“I feel very connected to nature,” says actress Zazie Beetz. “It’s one of the places I feel most like myself.” The indie starlet-turned-action hero is passionate about sustainability — and finding ways to help people engage with issues that can seem overwhelming. In our interview, she opened up about speaking out, simple pleasures, and the power of skincare to inspire change.
I’ve been using True Botanicals daily for the last few months, in the morning and in the evening, and I feel like my skin has never looked better. There is a smoothness and a glow, and any fine lines and wrinkles look really reduced. My skin feels healthy and looks radiant. And it’s not just me seeing it — I’ve been getting comments from other people.
I’ve always been pretty good about my skincare regimen, but with True Botanicals, because I’ve seen such dramatic results in my skin, I felt driven to continue using and exploring all of the products in the range. And I’ve been trying to engage more with using products that don’t harm but help, reducing unnecessary packaging, and using things that are coming from clean places. True Botanicals makes me feel better about my skin and better about myself, and it’s made me very suspicious of everything else.
The earnest and genuine energy of working to create products that are truly sustainable and that use healing, nourishing ingredients to keep us healthy. I love that. In speaking with Hillary [Peterson], the founder of True Botanicals, I really felt the mission: to take care of the people who are using these products while taking care of the Earth. We don’t need to only have toxic chemicals or products filled with potentially harmful ingredients. I want to make people aware that you can make the choice to be good to your body — it’s right here, and the intention to do good is right here. I also want people to know that True Botanicals really works and it helps our planet.
I want to make people aware that you can make the choice to be good to your body—it’s right here, and the intention to do good is right here. I also want people to know that True Botanicals really works and it helps our planet.
I think a lot of the things that we need to care about right now, like the environment and how we treat one another, can feel very distant and removed. Which is why I think it can be hard to drum up passion. Like when people hear “carbon emissions,” I feel like they fall asleep. Or “sustainability,” it doesn’t have a cool ring to it. That makes it feel sort of elitist. If we take a step back from the bubble of daily life — just getting through the day — it’s easier to see that our world needs us to engage. And people who don’t have a platform to speak about the environment or other issues need people who do have the mobility to do that — to speak up.
It can be hard for me. I sometimes have to really make the effort to put myself in an uncomfortable place in order to talk about things that I am passionate about. I did some public speaking recently at a rally on climate change, and I was freaking out for days in advance. I was in a horrible mood, because I was so concerned about what people would think of me, which was me forgetting that this isn’t about me. This is about the health of young people in urban environments and of people who are living in poverty and are getting the worst of what our environment is offering us right now. And so it was empowering for me to go and do that, as part of a community. I’m pushing myself to do more of that.
I would say that you don’t ever really figure it out, and that’s okay. In different phases of your life, you never reach a point of total comfort, and that is good. What’s important is to strive to be the best self that is in your heart. Not in terms of “do unto others” or to be morally in a higher ground, but to honor what is inside of your heart. I think for most people that inner central place really is good. And beyond that, what would I tell her? I would say lean into the fear and become comfortable in the uncomfortable, and that she’s doing good.
I think my mantra has always been something like “Be easy, be light, and be free.” I also consider Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard at the Close of the Day” my mantra. That poem means a lot to me. I think a lot about where I am in my life and what brings me joy, and it makes me question a lot of things, but I know that just being with my loved ones and being with the earth is what I love. Simple pleasures.
I feel very connected to the woodlands and the forest. I used to hike a lot with my dad, and it makes me feel peaceful. But I also love being naked in the ocean. That’s a big thing for me. In general I like being naked, to be honest. But there’s something so cleansing about the ocean, and also this feeling of being in the world in my complete self with no shame attached and realizing, oh, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. And I find that really powerful.
One truth is the challenge I’ve had in overcoming impostor syndrome and making peace with the fact that I’ll never really figure everything out. I think if you approach every moment with an open mind and the determination to get to the next moment, you’ll be fine and you’ll figure out each piece as you go. Because you’ll have to get to the next moment. And that’s one more moment figured out.
I think I’ve always been appreciative of it. I haven’t had too difficult of a skin. I mean I get blemishes and I get pimples, but I’ve never had full blown acne or anything like that. I am sensitive to different environments. I don’t do well in like dry, sort of arid places and flying a lot isn’t great. My skin likes tropical humidity, but for the most part I haven’t had major, major difficulties. I do find that sometimes I’ll use a product and I’m like this works great. Then it kind of stops kind of having the same efficacy. I found with True Botanicals, up until this point at least, my results have felt really, really consistent which has been really exciting and makes me also feel very devoted to using the brand because I want to keep having great results.
As I’ve gotten older, my periods have gotten worse and my skin has started to get affected. So, every month right before or during when I’m menstruating, I break out and that is new as in maybe three years ago. I never really used to have that issue. So, there must be some hormonal shift that I’m having, but I think what’s sort of the silver lining on that is that it has cued me into taking better care of myself during that time. I sort of try to consume things that I know are better for my skin and are better for my body because I think it shows up in my skin. It has allowed me to sort of take a step back when my body is clearly stressing out and reacting to a period and lets me be aware.
I really like when oiling my face. I feel like I see instantly that it’s glowing brighter and my skin is saying thank you. And it feels kind of like a finishing touch, so that I can go out and do my day.
I love that I have really soft skin. Since I was a little girl, it was always about moisturizing. Culturally, a lot of black people are constantly moisturizing because you can see dry skin, and in lighter complexions you can’t really see it. My mother would not let me leave the house until I had moisturized my face and until I had gotten my knees. It becomes a ritual, and now I’m grateful for it: Because of that, I have really soft skin, and it’s smooth and supple.
As I’m getting older, of course, I’m noticing some finer lines on my forehead and it’s interesting because I respect and revere so much aging gracefully and embracing that part of life — because there’s no other direction to go. I really appreciate that True Botanicals chooses not to use words like anti-aging on their products, because it shouldn’t be something that’s being avoided. I realize that’s easy to say as someone twenty-something, but I’m interested in that journey and hopefully I can continue to love my skin as much as I do now.