Amelia Gartner has launched Vela Days an innovative professional-strength skincare line. At the heart of the line is an ingredient that’s been popping up on our radar of late – cannabis.
Over the last five years cannabis (and its associated byproducts hemp and CBD) has shaken its association with Woodstock. It is now being found in desserts, cocktails, supplements, clothing and, of course, premium skincare around the globe – with the fastest growth concentrated in the USA. A report from Grandview Research estimated the cannabidiol market size at USD 2.8 billion, while another report from Markets and Markets estimates growth to reach $216.8 billion by by 2028 (CBD-Infused Product Market Is Expected to Exceed $210 Billion by 2028, At A CAGR of 45.6% Financial News Media).
How are cannabis by-products being incorporated into food, fashion and cosmetics? And what is the debate?
If US consumers are ingesting it, wearing it and slathering on their skin… how are they getting out of bed every morning?
The answer is simple! Cannabidiol commonly referred to as CBD, is one of two natural compounds found in cannabis plants marijuana and hemp. The other compound is THC, the compound that has psychoactive effects on the human brain (think of this as CBD’s naughty little sister)
Pure CBD has no psychoactive effects, and a wealth of benefits when ingested and applied topically. In the United States CBD is receiving rapid uptake in the treatment of psychological and physical ailments from anxiety to insomnia, chronic pain and even childhood epilepsy. As a skincare ingredient, CBD and Hemp can treat everything from acne, Eczema and Psoriasis, and prevent premature ageing.
CBD in Australia:
In Australia, CBD is technically legal for over the counter sale – it’s just no product containing CBD has been approved by the TGA so you won’t find it on shelves. The ingredient has also not been approved for topical use, which rules out lotions and potions for the time being. So, Vela Days are working with hemp extracts and hemp stem cells to create a range that mimics the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD products – minus the regulatory headaches.
The Vela Days story:
Vela Days days CEO Amelia Gartner is the Chief Executive Officer at Greenfield MC Global, the licensed supplier of CBD oil in the Asia Pacific region. She has an extensive background in the complementary medicine, wellness and cosmetic industries. She founded Raw Skincare and was CEO of Cedar + Stone prior to her role at Greenfield MC Global. For the creation of the range, she worked in partnership with Greenfield MC to create the brand and its core CannaComplex technology. This ingredient harnesses Hemp Seed Extract and THC-free Hemp Stem Cells to enhance and nurture skin – and mimic the effects of CBD.
This powerfully potent ingredient deeply penetrates pores to moderate oil production, provide deep hydration and create calmer, smoother, more radiant skin.
Sustainability is also core to the Vela Days brand. Vela Days ensures all of its operations and suppliers are carbon neutral. Refill options are available for products and the company has a full packaging take-back recycling scheme to help close the beauty loop. One tree is also planted in Australia for every order placed online.
I had a chance to try the range (supervised on Zoom by The Skin Bar’s Sam Appel!) CBD and hemp are both celebrated for their hydrating and purifying properties. The refreshing formulas leave the skin lush, without feeling greasy.
Currently, the core range includes the Lipid Complex Cleansing Balm, Active Compound Facial Serum, and Oil Infusion Fortifying Oil Serum – with a Gel Cream arriving early next year.
Each product was placed through a range of clinical and consumer trials (Amelia tells us that the Cleanser is version 42, and the serum is version 46!)
Sam, the founder of The Skin Bar who talks us through our Zoom facial, says Vela Days provides the perfect alternative for clients who are increasingly exhausted with invasive treatments and harsh skincare. “Stripping the skin barrier is so 90s” she quips. Instead, the probiotic benefits of hemp-stem cells are combined with skin-supporting ingredients like niacinamide and ceramides. The daily serum contains 0.08%. micro-encapsulated retinol safe for twice-daily use and breastfeeding.
Sam says the range is a win for clients who are time-poor, juggling kids, work and their beauty routines. “Even though we all love Mecca it can be extremely overwhelming for customers who aren’t in the beauty industry and are trying to figure out where things go. Having an easy to navigate range is great” she explains. While the science (and regulatory story) behind Vela Days is complex, the range isn’t. It has three SKUs with a fourth arriving early next year.
While Amelia is passionate about the benefits of hemp, she still hopes CBD will reach Australian shores in the near future. “It’s hard in Australia, we’re highly regulated and probably about 5-10 years behind the US and UK. I would like to see us getting to a point where CBD is allowed topically. Cosmetics are subject to different regulations than pharmaceuticals so I see that in the next five years” she says. However, there is a silver lining.
Restrictions on the use of CBD will motivate domestic formulators and brands to innovate with hemp, potentially allowing Australia to corner the market. “I think we’ll also see more innovative hemp ingredients as we do not have access to CBD. We’re hoping to bring the benefits of CBD to Australian customers who don’t have access to the ingredients. Things are definitely moving in the right direction and hopefully, medicinal cannabis will become easier to access for patients. I would like to see the stigma disappear.”
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