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Hope, Not Dope

[whitespace] cosmetics

By Dara Colwell

The Body Shop waxes elegant on the wonder of weed

A versatile substance that managed to make its way into Italian Bibles during the Renaissance, drafts of the Declaration of Independence and even bath towels, hemp has now reappeared in a line of dry skin care products by The Body Shop. An aluminum, industrial-looking range of serious skin relief, all products tout the line "Hemp is hope not dope" and no, you can't smoke it. Just rub it in deep instead.

Hemp Lip Conditioner ($4.95), containing hemp seed oil, lanolin, beeswax and carnauba wax, is a lightly scented über-balm that can protect any San Franciscan against unpredictable weather. Tim Gann at The Body Shop on Market Street says there has been such high demand for it, his shop was out of stock for three weeks. "It's the best lip protection I've seen in 13 years in San Francisco," Gann says, swiping his lips with an extra coating.

Hemp Elbow Grease ($9.95) combines hemp seed oil with avocado, jojoba and soya oils and beeswax, creating a clear wax that offers extreme moisture relief for dry skin and could probably do a miracle on your car. The grease comes in a container that looks like shoe polish, has a slight burlap-fibery smell and does, indeed, do wonders for those elbows. I slapped it on and my skin thanked me profusely.

Hemp 3-in-1 Oil ($9.95) is a maxi-moisturizer that can be used as a body oil, added to the bath or used to oil squeaky hinges on that old attic door. It contains hemp seed oil--the most fatty oil on the market--sweet almond and sesame oil. It's packaged to look like a bottle of WD40, and according to Gann, it does have that appeal. "Truck drivers and mechanics like to use it," he says, adding, "oh, and doctors and lawyers." No Indian chiefs, though.

Hemp always seems to cause varied reactions. There are those who believe it's the same as marijuana (it belongs to the same plant family, but you'd have to smoke an acre of it to get high) and those who are aware of its environmental benefits. The Body Shop has put out a free pamphlet explaining its history and use which is available in the shops.

The Hemp Dry Skin Care Range can be found at all four Body Shop locations in San Francisco: 216 California St., 506 Castro St., 2106 Chestnut St., and 865 Market St.

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From the April 26, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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