I am dying to go to the True Botanicals flagship store that just opened late last year in San Francisco. I love what their Clear Line has done for my skin and I would FREAK OUT over an opportunity to get a True Botanicals facial. But since I don’t have plans to be in San Fran anytime soon, I asked my friend Cindy Rice to share her experience with us. Check it out!
Hi there! My name is Cindy Rice. I am a 56 year-old editor and freelance writer, mom of two grown sons, living in New Jersey about 30 miles from New York City. I am also a former pediatric ICU nurse with an MBA so I am a pragmatic, numbers-oriented scientist at heart. Recently, like so many other women, I have been updating my skincare and household products one by one to cleaner, less toxic alternatives.
A word about my skin situation: I was a sun worshipper in my teens, but I have taken good care of my fair skin since my thirties. I use sunscreen on my face every day, no exceptions. My skin is normal to dry with fine lines and some hyperpigmentation. I have been using Crème de la Mer every night for many years along with some SkinCeuticals serums.
I have been researching and sampling several clean skincare brands but I’m still looking for a product to address my anti-aging skin concerns more aggressively. Recently, I have been hearing a buzz about True Botanicals – a non-toxic skincare brand with proven independent clinical trial results. As a registered nurse, the clinical trials are pretty impressive. These trials are randomized, comparative, double blind and independent which means they are the real deal. According to the True Botanicals website, the trials showed that the Pure Radiance Oil and the Renew Repair Serum used together outperformed Crème de la Mer across every test measurement (including increased hydration, reduction of fine lines and increased elasticity). With my Crème de la Mer jar was almost empty I was ready to give it a try.
A trip to San Francisco
My husband and I had the opportunity to take a mini-vacation last week to San Francisco. We had some great meals, did some fun touristy activities and heard some wonderful jazz. Of course the True Botanicals headquarters is also in San Francisco and since they opened a new flagship store late last year, I decided to make an appointment and invest $150 (yikes!) in a custom facial and skin consultation to see what all the hype was about. I am so glad I did! Let me share my experience with you.
The True Botanicals Experience
The 1800-square-foot store sits below the True Botanicals Corporate offices across the street from the Transamerica Building in the city’s financial district. A sign on the door reads, Welcome To Your Self-Care Sanctuary which is exactly how it felt as I crossed the threshold from the busy street.
The store is peaceful with gentle lighting, subtle calming aromatherapy and clean, simple decor. The color scheme is a serene mix of grays, taupes and whites. A large rectangular farm table displays products in their classic brown glass bottles grouped by collection. There is a beautiful rustic white marble sink lined with more products in pump bottles.
I was immediately welcomed by Amanda who offered me tea or water. There was a nap-worthy couch along the wall and smaller half-moon-shaped cushy stools for seating. Amanda asked me to fill out a questionnaire about my skin type and concerns. She and another employee mentioned that they work in the corporate office upstairs but love to bring their laptops downstairs at times to chat with customers and enjoy the spa-like vibe.
While I waited for my appointment, I had a few questions about some of the products and Amanda answered them thoroughly while demonstrating product application on the back of her hand.
After a few minutes, Laurel, the facialist, came out to greet me and brought me back to one of the three treatment rooms. We discussed my skin and current routine. The facial was essentially one hour of pure pampering, relaxation and aromatherapy. There was steam, lymphatic massage, cleansing, exfoliating, skin food and much needed moisturizing. True Botanicals products have a light, herbal and floral aroma. I am very sensitive to fragrances, never wear perfume and I thoroughly enjoyed the light, natural scent of the True Botanical products.
When my facial was almost over, Laurel applied a layer of the True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage Tinted SPF and a lip mask and shared her product recommendations based on my skin type and concerns. What I loved about her advice is that she gave me a complete prescription for morning and night using all True Botanicals products. However, she considered my current routine, and budget, and was able to highlight 3 products that would make the greatest impact on my skin and taught me how to integrate them. Here they are:
Since my concerns are focused around anti-aging, she recommended the Renew Collection in general. The True Botanicals website says the Renew Collections is “…packed with powerful antioxidants, concentrated marine extracts, essential fatty acids and natural sources of vitamins A and C. Renew supports skin health, leaving it hydrated and radiant.” I took Laurel’s advice and purchased the Renew Serum, Vitamin C Booster and Moisture Lock Overnight Mask, saving the Renew Line for next time.
The True Botanicals staff were so helpful showing me how to mix two shakes of the Vitamin C Booster powder with the Renew Serum and massage onto my face before my oil or cream. The Moisture Lock Overnight Mask, which contains plant-derived hyaluronic acid, is applied over the entire skincare routine to deeply hydrate overnight. Laurel and her colleagues talked about the importance of the ritual of taking care of your skin.
By using beautiful, effective and natural products, I have come to enjoy the act of cleansing, massaging and moisturizing my face and look forward to 10 minutes of self-care and aromatherapy in the morning and evening.
Self care and a new ritual
Although I cannot afford a $150 facial on a regular basis, it was definitely worth the price for me to learn about True Botanicals products and how to most effectively apply them. Even more importantly, I think the experience gave me a jump start in learning how to make skincare a restorative daily ritual.
Glowing skin is so much more than the result of product application; it’s also about how you feel inside physically and emotionally. My takeaway after visiting the True Botanicals flagship store was to value the ritual. We all deserve to have a daily practice that makes us feel good, youthful, vibrant and our true best self.
It has only been five days with my new routine so too soon to know if the Renew products are minimizing fine lines or fading hyperpigmentation, but I can say that my skin already feels so smooth and super moisturized (but not greasy). The Moisture Lock Overnight Mask is (ahhhhh!) ultra-soothing, light and sinks in right away. When I wake up, my skin feels soft and silky.
(Read more about the Moisture Lock Overnight Mask here).
I left the store feeling pretty darn good; glowing even! I hear they are planning to open stores in five additional markets in the next five years, so stay tuned!
If you are not in the San Francisco area, be sure to check out True Botanicals online where you can set up a complimentary online or phone consultations to see what works best for you!
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