Just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re pleased to introduce you to the adorable mother-daughter duo behind Willa. With the tagline “Start Young, Stay Young,” mom Christy Prunier and daughter Willa have created a line of beauty and skincare products that address the needs of girls and will keep their moms happy: Think adorable packaging, sun protection, and fun colors without any harmful or nasty chemicals. It’s a wonderful concept so we asked the inspiring women behind the line to tell us a little bit about how they got started, what caused them to create their own beauty line, and what every girl (and woman!) needs to know about getting and keeping healthy skin!
Here’s more from the lovely Christy Prunier on everything from her healthy habits to what inspired her to develop a skincare line with and for her daughter!
Discovering and loving healthy products like Pressed Juicery that prepared me for creating WILLA, a line of natural skincare products for girls. What I learned from my skincare history and developing WILLA inspires my philosophy about healthy living.
By way of background, I grew up with no skincare routine. None! My sun regimen? I slathered my skin with baby oil and used a reflective cookie sheet to soak up as much sun as possible. I thought the tanner I was, the healthier I looked. I also mistakenly reasoned that the sun would help dry up all my unsightly teenage pimples.
Many afternoons were spent in the dermatologist’s office, where my skin was treated with a cocktail of antibiotics and creams. It was hard enough being a girl without the added drama of bad skin. It made me feel even more insecure. I couldn’t wait for those teenage years to be behind me. What I didn’t realize was that my skincare challenges were just beginning.
Cut to 29 years old, just months after the birth of my first child. I was at the dermatologist – this time for a “pimple” that bled every time I washed my face. That “pimple” turned out to be a basal cell cancer, which required MOHS surgery. It would be the first of three facial skin cancers I had treated over the next 10 years.
As you can imagine, I quickly got a lot smarter about taking care of my skin. I started wearing sunscreen 365 days a year as well as being good to my skin. I was determined to get my skin healthy. But my dermatologist shared that up to 80% of lasting sun damage happens by the time you are 18 years old. So even thought I was now extremely conscientious about taking care of my skin, I’d be much better off had I started earlier.
WILLA’s philosophy is “Start Young. Stay Young.” I think this approach is key to so much about healthy living. I certainly didn’t wait until my kids had a cavity to insist that they brush their teeth or wait until they were at risk for diabetes to encourage them to eat fruits and vegetables. Yet for most of us, our relationship with our skin begins with a problem like a sunburn or a breakout.
So over the past three and a half years, I’ve been developing WILLA, a line of natural skincare formulations for girls. The products are made with only the best natural ingredients. Still, just because something is good for you doesn’t mean it will automatically become a lifestyle habit. Sure, it helps to know that a product is “natural and good for your skin”, but I know firsthand that unless it feels good, it won’t become a daily habit. And it is this fact that informs everything about WILLA.
To get our kids to love their skin, to protect it, products need to be ones they reach for instinctively because they love the way they make them feel. In creating WILLA, we spent a lot of time talking to girls, trying to understand why they weren’t washing their face, applying moisturizers or why they resisted putting on sunscreen. We learned a lot. Many didn’t love washing their face because the cleansers irritated their eyes or had unappealing scents. They didn’t like moisturizers because they feared they would clog their pores or were too heavy and felt greasy…and forget sticky natural sunscreens that made them look like a ghostly kabuki dancer!
WILLA addressed all these issues in formulating our products. Our Start Fresh face wash is liquid to foam, so it has a really cool structure and doesn’t irritate the eyes. The Face Friendly moisturizer is clear like a serum and absorbs like water with no shiny residue. And Face The Day is a genius natural SPF 30 that has a slight tint to offset the white of zinc and it’s formulated to go on dry, not sticky. Plus, all the products have green tea and other great antioxidants, which is why Moms seem to love them too.
The best part of this entire experience is that my kids enthusiastically apply Willa sunscreen before they leave the house, not to mention never again having to ask, “Did you wash your face?” I don’t know if it’s the dry feel of the sunscreen or the fluffy foam of the face wash, I’m just glad they’re starting young and feeling good about making healthy choices.
For more about Willa products and for retail locations, check out Willa Natural Skincare.