Ethical Beauty Brand Overview: S.W. Basics

I discovered SW Basics because their products are featured on Petit Vour’s site and I subscribe to Petit Vour’s beauty box (it’s brilliant by the way, I highly recommend it). After buying (and falling in love with) the cleanser from Petit Vour’s site, I spent some time on S.W. Basics’ website, and fell in love with the brand’s philosophy. Founded by Adina Grigore in Brooklyn, S.W. Basics products are simple (from 5 ingredients or less) and hand-made using the best quality, ethically sourced ingredients. I have tried almost all the products and I can attest that the formulations are elegant and gentle. My skin has never felt so soft and smooth! Almost all SW Basics products are available in trial sizes so it’s fairly easy to give them a try. And they’re carried by Target! That means some of you will be able to find them on the shelves of your local Target… or at least on the website.

Cleanser – The cleanser was the first product from the line that I tried. It is a non-foaming, glycerin based cleanser. You apply it to your skin with a cotton round and then wash it off. At first, I was skeptical that such a simple product, with an almost water like consistency, could clean my face but it really did work. What I especially love about it is it never left my face feel stripped. As with most cleansers, when using this at night I usually needed a toner to remove the very last traces of makeup, ensuring a clean canvas for my active ingredient products.

Toner – This toner is light, refreshing and doesn’t sting or dry out my skin. It also works as a GREAT base for powdered clay masks (instead of water). Even though it is made with essential oils, I didn’t find them irritating to my allergies or my skin.

Cream – This cream does NOT mess around. It is VERY moisturizing. I have normal to dry skin and I only need to use a tiny amount to leave my skin feeling hydrated and looking dewy first thing in the morning. I bet in winter this will make a really soothing moisturizing mask. With jarred products, it’s really important NOT to use your fingers to scoop the product out – your fingers deposit bacteria, which can then lead to your skin breaking out. I always used a clean spoon, cotton swab or spatula to scoop product out of the jar. If you don’t have normal to dry skin, this cream might be a little too intense for you but it also works beautifully to soften cuticles and elbows.

Makeup Remover – This oil blend does a great job of removing every trace of eye makeup. I actually used it all over my face as a makeup remover using the oil cleansing method. It’s a really elegant oil blend but it is pretty pricey as an all over makeup remover considering I can get the same effect (if not the elegance) by using coconut oil or olive oil.

Exfoliant – I ordered this thinking oat flour and almond flour would make an excellent, gentle manual exfoliant. Unfortunately, the salt crystals were quite scratchy and I found this just a little harsher than expected. I’ve taken to using this mixed with oil as a body scrub for which job it is perfect. It would also make a really nice gentle hand scrub as part of manicure.

Oil Serum – I found *almost* every product made by SW Basics to be gentle to my dry skin AND my allergies. Except for this one. The Geranium oil irritates my skin, my eyes and my nose. NOT a keeper. At least not for me.

Hibiscus Mask – This is a lovely clay based mask that is a real keeper. Unlike most clay based masks, it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. However, it doesn’t do that drying tight and hard thing that most clay based masks do, either. I don’t need a mask to do that to feel like it’s working but if you do, then you might not be satisfied by this product.

Body Scrub – When I got this jar in the mail (I ordered it from Target), I was kind of shocked by how tiny it was. This is one of the few products I would suggest skipping. You can make your own version with sugar and coconut oil and even if you’re using the best quality ingredients it will still cost you pennies on the dollar compared to this.

Organic Lip Balm Flight – I’m a lip balm addict. I have lip balms stashed in every purse and in every room in my house. I just can’t not have a lip balm standing by! I love these lip balms – they feel so soft and silky on my lips. The flavors are not cloying or irritating. They just add another lovely note to the product. I bought the flight made with beeswax but luckily SW Basics makes a vegan version of each of these lip balms because they’re thoughtful like that!

Eco Cotton Rounds – I saved the best for last. These reusable cotton rounds are the most genius thing ever. Where have they been all my life?? They are made from organic cotton and have a texture similar to flannel. They are larger and thicker than disposable cotton rounds which means you can actually use one round for your makeup AND your toner (just flip it over and use the other side). I love that I will no longer be throwing cotton rounds in the trash every day! My one caveat is the wash bag they come in doesn’t stay closed. I have a lingerie wash bag that I throw them in but you could probably put a rubber band around the top of the little wash bag if you want to make sure the rounds don’t come out of the bag and get lost in your laundry.

Note: In order for a brand or product to be reviewed in an #EthicalBeauty blogpost, it has to be independently certified as cruelty free and made in Northern America. SW Basics has been certified by PETA and Logical Harmony.

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