October 25, 2019 Published by

CBD and hemp products are arguably the “it” ingredients of 2019. As The Benchmarking Company reported in part 1 of its September 2019 Beauty by the Numbers Infographic series, 25% of US beauty consumers[1] have used CBD-based beauty products as of August 2019, up 7% from six months earlier in February 2019, when that figure was 19%.

In fact, the US market for hemp-derived CBD in skincare is expected to reach $7 billion by 2023, according to Hemp Industry Daily. Independent brands and beauty industry giants are scrambling to include these ingredients in every format from isolate, to full spectrum, to broad spectrum CBD in every imaginable product.

Making Claims for CBD

The Benchmarking Company’s consumer in-home use testing (I-HUT) methodology for consumer claims and risk mitigation has become the bedrock for brands looking to carve out their place in the robust beauty market, while providing insights that can help to avoid multi-million dollar mistakes.

But what about claims for beauty products containing hemp and CBD?

“Consumers are looking for proof points that these ingredients work,” says Denise Herich, co-founder and managing partner at The Benchmarking Company.  “Given that many clinical laboratories don’t test products with these ingredients, brands will need to look to I-HUTs as their source for independent third-party testing and proof of efficacy.”

Brand managers often have questions about the types of claims they can garner from an I-HUT with brands containing these ingredients.

The answers, however, are surprisingly straightforward. According to Herich, “If the product containing CBD or hemp oils is classified as a cosmetic, it will have cosmetic claims. Period.”

The question about claims becomes complicated due to CBD’s other perceived benefits: relaxation, calming, a feeling of well-being, pain relief, and even healing. In The Benchmarking Company’s August consumer study, 58% of consumers believe a skincare product containing a cannabis-derived ingredient will reduce irritation and 68% say it will soothe sore muscles.

“Those are no-no words as it relates to cosmetics claims,” says Herich. “Although there may be evidence of those types of benefits when applying these cosmetics, these aren’t claims that a brand can use because they’re medical in nature. Otherwise, they’re inviting regulatory warning letters and possibly fines.”

But what about testimonials from consumers?


[1] From The Benchmarking Company’s primary research study of 7,500+ US females, conducted online.