From the iconic bottles to the elegant name, True Botanicals is a brand you probably recognize. Your favorite celebs swear by their serums, and the best natural facialists around town are surely stocked up. All of this was a wild dream when Hillary Peterson launched the high-performance non-toxic luxury skincare line.
Hillary was born and raised in California, and lived a relatively healthy life. When she was diagnosed with early-stage thyroid cancer, she took a step back and a second look at the ingredients she was putting on her skin everyday. True Botanicals is now well on the way to becoming a top skincare brand across the whole industry, not just in the green beauty bubble. Even the most skeptical consumers can see the difference.
Thanks to her vision, grit and some great plant-based ingredients, True Botanicals has helped paved the way for high-end skincare that isn’t laden with troublesome chemicals. Here’s what Hillary has learned along the way…
What I’ve Learned…
On living my truth: Living my truth has become increasingly important to me. For my kids, the concept is so natural — but for me, it has been a process (and a very liberating one at that). Expressing yourself authentically and spending time exactly how you want to may disappoint some people; I had to get to a place where I was more willing to disappoint other people than I was to disappoint myself. And this has been a big shift for me. Now, it’s so much easier for me to say to myself, This is my one life. How do I want to live it? What really matters to me the most? How do I want to spend my time?
On trusting creativity and intuition: It’s a leap of faith. In my case, intuition and creativity are very closely aligned. I’ve learned from situations where I trusted myself and it worked out well, and also from times when I didn’t listen to myself and later realized that I should have.
On patience: I live by a motto derived from Rilke: We must be willing to live the question until we are ready to live the answer. I have found that rushing to an answer doesn’t lead to the best decisions. If I allow the process to go whatever length it needs to, things work out so much better. I have more trust than ever that the right answer will appear when it is meant to.
On business: I have been lucky enough to build a business that means so much to me personally, and it has been incredible to share this road with a passionate team that feels the same way. Anything is possible if you can meaningfully connect with people and enlist them in your cause. We’re developing a mission-driven brand with the support of brand partners that we admire, influencers who genuinely love our products and enthusiastic customers. True Botanicals is taking on a life of its own, and it is just incredible to be a part of the process. My parents always encouraged me to pursue a career that I could feel excited about, and I am so grateful that has become my reality.
On people: We are all doing our best, and it is always worth taking the time to consider other people’s perspectives. As I have become more compassionate toward myself, it has naturally extended to others and that is a great feeling.
On women: Women are really amazing. We are powerful, tender, loving and fierce. My girlfriends are my heroes — up all night with a sick baby or parent and still ready to do whatever they can for a friend or partner the next day. In recent generations, a woman’s intuition and “knowing” has been undervalued, and it is so exciting to see that women are feeling empowered to emerge as they are at this time. Women have shown that they are particularly good at considering the greater good in their decision making, which has never been more essential to our survival.
On wellness: Truly being well has as much to do with how we treat ourselves emotionally as it does diet and exercise. It’s so clear to me — and to many — now, but I always used to think of wellness in terms of what we feed our cells, internally and topically. You could be eating all the right things, but if you are harboring negativity, you aren’t well. The mind-body connection is fascinating and utterly powerful.
On skincare: Our skin is a great symbol for the self. It is amazingly resilient, enduring so much (UV rays, oxidative stress, etc.) while continuing to regenerate and start anew. But it’s only when we treat our skin with love — being gentle, patient, and supporting it with essential nutrients — that it really thrives and glows.
On self-care: In an interview for this very site, Taryn Toomey said, If you don’t make it a part of your life and practice, you will be forced to. I could not agree more. It took that realization for me to prioritize self-care in a meaningful way.
On confidence: I have finally realized that confidence comes from truly valuing yourself. And the amazing added benefit is that the more I have learned to appreciate myself and what I have to offer, the easier it has become for me to love and appreciate the people in my personal and professional life. The deeper I get into this practice, the better the results. It is not about appreciating my ideal self — it is about embracing who I truly am. I think that brings true confidence.
Ready to soak up some more inspo from self-made pros? Discover the complete What I’ve Learned series here.