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A good friend recently shared her latest “CBD” product. She was so excited about how good it made her feel. With an extensive professional background in ingredients, I immediately looked at the labeling. Tit was immediately obvious. The front label and the ingredient label did not match. The product advertised on the front that it was “CBD”. But the ingredient label clearly indicated otherwise.
With the CBD product rush in full swing, this is all too common.
Here’s the breakdown on CBD as a cosmetic ingredient. Too many cosmetic products are claiming to have CBD in them when they do not. Ingredient truth-fighters have worked tirelessly over the last decade. For instance- and thanks to their efforts, transparency in claims for natural and organic products has truly paid off.
Until now. So here we go again. Everywhere we look, its all about CBD. This hot new ingredient truly needs clear communication.
How to identify real CBD in your cosmetic product.
This is strictly a review on how to identify CBD as the ingredient in topical products. Things that we eat and smoke will be discussed in future posts.
Begin by doing what you always do. Read the ingredient label. Ingredients can come in various forms and CBD is no different.
Begin by doing what you always do-
- Read the Ingredient Label.
Does “hemp oil” also referred to as “hemp seed oil” have CBD in it?
NOPE. Hemp Seed Oil comes from just as it says, the seed. CBD comes from different parts of the plant- the stalks, leaves and flowers. Hemp seed oil claims to have nutritional and cosmetic value, but it is NOT CBD. So, if you are thinking you have purchased a cosmetic with CBD in it, the ingredients must list more than just “hemp oil” or “hemp seed oil”.
But labels can be tricky, everybody seems to be using different wording.
So, if a label says just “hemp oil”-read further . Do your research to make sure you are indeed shelling out for a CBD product and not just a seed oil.
Don’t misunderstand. Hemp seed oil is wonderful. It is like many other cosmetic botanical oils such as jojoba seed oil, macadamia seed oil, sunflower oil-these are all great oils with tons of benefits. But, you might be paying for and expecting CBD level results and quality and not getting it!
Here is are ingredient label examples that perfectly show the difference in the ingredient names and how they are listed.
Kiehl’s has a Hemp Seed Oil Product and it is labeled properly. Note the “Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil”-this is the hemp seed oil. It is not CBD and Kiehls is not trying to sell it as CBD.
Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens Flow Oil, Origanum Heracleoticum Flower Oil / Sunflower Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Mentha Piperita Oil / Peppermint Oil, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene.
Here is a product that DOES have CBD in it. This is a very good back label ingredient list by Pacific CBD Co:
Ingredients: Cocoa Seed Butter, Paraffinum (Mineral Oil), Pure CBD Isolate (CBD Oil), Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Lanolin, Eucalyptus Oil, Arnica Oil, Calendula Oil, Lavender Oil, Frankincense Oil, Coumarin, Fragrance.
Notice there are other botanical oils, but no mention of hemp seed oil.
Hope this explanation helps! More posts to come on this very hot, but sometimes very confusing and misleading ingredient!
Ulta Beauty is a thing of beauty. Both the company and the stock are exceeding everyone’s expectations. But like all beautiful things, they can wither from old age and neglect. Ulta Beauty’s strategy is on the edge of doing just that. Yes this sounds crazy, but read on.
It is management’s job to look forward and around the corner in order to set and adjust strategy. Let’s look around the proverbial corner.
Since their 1990 launch, Ulta maintains their force fields of differentiation:
- The combination of high/low merchandise price points.
- Full-service salons are in the back of every store.
NO COMPETITOR HAS BEEN ABLE TO COPY THESE DIFFERENTIATORS
Their financial position is equally astonishing. On October 25, 2007, Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA) went public and opened at $18. Right now, the stock is about $350. If you are counting, that is over 18x your money. They are also completely debt free.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered excellent results in the fourth quarter,” said CEO Mary Dillon. “This performance reflects an acceleration in comparable sales in our retail stores, primarily driven by traffic.”
Ulta highlights their execution in (3) segments:
Press releases reveal the reality of these (3) initiatives. Brick and Mortar Retail product sales dominate at 83% of revenue. Ecommerce is only 11% and only recently have they signed on with cutting edge digital partners. The Salon segment of their revenue is a mere 5% of their massive $6.2B in revenue, and they project the salon growth at only 3%. Remember the salon is a sustainable competitive advantage. At only 3% growth, it functions more as a cost center than a profit center.
Further analysis reveals more. The bulk of their spend and focus on execution is actually on building new stores. They plan about 80 new locations this year. That’s it-this is the grand total of their execution.
Is this enough???
To recap- Ulta is a $6.2B company, debt free and the largest retailer of its kind-and their biggest growth driver is new stores in strip malls across suburban America.
Again, the question can be asked- is this enough? Is it enough to maintain the #1 status they have enjoyed for so long? Or does doing the same thing they have always done threaten their competitive advantage? Are they doing enough for shareholders, consumers and for the brands they sell?
To their credit, there has been a recent sizable coup and significant activity by signing Kylie Jenner and launching Cannuka, a CBD skincare brand.
Yet,it can be argued that despite their incredible stock performance, Ulta may not be delivering enough value to shareholders. Seems they have much more capacity to comfortably do more- much, much more.
Ulta has only 1 strategic comfort zone. Building new stores.
They basically have only 1 revenue and profit source. Selling product.
Compare this to the competition: Sephora is a part of luxury behemoth LVMH and they benefit from an internal capital market. Department stores also sell fashion goods. Digital only players are proving to not even need a brick and mortar environment.
Ulta’s very narrow growth strategy of opening new US stores is very capital intensive. Their narrow revenue model makes them very vulnerable. The competition is outspending them on digitization. Unless they become more expansionist, Ulta’s competitive edges will be dulled. They will find themselves in a financial cul-de-sac with a lot of physical stores, but no liquidity for new investment opportunities.
What are Ulta’s strategic options? What more could they be doing?
Create additional revenue and profit streams
- Form an internal business acquisition team- “The A Team”.
- Hire a leading global consultant firm to work with The A Team.
- Ready corporate culture for global expansion.
- Generate meaningful ROI from The Salon assets.
- Enter into additional exclusive brand distribution agreements.
- Invest heavily into enterprise IoT.
Compared to their formidable capacity, Ulta can do so much more for their stakeholders. The 3 Levers described here just scratch the surface. What do you think? What else could Ulta do?