I love when parents see a need for products for their tweens and then go out and, with their tween, create their own company to fill that need, even if it makes me feel like a nonentrepreneurial slacker. I get over those feelings, though, when their enterprising spirit benefits me and my tween.
When Christy Prunier was was giving her then seven year-old daughter, Willa, a bath, she used the same soap on Willa that her little sister used. Willa said, "Why do I have to use babyish products? Isn’t there something for girl’s like me?" They couldn't find any that they liked, and Willa, a company producing natural skin care products for girls ages 7-14, was born. Willa is now 12, and her tween-focused products are on shelves. Prunier has battled skincare issues her entire life, including skin cancer, and she consulted with a dermatologist and worked with chemists at leading laboratories to develop the Willa products.
As a mom who has had Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer, she wanted to create a sunscreen and moisturizer that her daughter would enjoy enough to use daily. She gets the importance of tween sunscreen usage. “The best way to keep skin healthy is to start young. Up to 80 percent of lasting sun damage happens before the age of 18,” Prunier says. “Like so many Moms, I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to undo damage I did to my skin when I was younger. But there aren’t natural and great products girls are excited to use— and their beautiful skin will only stay that way if they start taking care of it—actually take ownership of it—right now.”
I've previously encouraged sunscreen usage, and I will keep doing so because I had Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer this summer. I nag my daughter daily about putting it on, and that is a year-round effort, not just a summer thing.
Willa produces SPF 30 face protection. My tween tried it and liked it. Maybe you don't hear the choirs of angels singing, but I do. I want to keep my girl safe. I like that it is free of parabens, sulfates, DEA and phthalates.
Other tween-oriented companies offer SPF 20. They've told me that there's no difference between SPF 20 and SPF 30. My dermatologist, however, says that there is a difference and that it is very important that sunscreen by SPF 30. When it comes to cancer prevention for my child, I'm going to go with my doctor.
I was concerned that the face protection is tinted. My tween hasn't delved into makeup yet, and I didn't want to start. When I inquired as to why it was tinted, a company representative explained to me that it was so that it blends into skin without leaving the chalky white residue often found with white sunscreen. This came up in Willa's research as a reason girls did not use such products, and Willa wanted to make a product that girls would like and therefore use. She said that the product was only lightly tinted and in a way that it blends into all skin tones. That made sense to me, but I was still wondering a bit. They were absolutely right. We both used the product, and it didn't show up on our fair skin at all, it was neither too dark nor too light.
Tweens need to get into a regular skin care routine, and I'm hoping to get my tween into one soon as she has some clogged pores. My teen liked Willa's foaming face cleanser. I was all excited about the foaming part and my tween said, "This really shouldn't be exciting, Mom." She has a point. She loves the scent of the cleanser and uses it regularly. In the nonfoaming realm, the face mask was exciting. My tween had never used a mask before, and this one was nice. She liked it, and the clear face moisturizer was also nice, and for grown-ups, too. (Yup, I've used them.)
I like that the products are available in my local Target. Here's the list of locations carrying the Willa line, and I also like that they're affordable in my mind, with prices ranging from $1.75 to $15.
Disclosure:Willa provided us with producs so that my tween and I could decide if we liked them. We did, and wanted to share it and our own opinions with you. We were not compensated for this review.