S W Basics of Brooklyn Organic Credentials
S.W. Basics are all about keeping things simple; all their formula utilise five or less organic ingredients. The makeup remover has three; organic sweet almond oil, organic olive oil and organic jojoba oil. The cleanser also has three ingredients; rosewater, glycerin and tea tree oil. The toner has five: water raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, clary sage essential oil and sandalwood essential oil.
S.W. Basics of Brooklyn are USDA certified organic, which means the formulas have to be at least 95% organic.
Normally I use a cleanser at night that I can use around my eyes and thus take off my makeup with. I also don’t actually wear that much makeup, so there’s not so much need for a heavy duty makeup remover.
I put this product to the test after a wedding, so I was wearing a bit more makeup than usual. After shaking well and applying to a cotton pad, I gently wiped all trace of makeup away. It was, as my experiences of makeup removers go, highly effective. In fact, probably more effective than my utilisation of my cleanser to remove eye makeup, perhaps I should keep some makeup remover in my beauty arsenal for the ends of future nights out!
After use, you can choose to either leave the remains of the product on, because all the ingredients are great for your skin, or remove with a gentle wipe (I utilised a cotton pad with a light spritz of rosewater on occasions where I wanted to remove the product).
Even though the cleanser contains rosewater, it’s not enough to disguise the tea tree oil smell. I’ve never liked it, I don’t know anyone who does like that smell! I know tea tree oil is really good for the skin, but I’ve never really used any tea tree products, firstly because I’ve never (thankfully) really needed any tea tree beauty benefits on my face (i.e. breakouts and acne) and secondly I couldn’t stand the smell!
I persevered though for the sake of this review; it is an effective cleanser, I can’t take that away from it. I have used rosewater based cleansers and toners and always enjoy using them for their cleansing plus hydrating properties. The glycerin in this product helps leave skin feeling super smooth. If you can get past the tea tree smell, this could be the cleanser for you. Sadly, I can’t!
I am sure that there are going to be as many people who dislike the S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Toner for the apple cider vinegar (ACV) smell, as there are those who dislike the cleanser for the tea tree oil. But ACV is so good for your skin (and hair and just about everything else!) that I can see (or should that be smell) past it and get along with this toner.
ACV, witch hazel and clary sage all have astringent properties, and as a result I would be inclined to recommend this product for oily to combination skin, rather than dry skin types. That said, it is not a drying toner, and my normal to dry skin did get along with it OK.
The essential oils aren’t all that strong in the toner, in fact I’d like to see them in slightly stronger concentrations. Both the clary sage and sandalwood do cut through the ACV to a degree, but I would like them to be more prominent in the aroma! As well as being astringent, the ACV is antibacterial, whilst sandalwood has anti-inflammatory properties.
I really like the S.W. Basics of Brooklyn brand. The products and packaging are very simple and straightforward, but absolutely not boring or outdated! Each product comes with a funny tagline such as “It’s like dessert for your skin” or “Blemishes, Shlemishes”.
S.W. Basics was founded on the principle that fewer ingredients mean gentler skincare. This means that most of their products are made with only three, four or five ingredients. Some, like the Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter, are only made of one! This really got me thinking about all the other not-natural and non-organic skincare products that I use. I use natural and organic products as well as products from e.g. Nivea and Neutrogena. Especially the area around my eyes is quite sensitive so once I’ve found a product that doesn’t sting, I tend to stick to it. However, it being Organic September and thus having to properly try out and review all these natural and organic products, I realised that it might be time to finally ditch my Nivea facial cleanser, which I will most likely swap for the S.W. Basics of Brooklyn cleanser. It is just perfect for my skin type – as I have acne-prone skin – and especially in combination with the toner I could really see the difference it made for my face.
The cleanser smells quite nice, however, the toner does not. This toner is made with five ingredients, among which are raw apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. But although the ACV is not my favourite smell, I sort of made peace with it because of the witch hazel, which is one of the most effective natural treatments for acne.
When it comes to the S.W. Basics Makeup Remover, I’m not as convinced as I am about the cleanser and the toner. The makeup remover is very oily, as it is made of three different organic oils: sweet almond oil, olive oil and jojoba oil. It just felt a bit weird to use this as a makeup remover. That said, this product did do it’s job perfectly and it’s quite nice that as well as a makeup remover it can also be used as a moisturiser. However, I always like to use a makeup remover first and then use a cleanser and/or toner or simply wash my face with some water. So I felt like I was wasting the product by washing it off, but I also didn’t want to go to bed with an oily face. This product also mainly smelt of olive oil and I said this before about the of sesame oil in the Saaf Organic hair oil: I’ll use it in the kitchen, but I don’t necessarily want to use it in my bathroom (i.e. on my hair or on my face)!
The only thing that really bothers me about these S.W. Basics of Brooklyn products is the price. Though not super expensive, they do cost a bit more than I would normally want to pay for skincare products. However, you could see them as an investment in a clean and healthy-looking skin and in that case, they are well worth the splurge (for me at least).
I hate this product. Hate is probably a little bit of a strong word. Let me rephrase that. I’m really, honestly not fond of the S.W. Basics Makeup Remover at all. There is one aspect to this brand that I do really like though, and that is that the ingredients are nothing more or less than what is written on the packaging. Nor do the S.W. Basics products have significantly strong smells, it’s just all natural simple ingredients.
I’m not a stranger to using any of these oils on my skin. At one point in my life I began using just almond oil as a moisturiser, which came to a quick stop as my skin started to breakout. This left me anxious to try the S.W. Basics Makeup Remover, but I did apply this product generously to my face, and what a mistake! I may have applied too much but my face was honestly drenched with oil, even when I tried to somehow wash it away. I know that oils take a while to absorb into the skin, and I should’ve placed a towel onto my pillowcase, but completely forgot which meant I woke up to an oily pillowcase and an oily face. Yuck! At least I didn’t breakout this time and my makeup was actually removed.
I actually quite like the smell of tea tree when it’s not too overpowering, but the smell of the S.W. Basics Cleanser is a bit odd. I’m a bit uncertain about the combination of rose and tea tree together. The toner is also petrifyingly stinky, and I can’t bare to face the smell. I’ve never really understood the concept of a facial toner. Perhaps, this is because I’ve never found one that’s given me a massively life changing experience. I can honestly say that I found no difference with this toner. It didn’t make a difference to my face, and smells awful.
However, the cleanser was light on the skin and very refreshing but I didn’t feel that this product particularly cleaned my face. I swear by using my Garnier Micellar cleansing water to remove makeup and thoroughly clean my pores, and the S.W. Basics Cleanser did not compete with this at all. Sorry S.W Basics, but I’m a difficult lady to please!