For Vanessa Hudgens, ‘Skin Is In’

Photo: Know Beauty/W+G Creative
You know Vanessa Hudgens the actor and the singer—but do you know Vanessa Hudgens the skin-care maven? The actor is relaunching her beauty line, Know Beauty, with a renewed focus on skin care. The line, which originally launched in 2021, was more focused on a holistic routine personalized for each customer. This time around, however, Hudgens zeroed in on one step she personally enjoys a lot and has found beneficial in her own skin care regimen: masks. She worked with Cosmo Lab's founder and CEO Mary Berry over a period of nine months to formulate a mask to address a concern she deals with, adult acne. The resulting product is a wash off clay mask that contains lactic acid and mineral-infused colloidal clay harvested from an active glacier in British Columbia.

"I'm really excited to launch with one product. I feel it's really important, especially with a rebrand, to get the consumer aware of the product and give them a chance to use it and start to see a difference in their skin," says Hudgens. "The mission at Know Beauty is really just to create intentional skin-care products that solve real problems and that slot seamlessly into your skin-care routine. If you’ve got an issue, we’ve got a way to solve it."

We sat down with the actor to talk about why she's re-launching her line with a face mask, her changing philosophy on beauty, what she’d tell her younger self, and her approach to wedding beauty.

Well+Good: Is there anything recently that you’ve added to your beauty routine?

Vanessa Hudgens: My mask is definitely something that's a part of my almost everyday routine. It really was birthed out of a personal need. I have very oily, sensitive, and problematic skin. As a full-blown adult, I didn’t think adult acne would be something that would chase me, but it still does.

I’ve always loved turning to Mother Nature for remedies and clay masks have really been an interest of mine, but I have sensitive skin so I would be dried out so bad from these clay masks. I was like, “Okay, I think this is my lane. This is a chance to create something that's not on the market that can give Know Beauty a reason to exist.” I started with the focus of looking for active ingredients and minerals and vitamins and found the colloidal clay, which is harvested from an active glacier.

I looked into my own beauty box and, and was like, “What are the ingredients that I love that have been really pivotal in helping transform my skin?” One of them is lactic acid, which is such an amazing ingredient that really combs away dead skin cells, but also brightens and evens skin tone. And as someone who's not getting any younger, fine lines and wrinkles are definitely a thing so I added giant sea kelp, which is great for preventing that and reducing that as well.

W+G: I could definitely feel the acid when I tried it. I also have adult acne, and it really did feel nice. 

VH: It’s nice to know your product is actually working [laughs].

W+G: Definitely. I’d also love to know: What's one thing you can't leave the house without doing in terms of beauty?

VH: Doing my skin-care routine. I actually like to leave the house quite often without a lick of makeup on. As someone who has been in the industry for so long and who has been so used to wearing so much makeup, I was kind of almost brainwashed into this idea that you’re not as beautiful as you could be unless you have a full face on. My outlook has really changed over the past few years, where the more skin you see, the more beautiful and empowering it is. I’ve been super proactive about my skin-care routine and making sure I’m taking all the steps to have clear, bright skin.

"My outlook has really changed over the past few years where the more skin you see, the more beautiful and empowering it is."—Vanessa Hudgens, actor

W+G: Skin is very in and that’s been cool to see. I’m wondering: if you could go back and tell Vanessa at the beginning of her career one thing about beauty and skin care, what would it be?
VH: To take the time to do things like skin care. I didn't really pay any attention to it until I was probably 18 and I started breaking out and I was like, I guess I should probably be washing my face [laughs]. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to start looking for active ingredients. It's just about finding the products that actually work.

W+G: You've been on so many sets and have lots of red carpets and events, so I'm wondering do you have a favorite skin-care or makeup tip that you can share from working with various makeup artists?

VH: I've been asked this question a few times and I have had no answers, but one thing that did just pop into my head is the way that [makeup artist] Hung Vanngo lines my lips. He always tells me to do a closed-mouth smile when he lines my lips. I remember being like, “Is that your trick, Hung?” and he’s like, “No, I just like the shape.” You just smile when you put on your lipliner.

W+G: When you're putting together makeup looks in your personal life, like if you're going out to a nice dinner with your friends, what are you looking for now in terms of makeup? It sounds like you like letting your skin shine, but is there anything fun that you've been trying off the carpet?
VH: I'm a big fan of freckles and I have a few, but I definitely use my Freck pen to add a ton. That's something that I always have with me because it's a great way to turn a pimple into a beauty mark. I love my freckles.

Know Beauty: Glacial Bay Clay Mask — $35.00

Recommended for oily and acne-prone skin, this mask contains Canadian Colloidal Clay, Lactic Acid, and Giant Sea Kelp.

W+G: That’s so fun. Also, you recently got engaged—congratulations! Have you thought about what beauty look you want for your wedding and your approach to bridal style?

VH: My approach is very much the same as my outlook on beauty. I'm not trying to change the way that I look; I just want to feel like the best version of myself. That's staying pretty true to who I am. It's overwhelming and I didn't really realize how much goes into it, but I'm not really changing anything. I'm just buying a lot more white.

This interview’s been edited for length and clarity. 

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