Let us backtrack to the beginning. Hi, I’m Clare and I have a**hole skin. Okay, let me try that a little nicer – my skin and I aren’t friends. I want to be friends but it simply refuses. Sigh. So the issue here is – I have mild psoriasis and to tell you I have dry, finicky skin is just barely scraping the surface. On a good day, my skin isn’t red, and has slight visible spots of dryness in trouble areas. On a bad day, my face is peeling all over, especially along my hairline, on my brows, between my brows, sides of my nose and jawline. Sometimes it feels very itchy, on rare occasions it hurts to touch my face. On days like that I feel annoyed, exhausted and defeated from being cursed with this life-long auto-immune disease that I have genetically inherited. Do you feel sorry for me? I sure as hell feel sorry for me.
Now, let us fast forward to April this year. Remember the lovely folks from An Uplifted Day who very generously blessed me with the experience of The Five Minute Journal? Shan Shan, the lovely founder and creative genius behind the brand reached out and asked if I would be interested to try out the S.W. Basics skincare line. Having read some good things about it and being particularly curious about their less is more philosophy, I thought, yeah, sure! Now is as good a time as any!
You guys, it is almost September, so I have basically been testing this for almost 4 months. Yup, thorough and dedicated testing. You’re welcome!
The products in Bestseller Mini Kit are some of S.W. Basics most popular items that come in cute mini sizes and packaged in a TSA-approved travel pouch. I’ll quickly tell you what my first impressions were when I received it.
- Squeeeee! So adorable! The mini-er the cuter!
- This is a great testing kit for someone who might be unsure how the product will react to their skin and apprehensive about putting down their dollar on the full size.
- Major brownie points for travel! Plus it comes in its own travel pouch and TSA approved too! Win!
- I love the glass packaging. Plastic is bad for you (it leeches) and bad for the environment.
- Since they are glass, I can re-use them. Eco-friendly! Love!
Now, diving in to my thoughts about each product. I’ll try to keep it succinct, okay?
The Makeup Remover
Made with just 3 ingredients: organic sweet almond oil, organic extra-virgin olive oil, and jojoba oil, this oil-based makeup remover is everything I need to remove even the most stubborn of mascaras – I tested it out on my waterproof Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes mascara. Two words: melted away. I love that the combination of oils which bears a light almond scent not only cleanses well but leaves my skin supple and well nourished. I really love it and just recently purchased a second bottle for myself!
A simple recipe of organic rosewater, organic vegetable glycerin, and organic tea tree oil, this cleanser is free from soap, alcohol, and a whole host of nasty unpronounceable ingredients. It is beyond gentle, cleans off any last traces of makeup that have not been removed (if any), and smells amaaazing! The beautiful scent of rosewater makes me feel like I’m walking through a rose garden on a cool spring day – not your granny kind of overloaded rose perfume, but rather, a light and refreshing rose scent which elevates my mood and instantly makes me feel peace and calm. Ahhh… bliss!
THIS. This is everything! This has fast become my Holy Grail, bringing-along-with-me-to-a-deserted-island, absolute must have. Made with organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic witch hazel and organic essential oils of clary sage and sandalwood, this toner has done wonders to even out my skin tone. Remember my flaky, peeling psoriasis skin? The raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) in this toner has immensely helped to reduce it by helping to gently exfoliate my skin by dissolving the dead skin cells. Because I have very dry and sensitive skin, I have found that physical exfoliators (i.e facial scrubs) do not work as effectively for me.
The beauty of this toner is that the ACV works on a cellular level to encourage the skin cells to slough off on their own. I have seen the wonders it has done to drastically improve the quality of my skin tone, and have since repurchased my second full sized bottle. Yup, I love it! I don’t often get pimples (don’t hate me!), but I did get a big zit while I was traveling and the toner did wonders to significantly reduce it. I’ve also noticed that it has helped to reduce the size of my pores. Similar with the Makeup Remover and the Cleanser, I use a cotton pad and take my time to gently work the product in. It makes a whole lot of difference when I really take the time to nourish my well being, as opposed to rushing through the process.
Now, I must be fair and also warn you that the scent isn’t very appealing. Infact, some people might find it repulsive. If you are familiar with ACV you would know what I mean. But I managed to get used to it, and seriously, the benefits far outweigh the (not so pleasant) scent. It is AMAZING and I honestly cannot do without it. If there is only one product that you must try, I highly recommend this.
This is some solid stuff. Made with Fair Trade organic shea butter, organic coconut oil and organic olive oil, this is one rich and ultra nourishing moisturizer. Prior to testing this out, I was using a facial oil and eventually skipped it as the rich oils in this moisturizer were more than sufficient to keep my skin hydrated. Even with my very dry skin, I only need to use the tiniest pea-sized amount to cover my whole face. A little goes a long way and even after the 8 week mark, I still had well over half the tiny 30ml bottle left. I apply this after the toner, and it does a wonderful job at keeping my skin soft and supple. My skin loves it and drinks it up like a thirsty camel.
Organic Citrus Lip Balm
This is the lip equivalent of the face cream. Formulated with organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax and organic essential oils of lemon and orange, this all natural lip balm is deliciously hydrating and nourishing on the lips. My lips feel cushion-y soft, well moisturized and super happy. I chose the citrus flavor to try and love that it lends a refreshing zesty touch to the yummy cocoa scent from the butters. An Uplifted Day offers the Lip Balm in a set of 4 which would make great options for heavy rotation if you travel frequently or a nifty gift for sharing with your BFFs. This is what you want to have with you on a 20 hour flight to the US or when you decide to climb Mount Everest. Bye bye chapped lips!
What has most impressed me about S.W. Basics is its simplicity and sheer efficacy. There is no doubt that less is indeed more and the proof is in the pudding – I have seen a huge improvement in my skin since switching to S.W. Basics. If there is one word that I would use to describe how my skin feels now it would be: Healthy. It feels lighter, cleaner, healthier, just all-round happier. It truly is a refreshing change to see a simple list of ingredients that I can actually read and make sense of and I highly recommend it to everyone. If you are unsure of where to begin, the Bestseller Mini Kit is a great starting point to have an interactive experience of the complete skincare routine before making the plunge on the full-sized options. Let me know if you decide to try! We can high-five each other!
Have you tried S.W. Basics? Do you have any favorites to share with me?
Note: The S.W. Basics Bestseller Mini Kit and Citrus Lip Balm were kindly sent to me for review. This blog entry and all opinions expressed within are my own. All other products shown within were purchased on my own.