After some serious soul searching, Latina entrepreneur Andrea Barrera launched hemp and CBD-infused beauty brand Gracious Om. With her extensive expertise as a lead research specialist for a prominent Neuroscience and mental health clinic, Andrea embarked on natural healing brand. She took time to educate herself around plants and their wellness and beauty properties through her global travels. “I quickly experienced first hand how hemp, crystals and ancient herbal remedies worked. I traveled, researched, met curanderas, Shamans, estheticians, holistic healers and doctors originating from countries all over Latin America,” explained the founder. Understanding that there are still those within the Latino community longing for more education around hemp and CBD-oil, the California native is taking her role in the beauty community seriously. Ahead, you’ll find more insight on Andrea’s expertise, de-stressing tips, and different cultural experiences.
On creating Gracious Om:
I was inspired to create Gracious Om after realizing that there were no products focusing on harnessing the healing properties of CBD in daily skincare. At that time, all the CBD topicals available were targeted for pain and not created for daily skincare use. After personally struggling with my skin as a result of stress and environmental factors, I got tired of waiting and decided to take a more holistic approach to skincare and beauty. I quickly experienced first-hand how Hemp, CBD, ancient herbal remedies and crystals worked and fell in love with the plant world. Several months later, with the help of estheticians and cosmetic chemists, I was able to create Gracious Om's CBD line. The response and feedback I have received since then have continuously fueled me to keep going!
On educating the Latinx community around the healing properties of hemp and CBD:
Gracious Om has given me an amazing platform and opportunity to educate so many members of my community through events and social media. At first, I was not aware of the lack of information available on CBD or cannabis within the Latinx community. There are still a lot of stigmas associated with cannabis that makes people wary about approaching the topic altogether. In many cases, it was difficult to break through individuals who were closed off to the idea of cannabis and CBD as a tool for wellness. However, this was never discouraging for me as there were just as many people if not more, interested in learning about the topic. By participating in events and presenting my brand in a professional and approachable manner, I am able to create a safe space for people to feel comfortable asking about Hemp and CBD.
Skincare benefits from using hemp and CBD:
Some of the skincare benefits from using Gracious Om products include relief of pain and discomfort, help with acne-prone skin, aiding in repairing skin from damage and more. CBD itself contains analgesic properties (painkilling properties), that along with other beneficial ingredients also make our products effective for the relief of psoriasis/eczema and discomfort caused by flare-ups.
Advice on de-stressing during global crisis to reduce anxiety:
Gracious Om's entire line is ideal for reducing anxiety and stress. While most CBD topicals on the market focus solely on the pain healing properties of CBD, I wanted to create a line of products that was going to change the way we looked at skincare and serve as a reminder to practice self-care. Aside from the stress-reducing therapeutic benefits of essential oils found in our products, CBD acts on our CB1 and CB2 receptors which alter our serotonin signals. Multiple clinical studies have shown that the use of CBD oil, whether ingested or applied topically can significantly reduce anxiety and stress respectively. From our Rose Tea Cream and Pink Revive scrub to our soothing Jade Roller and Gua Sha massage tools, every product of the line was created with the intention to encourage a balanced and stress-free lifestyle.
On the latest launch, Gracious Om Replenish CBD Sheet Mask:
Gracious Om's new Replenish CBD Sheet mask is finally here and I couldn't be more excited to finally share it with everyone! It is made with Nanoemulsified CBD, which is more absorbent than common CBD oil. The vitamins and CBD in our mask aid in balancing and stimulating natural oil production, and keeping our skin feeling and looking more hydrated. The added hydration in our mask also helps in diminishing the look of fine lines and wrinkles that are formed and caused by severe dryness and sun damage. Additionally, Replenish also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits that help combat acne-causing bacteria by repairing and supporting the skin's natural healing process.
Belief on Latinos' mindsets using cannabis through a beauty and wellness approach:
I’ve definitely seen the Latinx community evolve in their way of thinking about cannabis by approaching the subject through beauty and wellness. Because cannabis has remained a taboo topic for so long, it truly is amazing to see how misconceptions about this plant slowly change the moment I present the information in a new light. I have seen so many people uncomfortable with the topic change their perspective once they understand the plant more. The healing properties of cannabis are undeniable and through educating our community, we will continue breaking the stigma surrounding the topic. Beauty and skincare have been making space for these conversations to take place.
As time progress, cannabis and hemp plants will continue to be studied by many within the science and holistic communities. Among Gracious Om’s founder Andrea, more diverse populations will continue to explore the beauty segment when it comes to these natural ingredients. There’s a new age of Latina beauty coming in 2020.