Best of The Best: True Botanicals

Best of the Best is a series showcasing my favorite, tried-and-true, go-back-again-and-again green beauty brands. Being a beauty blogger, I’m in a constant state of flux with skincare, as I’m always trying new products. However, these brands are always in my rotation and are worthy of my highest recommendation.

photo by Ely Fair 

True Botanicals is the newest (to me) brand in my Best of Best lineup, as I started using them earlier this year. However, I spent several months using the products before writing this post to make certain my opinions remained very positive. (You never know in the first month, right? Things can change in the blink of an eye.)

Well, my love affair continues to grow as each week passes by, which I promise you, doesn’t happen often.

Let me give you a little rundown on True Botanicals as a company. Hillary Peterson and Christina Mace-Turner first crossed paths on the trails of Marin, California. Their shared love of nature and mutual frustration with an extremely outdated beauty industry soon sparked a partnership that would go well beyond hiking. With Hillary’s expertise in skin care and Christina’s deep understanding of tech, the two have dedicated themselves to disrupting the category, delivering superior results without harm to skin, health, or environment.

Hillary and Christina set out to create the world’s first line of luxury anti-aging products that were also certified MADE SAFE™. The result is a collection of super-concentrated, bio-active formulations that deliver clinically proven results without compromising your health. The products in the line contain a higher quantity of high-quality ingredients than even the most venerable luxury brands in department stores. They did that by eliminating the costs of the traditional distribution model (bye!) and embracing the next generation of commerce. This approach has another key benefit: they’re able to work directly with their clientele and offer a far higher level of personal service to ensure you achieve the results you desire. (And this is the truth – I have had many questions, and they are always addressed by the team. Superior customer service!)

My thoughts? Well, I have a lot.

First off, let’s just talk about the bottles. I am not ashamed to admit that the way a product line looks can make it or break it for me. As you can see in the above photo, the True Botanicals bottles are absolutely gorgeous. Brown glass, simple, sophisticated…they look beautiful on the shelf.

However, although a less desirable-looking brand can turn me off, a good-looking brand won’t keep me interested if the products don’t work. (And work WELL.)

What are my favorites from the line? Well, they all are wonderful, but I am especially drawn to the Vitamin C Booster, the Pre Cleanse Oil, the Resurfacing Mask, the Calm Nutrient Mist, the Nourishing Body Lotion, and the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.

The Vitamin C Booster is legit fantastic. I’ve had this ongoing thing with Vitamin C serums over the past year – as some of you may know, Vitamin C is super unstable once it’s in a liquid formulation. (Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are using a Vitamin C-based serum that started out pale in color but is now orange or dark orange? The Vitamin C isn’t even working anymore. You are basically using an expensive bottle of nada. I learned the hard way myself, damn you C-Firma Day Serum. Never again!)

The Vitamin C Booster is a powder; meaning, Vitamin C in its freshest form. Stored in a dark glass shaker, it retains its maximum potency until the moment it’s mixed with a serum. This is everything, you guys. It doesn’t activate until you mix it with your favorite serum. NO WASTED, INACTIVE PRODUCT. (By the way, their Cellular Repair Serum is great. I have the one from the Renew line. Although, I still use many other serums in my rotation. #beautybloggerlife)

But that’s the great thing about the Booster! Most likely, you can mix it with your favorite serum. It’s a game changer, I promise you. (And it’s potent. Oh so potent. #42yearoldsneedpotency)

The Pre Cleanse Oil is so great for loosening up makeup and nourishing the skin, but I love love love it when I have time for a face massage. Ever since Lisa Eldridge turned me on to facial massage, I haven’t looked back. And this oil is the perfect consistency for a solid 5 to 15-minute massage before cleansing the skin with your favorite cleanser. (Want less wrinkles, rub yo face!)

Need exfoliation? Try the Resurfacing Mask for instant glow. The gel-like consistency glides on the face, and after 5 minutes, you are looking all fresh-faced and dewy. (This is very similar to the Resurfacing Mask by Tata Harper, for reference.)

