S.W. Recipe: Rachel’s 9-Ingredient Quinoa Granola

Several weekends ago, I woke up with a very specific hankering for kinda-savory-but-slightly sweet granola. Since I didn’t have said granola on hand in my apartment, I dragged my sleepy bum to the overpriced supermarket near my apartment. After perusing the various available options, I realized that I couldn’t find a healthy granola for under $11. In an attempt to be both frugal and resourceful, I abandoned my granola mission and headed home.

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5 Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar, A Miracle Product You Probably Already Own

As I sit here drinking a vaguely urine-colored drink – which tastes like pee, too – I ponder the miracle tonic that is apple cider vinegar. I mean, seriously: This stuff is downright magical, despite the fact that it smells kind of rancid and tastes like wee-wee. Not that I know what wee-wee tastes like. I digress!

Apple cider vinegar, aka ACV, has lately become sort of a health and wellness darling, and deservedly so. The benefits are well documented, and wide spanning: You can use ACV, apparently, for anything. Have a yeast infection? Drink some ACV. Breaking out? Dilute some ACV and dab it on. Have a sore throat? Chug the stuff. Heck, I think there’s an argument for saying that ACV is perhaps the most important staple you’ve got in your kitchen pantry.

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An Ode to Minimalism

Several months ago I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I’ve been obsessed ever since. If you haven’t read it, here’s the gist: Kondo is a professional tidier and consultant (talk about forging your own career path). She’s developed new methods to help people get rid of excess in their personal spaces, with the idea that, “…as you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you.” (Kindle Edition, 90)

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S.W. Recipe: Tightening Bloody Mary Toner

This recipe comes straight from the pages of our founder Adina Grigore’s book Skin Cleanse. It’s the perfect DIY for a lazy Sunday afternoon spent cozied up at home. Feel free to make a Bloody Mary on the side, too!

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Your Skin Cleanse Cheat Sheet

The term “Skin Cleanse” tends to freak people out, so I thought I’d offer a few tips to make it easier! Perhaps you’ve read the book but need a little nudge, or perhaps you haven’t read the book but you googled “Do sliced cucumbers really make my eyes less puffy?” and landed here, confused. (The answer is yes, they do. And welcome!)

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Why Organic Matters in Skincare

Our founder Adina Grigore recently spoke with Harpers Bazaar about popular “beauty buzzwords” – namely the differences between natural, organic, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. Given we’re announcing that four of our products – our Cream, Body Scrub, Exfoliant, and Organic Lip Balms – are now officially certified USDA Organic (the rest of our product line will soon be, too!), we’re sharing what the designation really means – and why you should be wary of “natural” marketing.

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Natural: “Legally, this means nothing—it’s a completely unregulated term and should be thought of as pure marketing,” says Grigore. “It will generally mean that at least some natural ingredients have been used in the formula, but a product can be labeled as natural and contain up to 30 percent synthetic ingredients.” Look at the label and if the product is full of ingredients born in a lab (ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, red #11, etc.) and the only from-the-earth one you recognize is buried at the bottom, that means it’s hardly natural. If all the ingredients listed are just the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) Latin names for things you recognize—for example: sodium cocoate is saponified coconut oil—the product is all-natural.

Organic: “The use of the word organic is actually highly regulated, and legally means a brand or ingredient has been certified by the USDA. You should see an accompanying logo that confirms this; if you don’t, it means nothing and they are about to get in trouble. If you do see the logo, it means that said ingredient (or almost 100% of the ingredients in an organic product) have been grown and processed under a very strict code of cleanliness, with no pesticides or fertilizers, and absolutely no genetically modified organisms.”

Non-Toxic: “This is a newer designation, also mostly marketing,” says Grigore. “When companies claim to be non-toxic, they are specifically referring to leaving out ingredients that have been linked to toxic responses in humans: neuro-disruption, hormone disruption, cancer, even death. A great, or I should say horrible, example is phthalates [found mostly in household products and shampoo and conditioner, they give products a uniform consistency and make them easier to pour.].” Here are some of the other offender ingredients to always avoid: formaldehyde (found in nail polish, hair gel and color cosmetics); petroleum (found in moisturizers and lip balms); asbestos (labeled as talc or hydrous magnesium silicate); lead acetate (found in hair dye and lipstick); coal tar (found in hair dye and anti-dandruff shampoo).

Hypoallergenic: Products labeled hypoallergenic are making the claim that they cause fewer adverse reactions than their competitors, but any product can be marked with the word, according to Grigore. “It holds no meaning whatsoever.”

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