How Going Back To Basics Totally Changed My Skin

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I grew up in sunny Southern California, sandwiched between Topanga Canyon and Venice Beach. The terms organic, vegan, raw, gluten-free, and hemp (just in general) are not new to me. And, while I’ve tried to stay true to my roots and carry some of these healthy-living teachings with me, especially as I moved east to the grime mecca that is New York City, I inevitably traded in my all-natural deodorant for Dove Clinical Strength because, at the end of the day, it makes me smell better. That's why I have to admit that I was a tad skeptical of trying an all-natural skin-care line.

I have fairly even skin, but, man, is it sensitive. When I was a teenager, battling my daily hormone-induced pimple (which I’m still fighting in my 20s, much to my dismay), I tried zapping the not-so-little guy with a typical spot treatment. By the morning, my face was so red and raw, I could barely open my eyes. Since then, I’ve been super careful to use the gentlest of products. Unfortunately, my skin still reacted negatively to some of them, leaving little allergic reactions, bumps, and redness as a form of protest against the ingredients.

Most recently, though, I’ve been battling a bit of what's likely stress-induced acne and some stubborn dermatitis around my chin from an unknown allergy. When my dermatologist suggested antibiotics to fight the allergy, I got a little nervous. Around the same time, a friend gave me samples of a new skin-care line called S.W. Basics. I was hesitant to try anything new and doubted that a line claiming that each product had five ingredients or fewer in it could really change my skin after neither prescriptions nor over-the-counter items did the trick.

Well, I was wrong. I’m now a month in to using S.W. Basics, and my skin is truly looking better than ever. I use the cleanser morning and night with my Clarisonic brush — in the evening, I also take off my makeup with the makeup-removing oil — and I use the mask once a week. (It’s messy but worth it!) Finally, I apply the cream sparingly on my driest parts, as it's quite heavy.

I have to say, all my eye-rolling aside, it makes me feel good to use something with ingredients that I can actually name. But, bottom line, this stuff simply works. Plus, if I had a reaction, I’d be able to pinpoint its cause, which has not always been the case with past skin-care products. Even better, I actually had a coworker feel my face recently — it looked that good. Pretty sure she described my skin as feeling like “the softest suede.” Bam! I'm a believer.

S.W. Basics Cleanser, $24, available at S.W. Basics; S.W. Basics Cream, $32, available at S.W. Basics.



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