doses may have a different effect.

This study was conducted to determine if daily topical application of hemp oil high in CBD concentration would result in significant hair regrowth in the area of the scalp most affected by androgenetic alopecia (AGA)

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Alopecia treatment

The study took 35 participants with AGA and gave them a once-daily topical dose of CBD. This was on average 3 to 4 mg per day for six months. The researchers conducted a hair count of the greatest areas of alopecia before treatment and after six months. To facilitate this,  a clear acrylic mould with a cut out was made of each person’s head.

When it came to results, the men reported more regrowth than women and the vertex area did better than the temporal ones. vertex transition point refers to the area where the scalp goes from a horizontal to vertical while the temporal areas. There was an increased average of 95 percent in non-vellus hair after six months of daily use. All subjects reported some regrowth with no adverse effects.

The researchers felt that the CBD treatment offered comparable effects to other treatments on the market and could be used alongside them to maximise the effects. However, they stressed this combination would need further testing.

The authors wrote: “Topical CBD formulation has comparable results to finasteride and comparable results to 5% minoxidil once daily foam. Since the CBD works through novel mechanisms different from finasteride and minoxidil, it can be used in conjunction with these current drugs and would be expected to have synergistic effects.”

Read more: CBD Guides: What’s the best way to take CBD?

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