From the moment it burst into the collective consciousness, CBD created a groundswell of support from wellness advocates, beauty experts, and tastemakers alike. The secret to its success? A cultural shift and new awareness toward cannabis, plus an expansive variety of applications with science-backed results.
CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is an active ingredient derived from hemp, which is part of the cannabis family of plants. Marijuana is also a cannabis plant, but the majority of CBD extracts used in beauty and wellness come from industrial hemp. Unlike THC, the better-known chemical in marijuana, CBD has no psychoactive effects and is legal in all 50 states.
Now, you’d be forgiven for reading about cannabidiol’s origins and immediately thinking of Grateful Dead concerts and college students. CBD, however, is not rooted in stoner culture (or, at least, not anymore). Says Lab To Beauty founder Katherine Ragusa, “This new generation of CBD is luxurious, with beautiful packaging and a sophisticated set of standards upheld in producing each product.”
Further supporting CBD’s wellness claims is the fact that our bodies are actually biologically designed to interact with it. “When we use CBD, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a system of receptors throughout our central nervous system and our body’s organs,” explains Claudia Mata, founder of Vertly. “This system helps our immune system, keeps our bodies in balance, and helps us deal with stress.”
From a beauty perspective, CBD is an absolute dream for your complexion. Says Derek Chase, president of Flora + Bast, “Both topical and oral administration of CBD help to control oil production and acute inflammation, resulting in calm, balanced, and glowing skin with fewer blemishes and breakouts.”
As with any trend, it’s inevitable that some people would try to take advantage of its popularity by making misleading claims. One way to spot the real deal? Read the label. “Look for cannabidiol—that is CBD,” says Saint Jane Beauty founder, Casey Georgeson. “Cannabis sativa sounds very similar but is in fact the scientific name for hemp oil.” Adds Chase, “While hemp seed oil is a great topical and ingestible oil, it’s no more effective than your average olive oil.”
Barneys The High End Luxury Cannabis Lifestyle Shop in Beverly Hills (officially launching next week) takes the guesswork out of finding legit CBD with a curated edit of prestige cannabis products. Each of the featured lines has been vetted as authentic and efficacious, not to mention a perfect example of, yes, high-end beauty. “For Barneys, luxury needs to be associated with quality. The range of brands we carry varies from items that will regulate sleep, alleviate pain, calm inflamed skin, combat aging, and more,” says Mirella Siciliano, Barneys Cosmetics Buyer.
To help guide you to the best products for you, here are Barneys’ top cannabis products. Read on to discover which brand (or brands!) is right for your lifestyle.
A new entry to the CBD scene, Saint Jane Beauty has already developed a reputation as a must-have luxury line. “One of my favorite things about CBD is how well it works with other skincare and makeup products,” Georgeson says. “Because it’s a natural botanical, it can be incorporated into any beauty ritual.”
Star Product: Radiant Remedy Serum (online soon). Made with 550mg full-spectrum CBD and a blend of 25 botanicals—including marula, watermelon, and rosemary—the ultra-luxe hydrator was made exclusively for Barneys. “It works synergistically with other products to calm redness, improve hydration, and amp up the glow factor,” says Georgeson.
This two-piece line features an anti-aging serum and a sleep supplement. “We are a cannabis brand first, beauty second, focusing on quality above all else,” says Chase. “We process the plant in a way that preserves the natural spectrum of actives, resulting in a full-spectrum extract that maximizes bioavailability and end results.”
Star Product: Age Adapting Sleep Tincture. Made with 600mg of CBD along with essential fatty acids, a few drops of this under your tongue, 30 minutes before bedtime, and you’ll find you fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed.
Mata, a former NYC-based fashion editor, used her seasoned aesthetic eye to create Vertly, a chic collection of cannabidiol-infused skincare. “We approach CBD like a vitamin, inviting smaller amounts to be absorbed into the skin through daily use,” says Mata. “It was very important for us to create clean, CBD-infused products modern women (like myself) would want to use every day.”
Star Product: Hemp CBD Infused Relief Lotion. Created for active lifestyles, its botanical blend of cannabidiol, arnica, magnesium, and shea butter provides hydration to skin and instant relief to tired, achy muscles.
Founded by Ragusa and her sister Alison, Lab to Beauty is sustainably farmed and sourced, but the extraction process is where things get really interesting. “When our supercritical CO2 extraction is employed, the CBD crystallizes because it is isolated to its purest form, which contains the key transformative elements: terpenes, omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, other phytocannabinoids, and amino acids.”
Star Product: Quick Fix Serum. Just as the name implies, this anti-aging serum immediately delivers its plumping and smoothing magic. Along with CBD, it’s power-packed with vitamin C, vegan hyaluronic acid, caffeine, red wine polyphenols, and a blend of healing oils. “It has a luxurious plump, cooling feel and weightlessly melts into your skin,” says Ragusa.