When it comes to our skin, it makes a great deal of sense to know exactly what you are putting on it. Since our skin has the wonderful capacity to drink in the nourishment we use to clean, tone, exfoliate and moisturize, why not treat our skin well with real ingredients instead of chemicals? We know that most conventional skincare products contain long lists of chemicals, along with some far reaching promises. We also know that the compounding nature of so many daily chemicals can take a serious toll on our health.
S.W. Basics has a simple solution.
With ingredients that are either organic, fair trade or sourced from small family farms and minus the crazy synthetic chemicals found in most other skincare, S.W. Basics is an obvious and wonderful addition to our skincare selection. We are very excited to offer their line at MightyNest.
S.W. Basics has a principle mission that their products have no more than 5 known ingredients in any of their products.
For example, S.W. Basics' Makeup remover has 3 organic ingredients. It's conventional counterpart has 15 ingredients (!) with only a few recognizable ingredients (unless you're a scientist) like...water and aloe vera (although the synthetic version).
For their certified organic lip balms (available also as vegan), S.W. Basics has 4 scents (peppermint, cocoa, cinnamon and citrus) to soothe and protect lips without petroleum and the waxy, sticky feel of many lip balms available. Instead, beeswax, cocoa butter and coconut oil is there for the rescue to soak in and heal your pucker.
S.W. Basics also makes the choice to source ingredients from small family farms like a preservative-free witch hazel (for the toner), from a farm in the Ozarks. The witch hazel is slow steam distilled, using custom crafted glass and stainless steel equipment.
And sea salt from the Gulf of Maine (via Steve the Salt Man) that is not washed or bleached or chemically dried, leaving the nutricious trace minerals left intact for the exfoliant.
We had a chance to chat with the lovely Adina, founder of SW Basics while learning about her company and why S.W. Basics is so unique.
MightyNest: What prompted you to start S.W. Basics? Did you do this out of necessity, needing to make these products for yourself?
S.W. Basics: Absolutely. I was desperate. I couldn't use anything on the market on my skin. I turned to natural products and they were just as bad. When a friend recommended I try to make my own products, I thought she was crazy. But I experienced immediate relief and healing and improved skin. I was seriously shocked. If I hadn't been so impressed, I would have never started this!
MN: How did you educate yourself for this process? On your own or with partners?
S.W. Basics: Well, I had studied holistic nutrition so the research for the skincare was complementary. I wanted to only use kitchen cabinet ingredients, so I definitely knew where to start. All of our current formulas are basically edible ingredients put together to make skincare products. I didn't drag anyone else in until I knew it was a viable business.
MN: How do you source the ingredients you use for S.W. Basics products?
S.W. Basics: I spend just as much time sourcing ingredients as I do working on formulas. Maybe more. We look through organic networks, Fair Trade networks, trade shows. It can take a really long time to find a good ingredient, we have sort of crazy high standards. But once we find someone, we know right away that they're perfect. A great example is Steve Cook, who harvests sea salt in Maine. Sea salt is this man's whole life. When our team visited him, his wife told us that she's been waiting for the day that their house is not covered in salt. She keeps issuing ultimatums that she knows will never lead anywhere. Ha! Or our witch hazel supplier, Penny Frazier, who is in the Ozarks making the only distilled witch hazel without preservatives that we've found. She has big dreams of taking down Monsanto but is too busy harvesting. They inspire us to keep going and to keep sourcing only the best ingredients.
MN: Many companies choose to use plastic for packaging and you have packed your products in glass (great choice!) What was the reasoning behind this?
S.W. Basics: It wasn't even a hard decision. Now we're sort of understanding why no one does it, it's so so much harder than plastic. But it doesn't matter. To me, our packaging is one of our ingredients. If there it's questionable and we can avoid it, we will. Glass is the obvious choice.
MN: How did you create your formulas?
S.W. Basics: Lots and lots and lots of experimenting. I had a lot of parameters which made things easier and harder: no preservatives, no more than the absolutely necessary amount of ingredients (optimally three, sometimes up to five), nothing that would make my skin sensitive (which is almost everything). Our cream, which is shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, took me forever to perfect. Almost two years.
MN: How has the founding of S.W. Basics changed your life and the new community I would imagine came along with it?
S.W. Basics: That's so funny, just tonight I was thinking, "Wow, I can't imagine doing anything else with my life." Like, I truly have no idea what I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this. And I regularly forget that other people are like me, and that they use, even need, our products. It shocks and humbles me constantly. I'm super committed to growing the business so we can reach as many people as possible!
MN: What is the most compelling reason for people to use your products?
S.W. Basics: To me the most eye-opening point is: think about how many products you use each day. Now think about how many ingredients they each have (or simply check one label), and how many ingredients that comes out to altogether. If you're even a little sensitive to one of them, you're not only experiencing symptoms, you'll also never have any idea why. Give your skin a break, use less products. And ingredients.
MN: Do you plan to expand the line to include other skincare products?
S.W. Basics: Oh yes! Definitely. But now that I've set these insane parameters it takes a very long time to come up with the perfect formula. Slowly but surely!
And you guessed it. We are giving away 3 sets of S.W. Basics skincare (this includes full sizes of cleanser, toner, cream and makeup remover).
AND, we'll also send a free S.W. Basics exfoliant to the first 25 folks purchasing any S.W. Basics products!