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When you first hear that Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame and singer Madison Beer, who got her start off YouTube thanks to a Justin Bieber kudos, started a skin-care line together, your instinct might be to groan. After all, in the age of commodified self-care, do we really need another celebrity selling us the same lotions and potions already on the market, just emblazoned with their name?
But Know Beauty, the skin-care line that the two just launched on June 22, promises to be different.
For one, they're not going at it alone. Their third founder is L.A.-based dermatologist Karen Kagha, M.D., who's also acting as the brand's chief medical officer and has informed the brand's mission and products from the start. Second, their company hinges on personalization - something that's not entirely new but is relatively green to the skin-care market (See: Are Custom Hair- and Skin-Care Products Worth It?) - as well as a unique DNA analysis component.
"Anyone that knows me knows I'm a maximalist when it comes to skincare, but I always thought there should be an easier way to figure out what's actually right for your skin," wrote Hudgens in an Instagram post about the brand launch. (She's not kidding; she's previously shared her 10-step skin-care routine.) "KNOW Beauty is a smarter way to build a skincare routine that takes the guesswork out of the process."
How so? You'll complete a 1-minute skin diagnostic quiz on Know Beauty's website that grills you about your age, whereabouts, skin issues and sensitivities, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions (it's set up as if you're messaging with Dr. Kagha herself). It then gives you a score out of 100 on eight different factors: pollution, sleep, stress, diet, exercise, hydration, glycation (a cause of skin aging), and sun expsoure. The brand offers insight into why you received the scores you did as well as how each factor affects your skin. Then, of course, it offers you the perfect personalized skin-care routine featuring Know Beauty products out of a potential 1,092 different combinations, "so you get healthier skin without the trial and error." (Also read: How to Create the Perfect Skin-Care Routine)
From there, you have the option to level up to a DNA-influenced skin-care rec: Purchase a kit for $95 that allows you to collect and send your DNA from home. This allows you to analyze your skin genetics across seven additional categories, including collagen renewal, pigmentation and sun damage, antioxidant support, skin sensitivity, and advanced glycation end productions. Soon after, your results and expert-recommended personal product routine arrives via email.
If you don't want to opt into a full skin-care routine overhaul, of course, you can shop à la carte, with prices ranging from $20 for a lip mask to $30 for, say, masks and serums. Yes, really: $30 is the most expensive product in the line, making it pretty damn affordable. (Opt for a full set or bundle, and the products net even cheaper.)
And when it comes to intentions, Hudgens' and Beer's seem pure: They decided to team up and create the brand after both having had their own skin-care struggles. (They're reportedly friends through Hudgens' younger sister, according to Allure.) Beer has been vocal about struggling with acne in her late teens, which "made her self-conscious and had a big impact on her mental health," according to her bio on Know's site. Hudgens, too, experienced breakouts in her early 20s, which set her skin-care obsession in motion, according to the brand.
The brand promises that their products are also 100 percent cruelty-free, with a certification from Leaping Bunny (the leading cert for non-animal tested products), made in the U.S. to limit the carbon footprint, and created without phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, and parabens, each of which can be considered problematic for various reasons.
Whether or not you want to hop on this car of the celeb-endorsed beauty train, you've got to give Hudgens and Beer a hand for creating an innovative, science-backed brand that just might help solve people's skin probs.