With so many skincare options out there nowadays, many of them affordable and effective too, I often wonder if paying $$$ for a product is even worth it anymore. Do the better formula, ingredients, and texture really justify the staggering price difference?
Take the True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil for example. At $110, I’d never even consider buying it. But then I tried it, and suddenly, the price point made a little more sense.
Table of Contents
What is it
This moisturizing oil is so rich in ceramides, fatty acids and antioxidants, it’s clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase hydration levels. It even outperformed a leading anti-aging moisturizer.
Best suited for
Combo, normal, or dry skin types that want to focus on anti-aging. Oily and acne-prone skin types might find this too heavy and prefer the Clear Oil instead. Sensitive skin types will want to look at the Calm Oil.
Things to note
There are a few essential oils which can be sensitizing, but luckily they’re at the bottom of the list.
In a sturdy glass dropper bottle. Nothing too fancy, but feels well made, except for a possible leaky cap. My first bottle arrived half empty because it leaked all over the box, but my second bottle arrived fine. But now the dropper is slightly shorter, which means you’ll need to manually pour out the last bit of oil that the dropper can’t reach.
Fresh and herbal. It’s definitely noticeable when you’re applying it, but not so strong where it’s offensive.
A noticeably heavier oil, but spreads easily on damp skin.
When applied on damp skin, it leaves a dewy finish that layers well under other products. However any more than 6 drops and my face starts looking shiny in a ready-to-fry-an-egg kinda way
True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil Ingredients
Can we take a minute here to admire this beautiful blend of seed oils and algae extracts?
Not only do these oils provide essential fatty acids and ceramides to strengthen the skin’s barrier, many also double as antioxidants to protect our skin from free radicals. Some of these oils (green tea seed, avocado, marula, argan) are high in oleic acid which is excellent for nourishing for dry/mature skin, though their heaviness can be comedogenic for acne-prone folks.
The heaviness is balanced out by lighter oils (grape seed, hemp seed, chia seed, watermelon seed, rosehip, raspberry seed, evening primrose, papaya seed, passionfruit seed, milk thistle) rich in linoleic acid, which can help repair our skin’s moisture barrier, reduce acne, and lighten hyperpigmentation (source)!
If there’s one thing to nitpick about the Renew Pure Radiance Oil ingredients, it’d be its lack of potent actives like retinol or even an oil-soluble vitamin c, which I expect as standards when a product advertises itself as anti-aging. The essential oils are a non-issue for me, especially since they’re a good listed at the end, so the sensitizing effects should be minimal, but YMMV.
- In the mornings and evenings, start with cleansed skin, followed by any exfoliants and/or water based skincare products (so your toners and serums).
- Mist your skin lightly with a simple facial mist (I love Caudalie's Grape Water but the La Roche Posay Thermal Water is excellent too), that way your skin is getting the full benefits of the oil without anything else mixed in and possibly impacting the effects.
- Apply 3-8 drops (number depends on your skin needs) of your True Botanicals Face Oil in your palms, and gently press the oil into your skin, holding your palm in place for a few seconds to help the oil absorb.
- You can gently massage the oil in using an upward motion as well.
- If you have dry skin, follow with your moisturizer to seal everything in.
True Botanicals recommends applying it on damp skin, and I 200% second that, otherwise you'll need a lot more product to evenly distribute it on your skin.
You can also mix a few drops of this in your regular moisturizer, though I think it truly shines when used alone in its own step.
Usage Experience & Results
✅ One of the most potent facial oils I’ve tried
I’ve tried a lot of facial oils, and while they all do a good job of moisturizing the skin and helping with fine lines, this True Botanicals one delivered the most noticeable results! Since using this my skin has felt softer, plumper, and with less noticeable fine lines. In fact, it’s so effective that when I stopped using this to test out other products, my skin definitely lost some of its glow!
