You may have heard the stat “60 percent of chemicals in skin care products eventually absorb into the bloodstream”. But is this true? Well, there’s actually no way to quantify the exact amount of product that’s absorbed. But it is true that some ingredients can penetrate through the layers of skin and into the bloodstream, and if those ingredients are toxic, they could lead to health problems.
True Botanicals founder Hillary Peterson learned this hard truth after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She describes that moment as a “wake up call” and took a serious look at how she could better support her health in every way possible.
“It was then that I discovered an unexpected truth — my beauty products were full of toxins! I could not believe that there weren’t stricter regulations protecting our health,” says Hillary. And that’s when she decided to do something about it. Thus, she created True Botanicals — a luxury brand of clean skin and hair care products — to show women that they don’t need to risk unnecessary exposure to toxins in order to get results.
But do True Botanicals skin care products really deliver results? In order to answer this question, we’ll have to review the True Botanicals products with a scientific lens. That means we’ll discuss the research that supports (or doesn’t support) the ingredients that you’ll find in these products. We’ll also share some True Botanicals reviews so you can get a better idea of what customers really think about these products.
Is True Botanicals Skincare Worth The Money?
A common question about this brand is if the products are worth the cost. True Botanicals products are expensive, for example, the Hydrating Anti-Aging Routine is $299.
In our opinion, True Botanicals products aren’t worth the money, simply because there are other skincare brands that offer similar products that are less expensive.
One brand is Carrot & Stick, a clean skincare brand that perfectly balances the gentle nurturing of plants with the powerful results of innovative science.
Carrot & Stick intro bundles deliver great value for money because you can bundle 3 full-size products worth up to
$240 for $88.
What’s Inside True Botanicals Skin Care?
True Botanicals formulation philosophy is simple: you don’t need toxins to get results. That’s why each True Botanicals product is MADE SAFE® certified, meaning the product is made without 5,000+ known toxic ingredients.
Inside True Botanicals skin care products are a host of powerful vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, and antioxidants that help the True Botanicals products work their best. Here’s a look at just a few of the True Botanicals ingredients.
We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. It’s a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.
It’s in the True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster.
But our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.
As you age, your body’s production of collagen and elastin slows down. These two proteins are responsible for your skin’s structural support. As a result, the skin loses its natural plumpness and smoothness.
While collagen is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin, the collagen protein is too large to absorb into the skin topically. That’s why applying skin care products that contain collagen won’t provide the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.
This is where peptides come into action. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and they are easily absorbed into the deeper layers of skin due to their smaller size.
True Botanicals Repair Nightly Treatment contains a combination of proprietary bioactive peptides from fermented algae with tripeptide 29.
If you’re looking for a peptide serum, we recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. It contains 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin. It also has skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
Green tea leaf extract is used in nearly all True Botanicals skin care products. The benefits provided by green tea leaf extract come from its rich supply of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of polyphenol that is widely regarded as one of the most powerful antioxidants available. EGCG targets free radicals, particularly those caused by UV-induced oxidative damage.
According to a publication in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, “Catechin molecules such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) are capable of attenuating the biomolecular damage induced by UV radiation, possibly through molecular mechanisms involving the cell membranes.”
Algae extract is another key ingredient found throughout the True Botanicals collection. It’s used to help hydrate and nourish the skin while protecting it from environmental pollutants and free radicals that contribute to premature aging of the skin.
Beta glucans from oats and mushrooms are used inside True Botanicals formulations to moisturize the deepest layers of the skin. Beta glucans also help to soothe the skin and calm redness.
Hemp Seed Oil
Another key ingredient found in many True Botanicals products is hemp seed oil, which is a great ingredient for calming and soothing the skin.
In a 2014 review of plants used to treat skin diseases, the authors note that the topical application of hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it better able to resist infection. The review also states that hemp seed oil may be a helpful treatment for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and a range of other skin conditions.
Hemp seed oil is also said to be beneficial for those with oily or acne prone skin. This is because hemp seed oil helps to balance oil production and is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores).
Prickly Pear oil
The last key ingredient that True Botanicals loves to infuse into their formulations is prickly pear oil. Prickly pear oil has a light texture but still provides a greater moisturizing effect due to its high content of linoleic acid.
