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How hemp-based products are weeding their way into skincare and beauty space

Before we start talking about hemp-based beauty products, it’s a good idea to establish the difference between hemp and marijuana. While we love experimenting and finding unicorn beauty products, criminal activity ain’t our cup of (beau)tea.

Yes, both products stem from the same flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family. Hence are scientifically different names for cannabis. However, when it comes to legality and use, the similarities end there. The difference between hemp and marijuana lies in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content aka the psychoactive component that gets you high.

So, what is hemp?

Hemp is a botanical class of cannabis with 0.3 percent or less THC content by dry weight. Hemp is grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use, and not for drug use. It’s now commonly used in products like textiles, rope, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation and biofuel. The latest sector to tap in on hemp is beauty with a range of skincare and makeup products that take advantage of its medicinal properties.

Image: Courtesy Boheco Instagram

Why use hemp-based products in beauty?

One of the fastest-growing plants with multiple benefits, hemp products are derived from the stems of the plant with high fibrous content. The beauty industry extracts its oil as the cold-pressed seed oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and contains all 21 known amino acids.

“With hemp in our skincare products, we can ensure skin hydration for a longer period. The Omega and Vitamin-rich hemp seed oil have been proven to ensure a soothing and calming effect on the skin which in turn helps reduce inflammation and treat acne, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions,” shares Yash Kotak, CMO at Bombay Hemp Company. The brand launched with a $1 million seed funding from Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons backed in 2018 and recently raised another $1 million in funding. The growing interest in the hemp beauty sector is visible from the same. Under the banner of Boheco Life, they provide hemp-based beauty products and oils that combine the knowledge of Ayurveda with plants superpowers. “From moderating oil production to having anti-ageing properties, there are many benefits that this single oil holds. It’s important to be mindful of what goes onto your skin, natural skincare products keep you glowing inside & out without the use of harsh synthetic ingredients,” adds Kotak about the benefits of hemp seed products.

Words of caution for hemp-based beauty products

The beneficial properties of hemp are verified by renowned dermatologist, Dr Kiran Sethi of Isya Aesthetics but with a word of caution. “Hemp-based products are chock full of essential fatty acids, so they are very moisturising. For people who do not have rosacea, the CBD component is anti-inflammatory and soothing. However, if you have rosacea, CBD can worsen your skin and be more inflammatory,” shares Sethi. She recognises the power-packed properties but suggests that people with acne-prone skin avoid it entirely. She also recommends checking your hemp seed beauty products to see if they are made from CBD or only hemp seed as the latter is more palatable for all skin types.

Intrigued by this superlative seed oil? The Indian beauty market is now saturated with products that use hemp in their ingredient list. From moisturisers, soaps, shampoos to facial oils, we have a buzzing line up of hemp seed beauty products.

Hemp seed beauty products available in India

Neemli Naturals

Rice water benefits are well-established in Korean beauty routines. The Neemli Naturals makeup remover (Rs 270 for 200ml) combines rice water with hemp seed oil. The addition of hemp ensures that even as you remove the grit and grime of the day, the natural moisture of your skin stays locked in. It also reduces inflammation that is often caused while scrubbing of your makeup.

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The Ayurveda Co

Looking for a gentle exfoliant try The Ayurveda Co’ Eladi, Triphala & Hempseed Ultimate Body Polisher (Rs 595 for 100gm). It helps remove dead skin, reduce tan and cellulite. The presence of hemp improves cellular circulation.

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Conscious Chemist

Suitable for sensitive skin, the Conscious Chemist Clarifying Body Cleanser (Rs 489 for 250ml) is made of hemp seed oil, matcha green tea and hyaluronic acid. The hemp seed oil controls sebum products and alleviates dryness.

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Juicy Chemistry

While Dr Sethi advises against using hemp products for acne-prone skin, the Hemp, Tea Tree and Neem Face Wash (Rs 650 for xx) is said to reduce breakouts because of its unique formula. A clarifying face wash, it is gentle on the skin and boosts the skin’s ability to absorb nutrients.

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The moisturising benefit of hemp is well-established which is why Suganda’s Calendula Oat Cream with the ingredient does a rather effective job. It not only helps retain the natural skin barrier but does so without clogging pores. Hemp is believed to also treat skin treatments like eczema and psoriasis due to its rich Omega 3 content.

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Your skin isn’t the only one that needs some TLC, so why not add a dash of hemp to your hair. Satliva, a hemp lifestyle label‘s Cannmelon Hair Cream Rs 1,450 for 100gm) controls excess oil production, reduces frizz and breakage. A lightweight texture ensures that it doesn’t cause buildup on the scalp or clog pores.

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Designed keeping Indian Men’s skincare in mind, Beardo has created a line using hemp seed oil. The hemp-based Foam Facewash, Face Wash Scrub, Hemp Soap Bar, Beard Oil, Hair Oil and Lip Balm are innovative for skin and hair care and break stereotypes associated with hemp.

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Header Image: Courtesy Shutterstock; Feature Image: Courtesy Boheco Instagram

How hemp-based products are weeding their way into skincare and beauty space

Akshita Nahar Jain

Sr Associate Editor

Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and stylish sitcoms, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.

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