✅ A potential all-in-one skincare product
Usually I think all-in-one products are gimmicky, and their performance is always underwhelming. However if you’re a skincare minimalist that prefers “green” formulas, you won’t be disappointed with this. Even as a skincare maximalist I found just this and an evening retinol/morning vitamin c sufficient for my skincare needs.
❓ May or may not outperform your moisturizer
According to True Botanical’s clinical study, their face oil outperformed the La Mer Creme in every aging skin measurement, from improvement of fine lines to hydration to smoothness. Bold claim right?
Here’s the thing though, in my own experience a $1 creme is also just as good as La Mer, and two, I feel like the facial oil and La Mer Cream are two different products, so it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil functions more like an anti-aging/antioxidant serum with additional moisturizing benefits, while the La Mer is a rich moisturizer with skin repair benefits.
Despite the brand’s claims, the facial oil was not occlusive enough to keep my dry skin moisturized throughout the night . So in that sense, it utterly flopped compared to even my average moisturizers!
However if you have oily skin, you may find the oil rich enough to seal everything in. Will it work as well as your current moisturizer though? Who knows.
Other True Botanical Reviews
I am in my early 30s and suffer from hormonal acne, mainly breakouts on my chin and cheek. I have tried so many products and can honestly say this is the best product I’ve ever tried and actually works! It also smells amazing and I look forward to applying it every day!Emma, normal/combination skin, 30’s
I’ve been using the Pure Radiance Oil for about two weeks and I am loving it. I no longer have dry spots and the texture of my skin is noticeably softer and more supple. Better than any other moisturizer I’ve used.Christina, dry skin, 40’s
My skins seems to be too sensitive for this oil, I’m afraid. After I apply it, spots on my face become red and they sting a bit–my chin and my forehead, primarily, and it takes several hours to calm down.Lesley, dry skin, 60’s
True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil compared
Now the million dollar questions…is it worth $110? I can definitely see why they’ve priced it so high, which isn’t uncommon among natural skincare brands, especially with a blend as beautiful as this one. If you have an exclusively green routine and already use oils as a moisturizer, I think it’s worth investing in.
However if you’re already have your antioxidant serum and prefer the good ol’ cream to seal everything in, buy only if you have the budget to spare. I do think there are more slightly less expensive oils that deliver similar results:
- Activist Skincare Precious Oils Serum – They will customize this to fit your skin type, and while it’s not as potent as this oil, it’s also lighter and less expensive.
- Naruko Supreme Rejuvenating Elixir Oil – An oil-essence hybrid, this has the most beautiful texture of all the oils I’ve tried and made my skin incredibly soft. However it doesn’t give the glow this one does.
- Lumene Valo Arctic Berry Cocktail Brightening Hydra-Oil – Another oil-essence hybrid, this one wins for being the most affordable option. It has the same softening + smoothing benefits, but the results aren’t as drastic and take longer to notice. However, you can’t really complain when you’re paying 1/5 of the price.
- Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – Not a true oil, but it has a beautifully light texture and improves your skin tone and texture in the long run. This does contain essential oils higher up the list, so keep that in mind.
Other anti-aging products
As we get older our skin produces less oils so using products with emollients and fatty acids becomes more important. However, as mentioned earlier, you can get similar moisturizing results with other facial oils at a lower cost.
Now if you’re serious about actually reducing signs of aging, there are more effective and affordable anti-aging products to use. My number one recommendation will always be retinol, the gold standard for anti-aging. My favorite retinoid is tretinoin – the strongest and most effective – in my Curology formula.
Overall just a stunning oil, and one that truly nourishes the skin. The results are almost immediately noticeable, but it comes at a price (literally). I do wish this could actually replace my moisturizer, as that would justify the cost a bit more.
With so many oil options out there, I can't justify repurchasing at full price. However if it's on sale and I'm in the mood for something bougie, I honestly wouldn't mind splurging on another bottle, because it really does make my skin feel and look that much better. Definitely a splurge, but at least it's a splurge that gives something back.