How Childhood Illnesses Inspired Honest Founder Jessica Alba

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In a March 2021 interview with Romper, Jessica Alba opened up about her history of childhood illnesses that motivated her to live a healthy lifestyle and create her company.

“My mother had cancer at a really young age, in her early 20s. Many women in my family have passed from various different cancers, none of them genetic,” the popular movie actress said.

Jessica Alba, in a black strapless Michael Kors Collection gown, and her husband Cash Warren attend God's Love We Deliver 16th Annual Golden Heart AwardsJessica Alba, in a black strapless Michael Kors Collection gown, and her husband Cash Warren attend God’s Love We Deliver 16th Annual Golden Heart Awards at The Glasshouse on October 17, 2022, in New York City (Credit: Roger Wong / INSTARimages / Cover Images)

She added: “I grew up with chronic illness. I had five surgeries before I was 11 years old. I had chronic allergies, and I was hospitalized a lot as a child.”

After giving birth to her first child, Honor, in 2008, she began focusing more on wellness than her acting career. Her daughter’s birth inspired Alba to create The Honest Company, which began as a provider of non-toxic baby products and household goods.

“I had this real moment of, I want to live and thrive, and spend as much time with this little person that I’m bringing into the world as possible and stay. So, my health matters. I want this little person to be healthy. And it’s really freaking hard to be happy when you don’t have your health.”

Jessica Alba speaks at the digital X special event, a leading Europe digitization event in Cologne, GermanyJessica Alba speaks at the digital X special event, a leading Europe digitization event in Cologne, Germany, on September 14, 2022 (Credit: Panama Pictures / DDP / INSTARimages / Cover Images)

Over a decade later, The Honest Company has turned into a multimillion-dollar lifestyle brand with over 100 products, ranging from personal care products to household goods, cosmetics, supplements, and more.

As a child, Alba suffered from allergies and chronic asthma. She had to carry a breathing machine to sports events.

“I was on a swim team, and I was chubby and slow and dead last — a full two laps last. I was crying and couldn’t breathe,” she told Self in September 2015 about her health issues growing up.

“My mom and dad were like, ‘You started this, you’re going to finish it!’ My parents made me stick to stuff, pick myself up. It’s painful to go through, but I appreciate that tough love.”

Jessica Alba suffered from a variety of health issues growing up and was in and out of hospitalsJessica Alba suffered from a variety of health issues growing up and was in and out of hospitals (Credit: Startraksphoto)

At the 2022 MAKERS conference in October 2022, Alba talked about how being a “sickly child” helped forge her career path and inspired her to create her own products.

“I had flashbacks of my childhood with the breathing machines and being in hospitals and being isolated and lonely and also just the fear of my throat closing and suffocating,” Alba said about having a skin reaction after using a new laundry detergent.

“When I had this allergic reaction to this detergent that is marketed to people that have babies, I was like, ‘What if my little baby has this allergic reaction?’”

“I went to people in Hollywood, which were the only people I knew in business, frankly, and they were like, ‘How about do a perfume?’ I was like, ‘What?’ And they’re like, you know, ‘You should be the face of a perfume if you want to do something else,’” she said.

“I was like, ‘No, no, no. Like people are getting sick. There’s like a hockey stick kind of parallel, like illness, like cancer and learning disabilities and obesity and all of these hormonal issues — all of my friends are doing IVF and they’re in their 20s. Something’s wrong and we need to tackle that.’”

Jessica Alba drops by The Honest Company headquarters in Los Angeles on March 31, 2021Jessica Alba drops by The Honest Company headquarters in Los Angeles on March 31, 2021 (Credit: Instar / WENN)

Following the cancellation in October 2020 of her comedy-action-crime TV series LA’s Finest, which aired for two seasons on Spectrum Originals, Jessica Alba was busy with her second job as the founder and chairperson of The Honest Company.

On the last day of March 2021, the actress-turned-business mogul arrived at The Honest Company headquarters in Los Angeles.

Opting for a business chic outfit, Jessica donned a blue-and-black floral dress that features a V-neck and a ruffled hem. She teamed her spring-perfect frock with a loose-fit black blazer and a pair of sheer black tights.

Jessica Alba wears a spring-ready office look with black-and-blue floral dress, blazer, and sheer tightsJessica Alba wears a spring-ready office look with a black-and-blue floral dress, blazer, and sheer tights (Credit: Instar / WENN)

The Fantastic Four star wore her hair in natural-looking loose waves over her shoulders. She shielded her eyes behind a pair of aviators and kept herself protected with a $55-skin-friendly black silk face mask from Discover Night.

Jessica Alba wears her tresses in natural waves and stays safe with a skin-friendly Discover Night face maskJessica Alba wears her tresses in natural waves and stays safe with a skin-friendly Discover Night face mask (Credit: Instar / WENN)

Looking all set for a meeting, Jessica carried a Dior Book tote and a “Fey” mini-box rattan-and-leather bag from Turkey-based accessories label Mehry Mu.

For her footwear, Jessica chose the Opening Ceremony “Korinne” shiny platform zip boots. Giving her feminine look some edge, these moto boots feature zip-up uppers with thick platforms and rounded block heels in blue color.

Jessica Alba slips into a pair of Opening Ceremony Korinne boots and carries a Christian Dior Book tote and a Mehry Mu Fey mini box bagJessica Alba slips into a pair of Opening Ceremony Korinne boots and carries a Christian Dior Book tote and a Mehry Mu Fey mini box bag (Credit: Instar / WENN)

The previous day, the mom-of-three spent quality time with her eldest daughter, Honor Marie, who turned 14 on June 7, 2022.

Jessica Alba and daughter Honor Marie step out for grocery shopping in Los Angeles on March 30, 2021Jessica Alba and daughter Honor Marie step out for grocery shopping in Los Angeles on March 30, 2021 (Credit: Instar / WENN)

Taking her daughter to the grocery in Los Angeles, Jessica opted for a cool-mom look in a black-and-white stripe “Rosie” sweatshirt from Rebecca Minkoff. She paired it with wide-leg drawstring cargo pants cropped right above her ankles.

Honor, whom she shares with her husband, Cash Warren, also kept things casual in an oversized dusty pink tee paired with loose-fitting blue jeans and black Dr. Martens shoes.

Jessica Alba goes for cool-mom style in Rebecca Minkoff Rosie striped sweatshirt and wide-leg cargo pantsJessica Alba goes for cool-mom style in Rebecca Minkoff Rosie striped sweatshirt and wide-leg cargo pants (Credit: Instar / WENN)

Jessica elevated her casual look with an Idyl “Apollo” earring, a pair of gold hoop earrings, and a long pendant necklace.

Derek Jeter’s ex-girlfriend carried her Mehry Mu “Fey” bag and covered her face with black sunglasses and a face mask.

Jessica Alba elevates her casual look with gold jewelry and wears her hair down with a black headband Jessica Alba elevates her casual look with gold jewelry and wears her hair down with a black headband (Credit: Instar / WENN)

Wearing her hair down with a thick black headband, Jessica completed her monochrome casual look with a pair of leather slip-on slide sandals.

Jessica Alba completes her casual-chic outfit with black leather slip-on slide sandalsJessica Alba completes her casual-chic outfit with black leather slip-on slide sandals (Credit: Instar / WENN)

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