The beauty industry’s obsession with CBD isn’t slowing down and Khiron, a Colombian company whose well-being unit has produced the first branded CBD skincare line in Latin America, Kuida, is targeting travel retail as a key channel for international distribution.
Incorporated as a public company in Canada, Khiron is based in Colombia with manufacturing in Colombia, Spain and soon to open in the United States in Nashville.
Colombia was one of the first Latin American countries to legalize cannabis in 2017. Khiron Life Sciences, the parent company, was created to produce THC and CBD medical products, and has since introduced the country’s first ever line of CBD products.
Kuida CBD skincare line is distributed at retail and online across Colombia and since last November, very selectively in the United States, where it debuted in an exclusive CBD boutique on Rodeo Drive.
The company is highly invested in research & development and committed to a patient-oriented operational model, Khiron skincare director Elsa Navarro tells TMI.
Khiron’s consumer products are just one of four main areas of the company: it also has clinics, medical products and R&D, in addition to the well-being division.
“So people buying our products realize that they are getting products produced from the highest standards in the cannabis industry,” explains Navarro.
“There are a lot of CBD brands in the beauty industry but too often a lack of consistent quality in the ingredient. Our main advantages are that our products come from a cannabis [and pharmaceutical] company, we use the highest quality and have a better understanding of how to use the CBD,” says Navarro.
“We think that the CBD ingredient needs to be more understood. Our company is always encouraging research and uses this research to back up any claim that we make. You will not find any claim on our packaging that is not supported by research.”
Kuida’s unique synergy
According to the company, Kuida stands out because of its proprietary formula called CBDERM.
With CBD derived from hemp as the main ingredient, CBDERM is CBD plus a higher portion of other active ingredients, acting together in synergy that results in a more powerful formula than one with just CBD, says Navarro.
“When CBD enters into this formulation, it enhances the efficacy of the other ingredients. This formula is a powerful antioxidant, and with its other cosmeceutical ingredients works strongly on hydration and is especially good at anti-aging and retaining water in the skin.”
The full Kuida range of products each has its own special attributes. The night cream, for example, helps to regenerate skin cells while the user is sleeping. The full range of 11 products were to be featured at the Summit of the Americas in Orlando, before it was cancelled, as well as at Cosmoprof in Italy.
Travel Retail: perfect channel to help consumers understand CBD
Navarro believes that travel retail is a perfect landscape through which to introduce the Kuida products because it allows the brand to have a one-on-one relationship with the final consumer. It is working with travel retail specialist Nick Tamma, who represents the brand globally in the channel and in the domestic Florida market.
“Cannabis needs to be understood on a first-hand basis. Getting the message from an advertisement or a counter that doesn’t have the right information, isn’t really enough,” says Navarro. “Our strategy is to contact travelers in select airports or cruises using beauty advisors who have been specially trained in the product. The BAs will have a deep understanding of the products and time to explain on a one-to-one basis.
“The first questions we always get are ‘Am I going to smell like pot?’ ‘Am I going to get high?’ and ‘Am I going to get arrested?’ We think the travel retail industry can open space that no other industry or strategy in the beauty industry is able to offer.
“The cannabis industry is getting a lot of attention and many CBD products are getting on shelves by making their claims, so now is the opportunity to show that we really know the category and can teach the consumers about the products that can be trusted.”
CBD vs Hemp
In addition to the 11-product Kuida range, Khiron has created a brand of Hemp products for travel retail under the name Kredo.
“We need to teach people the difference between CBD and Hemp seed oil. The benefits between them are quite different,” says Navarro.
CBD is one of the cannabinoids that comes from the cannabis plant; and hemp seed oil comes from the seed of the plant and does not contain cannabinoids.
“But the hemp oil is rich in nutrients, fatty acids and bioactive compounds – it is one of the richest emollients, and is very good against some inflammation. We have just launched in Colombia three different Kredo hand creams that are meeting the standards of the industry: a very light texture for daily use; a formula for intense hydration and a third with anti-aging properties.”
Consumer focus and clinical trials
With its Kuida and Kredo beauty products, Khiron feels that it is creating a new category, says Navarro.
“Our company always focuses on the consumer, on the patient. Whereas other companies focus more on the business aspect, Khiron’s purpose is getting to the consumer with the right product, with the right information, so they know it is the most reliable, best product, meeting the highest quality standards. We are always trying to exceed the consumers’ expectations,” she explains.