Madison Beer and Vanessa Hudgens have been like sisters for almost a decade. When Beer moved to L.A. at fourteen, she became close friends with Hudgens' younger sister, Stella, and through her, was soon introduced the the former High School Musical star who quickly turned from an idol to friend.
"I remember meeting Vanessa when she drove up to my house to pick up Stella one afternoon, I felt a kind of instant connection to her," Beer recalled during our recent Zoom interview, describing their instant big-sister bond. "Growing up, of course, I was a huge fan. Because she's a tiny bit older than me, with more experience, I really looked up to her."
Fast forward to 2020, Beer and Hudgens — now twenty-two and thirty-two, respectively — were reintroduced through mutual industry contacts, and discovered their shared passion for skin care. "Vanessa and I have similar experiences in the skin-care world," Beer explained. "We're both young people in the industry looking to maintain good skin while being on camera all the time. Plus, already knowing each other on a personal level, we knew we wanted to work together."
For Beer specifically, she felt frustrated with the trial and error that comes with finding the right skin-care routine. "After years of dealing with hormonal acne, I finally found a routine that worked for me — but it was frustrating to get here," she explained. "The products were random; I had to dig on YouTube and Amazon and watch so many reviews just to find what might work for my skin. I thought there could be a better, smarter approach."
That thought bubble — simplifying and personalizing skin care — brought Beer and Hudgens to seek the counsel of an expert, certified dermatologist Dr. Karen Kagha, MD. From there, the three women set out on a year-long brand development process with one singular goal: to create a skin-care label that takes the guesswork out of finding a product routine.
Today, they introduce Know Beauty, marketed as an "intelligent" skin-care brand, comprised of a DNA test and a curated product routine that is personalized based on the results. In the first step, you take a DNA test and a cheek swab, which is sent to a lab to collect your chromosomal information. In conjunction, you'll complete an online diagnostic quiz and answer questions about where you live, what you eat, which birth control you're on, etc. This helps to further inform your personalized product recommendations.
"We combine all that information from each consumer and develop an algorithm to make a skin-care suggestion based on our curated skin-care products," explains Dr. Kaghan, Know Beauty's Chief Medical Officer. "We have about 17 products in total, but there are hundreds of different combinations. If you go through the process, we'll recommend a routine — a cleanser, serum, day and night moisturizer, and face mask — all personalized based on the results of your tests that you can shop directly on our website."
Beer's personalized morning skin-care routine includes two just products: Know Beauty's Clarifying Cleanser and the Calming Day Moisturizer. "The best part is that now my routine is not complicated at all," she explains. "The cleanser has salicylic acid and when I wash my face, I can really feel it cleaning my skin. Then I love the moisturizer because it's lightweight, like a serum, but helps keep my rosacea down — it's super soothing and makes my skin feel clear and glowy. On an off day, hanging out at home, I don't even wear makeup."
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