My Mom’s Skincare Find

My Mom's Beauty Trick

My Mom's Beauty Trick

My Mom's Beauty Trick

My mom has always been my style icon — her menswear shirts, her long hair, her natural smile, the timeless middle part she wore for decades. Throughout the years, we’ve often talked about our skin and beauty, and we’ve played around with makeup.

Over the summer, we made a pact to try out a natural skincare line that would work for both of us — me, in my 30s, and my mom, in her 60s. We chose True Nature Botanicals, an award-winning skincare line based in Northern California, which uses all natural and organic ingredients.

A few weeks after we started, my mom called me going, as one might say, completely ape

True Nature Botanicals skincare

First of all, why are you so excited about your new routine?

Oh my gosh, I love it. At night, I use the Pacific Cleanser. It smells very earthy, it’s super gentle and my skin feels REALLY clean after I use it. I had always used drugstore cleansers, but they didn’t really clean my skin. This is cleansing without feeling dry. I look forward to using it.

Then I use the soothing face oil, and then — ta da!!! — I apply my favorite skincare product of all time: the Night Serum With Retinol. I use it with their Vitamin C capsules and, I’m telling you, it’s a magic formula for youth. I feel as if it instantly puts me back ten years. My skin feels really taut, and the crow’s feet around my eyes have actually diminished. I love it. I am actually in love with it.

And it’s gentle enough for your skin?

Definitely. Even though retinol is supposed to be great for aging skin, I avoided it because I have rosacea, which causes redness, and I’ve heard retinol can be irritating. But that doesn’t happen at all. As soon as I use the serum, my skin immediately feels smoother and firmer without being dry.

What about your morning routine?

In the morning, I use the Pacific Mist. To be honest, I was skeptical at first. Who needs to spritz their face? But it’s so refreshing! It’s a cool spritz, like an ocean mist. It’s a wake-up call for your day.

Then, before applying makeup, I put on a few drops of the soothing face oil. For the first time ever in my life, I feel like I have a truly great skincare routine.

I know! You looked so dewy on our Portland trip.

My skin now feels more nourished than it ever has before. Even in the car today I was stroking my cheek because it felt so soft and hydrated!

You’ve always had such a healthy approach to beauty. You never seem too hard on yourself. How do you manage that?

Whenever I feel a little self-conscious, I think, well, who are the people I love? When you think about the people you adore and can’t wait to see and want to spend tons of time with and watch a movie with, you realize you don’t care how they look. They’re simply people who exude kindness and love.

For example, you would never think about your beloved grandmother, “Oh, she wears the same barrette every day and her face is a little hairy.” You’d say, “Oh, she’s so smiley and wonderful to be around.”

You know, when my mom was dying of cancer, she wore a wig and her face was swollen. I now see in old photos how tired and sick she looked. But, at the time, I didn’t even notice that she’d changed. I just loved her! She was my beautiful mom. When you’re connected to someone on the inside, not the outside, that’s how it is.

I say, use beauty products that make you feel good, and don’t worry at all about that tiny flaw that only you notice.


Thanks, Mom! And I agree — True Nature Botanicals is an amazing brand. The face oil, which comes in three different formulas, makes my skin feel so soft and fresh.

One other amazing aspect is that they sell their skincare directly online — without a middleman — so they can include the highest percentages of the best ingredients in their products without needing to charge the highest prices.

My Mom's Beauty Trick

My Mom's Beauty Trick

True Nature Botanicals skincare

Thank you again, True Nature Botanicals!

Bonus for all readers: True Nature Botanicals is offering 15% off all of their products — skincare, haircare and solid perfumes — with the code CUPOFJO, through Wednesday, September 23rd.

(Bottom four images by Leah Verwey for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by True Nature Botanicals, a brand whose products and mission we believe in. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. This was so sweet. I love the pictures of you and your mom.

  2. Liselotte says...

    Any day i get to read your blog is a good day
    xoxo

  3. This is so sweet! If you are into skincare, you might like Innisfree products. It took me a long time (YEARS) to find and define my skin care regime but now I swear by Innisfree. I’m tempted to try these you mentioned now too!

  4. Taylor Jacob says...

    Thank you so much for the discount code! I ordered the travel size because 1)I have some trips coming up & 2)its a great way to sample everything! I have been struggling with my skin and going through some different products to no avail. I am very excited to try this!

