“Of course he does,” responded Scarlett Johansson about if her husband, Saturday Night Live cast member Colin Jost, uses her skin care brand The Outset. “He was getting ready today and he was doing his serum and moisturizer and I was like this is the content we need. Let me just sneak my phone.”

Joking aside, Johansson, who was speaking with Beauty Inc executive editor Jenny B. Fine at WWD x FN x Beauty Inc’s third annual Women in Power event at the Rainbow Room in New York, designed her range of skin care products to be used by everyone, and men currently make up 30 percent of customers.

“From our very first meeting Scarlett said ‘I just want one set of products on our vanity that my husband and I can use,’” explained chief executive officer Kate Foster Lengyel, a beauty industry veteran who has worked in the beauty divisions of Victoria’s Secret and Juicy Couture.

Together, the duo, who met through a mutual friend in the VC space, launched the clean skin care line in March 2022 with five products meant to reflect Johansson’s own minimal skin care routine for her sensitive complexion: the Gentle Micellar Antioxidant Cleanser, the Firming Vegan Collagen Prep Serum, the Nourishing Squalene Daily Moisturizer, the Restorative Niacinamide Night Cream and the Smoothing Vitamin C Eye + Expression Lines Cream. The following month, the Outset entered all Sephora doors in the U.S.

“Its a classic 101 start-up that I had a pain point and I couldn’t find a solution for it. It really started with that. I struggled with acne and problem skin since I was a teenager and into my 20s and I was constantly trying to come up with some way of cleaning my skin and clearing it,” Johansson said, on why she started the brand.

Despite her fame, the twice Oscar-nominated actress doesn’t want The Outset to be viewed as a celebrity brand.

“I didn’t have any social media following so we couldn’t capitalize on that. We really had to make this a consumer led brand. They allow us to explore and play in this space,” she said. “I think of this as a legacy brand. I don’t think of it as something that is a flash in the pan.”

She conceded, though, that start-up mode is not aways easy.

“We have had a huge August, which is usually a really sleepy month for us so it just feels exciting. But the road to getting there has a lot of challenges that can be very, very frustrating. I would lie if there weren’t days where I’m like what, why did I enter this….It’s like having this whole other child,” she said.

“But I have to say the partnership that Kate and I have and how hard everyone works and believes so much in our product and in the authenticity of our brand invigorates me and it makes it very exciting. It’s challenging in a way that I love. It’s about problem solving and seeing the big picture and trying to fit all the pieces in it.”

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