A Pre-Wedding Skincare Routine

Stephanie is my college best friend and one of the funniest people I know. She’s getting married in May (fun fact: our bridesmaids’ dress color is gold, “like an Academy Award!”). Last month, after shielding text messages to the tune of “I’m-stressed-about-wedding-stuff-and-also-I-have-FIVE-pimples,” I introduced her to True Botanicals, whose products I swear by, especially for clearing up skin. Here’s what happened…

Steph and I met when the residential gods at Barnard College decided to make us freshman year roommates. Over the last 15 years, we’ve weathered many, many breakouts together. When a blemish was especially evil, we’d name it. One of Steph’s persistent nose pimples (semi-affectionately dubbed “The Rhino”) lasted for WEEKS.

“My skin has always been unpredictable,” she explains. “Some people seem to have concentrated skin issues, like ‘I’m a T-zone gal!’ or ‘I get hormonal breakouts along my jawline.’ But my skin gets different breakouts, in different areas, at different times. It’s always a surprise.”

Her job, as a financial consultant, doesn’t help. “I am also an insane face-toucher,” she admits. “I sit at my work keyboard — which is like, who knows how many thousands of bacteria are living on my ‘Q’ key? — and then put my fingers on my face.”

True Botanicals Clear Line

Four weeks ago, Stephanie started using the Clear Collection, designed for acne-prone skin. Unlike many other skincare brands, which approach acne by drying out the skin, this one targets bacteria and works to gently create balance.

The day after her products arrived, I received a series of very excited text messages, which (with Steph’s permission) I’ve reproduced here, verbatim:


“My favorite product is the Pure Radiance Oil. I’d always thought of oil as being bad, like something you’re trying to get rid of. After a lifetime of struggling with greasy face, I wasn’t psyched about the idea of purposefully adding more oil. But my skin drinks it up right away, and it immediately looks dewy and healthy. Now I just want to bathe in oil.”

But the best part? The smell. “It’s kind of herbal but also a little spicy. The other day, I got in bed and my fiancé Joe leaned over to kiss me goodnight, and he was like, ‘Mmmmmm!’ about the scent of my face,” she says. “That was a nice extra.”

True Botanicals also offers all customers a complimentary phone consultation with their in-house skincare experts. “I talked to their consultant, Amanda, about different lifestyle factors, like my makeup and daily routine. I told her I’ve been having some back acne lately — which one does not want right before a wedding — and she gave me advice on what to do. I actually went to my shower and read off the ingredients of my shampoo, conditioner and body wash to her. It was incredibly helpful.”

“The other day, Joe asked me what I’ve been doing to my skin, which is funny because that man does not notice anything,” Stephanie laughs. “He told me ‘I think you should keep using those products!’ I’m definitely going to.”

Bonus for all readers: True Botanicals is offering 15% off with code CUPOFJO15, good through April 10th. (Excludes subscriptions or bundled products, which are already discounted.) Thank you so much!

(Photos by Heather Moore for A Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by True Botanicals, a brand we use every day. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep the site up and running.)