ISSUE 39  |  Fall Foliage

True Nature Botanicals: Nontoxic, Science-First Skin Care

September 30, 2015 1:30 PM

BY Remodelista Team


Here at Remodelista, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Hillary Peterson and her stellar line of natural skin care, perfumes, and hair care. Through her Mill Valley, California-based company–True Nature Botanicals–she’s joined us for Remodelista Markets, sponsored a Gardenista giveaway, and has always let us pick her brain about her line–why she created it, how it works, and more. If you could chat with Hillary in person like we have, you’d notice two convincing things straight away: her glowing skin and her in-depth knowledge of the science of skin care. Here’s a little about how we got so hooked.

(Take note: Now through October 4, Remodelista readers get 15 percent off at checkout with code REMODELISTA.)

How True Nature Botanicals Is Different 

“What goes on your skin, goes into your body.” That’s one of Hillary’s sayings, and one of the reasons she founded True Nature Botanicals–to keep toxins out of her skin care, and therefore out of her body, without exception. On equal par with True Nature’s “no toxins” rule is a mandate for superior results for skin. According to Hillary, using a nontoxic regimen doesn’t have to mean sacrificing results or forgoing potent antiaging ingredients.


Above: Pacific Face Oil is True Nature Botanicals’ most beloved product. (“We’ve had maybe one return in three years,” says Hillary.) It’s an everyday moisturizing serum suited for all skin types, packed with kiwi, chia, and rosehip seed oils, all rich in antioxidants and the essential fatty acids that strengthen cell membranes. The overarching concept here is to moisturize from within: “When your cells are healthy, your skin glows,” says Hillary; $110.

Why Safety First

As a melanoma survivor, Hillary has a deep appreciation for the need to protect skin from the sun. And as a survivor of thyroid cancer, she doesn’t lose sight of the health of the overall body. If you’re using toxic sunscreen, she reasons, why protect yourself from one kind of cancer while potentially increasing your risk for another?

Following her cancers, Hillary knew there must be a better way. Today she’s on an unrelenting quest for the safest, most effective skincare ingredients known–and not-yet-known–to man. 


Above: Pacific Soothing Face Oil is True Nature’s daily moisturizer for sensitive skin (including skin prone to rosacea). Pomegranate seed oil calms sensitive skin, blue chamomile oil has skin-healing properties, and grape seed oil is naturally hypoallergenic and rich in vitamin F, crucial for healing wounds and calming irritated skin; $110. 

The Ingredients

True Nature Botanicals is rightly proud of the fact that they spend up to five times as much on their ingredients as the leading luxury skin-care and fragrance lines. Take seed oils as an example: It is labor-intensive to extract the beneficial oils from tiny seeds such as chia, kiwi, and papaya, but they are loaded with the antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins your skin needs–so True Nature Botanicals uses as much seed oils as required. On True Nature’s ingredients lists, you’ll notice these highest-caliber ingredients at the top: “Ingredients are listed on any package in order of quantity,” says Hillary. “We use as much of the best ingredients as we need to make the most effective products. Here, those ingredients are for results, not for marketing.”


Above: Pacific Balancing Face Oil is the daily moisturizing oil for blemish-prone skin that is in need of antiaging care. Helichrysum oil fights infection and heals scarring, and black cumin seed oil is a natural antibacterial. Avocado and sunflower oils help limit production of sebum, the oil whose overabundance is implicated in acne. Vogue magazine called this formulation “one of the most coveted in the United States.” $110. 

Does It Work? 

True Nature Botanicals tested its flagship product–Pacific Face Oil–against the world-famous Crí¨me de La Mer. Pacific Face Oil outperformed La Mer in every category, from wrinkle reduction to pore size and facial smoothness. And La Mer users showed a 29 percent increase in clogged pores while using the cream versus no increased congestion with Pacific Face Oil. (Read the results of the clinical trial here.)

True Nature Botanicals doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to antiaging. According to Hillary, retinol is one of the few proven antiaging ingredients, and its safe, non-irritating potency is packed in True Nature Botanicals’ Pacific Night Serum with Retinol. 

