Got sensitive skin and find yourself forever on the hunt for a product that strikes just the right balance between being gently nourishing, but still genuinely effective? Well, my good friend, I might just have the answer for you. Say hello to your new skin BFF: Cannabis.
Just in case you think you may have read the above sentence wrong – rest assured I can clarify that your eyes are in fact in perfect working order. Yep! CBD (derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant) is not just here on this planet as a juicy joint, but also a highly prized active ingredient with the unique ability treat even the most problem skin conditions; from acne and psoriasis to dermatitis and eczema.
Allow me to introduce you to HempTouch – the new nurturing skincare brand in the ‘natural beauty’ game founded by a passionate team, who had for years been dealing with skin conditions but were struggling to find high quality products to suit their personal needs. In short: After plenty of research and endless trial and errors, they have come to know exactly what kind of ingredients are the key to relieving skin problems – along with exactly which ones should be avoided. So that’s when they set out to create a selective range of skincare goods that reflect their revolutionary findings; all made using the best certified herbal ingredients.
The main ingredient that makes up the Hemptouch range? Hemp seed oil – which they cold-press themselves (hey, kudos to them!) to ensure that they maintain those kick ass omegas and amino acids that make it so different from the rest, as they will come to explain. With the ability to lock in moisture, pack in a bunch of enhancing antioxidants and even provide a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the skin – really it can only lead me to wonder why CBD products aren’t the go to for all skin prescriptions…
But hey, that’s a wholeeeeee other conversation!
Now, I will say that the products themselves are very simple: Absolutely zero perfumes, dyes or alcohol are added in order to let the hemp go ahead and work it’s magic, undisturbed. So if you’re more in to the luxurious lotions and potions with scents that make them smell good enough to eat – then these guys probably are not going to be your jam. However, if you are getting bored of going through the same old prescription creams and standard E45 bottles – perhaps it is simply time to embrace Cannabis for what it is: Natures own way of getting you ‘high’ away from all the skin troubles that can, let’s face it, get you feeling down. After all, our skin is our biggest organ and 60% of what we lather on to it is going to be absorbed – and when it’s not looking or feeling good on you, it can affect all areas of your life: From your self esteem levels to simple every day social situations. Me? I’m lucky enough to be blessed with pretty ‘normal skin’ – however my Mum has suffered with psoriasis for years as an unfortunate Candida symptom and I can instantly think of a few close friends who know the infamous acne struggle all too well. Overall, not such a fun situation to deal with.
With the natural beauty industry hitting it big time in the market, it’s hard to know whether something is worth buying in to with out getting to grips with why the must-try ingredient is so game changing as the claims make them out to be. So with the slightly wild but deliciously intriguing idea of a Cannabis cream in mind, I got talking to the Hemptouch founders to explain why they believe hemp is the way to go for when it comes to both innovation and results…
Hey guys! Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got started in the skincare business…
Hi hi! Hemptouch was founded by Silvia Spehar and Marko Sladic. Silvia is a biologist and a trained herbalist and it was her passion for healing botanicals that got her started in making skin remedies for very sensitive people, who couldn’t use conventional skin care. Marko on the other hand had experience with industrial hemp, he even planted some fields for first experimental harvests.
In 2014 Silvia and Marko joined their 2 passions into one: therapeutic skin remedies based on hemp extracts. It was around that time that first information about potential uses of CBD started trickling in and they immediately saw potential in it as a skin soother. Even more, studies showed it balanced sebum production and so products for acne and oily skin were developed.
But Hemptouch started with one product only: Ointment for Irritated skin. It was feedback from our first customers suffering from persistent skin conditions and sensitivities that helped us to create the therapeutic range of ointments and creams. They asked for new products and spread the word among their friends. Everyone has a friend of a relative with a skin problem!
We started in Slovenia, a small 2 million country at the heart of Europe. First we got approached by independent organic shops, then pharmacies, then bigger organic chains.
Nice going! So let’s start with the question I’m sure most people are wanting to know: What is the difference between taking CBD oil and actual cannabis?
