So… How Do I Use Your Products?
We field a lot of questions here at S.W. Basics – you all are an inquisitive bunch – but some of the most frequently asked ones are focused around how to use our products. You’re kind of confused and I understand why. Our products somewhat buck convention and, in many cases, they’re different from anything you’re used to using. So unlike a Neutrogena face wash, our Cleanser doesn’t foam. And, contrary to a Noxzema mask, our Hibiscus Mask isn’t all soft and gooey. Some of these differences are due to the fact our products lack additives – stuff like emulsifiers, sulfates, and preservatives – which produce that certain user experience you’ve come to expect. Other differences arise because, well, we aren’t as prescriptive about the “best” way to use our products as many mainstream beauty companies can be. Regardless, we don’t want you to be confused. We want you to be empowered. So, below, we’re doing some ‘splaining. Read on!
Products like our Hibiscus Mask, Exfoliant, and Aloe Vera Powder come loose and dry. Given that most masks and scrubs are usually suspended in some kind of liquid, this can cause some head scratching. But adding water (or a water-based emulsion) to a product usually means adding preservatives. Otherwise, mold grows and things get weird. Well, we’re not about to add preservatives – often known as parabens in cosmetics – because of the documented health risks involved (they can cause everything from endocrine disruption to skin allergies). Moreover, adding water to a product does nothing to enhance its efficacy – quite oppositely, it’s usually done to cheapen it.
Instead, we’ve packaged our dry products as raw ingredients to be mixed on a use-by-use basis with the “wet” ingredient of your choice. In most cases, this is water, but it can also be yogurt or honey, or your favorite face wash or oil. Not only does this allow for enhanced flexibility, it means we never need to employ preservatives and – perhaps most importantly – we’re creating a much more powerful product sans nasty side effects.
(Also, FYI, our general recommendation is to start with a coin-sized amount of dry product and then slowly mix in the wet element of your choice. Before long, you’ll get the hang of it – we promise.)
Yep, our Cleanser does not foam. For those of you who are used to feeling utterly squeaky-clean, this can be cause for alarm. Don’t feel this way, because the foaming agents in your beloved sudsy face wash are actually really awful for your skin. Detergents can strip skin of its all-important, protectant oil layer, plus they can totally disrupt your face’s natural and hugely influential acid mantle. This means both increased likelihood of dryness and of breakouts – a really unfortunate combination, if you ask us.
We formulated our Cleanser with rosewater, tea tree oil, and glycerin to gently kill bacteria while toning and hydrating your skin. It gets the job done without disturbing any of the skin’s natural checks and balances. As for how to use it, we like to apply it to dry skin using cotton then rinse off. Feel free to use your [clean] fingertips to really massage it in. You can also leave it on for a few minutes or during a work out! You’re ready for a foam-free future.
Me oh my, we get tons of questions about oils – from why they’re worth using to how you should be integrating them into your skincare regimen. On the “why,” front, organic plant / seed oils are incredibly nourishing and antioxidant-rich ingredients that literally do so many things for your skin. For example, sweet almond oil (found in our Makeup Remover) is both antimicrobial and moisturizing; coffee oil (found in our Oil Serum) has anti-aging properties and is anti-inflammatory. Right there you’ve got four different reasons for implementing oils into your daily routine.
With all this noted, there are really no “right” and “wrong” ways to use the oil-based products we sell. We have folks that use our Makeup Remover as a light moisturizer, our Jojoba Oil as an oil cleanser, our Body Oil as a shaving “cream,” and our Oil Serum as a cuticle treatment. In fact, we love the moments when you tell us, “This is how I’m using S.W. Basics.”