By now, most of you know that I’m an utter devotee to True Botanicals, the line that saved my skin 2.5 years ago. (For almost 3 years, I’d been dealing with terrible hormonal cystic acne that not even prescriptions – that I did not feel comfortable taking – could heal. I tried True Botanicals, and the rest is history. You can read my story here.)
Over the last few months, True Botanicals has been making some changes. They changed their name from True Nature Botanicals to True Botanicals, they’ve expanded their team and they’ve discontinued a few products. The biggest change of all, however, is the addition of some truly amazing new products. In my opinion, the line as a whole is better than ever.
Sigh……. If I turned you on to the True Botanicals Retinol Serum a while back…. you’re welcome? I’m sorry? I know many of you, like me, became hooked on the stuff. Retinol does a great job of brightening and tightening, it increases cell turnover, and it it’s a miracle worker at unclogging pores. In fact, if I went more than three nights in a row without using it, I started to notice a breakout on the horizon. Well, it turns out that there are only two manufacturers of retinol in the world, and both use BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) as a preservative in all of their formulas (this ingredient was not previously disclosed in their documentation to True Botanicals – they discovered it on their own much later in the game). Obviously, in this case the BHT was a secondary ingredient; it was used minimally as a preservative. However, anyone worth their weight in the Green Beauty world is fully aware that BHT is bad news. There was nothing True Botanicals could do in good conscience but discontinue their serum. I commend them for not only doing so, but for also disclosing the reason to their customers. At first, I was SO disappointed. I even asked if they had a secret stash I could keep using until I became pregnant (I know it sounds crazy for a Green beauty blogger to be so desperate to use a tainted formula, but I felt utterly dependent on it.) I also had quite a few questions about how this could happen in the first place. They were gracious, apologetic and honest, and they answered every single question. At the end of the day, True Botanicals is a small, growing company, and hiccups happen, even when highly intelligent people with integrity are running the show. I forgave them. But, WHAT was I going to replace my beloved retinol serum with?
THE CLEAR COLLECTION
Luckily, True Botanicals was already working on creating 3 separate, skin type-specific product lines when all of this went down. The collection that I’m going to concentrate on today is Clear, as it is what I’ve replaced my old routine with, and I love it. I can’t believe it, but I don’t even miss my old retinol serum. The True Botanicals Clear Collection manages to keep my skin clear while fighting the first signs of aging. Here is my new routine:
Clear Hydrating Cleanser: This cleanser is a totally new product. It is similar to True Botanicals’ original hydrating cleanser in that it hydrates (duh), provides a subtle lather and removes makeup and sunscreen effectively. However, this formula doesn’t just combat the signs of aging, it also combats acne. Black Willow Bark extract exfoliates dry, dead skin cells, fights breakouts and reduces fine lines without irritation, and Helichrysum has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that both fight infection and promotes healing. I LOVE this cleanser. I use this day and night, and when I have time, (like in the shower while shaving my legs) I leave this on my face for a moment before rinsing so that it can really do its job.
Polishing Grains: If you loved True Botanicals Exfoliating Cleanser, add a shake or two of these grains to the Hydrating Cleanser for a clean sweep once or twice per week. Unlike many other physical exfoliants, the Adzuki Bean powder, Kaoline Clay and Rosehip Seed Powder will never irritate skin. Again, when you mix this in with the hydrating cleanser, really work it into skin and leave it on for a bit for the best results.
Clear Nutrient Toner: Many toners formulated for acne-prone skin end up being too harsh for me. They sting, or dry out my skin, and they definitely don’t double as a midday refresh or makeup setting spray. This toner is different, and I love it even more than the original True Botanicals toner. Black Willow Bark extract exfoliates to keep skin clear; Olive Leaf extract provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; Sandalwood Hydrosol is antimicrobial and regenerates skin cells. It also contains Apple Cider Vinegar and Kombucha (but not enough to make it stink!) which are troubled skin’s best friends. I use this day and night.
Clear Pure Radiance Oil (formerly known as Balancing Face Oil): I immediately follow the toner with 4-6 drops of the Clear Pure Radiance Face Oil. It is lightweight and readily absorbed by the skin and it’s packed with anti-acne and anti-aging goodies. Helichrysum and black cumin oils are both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial; hemp, pumpkin and grape seed oils balance sebum production; a proprietary blend of marine essential fatty acids (harvested from sea vegetables and algae, not fish) keep the skin nice and plump. I use this day and night.
Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20: I wear this every single day, and I love it’s coverage and finish so much that I even use it under my makeup at night, too. It’s texture is feather-light and almost watery; it sinks right into the skin and dries to a semi-matte, powdery finish. The coverage is light, (it doesn’t cover up freckles) but this product’s star ingredient, pearl powder, evens out skin tone, minimizes imperfections and generally illuminates the complexion. I also love that I can wear makeup over it without looking like I’m wearing a caked-on mask. Unless I am very tan, I wear Light.
Clear Cellular Repair Serum: This was the real test. Could this serum replace my beloved retinol serum? The answer is yes. This formula not only keeps my adult acne at bay, but it strengthens the barrier function of aging skin so I’m not overly dry. Black Willow Bark extract exfoliates skin and unclogs pores. Olive Leaf Extract’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties kill off bad bacteria, and its serious antioxidant powers help prevent free radical damage that causes wrinkles. This serum also contains True Botanicals’ proprietary Bioferment, made of fermented algae and seaweeds. This formula boosts collagen production, inhibits melanin production, which decreases hyperpigmentation and blotchiness. I combine this serum with the Vitamin C booster (below) nightly, and wake up to clearer, less inflamed skin every morning.
Vitamin C Booster (formerly Topical Vitamin C Treatment): Vitamin C is the superstar of the anti-aging world. It promotes collagen production, strengthens, firms and repairs skin, brightens and evens out skin tone and it fights wrinkles. Since Vitamin C starts to break down the moment it interact with liquid, True Botanicals produces theirs in a powder form mixed with Ferulic Acid (combined, the two ingredients double skin’s photo protection). I mix 3 shakes of this with 3 pumps of Clear Cellular Repair Serum every night.
A note on Black Willow Bark Extract vs. Salicylic Acid: As many of you know, Salicylic Acid is the synthetic form of Black Willow Extract, and it is not to be used during pregnancy or lactation. However, Black Willow Extract is considered to be safe. I used products containing Black Willow Extract during my last pregnancy and felt okay about it, and I’ll probably do the same during my next pregnancy. However, I’m not a doctor, and only you know what you are comfortable with. Consult your physician before starting a new skincare regimen if you are pregnant.
GIVEAWAY: Join me on Instagram around 9pm EST tonight (@barebeautyblog); I’m teaming up with True Botanicals to give away a full-size Clean Pure Radiance Oil and Clear Cellular Repair Serum (a $250 value)!
I can’t wait to hear what you all think of the new product line! Please let me know if you have any questions about it in the comment section, below!