  5. Simply, I love that you did this with you Mom. It makes the whole experience more meaningful and sweet. Thanks for sharing the photos of you two together.

  6. Dorothy DeMaria says...

    Your mom is gorgeous!

  7. Cynthia says...

    I have been using some locally made skin products for the last 10-12 years, and one of the products is a facial oil, which has really helped my skin. I’m not able to use most anti-aging products because they irritate my skin. Unfortunately, True Nature Botanicals are beyond my teacher’s budget. Your mom looks so young. The best thing women can do is use SPF and limit time in the sun, plus not smoke. Smoking can really age a woman.

  8. Suzanne says...

    Alright Cup of Jo! I’m giving it a try! :)

  9. Nadia says...

    Can’t wait to try the face wash!

  10. Effie says...

    What a beautiful woman with a luminous smile. Your mother looks so much younger and seems to be a lovely person. Actually, I really appreciate when you talk about your parents :)

  11. Lauren says...

    I would also love an older women series! Also, for the many people that are interested in organic facial care products–check out etsy. There are many shops with glowing reviews!

  12. Colleen says...

    Your close relationship with you mom is so sweet! Since the product has a high price point, how long will a bottle of cleanser last?

  13. Theresa says...

    I loved this post! I am reminded of my own Mom who has beautiful skin and is always stylish and now in her 70’s! I’m in my early 40’s and was so excited to read about a CA beauty product line…I’m a CA gal! Then I saw the prices…sigh. A bit out of a social worker’s budget. I’m wondering if there can be future posts with cheaper beauty product lines or if any readers have any suggestions? I just bought some Burt’s Bees products and they are so-so.

    • Katie says...

      Acure products are great! You can find them at whole foods or other natural stores. Their prices are much more affordable and I really love all of their products!

    • Theresa says...

      Thanks Katie! I will check it out!

  14. Sounds great! Just wondering if the products are safe to use during pregnancy?

  15. Rebecca.H says...

    Hi Joanna,
    I love the third picture of you & your mom…such a beautiful mother/daughter pic!! Those products sound great! If they’re sold in Canada, I just might have to try them?

  16. STK says...

    One of the things I love about you, Jo, is your curiosity, your respect for people of all ages and your interest in every type of circumstance. I think your “mom posts” reflect that so well – she seems so great and it’s easy to see where you get your wisdom and big picture attitude. <3

  17. S says...

    How graceful does your mother look! Like others, I too love your mom posts. I have cherished her advice on how like your son you too are as much old a mom as him. Thank her for that wisdom pls. I was about to ask if you were to suggest one what would it be, but then saw your reply above. Also, I am little late in thanking you for your the beauty post where someone suggested Bag Balm for feet. I have very very dry feet and deep cracks and nothing seem to work on them, but this changed my life and just in three days (not kidding just 3). So thanks again to her and you for the series.

  18. Resi says...

    SOLD! What a great post and I was so looking for something new and worth trying with my 28 years but skin like a teenager (that’s what it feels like sometimes…. ugh). With your discount, those international shipping fees were almost taken care of ;) thanks for sharing! Also wanted to add: I’m another reader who is a big fan of your mom! What a lovely voice she has. Let’s hear more from her! Thanks for sharing her with all us readers too :) it’s a pleasure!

  19. Erin says...

    I always remember your mom’s long hair too! Always loved it – maybe it’s one of the reasons I don’t think I’ll ever cut mine short!!

    And whoa! Could your dad look more like Nick in that wedding picture? Such a wonderful family :)

  20. Without a prescription you can’t get enough retinol to affect your skin. People should know this and stop thinking that the retinol in their over the counter products are making a difference. With that being said, love natural and the packaging.

  21. This is the stuff I use and it’s LIFE CHANGING! I turned 35 this year and my friend Rubi treated me to a facial by this awesome facialist Kristina Holey who told me what to buy. After pretty much doing nothing for my skin my whole life I decided to splurge and buy it and I get comments on my skin ALL the time. This is coming from someone who NEVER (not once) was complimented on her skin. It’s not cheap but it’s similar in price to prescriptions/dr office visit so for me I can justify it. For the first time in my life I don’t wear foundation. (I should mention I also take a bunch of vitamins and use another daily oil Kristina prescribed for me.)

