This Line of Vegan Products Single-Handedly Cured My Stress Acne

Hey Bud specializes in hemp-based skincare—a godsend for combination skin like mine.

hemp based skincare by Hey Bud
(Image credit: Getty)

This article was created in partnership with Hey Bud Skincare. Editors hand-pick every product that we feature; when you purchase through links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

Anyone who's been within five feet of me recently has had the absolute pleasure of hearing me complain about my stress acne. About a month ago, I began an arduous move from Boston to New York City, and, having moved around frequently during my adult life, I knew exactly what that transition meant for my skin: Lots of stubborn blemishes on my cheeks, forehead, and chin that take ages to go away and result in hyperpigmentation. At first, I resigned myself to this inevitability, and when I received Hey Bud Skincare's Glow Up Bundle, I thought, "Why not? These products can't possibly make my skin any worse." Lo and behold, they did not make it worse—they made it unbelievably better.

Hey Bud is a vegan, organ, cruelty-free, and gluten-free brand whose products are based in hemp oil, which is derived from the cannabis sativa plant. The brand promises that its products help smooth aging skin and control oil production without stripping skin of its moisture. In short, hemp-based skincare is meant to be the ideal cure-all for combination skin like mine, because it seeks restore balance by moisturizing dry spots and curbing the excess sebum production that results in acne.

Filled with tentative hope, I started by trying the Daily Hemp Gel Cleanser. The lightweight formula definitely made my face feel clean and relieved of its greasiness, particularly after coming back from a workout, but I also didn't feel too dry in the way I sometimes do after using products heavy in salicylic acid. Similarly, the Hemp Moisturizer felt light and dried matte on my face, but also provided substantial moisture. 

The next product in the bundle—and the one I was most nervous about trying—was the face oil. Being that I tend to break out when I'm stressed, I didn't want to add any more oil to my skin, but I also know that ultra-dry skin can worsen breakouts by causing skin to ramp up oil production. Plus, the spot treatment I'd been using on my zits was starting to make certain areas of my skin flake, so I needed a moisture boost fast.

The face oil was a perfect option. It's rich enough to feel luxurious and heavily moisturizing, as intended, but it also doesn't make me look shiny or leave residue on my pillow when I go to bed. Personally, I like it best for use at night, as a follow-up to the thick Hemp Clay Mask.

Speaking of the mask, it is very much a clay mask in that it's thick, creamy, and oil-reducing. I recommend ensuring that your face is nice and moisturized before using the mask, or your skin will sting, but when your face (or back, or chest, or anywhere) is feeling particularly oily, this mask is an excellent option. I felt like I was giving my skin a fresh, clean new start after wiping it off. The mask also comes with a cute little brush so that I don't have to poke at my face with my fingers when I apply the formula once a week. 

After using these products for about two weeks, I've noticed a huge difference in my skin. This was the only part of my skincare routine that I changed, so I can say with confidence that these products are responsible for the intense relief I feel now and for the significant decrease in the amount of concealer I have to put on in the mornings. Now that Hey Bud has rid me of my acne, I just need them to market a product that makes moving less stressful, but I've yet to hear back from the brand on that.

Below, check out a few more Hey Bud products that'll have me moving into my new crib with confidence.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at