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Vanessa Hudgens Wants A Different Kind Of Celebrity Skin Care Line

The actress talks about the relaunch of Know Beauty, her everyday skin care routines, and her best trick for covering up blemishes.

Vanessa Hudgens has been captivating audiences since 2006, when she first appeared in High School Musical. But ever since she first established herself on the scene, it seems as if she’s never content to stay in the same lane for too long. Hudgens has lived many different lives since the beginning of her career as a teen actress to evolve into the ultimate multi-hyphenate she is today.

From her start as a teen Disney star and pop singer, she took a major grown up turn as an infamous Spring Breaker in the cult favorite 2012 Harmony Korine film. She’s been a live TV musical lead, in iconic roles like Rizzo in Grease Live! and Maureen in Rent: Live. In the past few years, she’s become Netflix’s reigning Christmas movie queen, starring in three The Princess Switch movies (playing not one, or two, but three interacting characters in the same movie). She can communicate with ghosts! She’s been NYLON’s “It Girl” issue cover girl. Just last weekend, she was a host of Countdown to the Oscars as a red carpet correspondent. There really isn’t anything she can’t do.

Now, Hudgens is adding beauty mogul into the mix, with her new niche issue-focused skin care brand, Know Beauty. After originally launching in June 2021, the brand is getting a hard relaunch, starting March 15. The first drop is the Glacial Bay Clay Mask — a detoxifying clay mask for oily and acne-prone skin, that leaves your skin feeling fresh and baby smooth, not dried out or tight. (I can personally attest that even my dry skin was left glowing after I rinsed it off.)

Below, Hudgens talks about the relaunch of Know Beauty, her everyday skin care and makeup routines, and her best trick for covering up blemishes.

When did you start loving beauty?

As someone who grew up in theater, I was wearing makeup at the age of six. I think my first beauty love was Ruby Woo by MAC. I was the eight year old walking around with bright red lipstick on.

How do you feel like your relationship with beauty has grown since then?

It's evolved a lot. I grew up in theater and in front of the camera, I was so used to wearing makeup that I felt almost conditioned to feel incomplete unless I was wearing it. As I've gotten older and I’ve started to really care for my skin, I've found more empowerment in not wearing makeup and having my skin really be at the forefront of my attention.

Did you have problematic skin growing up?

Oh, I do right now! That's honestly why I made the Glacial Bay Clay Mask — out of a personal need. I have very oily and sensitive skin, and I am extremely acne prone, still to this day, so I wanted to create something that would be really detoxifying and stop the pimples before they even show up. I tried a ton of different clay masks and they were all too drying for me, I couldn't find one that I became obsessed with. I realized that [was] my window of opportunity and I got to create something that I needed. Now I can't live without it. It's a part of my everyday routine.

When do you mask every day?

If I have a busy day, I will wake up and put it on my face first thing. And then I’ll check my phone, brush my teeth, and then I'll take a shower and wash it off. It's been really pivotal in helping me keep my skin clear and bright. The results keep on getting better, too. I think that it works wonders evening out my skin tone and removing the dead skin cells.

Why did you want to start with the mask for the Know Beauty relaunch?

With this rebrand, I really wanted to give Know Beauty a reason to be here. The marketplace is so saturated, I didn't want to have another full skin care line and try to sell you an entire regimen. I wanted to address niche issues, and to have something that could be slotted easily into your routine. We launched Know Beauty originally in 2021, with a completely different mentality. It was DNA testing that took the guesswork out of skincare and it didn't really resonate with consumers. So we've decided to take a hard turn and figure out what is something that we can be known for and that is something I am extraordinarily passionate about.

What does your day-to-day beauty routine look like now?

I do my mask in the morning. I cleanse, and then I use a salicylic acid spray. Then I put on an oil. I've been using this oil by Non Gender Specific. I love things that are holistic and turning to Mother Nature for remedies.

I got this product I've been obsessed with, the Ilia [Super Serum] Skin Tint — it has sunscreen in it. I love my Freck! I love putting it on my freckles — I do that almost every day. It's great, too, because if I have a pimple, I’ll just throw a little dot on it. Then, a little mascara and a lip color, and use that lip color on my cheeks, and I call it a day.

What's the biggest thing you've learned in all of your years in front of the camera?

Honestly, it was learning to take care of my skin. It's always fun to express yourself through makeup, but if your base isn't good, then it's kind of like painting over another painting.

Is there a character you've played whose beauty look you liked the most or had the most fun with?

When I got to create Fiona in The Princess Switch 2 and 3, I had so much fun with that because I was really given free rein. It was like, “Who do you want her to be? How do you want her to look? How do you want her to sound?” I got to come up with this character who's so over the top and fabulous. She wears lots of makeup, so we had a lot of fun with that.

Did you enjoy being blonde? That was a big change.

It was fun! I love changing my look. I feel like that's part of the reason why I became an actor all of those years ago. It's fun to look in a mirror and see a different person. It’s the same reason why I love a theme party. I think that it's always fun to give yourself an excuse to become another person.

Do you have a beauty philosophy?

Now I’m in this mentality of, “skin is in.” I just cannot stress enough how empowering it is when you feel confident in your own skin and don't need to cover it up. I think that's really beautiful and screams real confidence.