Kat Burki: The skincare brand that lives up to its initial glow. We all know what it’s like to search for healthy, glowy skin. Our medicine cabinets and beauty counters are littered with past promises and half empty bottles. Bathroom shelfies are an insiders glimpse into the very psyche of what we prefer to slather on our faces. These shots on social media display products bought with high hopes that they will deliver amazing results. Unfortunately, most of these purchases are later tinged with the labels disappointment and regret. Kat Burki skincare is different. It’s a brand I can say with conviction works and delivers results. We plan to delve more into the brand in the coming months.
In the world of whirlwind Instagram beauty brands that are often weak on ingredients, Kat Burki is backed by solid clinical science. Our first foray into the brand is Retin-C Treatment Complex. Even though this serum is combined with retinol, it’s one of the best Vitamin C serums we have used. Read our in-depth review below and for those in a hurry, here is our pros and cons on the brand.
As a new year rolls around, much is written across websites and glossy fashion publications about what will be hot in the coming months. So many of these ‘must-have’ and ‘must-try’ lists and articles are forced and even phony. They don’t always have a genuine tone and that comes across glaringly obvious to me and probably other readers as well. (I can’t be the only one that sees these articles as fluff or even covert advertising.) Yet with my love of skincare and (hopefully) honest approach, here I am typing away about a brand I’d love to become more familiar with in 2018. The intriguing skincare line is called Kat Burki and it’s been on my radar for several months. There is no definitive moment when I discovered the brand; it was more of a cumulative find. Over several months I noticed Kat Burki write-ups on other skincare-focused sites and the brand popped up on favorite e-commerce beauty destinations. I was intrigued.
In the past, I disappeared down rabbit holes chasing and exploring new skincare brands. Articles in beauty magazines provided me with a field guide of sorts and off I went, exploring new brands hoping to catch the holy grail of skincare in the palm of my hand. (At the time my holy grail was clear skin and preventing wrinkles- probably the same for many skincare addicts.) Then and now, niche skincare products especially held many promises. With each new purchase, it seemed I was within grasp of perfectly luminous skin. Whether it was speciality boutiques or a smattering of sites in the digital sphere, skincare brands with a specific purpose captured my attention and my wallet- the more niche all the better. This was when the Internet was in its infancy and niche beauty sites were an amazing discovery. And then a sense of dullness set in.
After trying an army of different cleansers, scrubs, masks, etc., I wised up. No matter how striking the packaging, or the promises of an indie brand truly catering to specific skincare needs, only a handful of products truly deliver. Aside from a few favorites, most products just don’t work. You see, marketing truly works. (And in the age of social media, we soak up all the branding.) From millennial pink posts on Instagram to avant garde photo shoots, we love it. Genius marketing. What is more alluring than a glistening up-and-coming brand packed with promises of a fresh new perspective and potions that reveal clean sparkling pores? We have all fallen for the marketing, and we also know how this story ends: results aren’t as promised- even from niche beauty brands we tend to trust more. Over the years, I’ve spent more money trying new brands than I’d like to admit; however, I don’t regret experimenting with different products as I now understand what works for my skin. This is the perfect example of learning via trial and error. Sometimes with skincare you simply have to try a lot of different things (products) until you find what works.
And so here I am with a simplified and effective skincare routine. After several years of trying a variety of brands, I found what works for me: somewhat clinical brands combined with a variety of European and Asian products. The desert, or special treat, is a sprinkling of high-end products which are indulgent, but effective. The two hallmarks of my regime which never waiver are sunscreen and retintol. Had I not discovered them years ago, my face would have more fine lines and brown spots. Thanks to my two pals retinol and sunscreen, I no longer feel the need to purchase new products on a whim. Generally, I’m mildly satisfied with the way my skin looks. My routine is good. However, because I’m skincare obsessed, I’m not immune to occasionally splurging on a new brand. I will state that I’m not swayed by a lot of social media posts as many of them are paid and sponsored. My eyes gloss over scrolling past Instagram overlays full of the latest ‘it’ products and I’m not brainwashed by millennial pink. But there was something about Kat Burki’s brand that lured me in – perhaps because it isn’t oversaturated by ‘influencers’ peddling the products or maybe it was the green packaging. Either way, I wanted to know more.
The day after Thanksgiving – aka Black Friday – I ordered my first Kat Burki product. Space NK offered a lovely discount so into my digital cart went the brand’s retinol + Vitamin C serum: Retin-C Treatment Complex (I also ordered Eve Lom’s new cleanser.) What strikes me about Kat Burki skincare is that it’s not another ‘me too’ line. It’s a clever and thoughtful brand presented without a lot of fuss. A lot of brands don’t pass by BS detector; especially if they are vague about what each product stands for. I need to grasp the function of a product right away. When trying any brand that’s new to me, I always start with one product as a means to test the waters so to speak. If the product seems effective or exceptional, then the trajectory continues within the brand. I was hoping it would be positive results in trying one of Kat Burki’s products and so far, fingers crossed, it’s good.
