By Mitchell Clute
Natural skin-care maven Adina Grigore is on a roll. Her first book, Skin Cleanse, just hit shelves [see accompanying recipe for a nourishing DIY skin mask]. Her S.W. Basics product line has met with seemingly instant success, with nine products launched recently in Target stores nationwide. Even celebs have weighed in, with Gwyneth Paltrow raving about the company on goop.com, saying, “Everything owner and founder Adina makes is completely natural and is made up of ingredients that you can find at the supermarket (or rather, the organic green market).”
But Grigore didn’t set out to revolutionize natural skin care. She just wanted to feel well. “The sensitivity I talk about in my book was something I dealt with my whole life,” Grigore says. “Eventually, I became a nutritionist and started to heal myself through healthy eating. Everything got better—except my skin.”
Reading the labels on skin-care products marked natural or organic, Grigore realized that almost every moisturizer, toner or scrub contained a mile-long ingredient list with plenty of unpronounceable chemicals. “I was still having rashes, breakouts and extreme discomfort with my skin,” recalls Grigore. “With diet, I knew my body responded better to simple, unprocessed ingredients. So I started using olive oil, sea salt and other kitchen staples, making products with five or fewer ingredients.”
Surprise—they worked. Grigore’s skin cleared up, and she began to share her insights with clients who suffered from similar sensitivities. “That’s where my whole mission came from—with diet and with skin, working to show people that simple is better,” Grigore says.
In 2009, Grigore began to teach DIY workshops, showing people how to create fantastically simple and nourishing products from ingredients they already had in the pantry. But after learning how to make recipes, they’d invariably ask, “Can I buy it from you?”
In fact, demand for ready-made DIY products was so high that Grigore launched S.W. Basics in 2011, using the same clean, simple formulations that she’d whipped up in her home kitchen, with ingredients like cultured vinegar and coconut oil. The whole line is USDA-certified organic, the exact standard used by organic foods.
Now her products are as close as the nearest Target store, but her book still stresses the DIY approach, giving people the information to understand what makes for healthy skin and the recipes to create the products they need. “I always recommend starting with a mask or exfoliant,” she says, “because they take two seconds to whip up and are super nourishing.”
Grigore is not a scientist or a doctor; she’s a regular person with a personal connection to the subject of healthy skin. “Writing a book was hard work,” she admits, “but I wanted people to understand that do-it-yourself is easy and accessible, and having good skin is in your own hands.”
It’s this passion that took her from a tiny online store on Etsy to a nationwide distribution deal with Target in just a few years. So, if you notice more people walking around with radiant skin, perhaps Grigore is the reason why.
Find out more about Grigore and her products at http://swbasicsofbk.com.