I Reviewed True Botanicals Best-Selling Products—Here’s My Honest Take
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At the age of 32, True Botanicals founder Hillary Peterson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This inspired her to look seriously at the skincare products she was using and her overall health.
Ironically, I’ll be turning 32 myself this summer and I’ve been dealing with a lump near my own thyroid. Thankfully, my mass turned out to be benign, but the parallels felt eerily similar, and I could deeply empathize with how Hillary must have felt. Don’t we all deserve products that are free of toxins and protect our health, not endanger it?
The timing felt fortuitous to get to review True Botanicals products while I was reconsidering my own health. I appreciate how thoughtful the brand has always been, from its sustainable packaging to third-party certifications (MADE SAFE certified! EWG certified! FSC certified!) to its focus on regeneratively farmed ingredients.
My hot take? Well, you definitely get what you pay for—and this skincare works.
Now, I should disclose again that I’ve spent the last year working with a dermatologist, so certain medications have drastically improved my skin (bless you, Spironolactone). But I can fairly say that True Botanicals products have enhanced my skin too and felt luxurious to use along the way.
True Botanicals has three signature collections: renew, clear, and calm. renew focuses on anti-aging, clear is for blemish-prone skin, and calm is for ultra-sensitive skin. If you’re not sure where to start or are overwhelmed by the different options, you can schedule a free consultation via Zoom. I personally opted to try most of the best sellers and award winners (awarded by Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Byrdie, and more), so here was my all-star lineup:
- renew | Pure Radiance Oil ($110)
- renew | Chebula Active Serum ($90)
- renew | Chebula Extreme Cream ($110)
- SuperSEA Firming & Lifting Treatment ($188)
- Vitamin C Booster ($90)
- Deep Repair Eye Serum ($90)
- Moisture Lock Glossy Glossy Balm ($24)
- Body Love | Boob Cream ($48)
OK, let’s dive in.
I am ashamed to admit this publicly online, but I will do so here just for you, dear reader: My AIM screen name in middle school was “lipglosslovex” and so I feel it’s fair to say that I have long been into the best lip products. (My ride-or-die to date is ILIA’s Lip Tint, but I digress.)
I opted for clear (the other choice is red), and I was genuinely impressed with how easy it was to warm up and dab on without feeling sticky or too watery. It’s designed to “help fight signs of aging while drenching your lips in nourishing moisture,” and while I can’t say I see a difference in the “age of my lips,” they felt hydrated.
The formula includes hyaluronic acid and pomegranate sterol instead of animal-derived lanolin, which I appreciate as a vegetarian. The seed oil makes my lips feel plump in the best way. It also has the loveliest rose scent, so it feels like a treat to put on. Now, $24 is a bit higher than what I’d typically spend for such a small amount, but if you opt to subscribe, the price drops 15% (making it closer to $20), which seems worthwhile since shipping is always free.
The True Botanicals team really wasn’t kidding when they said it was ultra-rich. It smells heavenly—like your favorite florals and candles—without being overpowering. And because it’s designed for such a delicate area—the neck, décolleté, and breasts—I like how a little goes a long way without feeling greasy. My skin felt nourished, and while I haven’t seen any long-term effects quite yet that address any “crepiness,” stay tuned. I’ll share an update if that changes!
I have genetically dark circles under my eyes (thanks, Mom, I still love you though) so I’ve been dealing with some volume loss, fine lines, and shadows. But—and this is a big but—I also know it’s unreasonable to expect an eye serum to fix volume loss, so my expectations here were pretty tempered.
At just 0.42 fluid ounces, this bottle is teeny tiny. I was surprised at how small it was for such an expensive product. The formula is very concentrated, using blackberry seed and carrot seed oils, and has a neutral, natural scent. And the reviews are right once again: A little goes a long way. I only needed a tiny drop or two every time, and it blended seamlessly into my under-eye area, quickly reducing puffiness and looking brighter. Ultimately, I suppose I’d prefer a super-concentrated formula like this one that actually works and is slightly more expensive rather than a cheap alternative filled with water or synthetic fillers.
Vitamin C Booster, $90
Per the True Botanicals site, “Since Vitamin C is unstable and degrades once exposed to liquid, this booster is in powder form to remain stable and potent until the moment you use it.” Consider me impressed.