    • I love reading all of this! I’m having my third (and maybe last) baby in November and turning 35 next spring. So I am on the hunt for something good and natural that I can implete post-pregnancy/nursing and really stick with. This looks so good! And if your mom says so, too, then no-brainer!

      One thing, what about SPF? Honestly, I kind of hate using it, but….

    • DD says...

      Hi Jordan, interested to know what the oil is. Would love a facial & advice from Kristina. Shame I am so far away in Sydney!

  22. I always love posts about your mom! These photos are so sweet and she seems like the best lady. xo

  23. Meaghen says...

    Joanna, I enjoyed this post but I am IN. LOVE. with your outfit! May I ask where it is from?

  24. J Hope says...

    I love your mom! She is so wise and also beautiful.

  25. I’m very intrigued by these products but the price is steep. Can you approximate how long a bottle of the Soothing Face Oil could last?

  26. Candace says...

    Ah!!! Toby looks just like your dad in that wedding photo! So cute.

  27. Saara says...

    Always love a skin care post! Afraid most brands you would post about are inaccessible for me living in Ireland. For skin care fanatics, I can’t recommend Caroline Hirons’ blog enough. She’s based in the UK. For more budget concerned people like me she gives great alternatives, and gives advice about what is worth spending a bit extra on.

  28. Mary Beth says...

    This is so timely – I’ve been looking for a natural skin care line! The other one I have been considering is Intelligent Nutrients. Has anyone else tried that line? It seems similar but a little less expensive.

    But I can’t resist a mom recommendation, so I think I’ll have to try True Nature! :)

  29. Christie says...

    Jo I remember some time ago you said you were thinking of having a weekly post by your Mum, where people could write in with questions and she would answer them. It was such a brilliant idea and it never eventuated! Your Mum is so wise and beautiful and gives the best advice, I’d love to see her more regularly on your blog. :)

    • Lauren E. says...

      I second this! How nice it would be to have a different generation’s voice on this blog.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m still hoping for this too!
      Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! it’s coming! so sorry for the delay. we got slowed down for a few personal reasons, but it’s in the works :)

  30. Katie says...

    This is such a lovely post. And the products sound fantastic. But unfortunately are way too expensive for me. I wish I could find a line like this that was much more affordable.

  31. CC says...

    Just curious to know if anyone compared these products with Beauty Counter? Looking for natural anti aging products.

  32. Kathryn says...

    Can you elaborate on which of the products you use? I am so tempted but also wonder if I need the whole package as a woman in her 30s?

  33. Marisa says...

    this oil/spritz combo really DOES WORK. i use another line, Evan Healy, but it’s the same idea. i have always had super oily skin and bad acne. when i ditched all the drugstore and medicated cremes to go au’natural (+eating better)- the oil/spritz combo cleared up my face and my skin continues to HEAL. it’s amazing! i always went oil-free, but using the right type of oil is key for balancing the skin’s natural oils. your skin gets stronger and a protective barrier is formed, instead of always stripping away the oils that are there to protect it. long story short, it saved my face and is less harmful to my kidneys than the prescription topical cremes i used for years… life. changing. and i’m only 30.

  34. Your mom is so sweet. And of course she’s so right about beauty. You’re always going to be the most beautiful person in the world to your child. And you’ve made me look at my own mom in a new light – as my style icon! She was a copywriter in the Mad Men era and has always had this mix of eccentric and dainty going on.

  35. Michelle says...

    Man I wish I could use these products! If only they were oil free. Any oil in skin products causes me to breakout.

  36. These products sound so so lovely, and I’m dead keen to order some but Mercury Retrograde! Seriously. The coupon so needs to be extended until Mercury goes direct :)
    Online orders + Mercury Retrograde = Mayhem
    Same goes for EVERY OTHER ONLINE SALE during this time. Come on internet, help us hippies. We want soft skin too!

  37. shannon says...

    I just fell a little bit more in love with your mom because of her Casio watch.

  38. I like this post very much! I love when your Mom talks about what we really need to care and is important in life – the people we love. I would like to try the serum with vitamin C.

    http://www.spring2spring.com

  39. Erin van Santen says...

    First, how is your mother in her sixties? She looks SO good. I’m thirty-four, and the more I’m exposed to these wise, beautiful women in their sixties (like my own mother), I’m just like ‘bring on the years.’ And shame on our culture for making age something daunting and to be feared and rejected. Also, I would love a beauty uniform post from the perspective of an older woman like your mom, or someone like her! Tell us how it is, older ladies! We need your perspective.