Not all Cannabis plants are the same!
Cannabis is a family of similar plants and three species are recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Some research says all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species.
We all probably have some Cannabis sativa at home, either as edible hemp oil, hemp cloth or even building material. Its is legally grown in many parts of the world. Hemp seed oil, derived only from hemp seeds, is a great nutritional supplement, containing many vitamins and minerals and other healthy constituents, but it does not contain CBD.
Different ratios of cannabinoids in different cannabis plants
All cannabis plants contain various cannabinoids (as many as 85 have been isolated), but in different ratios. The extracts made from Cannabis indica plants (plants containing high concentrations of psychoactive THC) have a psychoactive effect. This is what we call cannabis, medical marijuana, or hashish oil.
CBD hemp oil is a natural extract from cannabis sativa (or industrial hemp), which is high-CBD, low-THC hemp. It is non-psychoactive.
We all have cannabinoids in our bodies right now – the endocannabinoid system
This is when things get interesting. Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, at any given moment! They bind to cannabinoid receptors and serve as intercellular messengers. Interestingly, endocannabinoids are present even in breast milk and are vital to human development.
Endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response.
Okay… Gotcha! So how exactly does CBD work?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, helping it in the regulation of homeostasis – the body’s natural state of balance. Unlike THC, CBD has no noticeable psychoactive effects (does not cause intoxication).
Many studies show that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent. It is a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, anxiety and depression.
Other benefits of CBD
- Relieves Pain and Inflammation
- Calms skin inflammation and reduces sebum production
- Reduces Anxiety
- Relieves Nausea
- May Treat Seizures and Other Neurological Disorders
- Lowers Incidence of Diabetes
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Talk us through the main healing properties of hemp on the skin…
It’s the trilogy of hemp cannabinoids with skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, hemp-flower hydrolate, and raw hemp oil, packed with replenishing omegas and amino acids
Hemptouch solutions are based around 3 hemp ingredients:
- CBD oil – an active ingredient, skin soothing, anti-inflammatory
- Hemp seed oil – raw, cold-pressed and unrefined, packed with replenishing omegas and amino acids. It boosts moisture balance, nourishes and reactivates the skin’s natural barrier function.
- Hemp flower hydrolate – makes your skin high (on moisture!), rich with powerful skin-enhancing antioxidants
It is prized for its high content of soothing essential fatty acids, omegas 3, 6 and 9, in fact one of the richest in plant kingdom! These are crucial to skin function and appearance. They attenuate signs of skin aging, symptoms associated with skin sensitivity, and inflammatory skin responses.
In addition, hemp seed oil is also rich in “super” polyunsaturated fatty acids in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid – which help reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions, like skin dryness and itching.
It also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E for skin suppleness), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc.
Hemp seed oil is a non-clogging oil, with a comedogenic rating of zero! It means it does not clog pores and actually reduces the size of pores. Combined with its anti-inflammatory qualities it helps to reduce spots and blackheads.
Benefits of hemp seed oil for skin:
- Deeply conditions the skin and reactivates skin’s natural barrier function
- Encourages skin’s regeneration cycle and improves skin’s moisture content to combat very dry skin
- Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and vitamin E: Reactivate skin’s natural barrier function and provide effective stimuli for renewal
Hemp seed oil by Hemptouch: Raw and unrefined
Before we started Hemptouch we harvested our first field of hemp, at a farm in our home town. We cold press the seeds right there, so the oil for every new batch of skin care is absolutely fresh. We believe it should stay in it’s raw, natural form, so we don’t refine it.
Cosmetic industry likes to refine the oils, to make them more stable, to remove their scent and to make them easier to work with. Unfortunately, only raw, cold-pressed, unrefined hemp oil contains the naturally high levels of the omegas, amino acids and other skin soothing ingredients.
Studies show that CBD Oil works as a sebum regulator which makes it a powerful alternative approach to acne-prone, blemished and oily skin. CBD’s antibacterial properties fight both causes and effects of persistent blemishes.
