Conscious Skincare / by lee tilghman

To put it simply, I love to live simply. I always have. To me, living simply means a few things. It means:

  • taking only what you need
  • getting rid of anything that is no longer of use to you
  • giving back when you are in the position to do so
  • paying very close attention to what you consume (I'm talkin' everything from your carbon footprint to the laundry detergent you are using for your family!)

 These basic rules can be applied to all areas of your life. Your diet, your closet, your relationships with other people.

I learned a lot about simple living when I worked on an organic farm my freshman year of college. It was my first time really experiencing living off the land. We ate our own food and shopped locally (~20 mile radius, no grocery stores, only bartering!) My coworkers on the farm really cared about the environment and voted with their dollar. They chose carefully and with discernment which products they would use to feed and clothe their bodies.

I lost that for a bit while I lived in New York City. But now that I am on the West Coast, I feel a deeper connection with nature. In the past 3 months, I’ve found myself craving time outdoors and heading out of the city and into country for rest and rejuvenation. Reconnecting with nature and spending time away from the television. I’ve realized that living a natural life makes me feel more deeply grounded and connected to others. Eliminating toxic people, products, and objects is an extremely important part of living a more conscious life. A good place to start is adopting a more plant based diet and avoiding packaged foods with artificial flavors. It’s also important to rethink to the products we put onto our bodies. 

 

SW Basics is a small company based in Brooklyn, New York. Each of their products is made with less than 10 ingredients, sometimes with as little as 3. Talk about simple! SW Basics products are 100% organic, ethically sourced, and fair trade. I have spent a great amount of time trying out natural products over the years. Unfortunately, many of them don’t work. However, SW Basics does the job it's supposed to do- while keeping everything ultra simple, just the way I like!

When I began transitioning into a life centered around treating my body and mind well, I was really only focused on the foods I was putting into my body. I was still using the same old products I had always used, from large companies that put hard-to-pronounce chemicals into their products. Slowly, I started reading these ingredients and really second-guessing the brands. 

If I was spending so much time and putting so much effort into my healthy diet, why was I just going to put chemical-laden facewashs and creams onto my skin? I also began to realize the ‘unnatural’ feels and smells of these products, like artificial smelling body washes and greasy skin moisturizer that my skin wouldn’t absorb.

I found myself shopping less and less at big time pharmacies and grocery stores. I stopped purchasing from big name brands that advertised on television, and I began researching for more high quality, smaller companies that boasted natural products that considered its customers and the environment. SW Basics prides themselves on small-batched, local, made in the US products. I also love that they do not test on animals. Check out my full review on their products below!

  • Toner:  It's made with raw apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel. These are two of one of the most beneficial natural skincare ingredients available on the market today. Everybody knows the benefits of witch hazel, but did you know that right apple cider vinegar is great for your skin too? It cleans really well and purifies all your pores. I put this on first thing in the morning when I wake up with the reusable cotton pads.
  • Cream:  This cream is extremely heavy duty and perfect for really really dry skin. I wouldn't call it a late moisturizer, it's made with 3 ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil and organic olive oil. I love putting it on at night before I go to sleep, after my shower. Then, it will absorb onto my skin overnight and I'll wake up with the silkiest, softest skin ever. I do dabble a little bit on my lips and face when my skin tends to get super super dry in the middle of the summer and in the height of winter.
  • Eye Makeup Remover:  I love the stuff and I use it daily. This is the best item out of their entire line of products, in my opinion. It smells really good and the oil leaves my face & eyes naturally moisturized and super radiant. I've noticed a distinct change in skin condition around my eyes after using this oil. It also works really well with the washable cotton pads. A little bit goes a long way with this one. So you sparingly!
  • Facial Cleanser:  This extremely light face wash smells so good and only contains a few ingredients. This cleanser alone will not remove eye makeup. It will remove face makeup though and pull dirt from your pores. I use this a few nights a week and apply to a wet face, then rub it in (it is all natural so do not expect it to get all sudsy) and wash it off with a bit more cold water. Pat your face dry with a towel. Never rub!!
  • Lip Balm:  Lip balm is really important to buy organic. If you think about it, you're basically putting it inside your mouth! Many times our lip balms travel into our bodies via food and other ways, so it's important to pay close attention here. The lip balm flight is amazing. Perfect for heavy duty travelers like myself. They do use bees wax in their balms, for all you vegans out there.  My favorite scent their citrus and cinnamon. 
  • Washable Cotton Pads: These are the most genius inventions I've ever seen! I think that all disposable cotton pads should be banned and people should be forced to use these. They work super well and I always feel amazing after using them... probably because I'm doing something better for the world. It also comes with a washable baggie so that when you're done all three, you can wash them and you won't lose them in the wash and dry cycle.

How do you get back to simple living? What are some ways you scale down your life to bring it back to the basics?