CBD Beauty Product Perceptions

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CBD Beauty Brand Case Studies

Common themes of beauty brands that have successfully marketed to Gen Zers include representing their brand and ingredients as authentic and geared towards health and wellness and active lifestyles. Some brands have found success marketing their products by referencing drugs or "stoner" culture while also facing criticism for the practice of glamorizing drug culture to youth. Therefore, there was not a lot of information about the success of marketing CBD products directly related to Generation Z due to restrictions on marketing of CBD containing products to those under 18 and restrictions on advertising in some areas in general. Social media and social influencers are the most successful mediums of marketing CBD beauty products to Generation Z.


  • Seventy-two percent of consumers, 18 to 35, have purchased CBD beauty products, however, 24% do not feel comfortable purchasing from online retailers due to authenticity.
  • Consumers prefer specialty stores like Sephora or Ulta, 34% use Amazon, 27% buy directly from brands online, and 21% purchase at their favorite superstores such as Walmart.
  • While consumers of all ages purchase CBD beauty products, Millennials and Gen Zers buy the most overall and dominate all categories, from hand creams to hair care, except body care products which were the type mostly purchased by Gen X.
  • Gen Z has been using CBD beauty products longer than any other group, and 25% state that they have been using them for three to five years. 73% cited positive product reviews as the reason for purchase.

  • Social influencers are the most important element for marketing to Gen Z as it is the top source of discovery.
  • Beauty brands are finding success by hiring teen -friendly ambassadors, like Zendaya for Lancôme, and experimenting with creative strategies and targeted product lines.
  • Gen Z values authenticity and ethics.
  • They still prefer to buy their beauty products in-store (90%).
  • Some brands like Ulta have found success by serving as the only physical locations to buy digital-native brands like the popular Kylie Cosmetics and Colourpop thereby spurring foot traffic to their 1,174 locations.


  • Canopy Growth purchased This Works and has launched a range of CBD beauty and wellness products to help users sleep and improve their skin.
  • Canopy Growth will provide the expertise and scientific rigor to allow This Works to continue to take over in wellness beauty.
  • This Works brings its strong online social media presence, primarily among Gen Y and Gen Z, and lucrative partnerships with celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg to advertise the products.
  • A partnership with Sequential Brands Group and Martha Stewart aims to improve the lives of humans and animals alike. Martha Stewart.
  • They are also launching a line of oils by Snoop Dogg that states it is for women's sensual wellness and pleasure.


  • Sephora is known for their very successful strategies reaching Gen Zers.
  • Launching #SephoraSquad influencer program in search of 24 "real" people to celebrate the most authentic and inspiring voices that other Gen Zers trust more than celebrities.
  • The #SephoraSquad formed a "hand-picked, multi-cultural, mixed-age and gender-varied glam squad" that will appeal to Gen Z's demand for more inclusive marketing.
  • Luxury CBD beauty brand Saint Jane sold out in high end department stores and online three months after their launch, and will now be offering beauty serums to become the most expensive CBD products the store offers. The partnership comes after the quick popularity of the launch of Sephora's own CBD-related products.
  • Gen Z-focused program #SephoraSquad is credited with turning loyal fans into brand ambassadors and engaged new customers in the process. In six weeks, they received about 16,000 applications and over 250,000 testimonials. It also led to social media success as they received more than 70,000 Instagram stories and 10,000 in-feed posts.


  • Drug culture references have been used by some companies to target Gen Z.
  • Milk Makeup announced and celebrated through social media 4/20 with new product additions to their KUSH line and sparked further controversy by posting images of dime baggies labeled 4:20, a popular drug reference.
  • They were criticized by Estée Laundry for using "drugs to glamorize beauty products" to young, easily influenced people.
  • Brands such as Lush, Mediak8, and Sephora are shunning the drug culture approach and instead aligning their products with more sophisticated and wellness-focused experiences.
  • Milk Makeup is one brand making use of pop-up shops. One such shop in Convent Garden had extreme success with a turnout of over 4,500 people for a debut of the makeup line, and picked up a 17,000 member waiting list, the largest ever reported by Cult Beauty.
  • The co-Founder notes that their products resonates especially with 18 to 24 year olds due to their strong commitment to ethics and cite that people buy brands for what they are. Their products are marketed to also be forms of self-expression and individuality, also themes that resonates with Gen Z. They cite health benefits of using CBD oil in their Kush mascara lending to its popularity.
  • The company's Live Your Look campaign is one example of their successful and creative culture. An organic partnership with The Center, a LGBTQ organization, among others that stress inclusiveness and community has shown the company thrive with 50 new stores every six months.
  • The social campaigning of the company has seen great success. They have 717,000 Instagram followers. They target 18 to 26 year olds, a lot of whom live in New York and L.A., where the company's studio, Milk Studios, does photo shoots for big fashion brands.
  • They give their successful marketing to be the result of having content-rich website, strong social media branding, high conversion of consumers online, and partner storefronts such as Sephora.


The Works and Canopy Growth, a large British health and wellness brand and the world's largest cannabis company respectively, were identified as a top brand. The Works is a brand created by and for millennials and became one of the fastest-growing beauty firms by using social media and online sales. Sephora's marketing strategy was examined as they are widely known it is the "number one specialty beauty retailer on the planet" with well-known success among Gen Zers due to their embrace of technology and creative and highly successful campaigns.