Retin-C Treatment Complex
This serum is a combination of vitamin C and retinol. I’ll be honest and lay it out there – I’ve only used it a handful of times. “If you’ve had it for nearly 1.5 months, then why haven’t you used it every night?” you may ask. Valid point. A few days before Christmas I did a TCA peel. It’s important to let a deep peel heal for several weeks and I only use antibiotic ointment or a heay moisturizer during this time. (PSA: TCA peels are not for everyone and you should not use them. The average skincare user has not worked up to said peel.) Now that my skin is back on track, I’ve used Kat Burki’s Retin-C Treatment Complex every night for two weeks. Two things stand out each evening when applying on a freshly cleansed face: it’s more liquid-y than I anticipate (even though I should be used to it) and it sinks into the skin without leaving a film or balling up. What makes this serum so unique is the quality of vitamin c and retinol. It’s a Super Nutrient Complex vitamin C and Rovisome which is supposedly a less abrasive, but more effective form of retinol. Vitamin C works in tandem with retinol while maintaining its stability. And yes, in such a short time, I’ve noticed a difference in my skin. Small dark spots are slowly budging (but keep in mind, I work on them often) and overall my skin looks brighter. Again, I love that it sinks in easily and it also doesn’t leave a sticky feeling. Most days during the week, I’m a no makeup girl- ie, sunscreen only so I can tell when my skin looks better.
Dream Team: Vitamin C and Retinol
If you are tuned into skincare, you know vitamin C is an important topical antioxidant for the face. Among a powerful host of benefits, vitamin C helps combat free radicals and provides a working barrier to keep outside environmental hazards from damaging the skin. Another important point is it helps protect and stimulate collagen. Pesky pigmentation problems? Vitamin C helps fade those as well. I’ve known the benefits of vitamin C for years and I know many of you have as well. Here’s the problem – I’ve yet to find a vitamin C serum that actually works. I’ve tried many of the most highly touted and they either smell like hot dogs or don’t sink into my skin leaving a trail of a sticky, tacky mess. Not the best feeling when you need to apply sunscreen over it. Granted Retin-C Treatment Complex isn’t a full vitamin C serum, but it’s enough for me until I find a solo one that delivers.
For the uninitiated, retinol helps reverse sun damage and signs of aging. It does this by stimulating collagen and cell turnover. I use tretinoin (prescription vitamin A derivative) strength several times a week in the evening, but I’m also a fan of retinol which is over the counter and not as harsh. To be clear, not all over the counter retinols are the same. If I’m not going to use a prescription strength, I want to use the best and this formation contains just that.
Kat Burki’s Retin-C Treatment Complex combine vitamin C and A which work powerfully together and maintain stability to give skin maximum anti-aging benefits.
Kat Burki – Tailored Skincare
This year I can’t wait to delve more into Kat Burki skincare. Next up: The vitamin C cleansing balm. (I have a weakness for sampling nearly any cleansing balm I come across.) I’m at a good place with my paired down, nearly minimal routine (don’t forget my friends sunscreen and retinol), but I’m intrigued by Kat Burki and consider it a great discovery. What sets this skincare brand apart from the rest is its product integrity. All formulations are pharmaceutically compounded – dense individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage without fillers and water. Furthermore, the brand also integrates cold press technology into each product. Why is that important? All vital ingredients and antioxidants retain MAXIMAL EFFECTIVENESS in the processing stage. High heat degrades important ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, and oils. Whilst cold press technology allows ingredients to retain their highest levels of effectives.
Digital Space and Skincare Brands
We live much of our lives in the digital space and brands know this. Many of the most prominent ‘social’ beauty brands are brilliant digital marketers. Glance at their social feeds and you’ll notice captivating sleek images and overlays. These snapshots are beautiful and fabulous; these posts pull you in. They build a perceived lifestyle simply on packaging, marketing, and teaming up with the right influencers. It’s real, but it’s not real at the same time. How many of us have purchased something simply based on an Instagram post or ad? I have and I’m usually let down. Cute packaging and a lust-worthy Instagram feed only go so far if a skincare or beauty product doesn’t contain ingredients that deliver good results. The fact is, many of these digitally famous brands don’t have the science to back up all of the fancy branding. When it comes to nice skin, it’s about ingredients in the product, not packaging and photo shoot worthy snapshots.
The digital space is a massive marketing vehicle of the highest level tapping into our emotions and harnessing cravings to be a part of an aspirational world….even just for a moment. But here is the thing: much of the slick marketing is smoke and mirrors. We buy what looks amazing on social feeds or perhaps what an influencer is promoting; and then after several purchases trend fatigue sets in. We feel duped after receiving orders for products that don’t deliver or live up to expectations. More often then not, buzzy, social media beauty brands don’t invest money for ground breaking ingredients and stellar techniques. After all, it takes time to find the right chemists and implament scientific research. I want to know the ingredients in my skincare products and I also want to know that there is a science behind why they use them. Millennial pink packaging will only get you so far to people who care about their faces.
A Solid and Scientific Skincare Brand
Solid science and research create the strong backbone to Kat Burki skincare products and it’s one of the reasons the brand is an amazing discovery. After swearing off trying too many lines, it’s one of the few new brands that resonates with me. I can’t help but crave skincare rooted in something more meaningful than social media feeds and eye-catching packaging. I view Kat Burki as more than simply a skin-care brand; it’s health and wellness for your skin steeped in nutritional science. The products are nutrient dense, free of parabans, chemicals, and synthetic fragrance. Defining technology such as cold press and Super Nutrient Complexes™ used in every formulation are superheroes to an honest and thoughtful skincare brand. I’m glad I took the plunge with Burki’s Retin-C Treatment Complex. In upcoming months, I look forward to trying more of the line. On Kat Burki’s website there is a quote from the founder: “Our products change the landscape of conventional skincare.” True, very, very true. It’s wonderful to find a skincare brand that lives up to its own ethos.