The Calm Nutrient Mist is totally an unsung hero of the line. I don’t hear a lot of hype for this mist/toner (the toner from the Clear line gets a lot of love), but I’m telling you, if you are rosacea-prone or have sensitive, reactive skin, you will love this mist. It instantly calms my skin, no ifs, ands, or buts. Made with blue chamomile, algae extract, and Avena oat extract, it is fantastic. I spray this after cleansing, when setting my makeup, or anytime my skin needs a little love. So fantastic.

Finally, last but certainly not least, I need to talk to you about the Nourishing Body LotionShampoo and Conditioner.

You guys, is it possible that I’ve found The One(s)? Thinking it might be the case. As you know, I’m no stranger to natural and organic hair care, but I’ve found I’ve been hitting a wall with many of my favorite brands this past year. What seems to happen is that they all start out great, but after a week or two, my hair just isn’t feeling it anymore. Meaning, within 24 hours of washing, I get that annoying, slightly grimy/dirty feeling in the roots of my hair at the nape of my neck. (Sometimes even while I’m blow-drying it after washing! I mean, COME ON I JUST WASHED YOU. You guys, I simply cannot stand that feeling nope no sirree bob NO WAY NO HOW NO. Dealbreaker.)

With True Botanicals? I can go 2-3 days without any sort of that dirty-feeling business. And the scent is awesome. Herbal and floral, but not too heady at all. Fresh would be the operative term. Fresh hair, fresh scent, freshity fresh prince of bel air fresh. Oh, and it actually lathers wonderfully, which is important to me. I need a lather, people. It comes from Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, which sounds anything but clean but is actually just a mild, coconut-derived surfactant. Bottom line, if you are looking for natural hair care, I am going to confidently point you in this direction.

And speaking of scent, every product I’ve tried smells so good. Fresh, herbal, not overpowering in any sort of way. (I get overpowered easily, as I am a delicate flower of sorts.) As for the body lotion, it has the same scent and it makes my skin so plump and hydrated.

Other lines in the True Botanicals family are the Renew (anti-aging) line, the Clear line (acne-prone skin…psst, it outperformed Proactiv+ in clinical trials), the Calm line(rosacea-prone), Pregnancy, and the Basics line(prevention). I’m actually super interested in the Basics line, as I’ve heard really good things about it AND it is less expensive than the other lines, which is a definite plus!

All in all, this is an extremely impressive line that I think many of you would enjoy. And thanks to the generous True Botanicals team, they are offering $20 off your first purchase of $40+ with the code WHOORLTRUE20. What do you have to lose? It’s the best of the best, you know.

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have…just leave ’em in the comments!

  • Kristy Kent

    August 14, 2017 at 8:10 am

    So how do the shampoo and conditioner compare to Innersense? You’ve had great things to say about that line as well.

    • whoorl

      August 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

      I have been such a big fan of Innersense and love what they stand for, but it’s one of the lines that I started having the issues with that I talked about in this post. :(

  • Molly

    August 14, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been working my way through a travel sized pump of the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and noticed the orange color as well, I think since the beginning (although maybe getting a little more orange?!). I was worried because of the instability you mentioned above but Paula made me think it was ok – because the other ingredients are orange. thoughts? https://www.beautypedia.com/skin-care-reviews/by-brand/drunk-elephant/_/C-Firma-Day-Serum

    • whoorl

      August 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Hey Molly! I have done so much research on this (although I don’t claim to be an expert), BUT when I would buy my C-Firma Day Serum, it WOULD be pale during the first month, then turn orange. So it wasn’t orange in the first place. However, I haven’t used it in months, so it’s possible they changed the ingredients to include other orange-hued ingredients.

      I just didn’t want to trouble myself with it anymore, so the powder works great for me. :)

      • Molly

        August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        Thank you!

  • Pamela

    August 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I feel like you need to send out emergency text alerts when you switch to a new favorite product. Cuz you got in your shower and I was like, wait, I thought our favorite shampoo was innersense? How long have we had a new favorite and I’ve still been with the old boyfriend? You know I just do whatever you tell me!

    • whoorl

      August 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Haha, Pamela! I KNOW!

      I just want to say that I LOVE Innersense – the company, the ingredients, the scents, the whole shebang…but for whatever reason, my hair wasn’t feeling clean after I used it. (And it did feel clean to begin with for the first year or so, so I don’t know what happened.)

      I still use it on occasion, but I have found that I can’t use it for a over a week without my hair starting to feel a bit grimy.

