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Adina Grigore’s Three Favorite Ingredients for Making Your Own Skincare

BY lauren elizabeth 02/02/2016


Yes, Adina Grigore built her own super-gentle and -effective skincare line S.W. Basics, but she still encourages people to concoct their own lotions ‘n potions (hey, it’s empowering!). In fact, she launched a line of (prettily packaged) DIY Essentials—ingredients like rosewater and tea tree oil—to get you mixing ‘n matching for solutions as unique as your sometimes insanely frustrating, special-snowflake skin. That said, some of her very favorite ingredients are probably already sitting in your kitchen cabinets. “Start really, really slow and really, really simple and really, really cheap,” she says. “People think it's a whole thing to do DIY, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming at all.” Behold, her straight-outta-the-pantry picks and what to do with them.



“Olive oil is a beautiful skincare ingredient—and all by itself. I personally like olive oil as a head-to-toe body moisturizer because it’s a really wholesome ingredient. Don’t be afraid to just slather it on! Also, olive oil is a really nice, gentle way to remove things from your skin, including, but not limited to makeup. I love to use it to take masks off—a lot of people are really into those one-use sheet masks right now, which leave behind a lot of residue that can be difficult to get off just using water—olive oil just cuts right through that, and same with those thick clay masks. Plus, it saves you that step of moisturizing after the mask. Another thing people don’t realize is that you can add olive oil to any product you already have to make it richer—so if you love your moisturizer or body wash but are feeling extra-dry, you can stir in a little bit of olive oil to pump it up a bit.”


Take It to the Next Level: “You can make two-ingredient scrubs out olive oil (or coconut oil) so easily, and it’s a nice way to experiment to find what’s right for your skin. On the more gentle end of the spectrum, stirring oat flour or garbanzo flour into a few tablespoons of oil is great, and your skin is still gets all the nutrients, like zinc and iron, that you get when you eat something like chickpeas (you can scoop some hummus while you’re doing it and get double the benefits!). Those have a nice, fine texture too, so it’s not too harsh, and they’re good for people with oily skin.”



“Dump some sea salt into your next bath to help sore muscles and skin tone. Body breakouts don’t get talked about that much, but a lot of people try to deal with them with body washes, which can be really harsh. Doing a sea salt soak instead if you’re super-sweaty or just going through a rough patch can help clean up any bacteria or gunk.”


Take It to the Next Level: “The same way that you can stir olive oil into any of your products to make them moisturizing, you can stir sea salt into things like your cleanser to to turn them into an exfoliant. If you’ve tried the lighter scrubs, like the oat flours, and are ready for something more intense, you can press sea salt into coconut oil or olive oil to make a body scrub. Skin is such a sensitive thing—people get really discouraged if they try one thing and it doesn’t work, but maybe if, say oat flour doesn’t do anything for you, don’t get discouraged—maybe try sea salt instead! DIY works for everyone; you just have try out ingredients until you find the thing that really makes your skin happy.”



“Dilute a small amount of apple cider vinegar into water and use it as a toner and astringent—if you mix a few tablespoons with water, it will last a really long time. Over time, it will get cloudier and more fermented, so it’s actually getting more potent. If it gets too strong, just start a new batch.”


Take It to the Next Level: “My favorite thing to tell people to do is take a big plastic cup into the shower with you, fill it a quarter or half full of apple cider vinegar—if you have super sensitive skin, definitely start light on the vinegar. Once the water in the shower gets really hot, fill up the rest of the cup with warm water, then start at the center of your scalp and pour the cup over. You want it to get into all of your hair—I tend to pour a little into my scalp and run my fingers through, but you want it to completely run down your face, down your entire body—it’s just a really gentle pH-balancing treatment for your whole body. You’re getting rid of excess buildup on your scalp, and when you get out of the shower, you don’t need to do any other toning. Also, I know everyone says you should buy the brands with the ‘mother,’ but that does gross some people out—so I say, just buy it in whatever version means you’ll be comfortable using it. It’ll still do you good.”




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