Actress Anne Heche is the latest celebrity mom to launch her own product. But instead of a new perfume or clothing line, the mom-of-two has created a mineral-based sunblock, Tickle Time, that is safe – and fun – for the entire family.
Anne opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her sunblock that is recommended by pediatricians and approved by kids, the joys of motherhood, her “strong-willed” sons – Homer, 10, Atlas, 3 1/2 – and her upcoming movie and sitcom.
CBS: Tell us all about Tickle Time. It sounds really easy to apply.
AH: “Tickle Time is a product for the whole family, and it can also be used on babies. We usually go in the opposite direction, because a lot of time people ask, ‘Can this product be used on my husband?’ [laughs] We really wanted Tickle Time to be for kids first, because that was where there was a problem and issue. We went after the kids and made Tickle Time a fun product that could be a new, enjoyable tradition in the family. In fact, my doctor, Dr. Berger (whose also on my website), would recommend Tickle Time above any other kind of sunblock.
Pediatricians now really support mineral blocks. I saw a baby the other day who was tickling her ear with Tickle Time and cackling. She laughed so hard that she threw Tickle Time out of her hand and went into this disastrous screaming fight until she got it back. It shows how much the little ones love Tickle Time!
There is nothing wrong with overprotecting our skin. I’ve also realized that many women I’m talking to hand Tickle Time to their husbands who don’t like to wear hats on the golf course or when they work out outside. Tickle Time solves these problems. Just like how the sun cannot penetrate rock, Tickle Time does not take in light. Also, like a rock in nature, Tickle Time reflects light and shoots it right back out. This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to sweat if you apply Tickle Time; rather, you are going to sweat less. Your face is going to feel cooler and not red hot like when your cheeks get red after running around. You will be amazed. Tickle Time cools you down a little bit because you don’t absorb the light into your skin.
We are also worried about what we are putting in our kids’ skin, and Tickle Time is very natural and free of weird, scary chemicals; it has only four ingredients! It makes kids feel more comfortable in the sun and in the environment. It is the key, the secret Holy Grail of sunblock [laughs].
I was with my friend the other day on the tennis court and asked her what she was doing. She said, ‘Hello! I am putting on my Tickle Time!’ I myself use it every day, and I’ve used it every day for two years before I introduced it as a product. I’ve also used it on my kids every day for two years. We wanted to make sure Tickle Time was something we ourselves would use that works great. You’re going to love it!
Someone asked me the other day if some of the ingredients were bad in some of the sunblocks she was using, and she asked if the sunblocks should still be used. I said, ‘Who cares? You’re not going to use it after you use Tickle Time anyway!’ You essentially won’t want to suffer through the creams. It doesn’t matter anymore what it has in it; the fun is putting it on and how it makes your skin feel better.
The benefits of minerals are so vast when you start getting into the teenage years. The teens really love it. With creams and sprays, things get absorbed into the skin. When you clog your pores, you have a tendency to get more acne. That acne makes you put on more chemicals to kill it. So you are layering all these things, but if you start using mineral sunblock on your teens, their pores won’t be clogged. They won’t get acne or the things that come with teens shoving a bunch of things into their pores.
It’s the same thing with moms, like when we put on hats and go out into the sun. That little line we get when sweat goes into the forehead is not going to happen with Tickle Time. The sweat is going to bead on top of it and roll down your face. It is not going to go into your pores anymore.
There is one thing to remember with boys who use Tickle Time. After you apply, remember to Knock it and block it one more time for the back of the neck and the backs of the ears to protect against melanomas. Melanomas are showing up more consistently now than ever before, and exposure counts more before they are eighteen years old. Boys need to understand that, because they have short hair.”
CBS: What inspired you to create this product?
AH: “Tickle Time came about because I, like every other mom, had a hard time putting sunblock on my kids. My friend said that putting sunblock on her kids was like trying to wrangle cats while on a unicycle. I thought that was hilarious, and I think every mom and dad has said it a million different ways, but that sums it up. It is difficult, and my whole life, everyone would ask me what I do to protect my skin. My mantra is: use sunblock, use sunblock, use sunblock!
I am very grateful to still be on TV, and my use of sunblock has probably really extended the age of my skin in a good way for me. Of course I want to do that for my children. Sunblock has to be used everyday and everyone knows that. It is not just the sun anymore, the pollutants in the environment, and fluorescent light; everything that we are absorbing into our skin. I really wanted to figure out a fun way to protect our skin.
The fact is, in ten years, our kids are going to understand sunblock like they understand brushing their teeth; it is just what they do. In fact, they are way ahead of us—they don’t want to be burned and they know what’s wrong. We’re kind of catching up to the evolution of what’s happening in our world, but they are not. They are like, ‘Oh, I have to put this on? What a drag, I hate it.’
For us, it was important to come up with something that was fun and easy and took a lot less time to put on in the morning than creams or sprays. Not to mention, creams and sprays absorb into the skin, and there is a lot yet to be discovered about what happens when it gets absorbed into the skin. So we wanted to create a product that doesn’t absorb into the skin, but instead sits on top of the skin like a protective layer, essentially like a shield.