While not inexpensive, I do feel good about the amount of use I’m getting out of the powder formula since I can mix it with any other oil or serum I’m using. In my case, I added just 1-2 shakes to the Pure Radiance Oil and it magically absorbed into my skin.
Unlike other Vitamin C oils I’ve tried, this one didn’t irritate my skin or drip right off. I’ll continue using this for months to come, but the jury’s out on if I’ll repurchase at such a high price point if I don’t see an improvement in my hyperpigmentation.
The treatment (made with seaweed and sea minerals) is “clinically proven to give you a lift” by visibly firming, tightening, and lifting your cheekbones and jawline. Now since I’m only in my early 30s, I’m probably a bit outside of the target demographic, so I didn’t see as drastic results compared to the clinical test where 92% said their skin looks and feels tighter and better defined. But I did notice how my skin seemed to immediately “drink” in the formula; by the time I had dabbed it into my neck, the parts I had rubbed into my face had already disappeared.
Afterward, my skin felt a little sticky but overall supple and smooth. If you’re dealing with a loss of elasticity, have any roughness, or want to reduce wrinkles, I could see this working well. And if you’re hesitant about the price, there’s a 30-day guarantee with free shipping and simple returns. Hopefully, this will become available in a sample/trial size in the future so you can experience the treatment before committing.
The renew collection: Pure Radiance Oil, $110 | Chebula Active Serum, $90 | Chebula Extreme Cream, $110
It was pretty clear to me why Pure Radiance Oil is one of the brand’s best-sellers. This oil is crafted with a number of seed oils, including chia, kiwi, passionfruit, and papaya. (Call me weird, but that kind of makes me hungry to think about.) Mixed in with the aforementioned Vitamin C Booster, a few drops absorb right into my skin. I’ve been using it every morning and I really like that it’s not greasy, smells lovely, and keeps my face hydrated. And can we just talk about that gorgeous amber color?
You can use this as a PM treatment, too, and I wonder if you’d get double the results if you used it twice a day—if you try this method, let me know! For now, this will stay a staple in my morning routine and one I could see myself buying again.
The Chebula Extreme Cream was named an Elle Green Beauty Star in 2022, and so I was curious if I’d see the same results “100% of women experienced” in the True Botanicals clinical trial. The brand says it works because “it’s one of the ONLY moisturizers in the world made without any pore-clogging waxes,” and I can say that it hasn’t irritated my skin at all to date. The moisturizer is light pink (a treat!), smells vaguely like a mix of clay and rose, and has a thick but spreadable consistency that’s easy to apply. It definitely gives me dewy, glowy vibes and I’m starting to see an improvement in dullness too.
Lastly, the #1 best seller at True Botanicals: The Chebula Active Serum. This formula is lighter than the Pure Radiance Oil, both in color and weight, and they can work in tandem with the serum first, followed by the oil on top. Based on a six-week trial with women aged 35-65, 100% experienced softer and smoother skin in just a week. Again, I’m a bit younger than this age range, but I’ve really enjoyed this product so far. It’s got an herby scent, which I assume comes from the chebula itself, plus the elderberry, ginger, and echinacea, and it’s a bit milkier than most serums I’ve come across.
When I want to keep things simple, I put on the Chebula Active Serum first, mix in a bit of the Vitamin C Booster into the Radiance Oil, then apply that second. I walk around feeling a bit like a glazed donut, but hey, my skin looks pretty amazing.
Overall, I’m impressed with the quality of True Botanicals and their formulas. Everything is so highly concentrated and effective that it’s hard to be mad about the price point—these are definitely worth the investment if you can swing ‘em.
- True Botanicals offers biocompatible skincare aimed to help with anti-aging, blemishes, and ultra-sensitive skin. Ingredients are sustainably or regeneratively sourced and are all clean, cruelty-free, and MADE SAFE certified.
- The price point is on the higher side, but we’ve found that the formulas are packed with high-quality ingredients that last for months at a time.
- While you could theoretically skip on some of the supplemental offerings like the lip balm and boob cream, the signature collections are absolutely worthwhile to invest in, depending on your skincare needs.
Henah Velez (she/her) is the Senior Editor at Money with Katie at Morning Brew, as well as a writer at The Good Trade. She holds a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship and is a proud Rutgers grad. Originally from NJ, Henah’s now in the Bay Area where she loves shopping small, hanging with her pets, or traveling.