How did The Honest Company begin?
It all started with a load of laundry that triggered a bad allergic reaction! When I was pregnant with my first daughter Honor, I washed her layette in THE “baby-safe” laundry detergent that everyone recommended. To my surprise, it caused me to break out in a terrible rash. So, I knew it couldn’t be good for my baby.
Worried about the use of toxic chemicals, I went into crazy, new parent research mode. I scoured the Internet and read books like Christopher Gavigan’s Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, only to learn that many everyday household products — shampoos, cleaners, diapers, and furnishings — are filled with untested or unregulated chemicals. I then found it difficult to find safe and effective natural options that weren’t sold at a premium or at specialty stores. Frustrated about the lack of healthy and accessible options in the marketplace, I saw a void that needed to be filled.
I created The Honest Company with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane because there needed to be a lifestyle brand where the average family could easily find and purchase safe, non-toxic products from one trusted source. At Honest.com we offer high-performing, beautifully designed, natural products that are accessible and obviously don’t ever use harsh chemicals. Our ever-expanding line of baby, bath and body, cleaning, and health and wellness items not only stand out from the crowd for these reasons, but also because we’re completely transparent when it comes to what we do and don’t use in our formulations. Everything we do—from the people we partner with to the manufacturing processes we seek out—has to meet this standard of honesty and openness. Babies, adults, pets…no living thing should be exposed to toxic chemicals!
Your book is titled “The Honest Life.” Can you tell us what it means to live an honest life?
Embracing an “honest life” means living naturally and mindfully, but in a way that is authentic and reflects your personal needs, goals, and even style. It’s really about taking baby steps, doing what you can, and finding healthy alternatives that make the most sense for your family. It doesn’t require an extreme lifestyle overhaul!
How do you balance acting, your family, and the Honest company so well? What do you do to de-stress?
While I have lots of lists, schedules, and labels to organize my career, family life, and personal time, having a sense of humor and cutting myself some slack are essential to managing it all — because, quiet honestly, finding balance is always a work in progress. Now, five years into motherhood, it doesn’t bother me if some things occasionally slip through the cracks as long as my girls are happy and healthy. When they’re great, everything seems to fall into place. And, when they’re sleeping, I slip in some “me-time.” One night a week we get a babysitter and my husband Cash and I enjoy a date night or I sneak in a GNO with my girlfriends.
What are your top 3 essentials from The Honest Company?
I love them all, but if you’re going to make me choose…
I can’t live without the Healing Balm because it truly helps with everything from diaper rash to razor burn to scars to blemishes to dry skin. There’s no other way to describe it than a cure all!
Our Body Oil is also a staple in my beauty cabinet. My trick is to mix it with the Honest Face + Body lotion for an extra-moisturizing boost when I get out of the shower.
Because I do a lot of laundry with a family of four, our naturally non-toxic Detergent is in heavy use at our house. It leaves everything soft and fresh. And, of course, I never have to worry about breaking out in a rash or suffering an allergic reaction.
In your book you talk about how after having two gorgeous daughters, you felt as sexy and confident as ever, and it certainly shows. How did you regain that confidence?
During my second pregnancy, I didn’t overindulge in the bacon-inspired breakfasts my husband prepared on a daily basis the first time around. Instead, I focused on eating lean protein and filling up on tons of fresh produce and water. I didn’t deprive myself either — we enjoyed waffles, sweets, and other treats on the weekends. Everything in moderation! I also incorporated prenatal yoga into my routine to de-stress and stay relaxed. But I think the real reason I regained that confidence and loved my post-baby body is that I learned to be kind to and patient with myself — and I invested in a bright, non-toxic lipstick (Hourglass and Youngblood are faves).
What was your typical day-to-day look during your pregnancy?
My day-to-day pregnancy style layered structured blazers or cardigans over maxi-dresses or a flowing top with skinny jeans, finished off with flats or wedges (for balance!). When in doubt, I wore wrap dresses. They’re universally flattering, even with a growing bump!
What are your favorite children’s wear brands?
Bonpoint, Gap, Crew Cuts, H&M, Ralph Lauren Girls, Harajuku Lovers and Harajuku Mini, Peek, Dr. Martens.
You have one of the best bodies in the industry. How do you stay in such great shape? We also heard that you wore a double corset post pregnancy. Can you tell us about that?
It’s true that I essentially wore a girdle to offer abdominal support and bring my stomach back down faster following pregnancy, but it’s hot, sweaty, and not really that comfortable. So, I understand that this snap-back approach isn’t for everyone. I also made it a point to stay well hydrated (I carried a reusable bottle of water wherever I went), and I incorporated green smoothies made of cucumber, kale, celery, and apples into my daily breakfast routine. When I was ready, I started working out by gradually increasing my time on the treadmill, going on hikes, or hitting the gym with girlfriends.
Last but not least, what do you love most about being a mom?
I love everything — the nighttime reading and cuddles, their individual personalities and creativity, the giggles, joy, and happiness.
Photographed by David Mushegain at The Honest Company in Santa Monica.