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Homemade granola bars. Mason jar salads. Hand-blended hummus. Whether you credit consumer awareness or Pinterest, there's no denying that do-it-yourself has been having a major moment in health and wellness. We're all making an effort to put natural and wholesome things into our bodies—and at S.W. Basics of Brooklyn, founder Adina Grigore wants you to put all that goodness on them, too.
The certified health coach founded her organic skincare line from her Greenpoint kitchen in 2009, one-upping the natural beauty competition with products made from five ingredients or less. After scoring shelf space at Target (as well as indie boutiques like CAP Beauty and Life:Curated), Grigore took her simple skincare mission one step further with the February debut of her book Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin, which covers everything from how to diagnose your dermatological detriments to how to cure them with pantry staples.
Below, we asked Grigore to share two of her newest recipes—foaming face wash and makeup remover—as well as instructions for whipping up her go-to hydrating mask, made from seaweed, coffee, and cucumber. So ditch your Duane Reade rewards card and head to your local health food store next time you need to stock up on these beauty basics.
Squeaky-Clean Foaming Face Wash
"Unless you are getting sweaty a lot or live in a very polluted environment, you don't need to use a sudsy face wash regularly. But for those of you living in a big city or addicted to hot yoga class, I get it—so we're going to use castile soap and make the gentlest of gentle foaming face washes. The jojoba oil in this recipe will make the soap even gentler and more moisturizing, and will also fight inflammation. Tea tree oil is a terrific bug killer—it fights infections and fungus and reduces inflammation almost instantly. Use this face wash on days when you wore a lot of makeup, slathered on thick sunscreen, took that hot yoga class, or worked in a coal mine."
· ½ cup of unscented castile soap (I love Dr. Bronner's—who doesn't?)
· 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
· 10 drops tea tree oil
"Pour your soap and oil into a bottle with a lid or pump, then add tea tree oil. Seal and shake well—it'll get bubbly, but also beautifully creamy and luxurious. Let it sit overnight before using, and shake before each use. Apply as you would your regular face cleanser—it will make a thin, sudsy soap. It'll last you a few months, but just make sure to keep water out."
Deep Sea Hydrating "Strips"
"Seaweed is so good for you internally and externally—it draws toxins from the skin, is full of B vitamins, clears away dead skin cells, and leaves you hydrated and dewy-fresh. Cucumbers are high in antioxidants and in vitamins C and K, which means they combat inflammation and aging. Cucumbers also have lots of vitamin A (natural retinol), which will even your skin tone and help you glow. Coffee is full of antioxidants and healthy oil for your skin. You're going to be using a little bit of brewed coffee for this recipe, since I know you have some every day (you junkie). This recipe is slightly advanced, but still really fun. And when you see how amazing your skin looks, feel free to toss the gross drugstore 'pore strips' from your cabinet."
· ½ cup cooled coffee
· ½ peeled cucumber, roughly chopped
· 1 sheet kombu seaweed
"Add the coffee and cucumber to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl and add the sheet of seaweed. Soak until it is completely rehydrated.
"To apply, first put a cotton ball into the cucumber and coffee mixture and dab on the skin. Then tear the kombu into strips and firmly press them all over your face, focusing on the under-eye area, forehead, nose, and any dry patches. Leave on and hang out, making sure to scare as many people as possible while you look like an underwater monster. When finished, peel off and rinse clean."
"You already know how important it is to take off your makeup! Of course, you can use simple kitchen-cabinet oils to remove your makeup, but oils feel heavy to some people (even the light ones), and if they get in your eyes while you're removing eye makeup, things can get a little blurry. The aloe in this remover cuts the oil. Sweet almond oil is gentle and will kill bacteria as it's wiping away your makeup, so you don't need to wash it off."
· 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
· 1 tablespoon aloe vera leaf, juice, or gel
"Combine ingredients in a small jar with a lid, seal, and shake well. Apply to your face with a cotton ball and leave on. The remover will settle and separate, so shake well every time you use it. You will get about a dozen applications from this recipe, depending on how much makeup you're removing. Store in a cool dark place and use within two to three weeks. Feel free to use it as a moisturizer, also."