Welcome to Take the Edge Off, a series that breaks down the beauty and self-care routines of influencers, CEOs, experts, and celebrities. Find out how they unwind and decompress, while taking a closer look at the holy-grail essentials they’re currently raving about.
Actor and entrepreneur Ashley Tisdale is admired by over 16 million loyal fans—not just because of her roles in cult-classic films and shows like High School Musical and Phineas and Ferb, but also thanks to her grounded lifestyle approach.
As the founder of Frenshe—a robust wellness and beauty platform offering healthy eating tips, a home and personal care line, and more—Tisdale is continually aiming for balance. “For me, meditation is what I start my day off with,” the star tells Bazaar. “My husband and I both like to do that once we put the baby down; we have our moment to kind of decompress from the day and the energy we’ve got running around. So that’s what I usually try to prioritize.”
Frenshe—a play on Tisdale’s married last name, French—and Being Frenshe, its Target-backed home and beauty line, was born at the start of the pandemic, partly out of her own wellness rituals, along with a desire to make the culture more accessible to everyone. “I just felt like, we were being taught that wellness was expensive—and if it’s expensive for me, someone following me is also probably going find it expensive,” she says. “And I didn’t truly didn’t believe that, I knew there were products out there that are affordable and clean. I really wanted to have a platform where I was able to share those resources, but also kind of share my experience.” Prior to launching the brand, Tisdale says, she struggled with what she didn’t realize was anxiety, which is how she discovered how beneficial living a more refined lifestyle was to her mental health.
For a full download on how the star maintains poise under pressure, read on for a few of the self-care must-haves that help her woosah as a full-time mom and business owner. In addition to rotating staples from her own brand, Tisdale also happens to be a major advocate for spa-inspired baths at home (sometimes enhanced with a CBD bath bomb or two).
What are you reading these days?
Books aren’t the first thing I gravitate toward, but I definitely have favorites that I still go back to from time to time. One is called Your Power to Heal, which I really love. I found it at this bookstore near Nepenthe restaurant on a trip to Big Sur, and I really connected with it. I’d just lost my dog, and was just like, Oh, your power to heal, this is great! But it’s actually all-encompassing about not being victim to disease, and how we can, like, really heal ourselves from the inside.
So, there are times I’ll definitely go back to that book again, but I’m a mom of a two year-old, so it’s rare that I get a lot of downtime. And if I do have downtime, I’ll usually watch TV with my husband. I also listen to podcasts, like my friend Arielle Lorre has one called The Blond Files, I recently got into Call Her Daddy, and others.
What are some of your go-to bath and shower products?
I mean obviously Frenshe, to be honest! It’s like a never-ending thing. When I was developing it, I only had so much access to the products, and now it’s like, if I’m out of my Citrus Amber Renewing body wash, I can go to Target and get it myself. And I truly do use everything, because we only feature clean ingredients. I use the renewing body wash and our bath bombs, but also in the past, I’ve used Pellequr’s CBD bath bombs as well. It’s been really nice to have those too, because I really feel that CBD helps release tension. I also do Epsom salt baths with magnesium.
How has your self-care routine changed since becoming a mother?
I definitely have less time, so it’s like, sometimes my makeup is not even there and I just go barefaced! I do less makeup overall when I’m getting ready anyway, but I think that, for me, it’s really about making time for myself and having those moments. And my husband knows that I need to have those moments, too. Sometimes, I’ll take the night to decompress if I had a really rough workday. I’ll usually do a bath: I like to create a spa-like environment in my bathroom. I love a diffuser going off—I love the smell of the spa—and put on the most relaxing music, add in bath bombs, I do a whole thing. I think the difference is making the time versus having the time I had before.
Do you have a favorite hand sanitizer, soap, or cream right now?
I don’t really use hand sanitizer anymore—now I’m just kind of like, “Does anybody have hand sanitizer?” During the pandemic, I was using the Trader Joe’s lavender hand sanitizer spray for a minute. But for hand cream, I use ours because it’s one of those things I just always keep in my purse—it’s the fastest way to get a mood boost. Especially if I’m in traffic feeling frustrated, it feels good to take a moment. And it reminds me to actually apply it, because my grandma has always been a humongous hand cream believer. I was never into hand cream, really, and she was like, “Actually, your hands age just as much as your face does,” and I was like, “Oh my gosh!”
What beauty or self-care products do you use on a regular basis to help combat Zoom fatigue?
My go-to product is coffee. But something I’ve learned is that I’m someone who forgets to take time between moments of being busy. My therapist was like, “You know how you sip water throughout the day? You also need to sip ‘me’ moments.” So if I’m doing Zooms and I’m like, OK, I’m exhausted, I’ll step away before another call and just sit in my yard and decompress for a couple minutes. I’m not on my phone, I’m just breathing, and I’m telling you, it helps keep the nervous system under control.
Do you ever light a candle or stick of incense to decompress? If so, what are some of your favorites?
Well, I’m candle-obsessed. I have a drawer with tons of candles: all of the scents [from Frenshe] were based on that drawer, with the exception of cashmere vanilla, which developed from the scent of the jasmine rice I make from Trader Joe’s. But I love Jenni Kayne candles, and some that aren’t as clean or natural, like my favorites from Diptyque—Frenshe is all about balance. I love having different ones everywhere.
What’s the last beauty product you put on today?
I just refreshed my makeup, so I would say the Kosas Sun Show Baked Bronzer.
Are you into bold makeup, no makeup, or no-makeup makeup right now, and why?
I think if I’m going to do makeup, it’s just always going to be kind of a glowy natural thing. I used to be like really heavy-handed with makeup—I remember I used to spend hours doing it. And I’m not even into that kind of makeup anymore, you know? Now, I just want something super easy: I love bronzer, I love fresh skin, mascara, brows, and I usually end up putting bronzer on my eyes as shadow. So, it’s a very simple routine.
What’s one piece of self-care advice you’d give to our readers?
Most of the time, we just don’t really give up to ourselves, but we’re always ready and willing to give love to others. We need to start treating ourselves like we’re our best friends, and do some of the things we’d do for them for ourselves—I think that’s important.
Associate Beauty Commerce Editor
Tiffany Dodson is currently the associate beauty commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she specializes in trend forecasting, building relationships with major and emerging brands, and crafting shopping stories—from holiday gift guides to product road tests. Tiffany’s work has previously been featured in outlets like SELF, Bustle, and Teen Vogue, and she’s been quoted as a commerce and beauty expert in publications and platforms like The Business of Fashion and NPR’s Life Kit podcast.