After years of leaning in and leaning back, Laura Dern has found the ultimate happy medium. “Now I’m in my center. I’m just here,” says the actress and activist. “We should all find what ‘here’ is for us and lead with that. Our job isn’t to make other people comfortable with who we are. Our job is to be in our truth.” We sat down with Dern to talk about what shaped her truth and her path to finding skincare products that reveal rather than conceal.
I discovered Pure Radiance Oil a couple of years ago when a makeup artist used it on me, and I fell in love with it. I remember thinking, “What is that beautiful scent? Why does my makeup look so good? Why does my skin look so good?” So I saw the results first—that it just works better. Then I learned that it’s all these other amazing things, too—like healthy for you and good for the planet rather than full of toxins. It’s very rare that those things come together.
I think there’s still this perception, this misperception, really, that if a product is truly natural, then it may not work. But what we’re all learning is the more we strip away and allow something that is truly pure to care for us, we find that it actually just does a better job. I feel lucky and proud to recommend something that I’ve watched work, that I have my daughter use, that I care about. I’ve seen my own skin change, and people comment when I’ve been working in film how good my skin looks.
Pure Radiance Oil does amazing things for my skin—improving the texture and the quality, keeping everything in balance. It works beautifully with makeup, too. On set, the makeup artists that I have the privilege of working with mix it into foundation or use it on its own as a primer. And not to comment on my nature, but the Stress Relief aromatherapy has meant a lot to me. I’m not saying I’m stressed. I’m just saying I really need it, so that’s become a great gift.
It’s one thing for me to support this sustainable company as a customer, but it’s another thing to then meet Hillary [Peterson, founder of True Botanicals] and discover the origin story of the company and the passion that comes with wanting to make products that are good for you, good for your children, good for the planet, and to care deeply about it. I was interested in continuing the story. As women and as activists, we’re working to show people that you can use your voice to be true, to live with an authentic story and not hide behind shame, which is a perfect parallel to wanting to serve people with a company. What we’re all doing is leading with the truth.
As women and as activists, we’re working to show people that you can use your voice to be true, to live with an authentic story and not hide behind shame, which is a perfect parallel to wanting to serve people with a company. What we’re all doing is leading with the truth.
Beauty is a way to promote our best selves. It’s like offering a girlfriend advice about a relationship. I’ll say, “Keep it simple, be yourself, be your true self. Do what makes you feel good.” All of these things are true in terms of what we should be using as a beauty routine, what we should be eating, what we should be absorbing in our mind, body, and spirit. True Botanicals fits in so well here because it’s about true beauty and promoting self-confidence—you’re presenting yourself through the product instead of hiding through a product.
I hope I’m getting to the real me, getting comfortable with the true me. You know, it’s a bit of a cheat to be an actor, because you get to find so many aspects of yourself and of all people. I hope the characters I’ve played aren’t completely me, but there are aspects of women that need to be shown, and whether it’s rage or complexity or compassion or humor, all of that’s in there. It’s nice to get comfortable with it.
I think it’s the same advice whether you’re talking about beauty and skincare, creativity, or love, which is find your true self and stick with it. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Don’t be afraid to be your true, messy, complicated, beautiful self. Because that’s what makes you unique. And that’s what we want to see shine through.
One truth that I’ve never talked about is that I was lucky to be raised by a single mom who was an only child, who was herself raised by, for part of the time, a single mom. These two fierce, Southern, very real, very raw women raised me. I remember how good it felt to be laying in bed late at night and hear women chatting in the kitchen. I love hearing women tell their truth. My godmother, who is a great actress, would gather women and have these salons around the fireplace, talking about what it was to be a woman. So I think my truth was partly shaped by stealing moments as other women told their secrets, and the impact it had on me. That’s my truth—I steal from the best.