The fashion and beauty industries see a lot of flash-in-the-pan gimmicks come and go (Remember those two months last fall when we thought neon puffer jackets were going to be the next big thing? Thank u, next.) So when a spattering of skincare brands started releasing CBD-infused skincare products in 2018, we proceeded with caution. CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis (aka, the same plant where we get THC, which gets you high; CBD doesn’t. Instead, it’s known to have a few non-mind-altering wellness benefits, like reducing muscle soreness). We had to ask: Was CBD skincare only happening because cannabis laws around the country were becoming laxer, thus bringing the trend-hungry beauty industry a certain access and allure to the ingredient? Or were there actual, legitimate benefits to the stuff?
As it turned out, a bunch of compelling research connecting CBD to clearer, more balanced skin started cropping up in dermatological journals, proving that CBD skincare is no gimmick at all. Long story short, CBD packs a prodigious dose of antioxidants and omega-3s, both of which fight the effects of free radical damage from the environment, which make the skin age faster. CBD is also anti-inflammatory, so it can soothe sensitive skin, eczema, and breakouts. It’s even shown to help regulate the skin’s oil production, which is good news for adult acne sufferers. As the U.S. legislative system continues to come around to CBD, more studies are allowed to happen, so we’re constantly learning more about the stuff all the time, and it’s only looking more promising.
Unsurprisingly, the beauty industry has taken serious notice of this whole CBD thing. You would not believe how many CBD serums, moisturizers, and supplements cross our desks every day at Who What Wear Beauty. But no CBD product managed to catch our attention quite like Saint Jane Beauty. The new cosmetics line just launched in early January 2019 with one hero product: a $125 CBD-rich serum. The serum is packaged in such an absurdly chic black-and-gold bottle that no one would ever associate it with stoner culture. Actually, it immediately reminded me of the aesthetic of Old Céline, which my fellow editor Anna LaPlaca once perfectly described as “cerebrally minimalist.” But branding, as every savvy consumer knows, is just branding. Could this stuff possibly deliver?
Bemused by Saint Jane’s chic-on-the-outside, holistic-on-the-inside vibe, I ordered a meeting with the brand’s founder, entrepreneur Casey Georgeson. Tall, elegant, and often dressed in jewel tones, Georgeson is the human personification of Saint Jane (which, by the way, was named after a real-life 16th-century saint known for her incredible healing abilities). Like her products, Georgeson has a sophisticated exterior (and résumé—she’s spent her career so far developing brands like Marc Jacobs and Cupcake Vineyards), juxtaposed with a natural approach to beauty and wellness.
Georgeson formulated the 100% non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free serum to contain 500 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD (that’s a form of CBD shown to be most effective), as well as 19 organic plant ingredients like calendula, frankincense, shea butter, rosehip, and more. I’m going to give it to you straight: Most all-natural, oil-based serums I’ve tried in the past lean the way of greasy, so even if they’re super hydrating, I’m rarely inclined to use them during the day for fear of damaging people’s retinas with the reflectiveness of my oil-slicked face. This serum surprised me with how light and fast-absorbing it is. The recommended dose of one dropper-full of product (morning and night) is enough to leave your face radiant but not at all greasy in look or feel.
Also, the majority of CBD serums that have crossed my desk smell, well, a little… funky. The scent is oftentimes not unlike marijuana, actually. Which is not actually how I want my face to smell, especially if I’m applying the product right before work. Despite all the potent plants in Saint Jane’s formula, its scent is surprisingly subtle and pleasant—a little bit rosy and sandalwood-y, but not overwhelming.
After a week of adding the serum to my morning and night routines (I’ve been mixing a half-dropper to my regular gel moisturizer), I have definitely taken note of an enhanced overall glowiness. I’m also glad to report I haven’t experienced any recent face breakouts (which I’m lucky not to struggle with all the time, though I do normally rock a hormonal zit or two). I look forward to testing the product for a longer period, but as of now, I can safely say Saint Jane is one of the chicest CBD products on the market, inside and out.
Next: Makeup artists say these nine beauty products aren’t worth the splurge.