Olivia Wilde on the One Non-Toxic Conditioner That Repaired Her Hair
Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.
It wasn’t until Olivia Wilde was pregnant with her first son (the now 4-year-old Otis) that she really started thinking about the safety of the ingredients in the beauty products she uses.
But after baby-proofing her routine and researching more into clean beauty, a light went off, and she started to wonder why using safe, non-toxic products isn’t a priority in the U.S. outside the realm of pregnancy.
“It’s like we suddenly become worthy of health when we’re carrying a baby, but women are worth taking care of even when we’re not pregnant," Wilde said when she hopped on the phone to talk to InStyle about her role as chief brand activist for the luxury non-toxic beauty brand, True Botanicals.
After committing herself to researching healthier beauty alternatives, Wilde was introduced to True Botanicals, and said she was blown away by both the performance of the products and the brand's mission of providing effective skincare for women that didn't pose a potential health threat. Here, she shares more on her own beauty routine, her hope for regulation within the beauty industry, and the one natural skincare product she thinks everyone should try.
Tell us more about how you starting becoming interested in non-toxic beauty products. Had you ever thought about using clean beauty products before you were pregnant?
It had been a thought for sure. I was never a beauty expert in high school like other girls were. I was very low-maintenance. Once I got into my early 20s, I started being a little bit more curious about what was out there and experimenting with different things. Being in this industry as a young person, you’re introduced to many more products. I had never worn makeup in my life or blow-dried my hair, and suddenly, I was in a makeup chair several hours a day learning form professionals. I would go to dermatologists, and they would recommend some really intense products with really questionable ingredients. After that point, having kids changed it further.
What is your current and biggest frustration with the beauty industry?
I think ingredients. We’re forced to self-regulate in this country because there’s a complete lack of regulation from a federal level. In the European Union, there’s over 1,300 banned ingredients from beauty products. In the US, there’s under 20. It’s up to us to regulate. That’s my biggest problem with the beauty industry. I wish that we could trust that what was in these products wasn’t so damaging. Much like the food industry, we’re going through a revolution of standards. hopefully our kids will balk at the list of ingredients that their mothers and fathers were putting on their skin.
Tell me a little bit about your own routine. How to do you approach it on the day-to-day?
I really enjoy my self-care routine as a ritual that gives me a chance to be by myself and take a minute to center myself. I think anyone with a hectic lifestyle probably feels the same. If you only have a limited amount of time where things are quiet and you’re alone, then you really want to use that time wisely. I genuinely only use True Botanicals products. It’s very simple. I use the Clear line. I use the Clear Cleanser and the Clear Oil. That’s what I do in the morning. When I apply the oil, I give myself a face massage. I breathe in the amazing smell of sandalwood. I really think it affects my mood. It’s the only moisturizer I need. It actually allows my makeup to blend much better. At the end of the day, it’s much of the same. I use the Clear Cleanser. I put on the Clear Toner and the oil. I also really love the antioxidant powder that I mix with the serum. I am really happy that I’ve shifted from an earlier part of my life when self-care was more about self-criticism and pain and correcting flaws, to where I am now which is really a moment of care. That might just be growing older, and maybe that’s a process that we embrace as women get older and we accept ourselves more. I remember staring in the mirror and thinking, 'Oh, I need something to take that off! I gotta change that! I hate that! I gotta fix that!' All of that is gone. I think it’s because I found skincare that actually gets rid of my acne and makes my skin softer and brighter, and also because I’ve shifted my perspective on self-care and beauty in general.
Do you use non-toxic haircare and makeup?
I use True Botanicals Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s the only non-toxic shampoo and conditioner that has ever worked on my hair, ever. I’ve tried everything. The conditioner actually moisturizes my hair, and that’s saying a lot because my hair has been through some shit. In terms of makeup, I’m always experimenting with non-toxic brands. I fully admit my whole makeup bag is not non-toxic. It’s really a mixture, but I’m always on the lookout. If there’s a new brand that’s using non-toxic ingredients, I’m always trying it.
If someone was trying to switch to a non-toxic beauty routine, what would be the one product you’d recommend starting with?
I was saying switch out their moisturizer for the True Botanicals Oil. That’s the one that I give to people, and it really changes the texture of their skin and makes their makeup routine easier. Having it actually improve the texture of your skin over time is something I’ve really appreciated. It’s not filled with a ton of ingredients that are just filler, as a lot of moisturizers are.
We gotta know. Do you have a favorite non-toxic deodorant?
I think I’ve tried every one out there. I still really like the Soapwalla. Have you tried that? It’s a cream in a little tub. That one I have a had a lot of luck with. I’ll put on the SoapWalla one before I workout. I’ll be spinning and really sweating a lot, and it definitely helps me.