  40. Woah, these products sound awesome. I have recently just started using pure jojoba oil on my face and love the results. My skin feels so balanced and I’m now keen to try out more oils! Hopefully they have international shipping! Will check them out :)

    X Min, honeyandgazelle.wordpress.com

  41. This is so awesome, Jo! I am really touched by your thoughts about how you love her on the inside no matter what she looks like on the outside. I’m going to re-post on my blog’s FB page right now. Not to sound like a weird stalker, but I re-posted your chicken recipe yesterday. Ha ha. Guess you can say I’m a big fan, and I love that there’s a discount code for these products. Ordering now…

    XOXO and moreso, THANK YOU!

  42. This post is very sweet & timely since I’ve been getting more and more mindful of the skincare products I choose now that I am in my 30s.

    I lost my mom a couple of years ago, and it’s things like this (skincare/dating/fashion advice) that tend to make me feel the loss a little more profoundly. Although it’s bittersweet, I really appreciate your sharing this experience with your mom!

    • jill c says...

      i lost my mom in my early twenties (i’m now in my late 30’s) and i still get this feeling from time to time … sending love…xo

  43. I miss my mama after reading this!

  44. Neena says...

    ‘When you think about the people you adore and can’t wait to see and want to spend tons of time with and watch a movie with, you realize you don’t care how they look. They’re simply people who exude kindness and love.’

    Such a wise woman, your mother.

  45. Anne says...

    I like everything about this endorsement…except the cost. It’s outside my comfort zone, unfortunately.

  46. Prudence Yeo says...

    This sounds like an awesome brand and products that contain natural ingredients are definitely appealing! Thanks for sharing!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  47. I loved that I learned about the skincare line you tried out, but I loved it more that the testing of the products was done with you mom. I adore your closeness with your mother.

  48. Jolanda van der Wagt says...

    What a lovely article! My mom is definetely my style icon as well! I remember she always looked so pulled together, even with three kids she never neglected to paint her nails, curl her hair and put on earrings. And she alwasy dressed the part as well!
    Allthought my husband and I don’t have any children, I have the same approach as my mom to dressing up.
    Funny because I did not even realize my mom was my style icon, until I read this article :).

  49. This sounds amazing and I am ever so tempted to give it a go! I’m trying to live a more natural lifestyle and this sounds perfect ! :D

    Holly X

  50. Nataly says...

    Joanna, your posts are always timely for me. I spent the day today with my mom who has ALS. While with her, I noticed a picture of her from just two years ago and thought to myself how much she has physically changed due to her illness. It took seeing the photo for me to notice the difference. Just before I saw the picture I was telling my sister how beautiful our mom was looking today. I love what your mom said about loving someone based on the inside and her own experience with her ill mom.

  51. This might sound bad, but I didn’t expect your mom to be so GORGEOUS – today!! You two are so adorable together :)

  52. Elisa says...

    I love your relationship with your mom! She is so wonderful! I am seriously thinking about splurging on this line. Sounds amazing.

  53. Judith Adam says...

    Interesting products, and you and mom look terrific! But these are just too expensive to use with regularity. Fact is, some women are blessed with resilient skin. And it also helps not to abuse our skin with too much sun exposure.

  54. I love your mom’s approach to beauty. She’s so right – I keep saying I look tired (because I do, thanks to an adorable 6 month-old), but my friends and husband say I just look happy. Okay, maybe deliriously happy, but I’ll take it.

    I’m also really into face mists these days too – I was skeptical as well, but it has become my favorite part of my morning routine.

    mm x
    http://www.chasingsaturdays.com

  55. Lakshmi says...

    May I ask what your mom’s name is? I want to quote her, and for a second was about to write “Joanna Goddard’s mom” which is so elementary school, haha.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      her name is jean!

  56. Mary Jenkins says...

    your mom is gorgeous! inside and out. thank you so much for sharing these products with us!

  57. I loved everything your mom said. From “…it’s a magical formula for youth” (I need that serum!!!) to what she said about your grandmother. So real and universally true.

    One more thing… How beautiful is your mom now! and back when you were babies!! Gorgeous. I completely understand when you say you like her style. I do too!

    Loved what she said about beauty. I feel the same way. Coincidentally, yesterday, I wrote a post called “My Beauty Dilemma”, and I think your mom’s words came to me with perfect timing because what your mom said here somehow helped with my “dilemma” and made me feel better about it.

