From Soap Star To Beauty Guru: Why “General Hospital” Star Michelle Stafford Decided To Launch An Organic Skincare Line

Photo Credit: Michelle Stafford

After winning two Emmys, spending 15 years playing Phyllis Summers on “The Young and the Restless” and moving on to take residence on “General Hospital” as Nina Reeves, Michelle Stafford was ready for a new challenge. After her sister was diagnosed with stage 3-breast cancer, Stafford became inspired to research the chemicals that we put into our bodies daily, discovering that many contain harmful toxins that can create future health risks. And, so she decided to play a new role—beauty guru—and set out to create products that were organic and natural. She spent months creating and testing products on herself before finally founding Skin Nation, which operates on the belief that everyone—regardless of size, color, gender and ethnicity—should benefit from using clean products. Here, Stafford shares her motivation for getting involved in the beauty biz, which of her co-stars use her products (and shared their support) and how every woman should be ready to tackle a new and rewarding challenge despite the odds.

Photo Credit: Michelle Stafford

Have you made any New Year resolutions for 2019? What are they if so?

I just try to do everything better. I am always very aware of my mistakes and I try not to make those same ones, you know? I want to have a lot of fun this year. I would like to experience more joy in life!

What inspired you to create Skin Nation? What sets it apart?

My sister was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer over 6 years ago. I started researching toxins in our food, since cancer seemed to be on an upswing, as did GMOs and processed food. I knew there was a connection — I think we all do. It brought me to discover how many chemicals were in skincare. I mean, horrible harsh chemicals. I wanted to create a product that was plant-based and healthy, but also a product that delivered results.

Photo Credit: Michelle Stafford

What will your consumers notice as a result of their use?

Healthy skin. Hydrated skin. Skin that glows. Skin that is soft and youthful. If you use these products (as recommended), you will get results. We have hundreds of testimonials in the very short time of being on the market.

Are these products you rely on for your work in television?

Yes, I use my own products. They hold up and even do better than some of the very expensive “popular” products I have used in the past.

What is your hero product, what does it do, and how often do you personally use it?

We don’t necessarily have a “hero” product — all of them are remarkable. We have different bundles for different skin issues and desires. The products work great together. And I actually recommend using them together. I don’t want someone using bar soap and then our face cream and wonder why their skin is still dry. It works better to use all of our products together.

Photo Credit: Michelle Stafford

Your company has seen a lot of success since its founding. To what degree do you think social awareness vs the actual ingredients are factors?

Well, the product is always the most important. It can be nice and smell nice and be natural, but if it does’t make your skin look amazing… next. Seriously, a quality product is the most important.

What business goals do you have for 2019? Where do you see your brand going in the New Year?

I had tremendous success last year with Skin Nation. I was up until 2AM most nights working on it, and then up again at 6:30AM to either go to work on “General Hospital” – or take my kids to school. I was on business calls in between my scenes at work… it was crazy. This year, I have new partners that have experience in this industry. They will run it and I will create it and promote it. I would have never continued the way I was going (on my own). Anyone burns out at that pace. We are working on Skin Nation being a fully preservative-free company, in addition to already being vegan, gluten-free, and a PETA-certified cruelty free company. We are working on ocean-friendly packaging this year too! Very excited for this!

Photo Credit: Emma Rosenblatt

Do your “General Hospital” co-stars use your products? What are their favorites?

Yes they do! And my “The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Days of Our Lives” friends too! One of my actress friends (on GH) said to me last year, “I actually really like these.” Ha! I think some women expect them to be schlocky because I’m an actress. Truth be told, I did tremendous research and also worked closely with a chemist and a doctor. A dermatologist I worked with recently was astounded by how much I knew. She was blown away by my products as well and sort of stunned that I created them. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I know that a lot of people in the public eye just give their name to something to make a licensing fee, just to make money. I think people are blown away that I actually care. It’s not about money for me. I love to see a person feel good about themselves, feel good about what they use on their skin, their kids’ skin, their partner’s and friends’ skin too. I love to see someone’s life change for the better. This is a real passion of mine.

Photo Credit: Michelle Stafford

Which of your cast members has been the most personally supportive of your venture?

Vinessa Antoine, Rebecca Herbst, Kirsten Storms, Emme Rylan, Nadia Bjorlin, Vanessa Marcil, Melissa Reeves, William deVry, Lauralee Bell, James Patrick Stuart, Molly Burnett, Bree Williamson, Tracey Bregman, Risa Dorken, Maura West, Katherine Kelly Lang… and so many others. But these beautiful women (and men) really stand out.

How have they supported you?

They used the product from the beginning and promoted them to others and [some of them] on social media without my asking. It means so much to me. Some of my “closer” friends haven’t supported me at all — so you can imagine how much this means to me. I mean, I have worked so hard and the love I have received from these women and men I am deeply grateful for.