Natural Skincare Products | SW Basics of Brooklyn Review

The Search For Natural Skincare Products…That Work

I’m 38 years old and have struggled with skin issues since I was 16 years old. I had terrible, embarrassing acne in high school, which never fully went away. I’d have patches of good and bad months, but never had clear, pretty skin, no matter what face products I used, what I ate or what I did. Now that I am a couple of years away from 40 (eeek!), I still fight with my skin daily. I struggle between using chemically laden face products that work some of the time and home remedies that are much healthy for me, but don’t work well. I’ve used everything from face creams that cost a hundred dollars to coconut oil from my pantry. Thousands of dollars of my hard earned money have been spent through the years trying to find a good, sustainable, safe, chemical free skincare set that made my skin look clear.

So, when I stumbled upon SW Basics of Brooklyn while walking around Target one afternoon, I was super excited. Let me first preface this by saying that SW Basics didn’t ask me to write this, they didn’t pay me to write this, nor did they give me any product. I can show you my Target credit card bill to prove it (as long as you don’t judge the fact that I seem to buy EVERYTHING at Target). SW Basics is a company founded by Adina Grigore when she created some products for her sensitive skin. Each product has no more than five ingredients, and you actually know what they are. None of that moninucliopoly-whatevers lurking about in just about everything we use.

SW Basics of Brooklyn | Lip Balm

I spotted the SW Basics Vegan Lip Balm Flight first. I’m a lip balm freak. I collect lip balms like people collect Beanie Babies. The fist thing I noticed was the cute black tin. Inside were four lip balms and each lip balm was made with 3-5 ingredients. And each ingredient was something I heard of before – Cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil and essential oils. I grabbed it immediately and couldn’t wait to try on all four flavors. The problem with lip balms is that many of them contain ingredients that actually irritate and dry out your lips so that you’re forced to use more and more and more…until you’ve had a lip balm obsession (…er like someone I know). The SW Basics lip balm flight soothes your lips and keeps them soft for a long time, so I didn’t have to reapply very often. It comes in 4 yummy flavors – my favorite is Cocoa, peppermint, citrus and cinnamon. They smell absolutely divine.

SW Basics of Brooklyn | Cream

The S.W. Basics Cream only has three ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil. It kind of freaked me out a little putting more oils on my oily face, but after much research it’s actually better to use good, healthy oils on your skin.Typical moisturizers, especially the kind for acne prone skin, tend to strip your face of the oils it needs, causing it to be more prone to breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle. Putting oils on your face actually makes it less oily and regulates oil production.

There were mixed reviews on various websites for the cream, some saying it caused breakouts, others stating the opposite. I figured I’d give it a try, after all, I’d not found a good, limited ingredient moisturizer for my face, and I was getting desperate. The jar itself is adorable, and the scent of the cream is minimal. No chemical smells detected. The cream itself was thick and rich. It applied easily and absorbed quickly. But hours after I applied it, my face would still feel oily…a little too oily. After about two weeks, my forehead was super clogged up and yucky.

I had suspected that the cream was too heavy for my oil prone skin. I researched online and read every review but couldn’t figure out if maybe my skin was purging all the crap, so I ended up emailing SW Basics via an email address I found online. No more than 5 minutes later, Adina, the founder, emailed me back! She told me to stop using it, that my skin was probably reacting to the coconut oil and assured me that if that were the case, I’d receive a full refund. Wahhhh! I emailed back saying that I had so hoped that this was finally my skin care solution after 20 years of searching. Again, I received a prompt response from Adina saying that if it were the cream that was causing my skin issues, she’d have some suggestions for me! I went online and ordered her Skin Cleanse book immediately.

I didn’t return the cream because it actually was an awesome moisturizer for my super dry areas like my feet and elbows. I even used it on my lips when I was too lazy to dig out the chap stick. It works well on peeling skin as well. A few reviews I read complained about the cost. At $32 for a good face cream, that’s super affordable. I’ve been to Sephora and spent upwards of $50 on a bottle of chemically filled face cream that didn’t work.

SW Basics of Brooklyn | Toner

The S.W. Basics Toner only has five ingredients: water, organic raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and clary sage and sandalwood essential oils. A good toner is a must to help balance the PH in your skin and should be used after you wash and dry your face. This toner needs to be shaken up before you apply (with a cotton ball). Because of the apple cider vinegar, there are little floaties in it (which isn’s a big deal, so don’t let it freak you out). It also smells, well, not so great. Apple Cider Vinegar, with all its benefits, smells like sweaty gym socks that have been left in the back of your laundry bin for three weeks. So, that’s a little hurdle when using it, but ACV is supposed to be really good for blemishes and your skin. I haven’t seen a huge difference, but the smell fades fairly quickly. It does make my skin feel fresh and removes some of the makeup my cleanser sometimes leaves behind. Cost – $22 for a 4oz bottle.

SW Basics of Brooklyn | Exfoliant

I love the smell of  Moisturizing Exfoliant by SW Basics. It smells yummy – and I’m not saying that because I’m hungry right now. It’s made out of three ingredients straight from your kitchen – organic oat flour, organic almond flour, and Maine sea salt. It’s very gentle. I’m still trying to get out of the mindset that in order to get really clean skin and get all the dead skin cells off, you have to scrub really hard. But after using the SW Basics Exfoliant, I do admit that being gentle is a better bet for your skin. This is a great product for sensitive skin and left my skin super soft. Cost -$24 for a 3oz bottle.


If you are looking for some quality, all natural and sustainable products made with limited ingredients, all of which you recognize, you should check out the SW Basics of Brooklyn line. (Try this S.W. Basics All Natural Skincare 5 Variety Pack (5) for an entire regime).

They have great customer service, too, in case the products don’t work out for you. The products didn’t work perfectly for me, but I do understand that clear skin comes from what you eat and how well your liver and digestive system functions. I’ve had some issues with both recently, so I’ve also been trying to clean up my diet. I ended up picking up Adina Grigore’s Skin Cleanse book, and I’ve read about half of it. I’ll let you know how that goes. And the battle against blemishes continues…

Hanssie is the Communications Director for fitted. In her free time, she runs marathons to get medals, counts the days until her next cheat meal (as well as her macros), rescues big dogs and blogs about the divorced life when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at and follow her on her various social media sites (below).

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