Sales of products containing CBD (cannabidiol) have skyrocketed by 99% in the UK over the last three years.

FMI estimate that the CBD skincare market value is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of over 33% through 2027. CBD skincare products are estimated to be valued at over $645 million( around £500 million) in 2019.

Most of the current statistics and information relating to the growth of the industry comes from the USA where consumer sales have risen in the last four years from 108 million to 512 million. The hemp wellness market is now worth 300 million.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The key difference between CBD and recreational marijuana is that CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it is not possible to get ‘high’.

Studies show that CBD has a range of therapeutic benefits, including being antioxidant and neuroprotective. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help relieve the symptoms of numerous conditions including anxiety, depression, irritable bowel diseases, as well as pain relief for a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis. Its also been used to relieve some symptoms associated with cancer treatment.

CBD oil with THC content of less than 0.05% is legal in the UK, but it is not available on the NHS. THC is not legal, which means that until recently medicinal cannabis oil, which contains both CBD and THC, was illegal.

CBD Skincare

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to improve health. In the personal care industry, several companies are incorporating CBD into their products to reduce inflammation, as well as for the treatment of a wide range of skin conditions.

CBD skincare products are proven to boost skin hydration, which is especially great for consumers suffering from skin conditions such as dryness, eczema, and psoriasis. CBD is integrated into facials such as Aquagold fine touch for its anti-ageing, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

CBD skincare products also help treat acne, which of course, is caused by blocked pores, excess sebum, inflammation, and bacteria. You can now buy CBD skincare products in many different forms such as creams & moisturisers, serums, cleansers, sunscreens, and oils.

More recently, it has become all the rage and Wall Street analysts say it could be an entirely separate category from both recreational and medical marijuana. This has meant that even big names in the financial sector have started covering CBD beauty-related stocks.

During the first two months of 2019, online search trends for “CBD beauty” have increased by 370%. The CBD beauty segment alone is estimated to reach $25 billion in the next ten years.

Brightfield Group stated that with the attention celebrities are giving CBD beauty, the industry revenues have jumped 340% in the past years. While numbers were only under $4 million in 2017, revenues for CBD beauty and skincare products a year later were already at $17 million.

Is CBD Just a Fad?

Using Google Trends you can see that UK interest in CBD began around the end of 2015. Interest spiked toward the end of 2017, but since the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, interest has been steadily increasing.

Cannabidiol UK Search Trends

rising interest in cbd skincare

In the UK, the number of people using CBD oil is estimated to have reached around 300,000. The UK CBD market now generates around £50 million per year.

CBD Skincare UK Search Trends

cbd skincare interest graph

You never really know if something will be a fad until it is. But one things for sure, the CBD and CBD beauty industry still has massive growth potential and interest from UK consumers is sustaining.

Mainstream use and acceptance has happened rather quickly due to major companies investing in the development of CBD-based products. Coca-Cola even announced that they were looking for ways to develop a new wellness drink that contains CBD.

CBD skincare has been named one of the fastest-growing industries in the United Kingdom. The industry is still very much in the process of being capitalised on and the hype surrounding cannabidiol means there is much more to come from 2022 onwards.

Which UK City is Most Interested in CBD?

cbd skincare by uk city

Whilst Google Trends show that Liverpool and Hull boast the highest interest in CBD skincare products per capita, the south of the UK is where the highest concentration of CBD-enthusiasts lie.

Wowcher’s data shows that out of every city in the UK, London boasts the most sales of CBD products which were closely followed by Cardiff and Edinburgh. Alexis Harrison, at Wowcher, said: “It’s clear that the discussion around CBD’s health and beauty properties, hailed by celebrities, has influenced shoppers to rush for this trending ingredient.”

Wowcher’s data is however based on their consumers whereas the Google data shows overall searches.

What do the Experts Say?

Andrew Petrou – Training Manager at Naturopathica

Is CBD just a fad?

Yes, and no. Individuals become fascinated by the latest social media trend, so some will try it, and if it works for THEM, then they will stick with it. It really does depend on the brand, the product etc that ‘hooks’ the individual to start with.

What’s so special about CBD?

CBD, in general, helps to restore balance to a wide range of systems in the body, for skin, this would primarily be in context of calming over-reactive skin (too oily, too sensitive, sensitised)

The amazing benefits of CBD for numerous complaints are bound to have captured the attention of serious journalists and individuals looking to better their overall health. It goes without saying that it was a matter of time before the skincare industry leapt into action.


Tom Bourlet – CBD Sloth

Is CBD just a fad?

CBD is certainly far from a fad, with the industry growing by double in 2018 compared to the year before and seeming to double again in 2019!

As legislations relax and education grows on the subject of CBD, there is an increasing number of people looking to purchase these products. But perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the growth is the vast extent of potential benefits, hitting so many areas, from sleep deprivation and anxiety, to skin issues and even helping with medical matters such as epilepsy.

What about CBD skincare specifically?

In regards to skincare, CBD has been spoken about in so many areas, from helping to deal with acne, to anti-ageing properties, all largely thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant profile.

The difficulty we have is the limited amount of research data highlighting clear facts, not to mention companies legally not being allowed to talk about any supposed benefits of CBD under UK legislation. Most of the positive tests have been shown around pain relief (such as chronic back pain), anxiety and sleep issues, whereas less evidence is available on its value to skincare.

CBD brands cannot utilise the usual advertising channels. They are not allowed to sell their products on Amazon, they can’t use Google ads, nor can they use ads on Facebook or Instagram, meaning they have to face a clear stumbling block to get it in front of potential customers, which is why many have been embracing celebrity influencers. The number of influencers or celebrities using CBD is growing exponentially. Currently the celebrity influencers are largely based in America, however, the CBD industry is growing rapidly in the UK and there are new CBD brands every week, from skincare to alcohol and everything in-between.

It’s fair to say that despite conflicting options about whether CBD will be a fad or not, no one can deny the benefits that CBD has brought to the industry. CBD isn’t going anywhere soon and at the rate it’s developing it’s set to be one of the strongest industries.