Mantle explains the challenges from the first years as Nordic CBD skincare pioneers
Co-founder Stina Lönnkvist: ”It’s very fun and rewarding to be trailblazers in a new industry.”
28 Jun 2023

Over the last few years, Lönnkvist, her co-founder Josefin Landgård, and a team of now around 20 people have built CBD beauty brand Mantle and seen, first-hand, how the perception of it has changed. 

— Nowadays almost no one asks us if they will get high from using our skincare, a question we often got three years ago! she says. We’ve been educating customers about the myths, but also benefits, of CBD skincare. 

Is this perception different in different markets?

— Very! While it’s still a novelty with CBD in the Nordics, it’s more well-known in, for instance, the US and UK. However, there’s still a lot of education to be made in these markets about the huge differences in quality, and how CBD plays a scientific role in professional skincare.

How have these years been?

— Full of speed to say the least! We knew from the start that we would create products with a 360-perspective on the female body — skincare, body care, and intimate care — and now we’ve launched all three categories. The best part is how well both the brand ethos and the products have been received. It means so much to us when people reach out and tell us that we’ve improved their skin and confidence, or have been empowered by our marketing and our choice of models; we stand out quite a bit from other professional skincare brands when it comes to our advertising.

”Sometimes I wish we’d chosen a simpler business idea”

What have been the main challenges?

— Building companies is always a never-ending process of overcoming challenges. The more challenges you overcome, the greater the value of your company. The main challenge has been CBD and the regulations around it. While few people raise their eyebrows at CBD in the US, it’s still controversial in many parts of Europe. However, it’s also very fun and rewarding to be a trailblazer in a new industry. Working with CBD still limits us in a lot of ways when it comes to marketing. Sometimes I wish we’d chosen a simpler business idea. But then again, when there’s a clear blueprint of how to do things, there’s no big opportunity. If we can be the best at what we do and overcome these hurdles, the opportunity is enormous. Right now we are growing a lot across Europe and that means that we have things to figure out, which is fun.

For the summer season, Mantle presents several new launches, including The Face Jelly, which includes nutrient-dense chlorophyll that gives it its green colour and a great dose of vitamins.

— It’s a lightweight gel cream for thirsty skin, enriched with CBD, hyaluronic acid, balancing centella, collagen-boosting peptides, and chlorophyll, which plumps, refreshes and quenches thirsty skin. It has an innovative waterbased formula that penetrates the skin barrier and absorbs into skin, ensuring incredibly deep hydration. It’s non-comedogenic and doesn’t clog the pores, making it the perfect moisturiser for oily and acne-prone skin, and for those looking for a lighter moisturiser during the summer. The texture is truly unique!

What do you predict will be the next big thing in skincare?

— Botanical superheroes, such as mushrooms. We launched a mushroom product called The Shroom Essence this spring, featuring three different types of fermented mushrooms, and have also worked with innovative high-performance ingredients such as azelaic acid and bakuchiol, which both are on the rise, says Lönnkvist. She continues:

— I think a lot about beauty standards and the industry, especially as I’m part of the target audience myself. Too much communication in the professional results-driven skincare industry has been driven by creating fear or insecurity in customers. For instance, the fear of aging through anti-aging marketing, or the fear of not being perfect through talking about fixing ’imperfections’. We don’t sign up to that. We want to embrace personal expression and experience. I believe that you can change the negative self-improvement narrative to a more empowering one, while still creating science-backed products that make a difference.

— When it comes to our skin, the relationship with our skin’s barrier continues to evolve. We will see less use of abrasive ingredients and excessive exfoliation in favour of more gentle, soothing ingredients that support the skin barrier. This is what will promote long-term healthy skin. We will see a rise in ingredients that work to reinforce the barrier and promote cellular regeneration and repair such as ceramides, fermented ingredients, peptides, and stem cells.

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