LONDON — The use of CBD in cosmetic products has become normalized in the last few years due to the boom it has enjoyed, but the globalization of CBD outside of the U.S. and Europe is still met with raised eyebrows.
In the Middle East, it’s still illegal.
“The United Arab Emirates is amazingly strict and it was a real challenge for all of our products. They all went through their own licensing process in order to be available in the U.A.E.,” said Gemma Colao, cofounder and creative director of Oto Wellbeing.
Her brand is one of the first to legally sell CBD cosmetics in the region; they’re exclusively stocked at the Mandarin Oriental, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi’s spa. The products include a day cream, serum, eye cream, night face mask, hand balm and a seven-day ampoule glow treatment.
Every product was tested for quality and quantity of ingredients, purity and traceability. The testing took 12 months to complete.
The multinational luxury hotel group was Colao’s first partner, where the signature treatments use a clear quartz crystal; green aventurine crystal; frankincense, and a sculpting bamboo massage.
“We started to talk to the Mandarin Oriental about how we could extend our offering and move outside of London — it was their idea to go to the U.A.E.,” said Colao.
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