Skin is in for Vanessa Hudgens

YYou know Vanessa Hudgens, the actress and singer—but do you know Vanessa Hudgens, the skincare expert? The actress is relaunching her beauty line, Know Beauty, with a renewed focus on skincare. The line, originally launched in 2021, focused more on a holistic routine personalized for each client. This time, however, Hudgens focused on a step she personally thoroughly enjoys and has found beneficial in her own skincare regimen: masks. She worked with Cosmo Lab Founder and CEO Mary Berry over a nine-month period to formulate a mask to address a problem she is concerned with, adult acne. The resulting product is a wash-off clay mask containing lactic acid and mineral-enriched colloidal clay harvested from an active glacier in British Columbia.

I’m really excited to start a product. I think it’s really important, especially with a rebrand, to make the consumer aware of the product and give them the opportunity to use it and see a difference in their skin,” says Hudgens. “Know Beauty’s mission is truly fair to create skincare products that solve real problems and fit seamlessly into your skincare routine. If you have a problem, we have a way to solve it.”

We sat down with the actress to talk about why she’s relaunching her line with a face mask, her changing beauty philosophy, what she would say to her younger self, and her approach to bridal beauty.

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

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

I’ve always loved turning to Mother Nature for healing and clay masks were really an interest of mine, but I have sensitive skin so these clay masks would have dried me out so much. I said, “Okay, I think that’s my lane. This is a chance to create something that doesn’t exist on the market that can give Know Beauty a raison d’être.” I started with the focus looking for active ingredients and minerals and vitamins and found the colloidal clay, made from an active glacier is harvested.

I looked into my own beauty box and thought, “What ingredients do I love that have really been instrumental in transforming my skin?” One of these is lactic acid, which is such an amazing ingredient that really removes dead skin cells, but also brightens and evens out skin tone. And as someone who’s not getting any younger, fine lines and wrinkles are definitely a thing, so I’ve added giant seaweed which is great for preventing and also reducing that.

W+G: I clearly felt the acidity when trying it out. I have adult acne too, and it felt really good.

VH: It’s nice to know that your product actually works [laughs].

W+G: Definitely. I would also like to know: What is one thing you cannot do without when it comes to beauty?

VH: Do my skin care routine. Actually, I like to leave the house and often without make-up. As someone who has been in the industry for so long and used to wearing so much makeup, I was almost brainwashed into thinking that unless you have a full face you are not as beautiful as you could be carry . My perspective has really changed over the past few years, the more skin you see, the more beautiful and empowering it is. I’ve been very proactive with my skincare routine, making sure I’m taking all the steps to have clear, glowing skin.

“My attitude has really changed over the last few years because the more skin you see, the more beautiful and powerful it is.” – Vanessa Hudgens, actress

W+G: Skin is trending and that was cool to see. I wonder if you could go back and tell Vanessa one thing about beauty and skincare when she started her career, what would it be?
VH: Making time for things like skin care. I didn’t really pay attention to that until I was probably 18 and I started breaking out and thought I guess I should probably wash my face [laughs]. If I could go back in time I would tell myself to start looking for active ingredients. It’s all about finding the products that actually work.

W+G: You’ve been on so many sets and have a lot of red carpets and events, so I was wondering, do you have a favorite skincare or makeup tip to share from working with different makeup artists?

VH: I’ve been asked this question a few times and I didn’t have any answers, but one thing that just came to mind is how to go about it [makeup artist] Hung Vanngo caresses my lips. He always tells me to smile with my mouth closed when he lines my lips. I remember saying, “Is that your trick, Hung?” and he’s like, “No, I just like the shape.” You just smile when you put your lip liner on.

W+G: When you put together makeup looks in your private life, for example when you go to a nice dinner with your friends, what are you looking for now in terms of makeup? It sounds like you’d love to give your skin a glow, but is there anything fun you’ve tried off the carpet?
VH: I’m a big fan of freckles and have a few, but I definitely use my freckle pen to add a ton. This is something I always carry with me because it’s a great way to turn a pimple into a cutie mark. I love my freckles.

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

VH: My approach is very similar to my approach to beauty. I’m not trying to change my looks; I just want to feel like the best version of myself. That stays pretty true to who I am. It’s overwhelming and I didn’t really realize how much was in it, but I’m not really changing anything. I just buy a lot more white.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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