Scarlett Johansson worked on The Outset, her new skin-care brand, for five years before it officially launched, so if you think this is just another celebrity-endorsement, then you might want to think again. Released in the US in March, it came to the UK in June offering skin-care essentials with a focus on hydration and fortifying the skin barrier. And it's been a labour of love for the A-list actor.
"I had a pain point and was looking for a solution," she tells POPSUGAR of the beginnings of the brand. "I struggled with acne forever. When I was in my teens, the big story was how to wash away grime because that caused acne. And so a lot of the products that I was using and prescribed were products that stripped away, dried out, products that were very stringent. I was terrified to use anything, any kind of oil on it, because I was just convinced it was going to give me cystic acne. And it was a real battle."
After becoming frustrated with her breakouts and wearing concealer to cover up, Johansson tried a more gentle moisturising routine and found her skin started to heal itself. And so, her quest to create products that provide others with a simple, hydrating, consistent skin-care routine began.
To be clear, Johansson isn't a new face in the beauty industry — on the contrary, she's been "fortunate enough," as she puts it, to work with quite a few luxury brands as an ambassador over the years. But she wanted something more. Although, even Johansson — Black Widow herself — didn't think that dream could become a reality at first: "[I] met with a lot of the big houses that were building brands for other celebrities, and then just kept coming back to the principle that I really wanted to do my own thing."
Then she met Kate Foster Lengyel, her now co-founder, and magic started to happen. Johansson wanted to create a brand that is simple and effective. "I wanted the products to be used by as many people as possible. That was really important to me," she says.
The Outset's signature ingredient is a plant-based alternative to hyaluronic acid. And she wants to put the simplicity back into skin-care. "Whenever my skin is breaking out, I have always returned to this three-step process of cleansing, and priming, and moisturising," she says. That's what inspired the three hero launches: a gentle cleanser, firming collagen serum, and a daily moisturiser.
Ahead, learn more about each of the 8 skin-care products and why Johansson loves them.
— Additional reporting by Jessica Harrington