We also wanted to make it like a fun toy. You take the cap off, and there is a brush that feels good when you put it on your ears. At the same time you are protecting yourself and the product won’t go anywhere unless you wash it off. We want to use common sense, and if the sun is beating down and your kids are going outside to play afterschool sports like baseball, I would say, by all means, knock it and block it another time!
This really came from wanting a solution for our kids, and I think this is it. Once you are holding it, I think you will understand. When you put it on your kids, they tend to giggle. The product couldn’t be more wonderful for me.”
CBS: How are your boys doing?
AH: “I have a ten-year-old boy named Homer and a three-and-a-half-year-old boy named Atlas. They are doing great! They are up here with me in Toronto right now for the Rally For Kids With Cancer, which is a race with a hunt through the city. You go along the city and get people to donate money and funds to the Sickkids hospital in Toronto, which is one of the four leading hospitals in the world for cancer research.
Last year I did it, and I really loved it. This year, we wanted again to be a part of it. We didn’t really know what it was going to be like last year, so we kind of did it on our own and spent the day at the hospital. It is such an uplifting and incredible experience with all the healing that is happening, the hope, and the amount of funds raised. They really do believe; they went from thinking two out of ten kids that are diagnosed with cancer survive to nine out of ten kids. This is an extraordinary thing that is celebrated every year. We haven’t even done the rally yet, as there are still two more days. We wanted Homer to be a part of giving back to these kids. The experience is really moving.”
CBS: With a 7-year difference between your boys, do they get along well?
AH: “Yesterday, they were cuddling on the plane and it was so cute and adorable, and then last night Atlas wanted something to happen and Homer didn’t, and they started tugging at each other’s shirts. Then Atlas jammed his head backwards into Homer’s lip, and Homer’s lip got cut. I was like, ‘Wait! What happened! You guys loved each other five minutes ago! You were so in love! You thought it was the coolest thing to have a little brother, and now you no longer think that!’
Everything seems to be minute by minute. One minute they love each other to death, and the next minute they want to push each other out the door. That’s kind of how it goes.”
CBS: How do you discipline two boys with a 7-year age gap?
AH: “I think it is a question that moms always wonder—how do we discipline kids without the age gap? It’s about setting boundaries for them. Atlas is a very stubborn and strong-willed little boy. I don’t know where he gets it…I say it is his dad, and his dad says it is me.
I’ve learned from other moms that when you have strong-willed children, you must set a boundary. If they cross the boundary, there is a consequence that you must abide by. That to me is whether or not they are three, or ten, or forty-two. Haha, just kidding [laughs]. I just feel like it is our best bet to always follow through with the consequence, and hopefully be able to have less and less of them.
Unfortunately and fortunately, the place to learn is at home. When Homer was eight-years-old, dealing with him and his manners was something difficult. It was a changing point for his life, not only in whether or not he would be a good or bad boy, but also what kind of boy he would be. It is a choice to be a loving, conscious boy. At home, he wouldn’t always show his manners. Whether it was ‘Please’ or ‘Thank you,’ or lying, we didn’t see his manners. Then we would get these reports from school saying, ‘Homer is such a sweet and polite boy who gives us his manners all the time…’ I was like, ‘What?! This is my child?’
So what I’ve learned is that they really do use the time at home to go beyond where they are supposed to go. They learn and understand that this is how you get your ability to be out in the real world. Being strong helps them understand where to go.”
CBS: Tell us about their personalities.
AH: “Homer is very thoughtful and has a much more sensitive emotional structure. Things really tend to put him into a quiet and thoughtful phase where he won’t respond quickly. He likes to assess the situation. He loves sports, but he is not a huge guy. He is kind of slender, and even the way he dresses is a thoughtful expression of what he is thinking and feeling.
On the other hand, Atlas is like a bulldozer. He came out big, he is big, and he’s bold. His dad is Nova Scotian, and I think he is a big Nova Scotia boy. To him, it’s balls out in the world. He embraces everything the second that he sees it. It’s all about fun, and he’s a big jokester. Anything he can do to make you laugh he will. He’s goofy, fun, and playful, whether it’s with a ball or the way he says words or plays hide-and-go-seek. My two boys could not be more different.”
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
CBS: How hasn’t it, right? Every single thing I think about is how I am benefitting my children in any way that I possibly can. Your whole mindset goes from what am I going to do today for myself to what am I going to do today for my children, and am I doing the best I can for my children? I think about picking them up on time while contemplating all the things I need to do to ensure that they live a happy and healthy life and have a wonderful future. My whole life seems like a big schedule [laughs].”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
AH: “I have a movie, That’s What She Said, coming out on the 19th. In this movie, I play a raunchy, skanky, hilariously horrible girl who has one of the worst days of her life in New York City. She ends up breaking down and breaking through her life and coming to terms with the fact that she can be a friend and have friends. It is a ridiculous comedy that portrays the opposite of a loving, conscious mom. She is this terrible, horrible, hilarious girl who lost all focus and finds it.
I also start my new NBC show called Save Me on the 22nd. The show is a half hour comedy about a housewife who thinks she has a direct connection to God. That will come out starting in January on NBC.
I don’t mean to make my life sound like a drag when I say everything about my life is about my children, but it is. Everyone who is a mom also knows that. When we get a moment to ourselves it’s like, ‘Wow, this is such a unique experience!’ But I do love what I do and I love my work.”