Our Rating: 5 stars

If you are fed up of ingredients lists that are eye burners and undermine your self-confidence in the pronunciation department, than prepare to be refreshed by an introduction to S.W. Basics, a skincare company whose products are formulated with five ingredients or less. I’ve been testing the S.W. Basics Toner (4oz/$24) and am, quite simply, impressed.

I can’t wait to tell you the cutest part, S.W. Basics actually names the farm where one of the ingredients in my Toner comes from. The five ingredients in S.W. Toner are water, raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel (from Wild Crops Farm), essential oils of clary sage and sandalwood.

S.W. Basics doesn’t just think less is more, as founder Adina Grigore says “less is everything”. With no synthetics or fillers, but just the essentials, the products are more potent and the prices keen.

I follow S.W.Basics advice and use the toner at night and find that it does deliver on its promise to neutralize pH so that morning skin is less oily and less dry. It is pleasant to use as well (providing you are OK with the smell of apple cider vinegar). The toner is a little cloudy, again the result of the apple cider. Which reminds me, what about those five ingredients in S.W. Basics Toner?

Apple cider vinegar seems to have a skin tightening function. It turns up as a cellulite cure, but this may have to do with the belief (some people take it as a supplement) that it aids weight loss. I would imagine that apple cider vinegar is also a natural exfoliant because it is high in AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). It is also supposed to restore pH balance and be really helpful for acne. (See my DIY parsley face mask with apple cider vinegar).

Witch hazel is a firm favorite of mine and a sadly underrated and even maligned ingredient. It is primarily an astringent, a chemical compound that shrinks or constrict body tissues. A skin soother and possible eczema cure, witch hazel was also found to have strong activity against reactive oxygen in skin tissue. 

The inclusion of clary sage oil may also have an effect on my disposition towards S.W Basics since it is said to put you in a good mood.

Ingredients in S.W. Basics Toner: Water, raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, essential oils of sage and sandalwood