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How founder and CEO Casey Georgeson created a beloved, best-selling beauty brand in only 11 months. Is CBD beauty passé? Not according to the beauty industry’s marquee prestige retailer, Sephora. It's put CBD endcaps in 180 doors. See the CBD beauty products you can now shop at Sephora.

Sephora Embarks On Largest CBD Skincare Launch Yet With Saint Jane

As a new decade begins, the beauty industry’s infatuation with cannabis continues. CBD as a skincare ingredient has proved it’s much more than just the next trend thanks to conscious, clean beauty companies like Saint Jane, which on January 10, will debut in 281 Sephora stores in 22 states across America.

It’s the largest CBD launch the LVMH-owned multinational chain of beauty boutiques has ever supported following its foray into cannabis skincare—first introducing Lord Jones online and in-stores (across 171 locations comparatively) in 2018. Saint Jane is also one of Sephora’s fastest success stories ever, with its best-selling Luxury Beauty Serum making a dot-com debut just four months after the brand launched.

Founder and CEO Casey Georgeson at Saint Jane’s San Francisco headquarters.

Earning Sephora’s support was a full-circle moment for founder and CEO Casey Georgeson. While studying for her MBA at Stanford University she begged for an unpaid internship at the company’s North America headquarters in San Francisco to pursue her passion for beauty products. Unlike Sephora’s standard high school- and undergraduate-level interns, Georgeson boasted previous career experience as a producer at CNN and the creative force behind Cupcake Vineyards for The Wine Group, one of the largest wine companies in the world.

Upon graduation, she was swiftly hired by the beauty brand incubator Kendo to lead its partnership division where she led the development for designer brands like Marc Jacobs, Kat von D, and Disney for Sephora. But even the beauty industry veteran thought pitching her own product was a long shot.

“Even with my background, to be totally honest, I thought, ‘There is no way Sephora is going to bring this on,’” Georgeson shared via phone. “We’re not even a brand yet. We have 100 followers on Instagram. They’re just going to look at this as a favor and tell me, ‘Okay Casey, this is a cute little idea you have here. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’”

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Georgeson got an email response from Sephora’s vice president of skincare merchandising, Cindy Deily, within 15 minutes after she received the Luxury Beauty Serum sample at her office. The rest is CBD skincare history.

The travel size of Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum is exclusive to Sephora.

Saint Jane was born on Jan. 28, 2019 and as it approaches its one year anniversary, the brand has already achieved what most beauty companies aim for in a lifetime. Clean beauty retailer Credo was the first outside stockist with Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Space NK soon following suit.

The patron saint of healing herself was born on the same date in the 1500s and is who Georgeson wanted to honor through her still 100% self-funded company.

“Saint Jane was an actual person—anointed into sainthood for healing people—specifically healing women that French society shunned…the elderly, the sickly, or unwed mothers,” explained Georgeson. “And like this pioneering feminist, we have a healing-centric approach to beauty. It has a double meaning for the innocent side of ‘Mary Jane,’ too, because I always wanted CBD to be the hero ingredient.”

Georgeson views and treats CBD as a vitamin and classifies it as a skincare superhero ingredient alongside hyaluronic acid and vitamin C and added, “It’s a molecule not a miracle, and depending on what it’s paired with, it works even better. As the [beauty] industry gets more educated on cannabis, people are starting to see it as more of a supplement—a good for you ingredient versus as a psychoactive.”

She personally sources Saint Jane’s hemp from sustainable, female-owned farms and has every batch tested for potency and purity by a third-party lab partner. According to the brand, the Luxury Beauty Serum contains the highest concentration of CBD for a facial serum on the market (and at Sephora) with 500 milligrams in each bottle; the Luxury Body Serum contains 200 milligrams of CBD oil.

More than 20 effective additional botanicals enhance her formula, such as wood oil, prickly pear, sea buckthorn, rosehip, and pomegranate, which when combined, improve radiance, reduce inflammation, detoxify impurities, and soothe the skin.

Each soothing shade of Saint Jane Microdose Lipgloss is spiked with 50 milligrams of CBD.