    Loved this!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  58. Trish says...

    I too like posts about your mom. I have often tried to go back and find the one in which she helps you make decisions with two questions. I think it was What does your heart say? and What does your head say?….something like that. Help?

    • Trish says...

      Yes, that’s it! Thank you! Funny, but I would have sworn it was from your mom. :-/

  59. Kellie P. says...

    This post got me really excited (and I sent it to my mom), but the products are a little too expensive for me. If you could recommend just one of them, which one would it be? Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good q! i asked my mom tonight and she said the night serum with retinol. she said she would ideally pair it with the vitamin C (they sell them together here, at a slight discount FYI: http://tnbotanicals.com/products/pacific-anti-wrinkle-duet) but otherwise it’s also very very good on it’s own!

    • Kellie says...

      Awesome–thanks!!

  60. I loved this post, even though it was about skin care, I felt a little weepy reading it. I share similar beauty experiences with my mom and I look up to her style and poise. I love that you can make skin care mean so much.

  61. I’ve just commented above about this interview, but somehow I need to say another thing…I LOVE MY MOTHER! :))) Thanks for making me remember it so strong!

  62. Jen says...

    That photo of your parents…the first thing I thought of was Toby! He and your dad have the same expression.

    And I’d like to echo the other readers. This was a sweet post :)

  63. Jen says...

    natural beauties! really love this post although the product is a bit out of my price range.

  64. Melanie says...

    You and your mama are beautiful! And now I’m going to have to try this product. Cheers Jo!

  65. Gabrielle says...

    Your mom is so convincing! Also her thoughts on the people she loves and how she views them was a beautiful and important reminder. Thanks for sharing that :).

    A long time ago there was a post saying that your mom may start contributing to a column on the blog. Is that still a possibility? The posts that feature her are forever some of my favorites. xo

    • Jennifer says...

      I second this! I also remember the post where you mentioned your mom was going to start answering questions from readers. Would still love for this to happen.

    • Like your mother, I too sometimes look at pictures and can’t believe people I loved looked a certain way because that is not at all as I recall them. I recall the smile, the kind gestures, the holding hands. I’ve loved reading this interview but as fellow commenters above…I just want more! Your mother writing for the blog from time to time would be…lovely. More than lovely, it would be…GREAT :) Going to check TNBotanicals now!

    • Jenn says...

      Yes! Would love a Q/A column with your mom! Also, look at her watch and chambray shirt! Still rocking the timeless, tomboy look!

    • Mary Jenkins says...

      I third that!

    • Yes! You should feature her beauty routine :) :)

    • MissEm says...

      I’d love that too! One thing I’ve often wondered when I read posts about your mom is what she did while raising you to have such a warm and loving relationship with you now. My mom cared for me, but our relationship has always been challenging and not open or very warm, and I so long to have a better one with my own kids, but find that generational habits die hard.

    • Holly says...

      Would love to read that too!

    • Brittany says...

      Me too!!

    • Sara says...

      Information like that could help so many of us looking to be the best moms we can be!

    • Sara says...

      (Ops…wasn’t wuite done) and didn’t have a relationship with our own moms to emulate.

  66. This is such a sweet post- your mom always looks so cool, then AND now! So wish I could afford these products :(

  67. Caitlyn says...

    I’m so glad your mom talked about using it with rosacea! I have it and it’s so impossible to try new skin care products, because you never know what will irritate, so it’s so easy to stick with what you know works, even if you don’t like it that much. Will be trying on my end – thanks, Joanna (and Mom)!

    • Lisa says...

      I have such sensitive skin (eczema) and I have the same problem with trying new things! I’ve loved Kate Ryan products though because they helped me select the best options for my skin and they have a 100% if it is t working out for you.

  68. Meg says...

    Your mom is a beauty, inside and out! Love those pics at the end, made me tear up. I love my mom so much as well, it’s such an amazing relationship. Thanks for sharing this.

  69. Elle says...

    Love this! What a beautiful bond.

  70. Katie says...

    I’ve been using them all summer, too, and I definitely think my skin in heading in the right direction! Added bonus: customer service is incredibly insightful and kind.

  71. Jess says...

    This is the sweetest post & so convincing! I wish I could afford these products. I love it when you mention your mom and the gentle way you admire her. xoxo