  • Meg

    August 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Drunk Elephant…no! That’s one of my favorites. Dang.

    • whoorl

      August 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Meg! Yeah, kind of lame. Also, I know everyone’s requirements are different, but another reason I don’t use Drunk Elephant anymore is that their products have Phenoxyethanol in them.


      I do have some cosmetic products (like a few cream blushes and such) that contain Phenoxyethanol in them and I don’t mind terribly since it’s a small amount on the skin, but I definitely try to steer clear in terms of overall skincare and bodycare. :)

  • Irina

    August 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Is the vitamin C booster grainy when mixed with other products? I tried one a few years ago the experience was more like an exfoliation that a serum…but since skincare has come so far! Please let me know. Hopefully not :)

    • whoorl

      August 15, 2017 at 11:23 am

      No. It’s a very fine powder, and you can’t even tell it’s in there when you mix with a serum. :)

  • Shirin Levi

    August 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Hi I appreciate and trust your reviews. How does this compare with Mun? I’d like to try to slowly switch to cleaner greener skincare and there is just so much out there. Also I’m on a tight budget these days so I have to be selective. Thanks!!

    • whoorl

      August 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Hi Shirin! I totally understand where you are coming from, and I’ll try to help out, although I know everyone’s skin is different. MUN is a staple for me – I always find myself going back to it, and almost everyone I know who’s tried it loves it. It will always be in my arsenal. However, as a 42-year-old woman, I feel that True Botanicals is more active…meaning a little more powerful in the anti-aging realm. (I hate the word “anti-aging,” but you get what I mean.) Also, if you have issues with acne or breakouts, True Botanicals Clear line is amazing.

      And it all depends on what you like. For example, MUN only has an oil cleanser, which is fantastic, but if you are looking for more of a milky cleanser, True Botanicals is your best bet.

      True Botanicals has a more robust selection of products as well – I would recommend sending their customer support team an email about your specific concerns and see what they recommend! Either way, I think you would be happy. Hope this helps!

  • Ashley

    August 17, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    What are your favorite serums to mix with the vitamin C booster?

    • whoorl

      August 22, 2017 at 8:42 am

      MUN Aknari Serum and LILFOX Prickly Pear Serum. :)

      • Ashley

        August 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm

        Ohh…I haven’t tried either of these! I have been using Maya Chia’s the Super Couple and I wonder if it would pair nicely with the booster?

        • whoorl

          August 31, 2017 at 11:48 am


  • Amna

    August 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Oh! What about styling/heat protection products?

    • whoorl

      August 31, 2017 at 11:53 am

      I don’t use styling products on the daily, but I do like some of Josh Rosebrook’s hair products!

  • Kate

    September 7, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Hey, Whoorl! I love your blog and have been reading up on your green beauty recs for a while because I’d like to make the switch to all-green products. I started out with Tata Harper products (the resurfacing mask and rejuvenating serum), and my skin reacted badly to them. Total bummer! I did some research online to see if anyone else had experienced that, and I found more results than I thought I would. I guess it’s not uncommon to have allergic reactions to some of the essential oils used in these natural products. I’m wondering what your experience has been with this—have you found that certain ingredients irritate your skin, or have you had bad reactions to any particular product? I’ve noticed that you often say the Josh Rosebrook products have quality ingredients. What differentiates those products from others? It would be so helpful to get real insight into this!

    • whoorl

      September 7, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Hi, Kate! Well, when trying out new skincare, anything has the potential to cause irritation, organic or not. Tata Harper uses a fair amount of ingredients that give the products that signature floral scent, which can be a bit much for some. (Sounds like you might be in that category!) I personally gravitate towards products with a less intense scent profile, as the heavier the overall scent, the more likely my skin is to react.
      As for Josh Rosebrook, he uses raw, natural ingredients that are truly organic, however, that fact doesn’t mean you couldn’t have a reaction. Everyone is diffferent! I would recommend really taking time to read the labels and find out what works and doesn’t work for your skin.
      All that being said, this is why I really love True Botanicals – the scent profile is really mild, and doesn’t overwhelm my skin!

      • Kate

        September 7, 2017 at 7:38 am

        That’s kind of what I was thinking re: the scent profile. I will definitely keep that in mind as I investigate new products. Thanks for your reply!