“We strive to provide clients with the most on-trend and sought-after products,” said Deily. “We saw a strong desire for an assortment of prestige CBD offerings, and Saint Jane has been a pioneer in growing the space. With their goal of bringing CBD to the forefront as an efficacious ingredient in prestige skincare, Saint Jane is passionate about education and category innovation and ingredient exploration and are thrilled to introduce more of our community to this new indie brand.”

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As such, Saint Jane will be merchandised in-store on Sephora’s Indie Beauty Wall, a showcase of the most promising up-and-coming, buzz-worthy brands. As part of Saint Jane’s dedication to consumer education, outreach includes a video tutorial, written material, and product samples for Sephora staff.

The Luxury Beauty Serum bottle itself looks and feels luxurious—think thick, matte black glass with a gold-plated brand badge—but it’s what’s inside that warrants the opulent packaging and high price point (the regular size retails for $125). Saint Jane’s new travel size ($38) is exclusive to Sephora and the Luxury Body Serum available online only ($58).

With customer testimonials ranging from regular use resulting in flawless skin to clearing up cystic acne to relieving rosacea pain, Saint Jane has deservedly earned awards from The Zoe Report (Best New Luxury Skincare Product of 2019), O, The Oprah Magazine (Best Body Product), Health (Best Facial Oil), PopSugar (Most Innovative Product), and more. It has also cured chronic skin issues for two top beauty editors at Glamour and Refinery 29.

The Saint Jane Microdose Lipstick collection will launch later in 2020.

The accolades and overwhelmingly positive customer reviews are also now validated by an official stamp of approval from medicinal cannabis pioneer Dr. June Chin , who was recently announced as the company’s chief medical advisor in conjunction with the Sephora expansion. A chronic pain survivor practicing in New York City, Chin holds multiple degrees in nutrition and osteopathic medicine. Her personal experience led to the discovery of CBD, which she incorporates into her integrative approach to overall patient care and treating diseases including epilepsy, cancer, and autism.

“Saint Jane is the most innovative CBD beauty company in the U.S., with an impressive team developing cutting-edge products,” said Chin, a noted expert in the space whose been featured on the “Today Show,” in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. “Since its inception, Saint Jane has introduced important transparency to the world of CBD beauty products. In this strategic role, my focus is to empower consumers to make more confident decisions with accurate and reliable information and to demystify CBD.”

Georgeson added, “In all of my years in beauty, I’ve never seen an ingredient that has this level of potential and performance in the skincare and wellness world.”

During the first quarter 2020, Georgeson plans to add Sephora-specific positions to her small team of 10 (she’s also a mom to three young daughters) to help oversee the day-to-day operations and communication with stores. Saint Jane is also working on releasing additional exclusive products exclusively for Sephora, which underscores her company’s commitment to the retailer—its largest point of distribution. Complementing Saint Jane’s Microdose Lip Gloss collection, a CBD-infused lipstick line will launch later this year.

Sephora Deepens Its Commitment To CBD Beauty With New Endcaps Focused On The Ingredient

Is CBD beauty passé? Not according to the industry’s marquee prestige retailer, Sephora.

The beauty specialty chain is deepening its commitment to the hemp-derived cannabinoid with new CBD Skincare endcaps at 180 locations nationwide. The endcaps house 17 face, bath and body care items priced from $15 to $125 from Sephora’s three anchor CBD beauty brands: Lord Jones, Prima and Saint Jane. Prima, a certified B Corp, is the only brand in the trio that’s part of the retailer’s Clean Plus Program. With the arrival of the endcaps, the brand has doubled its in-store stockkeeping count at Sephora by rolling out two of its online bestsellers, Bath Gem and Beyond Body Oil, at brick-and-mortar locations.

The three brands had in-store presences prior to the initiative. Lord Jones had dedicated endcaps in around 20 stores, and Prima was in about 280 stores on Sephora’s Next Big Thing wall. However, the initiative marks the first time Sephora is explicitly advertising CBD merchandise in its stores.

“The fact that there is now a display surrounded by education and content and a real brand moment instead of it being an ad hoc feature on a back wall, in my mind, signifies the evolution of the industry, taking CBD from a trend to a permanent, here-to-stay part of clean beauty, which is a big moment for the industry,” says Jessica Assaf, co-founder and chief education officer at Prima. Assaf divulges that the brands didn’t pay to enter the endcaps, but did pay for their buildout and design.