Additionally, prickly pear oil may help with aging skin due to vitamin E content that is over 400 times higher than olive oil! Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and also helps the skin retain moisture by strengthening the skin’s barrier function.
While True Botanicals skin care products do not contain synthetic fragrances, it should be noted that the formulations do contain fragrance components derived from natural sources, such as essential oils. For example, the True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask contains the “True Botanicals Grove Scent” which contains seven fragrant essential oils.
While these ingredients give the product a pleasant scent, it’s important to note that these fragrance ingredients aren’t helping your skin in any way. So why is fragrance a problem in skin care? Let’s look at the science.
All fragrance ingredients (whether natural or synthetic) impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. In fact, according to a 2016 publication in the scholarly journal Dermatitis, nearly 80 essential oils have caused contact allergy.
Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the ingredient, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term. This is something to keep in mind before purchasing True Botanicals products, especially if you have sensitive skin.
What Are The Top 10 Best Selling True Botanicals Products?
True Botanicals offers a number of skin care products designed to meet you at every step of your routine, with everything from cleansers to face oils to serums and more. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 best selling True Botanicals products.
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil
The brand’s best selling face oil is the True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil, which has been called “glow in a bottle” and “nothing short of miraculous” in the reviews for this product. The formula contains a blend of 14 nourishing seed oils, hydrating algae extract, and the potent antioxidant astaxanthin. The oils in this formula are non-comedogenic (they won’t clog your pores) and they easily absorb into your skin, giving you a complexion that looks dewy and not greasy. The only drawback is that the formula contains fragrant essential oils, which could lead to sensitivity.
True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask
This lactic acid body mask is formulated to gently exfoliate to rid skin of dryness, dullness, and bumps all over. Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin and a more even complexion. Lactic acid also helps to improve skin’s hydration. Using this body mask once or twice weekly can help to reveal smoother, brighter skin.
True Botanicals Renew Mist
This hydrating face mist refreshes skin with a blend of green tea, white tea, kombucha, milk thistle, and algae extract. And as an added bonus, it also sets makeup. The formula is naturally scented with jasmine, neroli, and rose, which give the mist a very pleasant scent, but these fragrance ingredients aren’t doing your skin any good.
True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask
No time to go see your esthetician for a facial? Adding in an AHA face mask is one way to reap the benefits of a facial at home. This mask includes the AHA lactic acid to gently slough away dead surface skin cells so you have fresher, brighter skin at the surface. Plus, there are also emollients in this formula, like mango seed butter and avocado oil, to help lock in moisture. Unfortunately, like most True Botanicals products, there are fragrance ingredients in this mask.
True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster
There’s no such thing as a miracle treatment when it comes to combating age, though vitamin C comes pretty close. It’s a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals, helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.
One way to add vitamin C into your routine is with the True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster, a powder that can be added to any water-based serum or moisturizer to give your skin a “boost” of vitamin C. There are only three ingredients in this powder: tapioca starch, L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and ferulic acid. And based on the reviews, this booster really works! One True Botanicals review says, “This is magic on a bottle! I just LOVE it! My dark spots are disappearing just after a week of using it!!! You can see almost instantly how your pores look smoother!”
True Botanicals Chebula Active Immunity Serum
This hydrating anti-aging serum features chebula as the key ingredient. Terminalia chebula has a history of use in Ayurveda for strengthening and nourishing the body. It only recently was obtained for topical use via an innovative and safe water-based extraction process. When applied to the skin, chebula is said to correct aging in five ways: minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evening skin tone, smoothing roughness, firming, and brightening. Additional key ingredients in this True Botanicals serum include elderberry, ginger, and echinacea.
True Botanicals Clear Nourishing Cleanser
This facial cleanser is formulated to help those with congested, acne-prone skin. Most cleansers for acne-prone skin strip away too much oil, drying out the skin so much that the oil glands produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness. This only makes acne worse! That’s why True Botanicals formulated their cleanser to fight blemishes while hydrating the skin, not stripping it of oil. The formula combines naturally-derived surfactants with black willow bark (aka nature’s salicylic acid) and helichrysum, a powerful centuries-old soother.
