There are hunches and then there are DNA tests. Vanessa Hudgens, the co-founder of the new beauty brand Know Beauty, knows it’s good to have both. Hudgens recently discovered she has what qualifies as sensitive skin— “Oh my gosh, my hunch was right,” she says over Zoom—thanks to a test from the brand she recently launched with singer Madison Beer. While we’d all like to have Hudgens’s spot-on intuition, the rest of us are only one exfoliating mask or too-creamy moisturizer away from a breakout. Beer, who has struggled with acne her entire life, is left without the hunching powers of Hudgens and founded Know Beauty in hopes of finally finding out for sure the issues that plagued her—and helping everyone else do the same.
“I was going through serious acne struggles and never felt like I could combat it no matter what,” explains Beer. “And if I did [manage to clear away the acne], it would be two days of clear skin and then they would all just come back up right away. I really wanted to make and find something that could give people answers that they were looking for.” So, the pair teamed up with dermatologist Karen Kagha, MD who serves as the brand’s chief medical officer, and developed a DNA taste to help people get to the bottom of skincare issues. “The DNA test shows what we’re able to learn from genetics, in terms of collagen quality, sensitivity, hyperpigmentation, and more,” explains Dr. Kagha. “While you may not visibly express those signs yet, your genes tell us what to expect.
Lots of skincare brands nowadays offer solutions—serums, masks, moisturizers, blood facials—based on skin type. However those products rely on knowing exactly what those skin types are, mostly based on intuition or educated guesstimations. Why not take a DNA taste to find out if you’re 100% that sensitive-skin bitch?
So, how does it work?
Swab and send
You start by taking a very simple cheek swab DNA kit. Your DNA is analyzed under seven main categories that work to predict your skin’s health.
- Collagen quality: Did you know collagen makes up 75% of the skin’s dry weight? An individual’s genetic predisposition can play a big role in determining the speed of both production and breakdown.
- Skin elasticity: Think of this as the firm and flexible category.
- Glycation: Aka fine lines and wrinkles. Glycation is the leading cause of accelerated aging and the damaging effects cause dryness (eczema), wrinkles, rosacea, and acne.
- UV Production: The sun’s UV ways are the most well-known cause of premature aging. Let this category also serve as a friendly reminder to wear your sunscreen.
- Hyperpigmentation: Melanin helps protect your skin from UV rays from sun exposure but this exposure can also cause your skin to produce more melanin in an attempt to protect your skin, leading to hyperpigmentation.
- Antioxidant Protection: Antioxidants help break down the damaging effects of free radicals ( think: tobacco smoke, pollution, and oxygen) to protect your skin.
- Skin Sensitivity: Sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors like fabrics, pollution, and changes in climate. The test can identify the sensitivity of your skin and aid in introducing new products.
Users complete a short diagnostic quiz on lifestyle and other environmental factors that can impact their overall skin health. The DNA swab along with this quiz will determine your results.
Know Beauty will send you a highly curated routine based on your results. You can then shop for all the recommended products at Know Beauty. The product line includes cleansers, serums, creams, masks, and moisturizers that range from $20 to $50.
The ultimate goal is for users of Know Beauty to be equipped with the right tools for their skin type and feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
“I feel my most beautiful when I’m internally glowing,” says Beer. “I try to put way more emphasis on how I feel inside and when I’m happy, surrounded by good people, and I feel like my energy is good. I feel like I’m setting boundaries. I feel like I’m being my own best friend, looking out for myself.” Hudgens echoed the same sentiment: “I feel beautiful when my mental health is good, that’s for sure.”
Below, watch Madison Beer’s morning routine which includes her very own brand Know Beauty product offering.
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