CBD: The CBD Beauty Boom Is Real—Very Real

According to the trusted analytics firm NeilsenIQ, CBD skincare sales are set to double its 2020 benchmark of $340 million—having touched the $600 million mark before the last quarter (Q4) of 2021. Reasons for those remarkable increased sales include more results-oriented science surrounding CBD, the effectiveness of products (younger looking skin) with a wider audience of believers who’ve tracked results and the explosion of more CBD-infused beauty products on the market. 


It’s important to note that CBD in skincare is clearly not a fad. Nor is it replacing other recent “fountains of youth” compounds such as Retinol, Bakuchiol, peptides, various forms of absorbable Vitamin C, or pharma-based Retin-A. In fact, each of the aforementioned (and many more) are all concurrently being always scientifically perfected. Importantly, those other compounds also play nicely with CBD and often act as transporters for absorption and cell turnover for some skincare lines.

But, as of late, CBD is the star of the show. Why? For starters, it works. The CBD extracts, (pure or as a branded oil, serum or topical cream formulation) contain the critical fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 which stimulate collagen production and prevent water loss resulting in that much-desired glow-y, plump (youthful) skin.

Prior to 2020, I was including CBD skincare in many of my magazine beauty/anti-aging published stories only when the product claiming to contain CBD could be verified or if it was being offered by a reputable brand stemming from the top-shelf luxury retailers Macy’s, Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf-Goodman. Usually, the products I featured came in the form of oil tinctures, serums or CBD-infused moisturizers. Often for those dealing with skin sensitivities, acne or irritable afflictions such as of rosacea, dermatitis or eczema.

CBD seems to be the ultimate plant-based skin solution that’s globally considered an anti-inflammatory that moisturizes, lifts, plumps and soothes. CBD really does check every box.

But what people started learning (and perhaps science and some brands weren’t clearly communicating) is that today, even good or “normal” skin at any age can benefit from CBD. Aside from results, the “normal” skin crowd also wants safe skincare. And CBD seems to be the ultimate plant-based skin solution that’s globally considered an anti-inflammatory that moisturizes, lifts, plumps and soothes. CBD, it would appear, really does check every box.

With self-care, COVID-19 quarantines and telecommuting, consumers have also become more wellness savvy and protective of their health and their wallet. But vanity hasn’t stopped consumerism when it comes to looking our best, and more importantly, looking younger. The CBD boom in the beauty sector has been driven largely by a younger audience, not usually the case in this I-want-to-look-young-forever focused market. And the marketing dollars have followed suit, attracting a younger (<35) female audience, revealing that the post-COVID age-prevention movement is attracting a younger woman with less money to spend (on average $36 per CBD beauty product retail transaction).

What’s clear is that quality skincare and general anti-aging awareness has greatly touched every type of consumer group, with no signs of slowing down. Large beauty companies as well as top-shelf luxury brands have made product packaging and marketing more universally gender neutral—in addition to being more plant-based, health conscious and efficacious. It all boils down to better products and the consumers are taking notice—and buying in unprecedented numbers their favorite CBD-infused beauty products.

The beauty category—over-the-counter (OTC) beauty, grooming and cosmetics that are considered face and body—represents a healthy 18% of all CBD gross product sales. While that percentage is on track to close at 20% of CBD sales in 2021, the estimated calculus by Nielsen data suppliers suggest an eye-popping $2 Billion+ in CBD skincare cosmetics sales by 2025.

And, here’s the thing, the CBD beauty boom is just now taking flight. We best strap ourselves in for the looming (profitable) ride.