True Botanicals Brings Clean Beauty To Jackson Square

The new True Botanicals boutique
The new True Botanicals boutique

Photo Credit: Russell & Abraham

From PYT to Laurel Skincare Organics, the Bay Area is a hot spot for the clean beauty industry. The latest heavyweight to open a flagship in San Francisco? True Botanicals. It’s the first brick-and-mortar for the three-year-old skincare line, which has a robust direct-to-consumer following. “When we thought about opening up a store, we wanted it to be different, and give people a reason to come out of their homes and meet with us in person,” CEO and founder Hillary Peterson recently told Haute Living. “We knew we wanted to offer experiences that we could never offer online. One of the most obvious choices, first, was to have our skin clinic, with three treatment rooms.”

A treatment room at the in-store skin clinic
A treatment room at the in-store skin clinic

Photo Credit: Russell & Abraham

Peterson is referring to the spa-like section of the boutique where fans of True Botanicals can indulge in a 50-minute custom facial. The team’s expert estheticians will access the skin and focus the facial on areas of concern. “You can pick two conditions you’d like to address,” Peterson explains. “You can say acne and hyper-pigmentation. Or you could say rosacea and dryness, and then the facial will be tailored to those objectives. It’s very personalized. In that way, we’re calling it a skin clinic, instead of a spa. We’re about balancing the ecosystem of people’s skins and solving problems.” After the facial, guests are encouraged to purchase (face oil, cleanser, cellular repair serum, toners, mists, etc.) the products that are most effective for their skin type.

True Botanicals founder and CEO Hillary Peterson
True Botanicals founder and CEO Hillary Peterson

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The Jackson Square storefront, which was designed by Jeremiah Brent, feels like a French apothecary. It’s bright with ample natural light, a neutral and calming color palette, reclaimed wood, giant crystals, stone urns, and a massive marble sink. Peterson wants the shopping experience to be as hands-on as possible—the sink is where guests can try out the cleansers and other products to see how they feel on their face and skin. The chic, sustainable bottles are displayed at the front of the store and at the back is an aromatherapy lab.

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Peterson recently got her certification in aromatherapy, and the opening of the store coincided with the launch of a new scent-centric collection. “The aromatherapy bar is the latest [release]. That’s perfume with a purpose. It’s a whole essential oil set, which in and of themselves, if a perfume is made with whole essential oils, then in the world of perfumery it’s considered aromatherapy,” Peterson says. Guests can select from three roll-on fragrances (stress relief, muscle release, and immune boost) or walk through the scent experience to create a custom blend.

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Peterson has moved her 27-person team to the office space above the storefront. The proximity to the True Botanicals lab means that the shop will often carry small batch special releases of items that are only available in store for a limited amount of time. “Like with everything that we do, we really wanna learn and see what works well, and how we can evolve the concept,” Peterson says of the flagship. “This will be a learning time for us, and it’s great to have it right downstairs.”

Nate Berkus, Olivia Wilde and Jeremiah Brent at the opening party
Nate Berkus, Olivia Wilde and Jeremiah Brent at the opening party

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

To celebrate the opening, True Botanicals hosted a jam-packed soirée. The brand’s celebrity ambassador, actor Olivia Wilde, was in attendance as were a slew of SF’s social swans including Sobia Shaikh, Farah Makras, Sabrina Buell, and Nate Berkus, Brent’s husband. Guests sipped Schramsberg and nibbled on pinchos from Coqueta.

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Peterson hopes that the “self-care sanctuary” will be welcomed into the neighborhood and recommends her products as gifts. “The other thing that’s great about having the store is for gift buying. What’s great is being able to surprise people with products, too. Come here and buy things.”

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