We’re lucky to be living at a time where parents are encouraged to prioritize self-care. But what’s self-care really mean?
For some, it may bring visions of a CBD bath bomb-infused tub and a glass of rosé at the end of a long day. For others, it’s getting the nerve to set a firm 5 p.m. exit time from the office every Friday so you can make it to your favorite yoga class. But for Jessica Alba, it looks like slowing down.
The Honest and Honest Beauty co-founder, actress, and mom of three gives her children credit for teaching he the importance of taking time to stop and reflect. “I found myself wearing many different hats for other people and working extremely long hours, not focusing on myself,” says Alba. “I didn’t realize that spending 20 to 60 minutes on myself each day was a necessity and not a luxury. It was something that I didn’t know how to do very well and with each child it got easier and easier. I listened to my intuition and what my body needed. When you have a connection to yourself and stop to give yourself those quiet moments of self care and reflection, it allows you to show up stronger for the people in your life.”
Alba is now channeling that philosophy into Honest Mama Care, which launches today on Honest.com and Target. The range of five products—Calm Your Nip Balm, Me Moment Soaking Scrub, Glow on Body Oil, Rock the Bump Body Butter, and Sweet Curves Body Lotion—were “designed to help you love and nurture your growing #mombod everyday, even when you’re over it.”
The Inspiration for Honest Mama Care
Alba says that throughout her three pregnancies she was always searching for products but found there was a huge gap between what was available and what she was looking for as a consumer. “I wanted products with ingredients that I could trust but also those that worked with my sensitive skin, performed and were effective,” she notes. “I found it challenging to find products available in the mass market that were accessible and worked for my needs. I believe it’s so important to celebrate this special time of a woman’s journey during pregnancy. The experience of being pregnant was just as magical with my third child as with my first, and I wanted to create products that inspired women to feel beautiful and celebrate their bodies and the miracle happening within them.”
Honest Mama Care’s initial lineup is based on the essential products Alba herself used while she was expecting. “The products in the line are either things I would make homemade for myself, or what I used most,” she says. She’d use body butter as a staple, and she’d love to mixing body oil and body lotions for an extra-moisturizing combo, so that’s how she came up with the Rock the Bump Body Butter, Sweet Curves Body Lotion and Glow On Body Oil.
The entrepreneur also took a lot of baths when she was pregnant (always making sure the water was at a safe temperature), which inspired the Me Moment Soaking Salts. “As my body was growing and changing, the bath was the one place where I felt the most relief from the pressure of the baby,” explains Alba. She also says she believes nipple balm is a must-have during the postpartum phase.
A few other self-care tips this mom learned along the way? Put “you time” on the calendar. “If you are someone who is highly scheduled like myself,” says Alba, “You have to incorporate self-care into your calendar and schedule. When you are growing a baby inside you, it’s important to realize that you are not operating in the world in the same way you were before. You might need to wake up 20 minutes earlier, or put off that extra engagement to allow yourself that time, but it’s crucial.”
Spending an extra two to three minutes on myself is something I never did before I had kids, and it became easier and with each kid.
And self-care time doesn’t have to be long. Even a few minutes can make a world of difference.
“Self-care can be in the form of a mini meditation to start your day, or spending an extra two to three minutes nourishing your body with belly balm or body lotion and body oil,” explains Alba. “As my skin was stretching with my growing belly, it was really itchy. Spending an extra two to three minutes on myself is something I never did before I had kids, and it became easier and with each kid. For bonding with your partner, it can be nice after a bath for your partner to rub your feet and massage your belly. It’s a nice gesture when you can’t see your own toes and all you can really do is lay there!”
Celebrating Expectant Moms’ Bodies
Despite the fact that celebs have embraced their immediate postpartum bodies, and the internet has made it possible to get 24/7 reality checks on what’s normal after giving birth, we still have a way to go when it comes to fully accepting—and honoring—post-baby bodies. “I’ve heard people say ‘mom bod’ as if it’s not desirable, but I wanted to challenge that with this campaign,” notes Alba. “God willing, you live to be older you actually live with your ‘mom bod’ longer than any other ‘body’ you might have. I want women to feel their best in their new skin as a mother. I became most comfortable in my own skin when I came into my ‘mom bod.'”
In an effort to drive that point home, Honest didn’t use a professional model for the Honest Mama Care campaign but rather a mom who is a friend of the brand. “The model, Chianna, is real and fierce and exudes confidence in who she is as a woman and a mom,” says Alba. “She truly embodies what it means to be comfortable in your own skin. She was a great representation of a woman loving the miracle that is happening in her body and being the best version of herself in her ‘mom bod.'”