One of the most intriguing things we learned from Hillary is that the need to protect against sun damage–both skin aging and skin cancer–doesn’t stop once you’re out of the sun. A February 2015 Yale University study demonstrates that “UV light can continue to harm the skin and inflict cancer-causing damage hours after exposure and even in the dark.” A potential remedy? Applying antioxidants directly to the skin following time in the sun, like those contained in True Nature’s Pacific Body Oil. (Read more on the science here.)


Above: Pacific Mist is a lightweight skin freshener that provides moisturizing marine extracts to the topmost layers of the skin. It’s made of antiaging white and green tea extracts and antioxidants sea kelp and sea fennel. The results are plumper, dewy skin–which makes wrinkles harder to see; $48. 

The People Behind It

One of the most convincing elements of the True Nature Botanicals approach is the company’s all-star advisory board–industry leaders who put their knowledge to work for the True Nature Botanicals cause. Among the product advisors are a Carnegie Mellon professor of green chemistry; a Beverly Hills dermatologist (and UCLA Medical School faculty member) who specializes in the prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers; and the director of spas at world-renowned Auberge Resorts. These advisers aren’t figureheads–Hillary has them on speed dial and is quick to ask questions about ingredients, studies, and ideas.  


Above: Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask provides gentle exfoliation using alpha-hydroxy acids, while avocado butter’s vitamins and fatty acids calm and moisturize the skin; $90. 

What We Love

Several of us at Remodelista are True Nature Botanicals devotees. Here are some thoughts on a few of our favorite products. 

Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson relies on True Nature Botanicals’ entire skin care range: “I’m a skeptic when it comes to skin-care products. I’ve never been one to spring for faddish formulations (the Crí¨me de la Mer craze of a few years ago completely baffled me) or to pay much attention to ingredients. So I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with True Nature Botanicals, but after a few weeks of using the line, I found myself a convert.

We first discovered the products when Hillary brought the line to our first-ever Remodelista Holiday Market in Mill Valley a few years ago. I started out using the Pacific Face Oil and was so pleased with the results that I added the Night Serum with Retinol to my regime. The emphasis on organic, botanical ingredients combined with the efficacy of the products has me convinced (and I’ve converted more than a few of my friends as well).”

Gardenista editor in chief Michelle Slatalla is a fan of Pacific Night Serum with Retinol: “My entire daily skin-care regimen consisted of splashing water on my face in the morning–until the day a few months ago when Julie dragged me into a little shop in Mill Valley to meet Hillary Peterson. I left with a bottle of Night Serum with Retinol. After a few days and a few pea-size dabs, I noticed a marked improvement–smoother skin, a better complexion, fewer blemishes. And the other day at one of our editorial meetings, Margot said, ‘You look so rested.'”

Remodelista features editor Meredith Swinehart loves Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask and Pacific Mist: “My skin is clear but tends toward dry and dull–I’ve come to rely on Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask when I need to hit the ‘reset’ button. I don’t know how it manages to be both exfoliating and moisturizing, but it does–and leaves my skin feeling rested, not stripped of nutrients. And for my dry, sensitive skin, Pacific Mist is a godsend. A quick spray provides lasting moisture and leaves my skin looking brighter than any makeup ever could–not to mention that it smells amazing.” 


Above: The three True Nature Botanicals Moisturizers, from left, for regular skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin; $110 each. 

Where to Start? 

The Pacific Anti-Aging Essentials Duet includes two favorite products–a simple cleanser and moisturizer combination to get you started; $145. The Pacific Anti-Aging Essentials Kit adds the Pacific Mist and Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 for $245. 

Or visit True Nature Botanicals and click for a skin-care consult; you can call, email, or complete a short questionnaire for guidance on the perfect nontoxic, antiaging skin-care regimen.

And now through October 4, Remodelista readers receive 15 percent off at checkout using code REMODELISTA.


Above: A snapshot of the broader True Nature Botanicals line, from left: Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser ($48), Pacific Body Oil ($95), Pacific Mist ($48), Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 ($58), Pacific Face Oil ($110), Pacific Night Serum with Retinol ($150), Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask ($90), Pacific Topical Vitamin C Treatment ($65), and Pacific Lip Treatment ($68). 

For more, click to browse the entire True Nature Botanicals Skincare, Hair Care, and Fragrance collections online, and follow True Nature Botanicals on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to use code REMODELISTA for 15 percent off at checkout, valid now through October 4.