I was bopping along the skincare isles at target when something grabbed my attention, a new brand I had never seen before had been added to the natural skincare section! As an avid natural skincare junkie, I had never heard of S.W. Basics but there packaging was to die for. Clean and effective, it was reminiscent of a small business or perhaps something unique you’d find at a local boutique. Among all of the loud colors, ridiculous product names, and long listed chemical filled products, S.W. Basics stands out as a beacon of organic-skincare-hope among its peers.
s.w. basics: a brooklin based company
So what’s the deal with S.W. basics? Where did this brand magically appear from and what’s their motto when it comes to skincare?
S.W. Basics is an all natural skincare brand originating from Brooklyn, NY. They promise to use only organic, fair trade, or family farm ingredients; putting sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. Their motto is simplicity, which is undoubtingly obvious by their packaging which labels how many ingredients are in each product. Their belief is that fewer ingredients means gentler skincare. The simpler the routine, the better.
What’s more is that they are fully aware of the nasty turn the beauty industry has taken over the past few decades, recognizing it’s in desperate need of a makeover and being a powerhouse example of what’s to come in clean, effective skincare. S.W. Basics has a strong sense of belief in proving that skincare can be both simple and effective, without any added chemicals, fragrance, or other skin irritants.
the 4 ingredients oil serum
On my Target trip, I wanted to pick the brands best product to test out. As we do when on the hunt for good skincare, I pulled out my phone and began the google search. I wanted to try the most effective product with the most positive reviews and wala! That’s when I stumbled upon the 4 Ingredient Oil Serum, with 58 5-star reviews it seemed too good to be true. Jacked up with a powerhouse of ingredients, the Oil Serum proves to be an indulgent skincare product to add to your arsenal. It has high levels of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties being great for both acne prone and sensitive skin.
+ Cleans the skin
+ Feeds hydration
+ Corrects imbalances in the skin
+ Good for acne prone skin
+ Leaves skin silky and glowing
+ Avocado oil: Avocado is great at hydrating and softening the skin, it’s proven effective at reducing inflammation helping with eczema and acne. Avocado oil is also a rich source of fatty acids like pelvic acid.
+ Geranium oil: Geranium is used to treat acne, reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and calm anxiety. It helps to get rid of clogged pores and promotes younger healthier looking skin.
+Turmeric oil: Turmeric is amazing for inflammation and pain relief! It also speeds up the healing time of pimples, corrects oily skin, and reduces post acne marks.
+Coffee oil: Coffee, on my skin?! Well yes! Coffee is chock full of antioxidants and helps to increase blood circulation, helping with dark circles, acne, and brightening the skin!
I use facial oils before bed religiously, every. Single. Night. So as eager as I was to put the Oil Serum to the test when I got home- I forced myself to wait until bed and use it with my usual nightly routine to avoid any weird reactions from occurring.
Smell 2/5 Stars
With most beauty products, the first thing I notice is the smell and the Oil Serum is no different. If you love coffee, you’ll love it; if you hate coffee, you’ll hate it. It smells ok but the after scent of geranium gets stuck inside your nose and is pretty sharp, reminding me of the perfumy taste of IPA beer. I wasn’t really impressed. Personally, I’m not big on smells, as long as a product works then that’s fine by me, it doesn’t need any added fragrance or silly undertones of cedar wood so I’m glad there’s not any extra fillers added!
Packing 5/5 Stars
Like I mentioned earlier, what got me interested in S.W. Basics is their effective minimalistic packaging. It tells you on the front of the product exactly how many ingredients are in each bottle. The no fuss, no nonsense approach shows that they’re not only using high quality ingredients, but that they’re also not afraid of you finding out exactly what is in their products- something that other brands definitely can’t say.
Feel 5/5 Stars
The oil is oh sooooo silky smooth. Not sticky, not thick, or chunky, not too thin- just smooth. It glides over the skin like a thin piece of silk conforming to the nooks and crannies. 100 Stars for the feeling of this oil, it goes above and beyond to provide maximum comfort to dry skin skin, eczema, and acne.
Results 3/5 Stars
I applied a generous layer, about 5-6 drops after cleansing before bed. When I woke up my face looked brighter but also a bit red, I assumed this was the blood flow occurring from the caffeine oil. The oil was absorbed overnight so I only had to rinse my face with cool water in the morning, which was great! I feel like if a product just sits on your skin it isn’t penetrating deep enough and actually delivering the benefits to your skin. The tone looked even and it def looked brighter but unfortunately I had a few clogged pores around my nose and white heads on my chin. They went away within a few days so I tried the oil again and alas, clogged inflamed pores around my nose. It’s great if you don’t have acne prone skin because it makes your skin look like gold, but if it’s easily irritated like mine you may want to avoid your T zone area. I found that it actually works better on pimples applied as a topical than an all over facial serum.
Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars
With all things considered, I would give the 4 Ingredient Oil Serum 4/5 Stars. Negatively, it causes small clogged pores and has a strong smell. Positively, it feels like silk on you skin, absorbs well, leaves skin glowing, and has adorable packaging. When it comes to skincare I agree with S.W. Basics, it should be simple and effective. However, for me I felt the negative aspects of the oil outweighed the good. I want my products to help with acne, not cause it! And, as always, everyone is different and if you are not acne prone this may be an amazing option for glowing, radiant skin.
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.