True Botanicals Renew Nourishing Cleanser
This True Botanicals cleanser is formulated for skin that is showing signs of aging or is prone to dryness. The formula contains naturally-derived surfactants, as well as soothing ingredients like green tea, white tea, aloe vera, and green tea seed oil. Together, these ingredients will help to gently remove dirt and impurities without stripping your skin.
True Botanicals Repair Nightly Treatment
This anti-aging night serum combines proprietary bioactive peptides from fermented algae with tripeptide 29. Topical application of peptides signals to cells in your skin called fibroblasts to produce more collagen. More collagen equals firmer, tighter skin. The formula also includes ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier, and sodium hyaluronate to increase hydration and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
True Botanicals Moisture Lock Overnight Mask
If you’re struggling with dry patches or dullness, or your skin could just use an extra dose of hydration, then a sleeping mask is the way to go. Sleeping masks are designed to be applied as the final step of your skin care routine in order to lock in moisture while also creating a permeable seal on top of your skin to help the products underneath it penetrate better.
The True Botanicals Moisture Lock Overnight Mask creates this seal with ingredients like mango seed butter, squalane, and green tea seed oil. Together, these ingredients create a soft, non-sticky layer over the skin, thereby reducing moisture loss overnight and supplying plenty of nutrients to the skin.
Where to Buy True Botanicals Skin Care Products?
If you’re wondering where to buy True Botanicals skin care products, we’d recommend starting with the brand’s website. Purchasing items from the brand’s website will help you to avoid counterfeit products, especially since True Botanicals products are at a higher price point, which is a great incentive for unscrupulous individuals to create counterfeit versions of the product. With that being said, you can also buy True Botanicals products from third party sellers such as Amazon and Goop.
What is The True Botanicals Return Policy?
The True Botanicals return policy states, “We offer a 30-day guarantee on all of our products. We issue full refunds for product(s) returned within 30 days. While we’re happy to refund or replace your product, we are unfortunately unable to refund shipping charges.”
Is True Botanicals Cruelty Free?
True Botanicals is cruelty free. The brand does not test on animals and they do not use any ingredients which have been tested on animals. True Botanicals products are not sold where animal testing is required by law. In fact, True Botanicals has a Leaping Bunny Made Safe Certification. Achieving Leaping Bunny certification shows consumers that businesses have the procedures and policies in place to enable and verify their cruelty free claims, producing products not tested on animals.
Are True Botanicals Products Vegan?
All of the True Botanicals products are vegan besides the Everyday Sheer Coverage, which contains pearl and silk powder.
True Botanicals Reviews
True Botanicals reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, with most products receiving 4 or 5 star ratings. The brand’s best selling product — True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil — has received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 900 customer reviews.
Positive reviews for the True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil mention that this oil really helps to keep the skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing.
For example, one review says, “I’ve hated my skin most of my life (I’m 52), but this is a game changer. I barely have to use foundation now, two months after starting to use this. Smaller pores, smoother, less red skin. Can’t say enough about this.”
While there aren’t many negative reviews for True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil, those that we did read were from customers who experienced reactions like dryness or acne breakouts after using this product.
For example, one review says, “My skin broke out terribly. After I stopped using it cleared up. I wanted to like the product and it smelled/felt great but did not work for me. I haven’t had an acne problem in many years.”
Overall, we can’t recommend using True Botanicals products due the inclusion of fragrant essential oils in nearly all of their products. There are many other clean beauty brands that offer similar products but without the added fragrance!
- Products formulated without toxins
- Products contain natural ingredients that have research to support their benefits
- Brand produces, packages, and ships products in a way to reduce impact on the environment
- True Botanicals is cruelty free
- High cost (e.g. True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil is $110 for 1 fl oz)
- Nearly all products contain fragrant essential oils, which could lead to sensitivity
What Are Some Alternatives to True Botanicals?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend The Defence Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.
Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.
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Pharmacogn Rev. 2014 Jan-Jun; 8(15): 52–60.
de Groot AC, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part IV: Contact Allergy. Dermatitis. 2016;27(4):170-175. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000197