Prima co-founder and COO Laurel Angelica Myers praises the move as speaking to Sephora’s belief in the efficacy of CBD as a botanical skincare ingredient. “It says they want to be the retailer that is known for CBD and to bring it to shoppers looking for that plant-based, science-backed efficacy to drive skincare benefits.” says Myers, noting that Prima has been advocating for an initiative like the CBD Skincare endcaps since they first partnered with the retailer two years ago. “ We were continually suggesting, ‘Maybe you should think about an endcap. If we give it some exposure, then it has the ability to really take off,’” she says.

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Prima sales have taken off overall. It has experienced 142% year-over-year growth in its wholesale business and 77% year-over-year growth in its direct-to-consumer business. The sales progress is indicative of robust demand for CBD products. And Cindy Deily, VP of skincare merchandising at Sephora’s vice president, explains Sephora customers’ strong interest in CBD is a key driver behind the endcap initiative.

“At Sephora, we have seen CBD, and our assortment of CBD-infused skincare products, as one of the categories that our clients turn to when looking to expand their skincare regimens,” says Deily. “As we plan for the future, we’ll continue to take cues from our beauty community, who continue to respond favorably to our current brand assortment in this category.”

Sephora’s new CBD Skincare endcaps have rolled out to 180 locations nationwide.

A goal of the CBD Skincare endcaps is to provide education on the benefits of the cannabinoid. Store associates could access training videos for every product via Sephora’s employee brand portal. Assaf details, the scripts were reviewed for compliance. “They definitely are conservative in compliance, as they should be, and we respect them for it, and there’s still a way to talk about the therapeutic benefits in a more broad way,” she says. “They’re definitely partnering with us in that, but they’re not shying away from the fact that it’s really powerful active.”

Sephora has approached CBD in a measured yet consistent way since the passing of the federal Farm Bill in 2018 that made the hemp trade legal in the United States. That year, it broke into CBD with Lord Jones, initially selling the brand online before placing it in 170-plus stores in 2019. Today, it’s the chain’s number one CBD brand. CBD specialist Flora + Bast went live on Sephora’s website in 2019. By that time, beauty brands like Josie Maran, Peter Thomas Roth and Kiehl’s Since 1851 had created CBD-infused products picked up by Sephora. The brands Herbivore Botanicals, Ellis Brooklyn, Farmacy, Heretic Parfum and Briogeo later added CBD products to Sephora’s assortment. Today, Sephora’s dot-com CBD collection has just under 50 products from around a dozen companies.

In January 2020, Sephora introduced Saint Jane. Like previous CBD brands, Saint Jane began online in advance of migrating into stores. In its case, it landed at 280 doors. In February 2020, Prima launched online at the beauty chain with its bath bomb Bath Gem, body butter Skin Therapy, facial oil Night Magic and pain-relieving cream R&R Cream as well as two facial care items, The Afterglow and Enlightenment Serum. Concurrent with Prima’s launch, Sephora released its CBD standard . Developed with guidance from Prima and Lord Jones, the guidelines are intended to increase transparency around CBD products.

Lord Jones sales director Samantha Afonso underscores the CBD Skincare endcaps are a testament to how important the CBD category has become. “Lord Jones has always stood for helping educate consumers on the category,” she says. “Building relationships with our consumers through Sephora has been key for Lord Jones. We love being part of Sephora’s shoppers’ beauty and wellness rituals.”

Of course, an endcap is not a panacea for the myriad of issues CBD beauty and wellness brands face . They deal with persistent payment processing problems, restricted SMS marketing and difficulties advertising on social media platforms. Given the rocky environment, Prima co-founder and CEO Christopher Gavigan laments that retailers such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Sephora are forced to be the de facto regulators of hemp-infused beauty today.

“With the prolonged delay and dysfunction at the federal level, it’s tremendously powerful and meaningful for Sephora to take a leadership position and co-create a set of standards with Prima to distinguish quality, transparency, accountability and purity for cannabinoid products,” he says. “To have a fully dedicated place and space, Sephora/LVMH is strongly showcasing the importance of botanical therapeutics and truly functional ingredients within the stores that are clinically validated and consciously crafted for the consumer who is needing body care and skin care that works to replenish and restore their whole body from within.”

