Olivia Wilde Reveals How Motherhood Changed What "Self-Care" Means to Her
Crystals lined the shelves, a subtle scent of eucalyptus wafted in the air, and Olivia Wilde emerged, smiling warmly, fresh-faced and glowing from a facial at the True Botanicals boutique. Yes, you can book a facial right at the brand's new San Francisco flagship, which feels more like a self-care sanctuary than a store. That's exactly where our conversation went, too. I was lucky enough to get some time with Wilde ahead of the store opening to chat about her involvement with the nontoxic beauty brand and its founder Hillary Peterson, and while celebrity endorsements can often feel disingenuous, I was struck with her palpable enthusiasm for the products as a form of self-care.
As we talked, Wilde revealed how she connected with the brand and what made her stick around, because while pregnancy and motherhood certainly opened her eyes to the importance of what we put on our skin, efficacy is always the goal. Wilde also vouched for the results of the products just as much as she does its nontoxic, natural approach. What's more, she revealed her favorite products (spoiler: she has a lot), starting with just a couple that might convince you to shake up your own beauty routine.
Read on for our complete interview, then shop a few of Wilde's picks.
On How Pregnancy and Motherhood Impacted Her Beauty Routine
"It's interesting — pregnancy is when most of us clue into what we're putting on our skin and into our bodies, but it's such a shame, because we all deserve that kind of thoughtful treatment of our bodies, yet we do it only when we're hosting another body; when we think, 'Oh now, we're responsible for someone else.' I wish all women could find ourselves worthy of it regardless. For me it was that moment that really changed my perspective on, 'OK, what am I buying? What am I putting on my skin?' learning more about how your skin absorbs toxins and everything else. And I had experimented with other kinds of natural brands, because I was kind of raised to seek out natural alternatives by my mother. She was always trying to find something that wasn't mass produced, or didn't have a lot of preservatives or chemicals of any kind. So I'd been raised with a sort of consciousness of that, but it was definitely pregnancy that clued me into it, and then True Botanicals was recommended to me as something that not only was completely nontoxic but actually worked. Because obviously, efficacy is the real goal, and you want to find something that gives you the results, and I had been really kind of researching brands of all kinds, not just skin care, that were kind of purposeful brands that were also good quality. And unfortunately, a lot of the actual quality of those products wasn't up to par. And so that movement got a reputation for not actually delivering on results specific to skin care."
"And so while we tend to like the idea of something that's not toxic, at the end of the day we're looking for something that works."
"When it comes to skin care, I think people's actual standards are much higher, because people are just trying to get through their lives having clear skin or trying to combat aging in whatever way is important to them. And so while we tend to like the idea of something that's not toxic, at the end of the day we're looking for something that works, and unfortunately I think a lot of brands that didn't deliver on those results kind of pulled people away from seeking out organic alternatives. So I had thought a lot about it over the years, and I had founded a company called Conscious Commerce with my best friend, which was all about kind of shining a light on companies who were trying to do things better without sacrificing actual quality. And through those conversations somebody recommended True Botanicals, [saying], 'You just have to try it, because it's really amazing stuff. It really works. It also smells incredibly good,' and this friend of mine knew that was a priority for me. And it's the only made-safe certified skincare company, and I was intrigued. And I think for me looking at the scientific research they've done already at that point, a lot of clinical trials and blind testing, that really grabbed my attention. So it was at that point that I tried the products, and then I got to meet with Hillary [Peterson] (pictured at left), and it was a real game-changer. Hearing her story, how she came to this brand, and why she's so thorough in her dedication to nontoxic ingredients and her knowledge of the farmers and everybody along the supply chain, that really blew me away. And their standards are intense. And she's really changed my perspective on everything else I use in my life."
Her Must-Have Products
"[I love] the oils ($110). I use the Clear line — the face wash and the oil — and I use the serums. The thing is, within this line, you can never have the kind of overload of products that you get with a lot of other skincare programs. They're a ritual, which is how it feels to me, because it doesn't really feel like a negative process. It's self-care in the best possible way. It's simple. It's not 17 products that you have to put on your skin, one of which burns it off. The other one puts it back on. There's nothing like that. It's pleasant routine. And it's pretty simple. So I use the Clear line, which is the face wash and the oil. But I also use the serum, the Clear serum, the antioxidant powder, and the vitamin C powder. I love that vitamin C powder ($90). "
The Products She'd Gift to Her Friends
"The gateway drug is the oil. Well, the oil and the nutrient mist ($28). And I think the serum is probably the game-changer for a lot of people in terms of something that's really unusual that works incredibly well. But I'd say the oil and the nutrient mist. And then I tell a lot of people who I know are looking for organic alternatives for hair care. This is the only conditioner that's ever been able to moisturize my hair, which is horribly abused hair. It's the only one that's ever worked for me. So all of the above. But I'd say the nutrient mist is a really nice gift. And now the aromatherapy oils are another one that I can give — they're so good. I mean, that's another thing I just love about Hillary is she just does all the research. She got her degree in aromatherapy. And I think that they've made it very easy for us to take care of ourselves. And I appreciate that. But also the fact that it's so portable."
Her 5-Minute Beauty Routine
"I just use the cleanser ($48) and the oil, and then you're good to go. And I think that feels like I've actually done something nice for myself and, even if I do want to put on makeup, the great thing about this oil, I think, as opposed to some other face oils, is it doesn't make makeup slip off. It actually makes the makeup better, makes it more luminous."