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Sephora Launches CBD Standards for Beauty Brands

Published February 28, 2020
Published February 28, 2020
via Prima

Sephora announced the establishment of CBD standards, setting parameters around CBD potency, ingredient quality and manufacturing processes to reinforce the retailer’s commitment as a trusted resource in the beauty and CBD landscape.

“Search for CBD on has increased over 1000 times since 2018, so there’s clearly client interest in these kinds of products. As customers are looking to navigate this growing category, we saw the need to provide transparency and quality assurance,” said Cindy Deily, VP of Skincare Merchandising at Sephora.

Formulator, clinical aromatherapist and cannabis expert Colleen Quinn said, “Sephora’s decision to hold brands accountable with strict standard is a welcomed step towards consumer trust. The requirement for a COA and external party triple testing is a solid start to ensuring a product consistently contains the cannabinoid levels they promise to their customers. This will separate the true authentic brands from the green train riders.”

Sephora CBD-Compliant Requirements:

  • First, the brand needs to qualify under the Clean at Sephora standard that was updated last year to be more stringent, ensuring products are free from over 50 ingredients versus 13.
  • Products must contain full- or broad-spectrum CBD.
  • CBD must be grown domestically.
  • All products must be triple-tested by a third party, and a certificate of analysis (COA) that verifies CBD content must be made available to validate label claims match ingredients.

Currently, the Sephora CBD assortment consists of Prima, Lord Jones, High Beauty, Flora + Bast, and Saint Jane Beauty. There are also CBD products from popular CBD brands like Herbivore, Josie Maran, and Farmacy.

“There are now hundreds of mislabeled products claiming to contain ‘cannabis’ that contain zero CBD or other cannabinoids. Green-washing risks are confusing the consumer and marginalizing the category,” Robert Rosenheck, CEO of Lord Jones, said to Glossy. “From the start, at Lord Jones, we were obsessed with producing products that were clean, green and safe. We wanted to hit precise levels of accuracy when infusing our products, and so we tested, and tested, and tested again. This is the most important piece of the Sephora ‘CBD Standards.’ Now all CBD products at Sephora will be tested for potency as well as microbial and chemical contaminants.”

“At Prima, purity, performance, and transparency are our top priority,” said Prima Founder and CEO Christopher Gavigan. “We are obsessively passionate about bringing an unparalleled level of trust, integrity, and expertise to consumers. It’s incredibly validating to be selected by Sephora, who is not only the leading prestige beauty omni-retailer but also shares our health and safety values through the Clean at Sephora program and their newly articulated “CBD Standards”. Our scientifically validated, sustainably sourced, and vegan / cruelty-free principles have led to a new, elevated paradigm in this CBD category and luxury skincare. It’s outstanding to be acknowledged by Sephora for our approach, best-in-class botanical products, rigorous standards, and leadership to elevate the entire therapeutic wellness industry.”

The category has moved faster than government regulation and industry standards. While independent CBD retailers like Standard Dose have established rigorous standards, Sephora is the first national retailer to put CBD standards into effect. Their long-term view and leadership is necessary to protect consumers from brands that are not self-regulating when it comes to their supply chain, testing, and validation.

“There’s a risk with so many new brands and claims of turning consumers off completely,” Deily said to Glossy. “There has been a tsunami of new CBD brands launching, and this has been going on for over a year. Brand activity in this space has actually made us more conservative.”

It is unclear why Sephora restricting the supply chain to domestic sources and products formulated with isolate but the new CBD Standards are a great start to establishing industry standards for the CBD beauty category.


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