6 of the Best CBD Skincare Products You Can Buy at Sephora

And the other ingredients you should look for on the label.

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When it comes to skincare, Sephora (opens in new tab) doesn’t play. Ever since hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) took over as the hottest beauty and wellness ingredient, we’ve seen it infused into all kinds of lotions, potions, and serums. But the beauty giant would never add a new category without doing its homework. That’s precisely why Sephora’s CBD selection is hyper-curated.

“We tested hundreds of CBD products,” says Cindy Deily, Sephora VP of Skincare Merchandising. Considering texture, absorption, potency, and demonstrable results, only CBD sourced from high-quality full- or broad-spectrum, domestically-sourced hemp made the cut. Unlike CBD isolate, the above still has terpenes, omega fatty acids, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Though CBD is a powerhouse on its own, it plays well with others. In Sephora’s standout offerings, it’s paired with other powerful actives to exponentially boost CBD’s transformative properties. Below, the best-bud pairings to look for, plus six of the most impressive products you can find in Sephora.

Hello, soft, supple skin; goodbye, annoying little issues. Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion (opens in new tab) can be used to hydrate and smooth skin, but also as an aid for angry cuticles, post-sun skin, or been-in-heels-for-too-long feet.

Massaging it on feels heavenly, thanks to a refreshing cooling agent that leaves skin chilly for up to 30 minutes. The shea butter-infused lotion smells meadow-like, not medicinal, and leaves skin hydrated and energized.


CBD + botanicals

Botanical oils, pressed from plants, nuts, and seeds, are nature’s skincare MVPs, quenching dryness while delivering antioxidants, vitamins, and benefits such as brightening (soy) and speedy cell turnover (rosehip).

Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD (opens in new tab) pairs the hemp extract with organic, cold-pressed argan oil, a tried-and-true skin powerhouse. Maran is obsessed with the hydrating ingredient—around which her entire line is based—for good reason: “There’s a lot of data for argan being anti-inflammatory and beneficial for dry, mature, rosacea- or acne-prone skin,” says NYC dermatologist Dendy Engelman (opens in new tab) . And with a zero rating on the comedogenic scale, it won’t clog your pores or leave you greasy.

Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum (opens in new tab) is the class overachiever, packed with a whopping 500mg of CBD per bottle and 20 nourishing botanical oils. We’re talking everything from protective sunflower seed and rosehip oils to resurfacing sea buckthorn fruit extract, all of which combines for a smoother, more glowing complexion.

CBD + hemp oil

To soak up all benefits of hemp, try an oil serum. Flora + Bast Age Adapting CBD Serum (opens in new tab) contains over 300mg of CBD oil, essential fatty acids, and no water (which makes for higher potency and great absorption).

Both CBD and hemp have free-radical-fighting essential fatty acids to slow the signs of aging, plus the oil’s low molecular weight means it “can penetrate the epidermis and help hydrate skin to deeper levels,” says Engelman. If any of your anti-aging products leave skin dry or irritated, this oil-serum can help.

“If [you’re] using alpha or beta hydroxies or retinol, hydrating at night is a good antidote to those side effects,” Engelman says. For peak absorption, press into clean, damp skin before layering on other products.

CBD + adaptogens

In herbal medicine, adaptogens are non-toxic plants that help the body adapt to stress and maintain a sense of well-being. Basically, they achieve a myriad of benefits with more chill than your average ingredient.

Ashwagandha may be a trendy ingredient in the West now, but the healing root has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. It’s been shown to help balance hormones, lower oil-spiking cortisol levels, and reduce the look of redness. Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil (opens in new tab) combines the skin-calming adaptogen with CBD to thwart overactive oil glands and help prevent blemishes from forming.

The equilibrating power of adaptogens works synergistically with CBD. Take the skin-restoring trio in Farmacy Better Daze Ahead CBD Moisturizer (opens in new tab) that helps balance skin and guards against environmental stress.

“Even if skin doesn’t look red and inflamed, there may be subclinical inflammation,” says Engelman. “Treating it before it’s visible can help interrupt the creation of acne lesions.”

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