Kristen Bell gets very attached to her beauty products. Just hearing her wax poetic about the serums and creams that make up her daily routine (Instytutum Melting Cleanser, IS Clinical Active Serum, and Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel to name a few) is like listening to someone gush about their best friend or significant other. And don’t even get her started on last year’s discontinuing of the Clarisonic brush. Yes, the pain of that loss is still fresh for the Frozen star. “RIP. I can’t even describe how I felt when they went out of business,” says the actor in a virtual sit-down with TZR. Perhaps it’s her experience with “pretty sensitive” skin that causes her to latch on to a product that works for her complexion. Or maybe she just really likes facial brushes.
It’s likely the former, as you’ll hear a similar vibrancy in her already chipper voice when discussing the magic of CBD. “When I started using it, it felt like I was turning the thermostat of my life to the right temperature,” she says with a sparkle in her eye that even her Zoom camera picked up on. “And as a busy mom, and I’m no busier than anyone else, I was forgetting to take my tincture. It then occurred to me, what if the CBD I wanted to ingest was in [my skin care] products, so I could skip a step?”
Bell took this question and parlayed it into a business venture (in partnership with luxury CBD juggernaut Lord Jones), a CBD-infused skin care brand appropriately named Happy Dance. The label’s inaugural lineup, launched in late 2020, included Body Butter, Coconut Melt, and Bath Bombs, but just recently added a facial moisturizer to the cheerful roster. Just like the actor’s infectious smile and relatable personality, the products boast bright and bubbly candy-colored packaging (“what I would look like if I was sitting in your medicine cabinet”), simple ingredients, and multi-purpose use. Relatable ... just like Bell.
For those not quite in the know (although at this point, it’s doubtful anyone isn’t), CBD — aka cannabidiol — has quickly become the darling of the health and beauty realms. Once a clandestine compound often only found in tincture form and available in exclusive health food stores and yoga studios, the hemp-derived ingredient, which touts calming and anti-inflammatory benefits to name a few, is now being incorporated into everything from gum drops to body oil. But despite its meteoric rise, there’s still a lot of misinformation and mystery surrounding CBD, which is another reason Bell started Happy Dance.
“It has helped me so much but the [CBD] compound is very confusing,” says Bell. “The hemp plant has a lot to offer. One of the things that everybody knows is it offers is weed, which gets you high. But there are hundreds of compounds, a little over a hundred actually, in the hemp plant that all do different things, and they pretty much are all wonderful. Science has been able to separate them and we’ve pulled CBD into our products because it soothes and calms — for me, mentally and physically.”
Happy Dance’s latest skin care hero, Look Alive, aims to help you do just that. Infused with, that’s right, CBD, four types of hyaluronic acid, avocado oil, and a bisabolol-ginger blend, the formula is designed to revive dull, tired skin. “I’m beyond happy with how this moisturizer came out,” says Bell. “It’s everything that I’ve ever wanted.”
This is saying a lot, considering Bell herself deals with eczema and super-dry skin, which can make finding the right flare-up free formulas a challenge to say the least. And, at the end of the day, 41-year-old Bell says she just wants a beauty routine that makes her skin feel healthy. “Ten, 15 years ago, I was much more pre-occupied with the presentational value of beauty,” she explains. “Now I focus on how it makes me feel. Growing older, in your face, there are things you can’t change. But I’m like, ‘As long as I look and feel healthy, then that’s enough.” Fair enough, but I’m sure Bell would change the fate of the Clarisonic if she could.
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