On the other hand, it help to soothe symptoms of eczema and dermatitis. With its powerful anti-inflammatory and autoimmune therapeutic effects it works at the root level rather than just treating the problems superficially.
CBD calms inflammation and helps the skin to become less reactive. It soothes itchy and reddened skin, prevents and scratch cycle.
For example, our Ointment for irritated skin is a hit among mothers with babies who suffer from rashes and itchy skin. Hemp oil and herbs s promote repair, while CBD helps ease reactivity.
In psoriasis, skin cells multiply too fast and CBD might help slowing that process. Of course psoriasis is a very difficult disease and we wouldn’t say our products heal psoriasis, but our regular customers say it provides them some relief and improve skin barrier.
Your products specialise in treating problem skin in the most gentle way possible… Did you find it hard to get the right ingredients that will be powerful enough to combat the conditions without being too harsh?
We were lucky enough to start our brand with pretty amazing ingredients, that actually make a difference on the skin, but at the same time, they don’t dry-out or irritate, such as hemp oil and CBD oil.
So we knew studies had pretty conclusive evidence that CBD reduces sebum production and is very balancing to the skin. This makes CBD a perfect ingredient to treat blemishes and spots. It’s not harsh at all.
In most cases, skin problems are a result of imbalance. We believe skin can find it’s own balance and should never be “attacked” with heavy artillery. Oily or blemished skin is a good example. If we strip our skin of its natural oil with soap or harsh products, it overproduces oil to make up for what has been lost, often leading to a vicious cycle of dry and oily.
Eczema or dermatitis is another example, where steroid creams are often prescribed. They usually clear a flare-up of eczema, but have many side effect, such as skin thinning or inducing rosacea. CBD works so well in reducing flare-ups in a natural way, it works perfectly in our skin soothing products.
What’s a typical day for the team over at Hemp Touch?
We start the day with a quick meeting. We are not necessarily all at the office, we might be at production facility, at a conference about hemp or in the summer we will have some work at the hemp field. We go through orders from the night before and there is just so many emails to answer.
On some days we are rushing to fulfil a big order (we literally all help to pack, if it’s necessary), sometimes we are in hurry to prepare for a big show. In Slovenia we manage all retail, so we are constantly talking with sales personnel, answering their questions. Our Slovene customers call our help line and want to discuss their specific skin problems. But this helped us to create new products, this constant contact with our customers.
We do a lot of marketing activities too, creating our own designs, reaching out to influencers, to our customers through social media. So it’s very creative too.
Since we are a start-up, we all pitch in when we are in a hurry, no matter what it takes. What’s typical is that there is no typical day at Hemptouch!
Do you have any future plans to release more products in your range?
We will definitely continue with our main theme: hemp extracts. First thing planned is a new face cream, revitalizing for mature skin that’s on the sensitive side.
You just launched in Planet Organic… Mega congratulations! Will we be able to find you in any other places?
We sure hope so. It’s incredible honour to be listed in Planet Organic, especially since they are such a trend setter in organic, natural sector. And their stores are just so friendly and have great energy.
We’ve been lucky with our UK distributor, we share the same ethos and they have helped us so much so far. And they are already taking first steps to introduce us to other organic stores in UK, so that’s incredibly exciting.
Alright, and finally: As a business start up, what’s been the biggest thing you have learned so far?
Being a start up teaches us to be always on our toes, looking for new opportunities in unlikely places. We’ve learned we have to keep our focus and stay true to our vision, not compromising on the quality of our products.
You have to sleep on crucial decisions. It allows you to detach from emotional elements and reach a clear decision based on the facts. We have integrity, passion, enthusiasm and commitment and that gives us credibility with our business partners!
Well, there we have it… A full break down of why hemp is in fact, not just for hippies. If you’re down for giving the Hemptouch products a go – you can now order their CBD oil, face creams and other skin loving products over at Planet Organic!
I’d also love to know what your thoughts on taking CBD oil and incorporating it in to your daily routine, so be sure to leave me a comment below to get things rolling (that’s the convo, not the joint…)