Kat Burki's Raw Power


Until very recently, I thought having a natural skincare routine meant that I could make it up myself. Burn with tea tree, soothe with rosehip oil, highlight with coconut oil—what else could there possibly be? What indeed. I had much, much to learn.

I first heard of Kat Burki when I met Alice Lane. Her skin looked great, and I asked her what she used. “KAT BURKI!” she literally exclaimed, and made me touch her face. Apparently, Julianne Moore and Linda Evangelista are fans (and I was sold at Julianne Moore). The whole idea is a step beyond just 'natural'—Kat Burki’s tagline is “Raw Beauty.” “Raw' because all the oils used are cold-pressed, and no ingredient’s been heated over 120 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve its structural integrity and natural benefits. And “beauty' because, well, it follows quickly upon application. Seriously. This line is what happens when you leave natural to the professionals. Let me talk you through my new routine:

First comes the Ocean Mineral Face Wash. “Lather' is too strong a word, but there’s an gentle element of white-tipped froth as you work in the formula. The finish is neither stripped clean nor residually oily, and your face dries clean enough to really want the follow-up Rose Peony Beauty Elixir—the best toner/spray/elixir I’ve ever used, hands down. I can actually feel my skin plump up and smooth out. It invites a quick facial massage to smooth it around and dries downright silky.

Then I squirt on a drop of the Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum—the highest ticket item of the range and the easiest riding on your face. It’s got rosehip, as you may expect, and neem oil. This thing makes a difference. You do feel instantly that you’re sagging a little less—it’s my one-pump cure for morning face. The nice thing, too, is that even on the label, there isn’t the expected push for you to use every product all the time—even if you do have the whole line, it’s suggested you alternate using this serum with the Power Trio Radiance Oil. The components of the titular trio? Kukui nut oil, raspberry seed oil, and tamanu oil (with none of that tamanu stink). This oil feels like something people would have died trying to get in the Middle Ages. Disregard any appeal for “dime-sized' portions (as if you can measure a liquid that way). Get just a little on fingers and do the whole jazz hands/sparkle fingers thing on your face—a little goes an incredibly long way. And it seems to be garnering a fair amount of attention, being written up everywhere from Modern Aesthetics to Dermatology News to OK! Magazine (which reminds me, I have to renew my subscription to Dermatology News).

Finally, the Vitamin C Intensive Day Cream. Don’t let the name fool you—it’s just as great (and possibly better suited as) a night cream. I hesitate to use the word “whipped' because it’s even more delicious of a texture—and the smell! Really all Burki products here, but especially this one, smell like that meadow of singing flowers that Alice lies down and dreams in in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, or what always imagined it to smell like—potent, yet mild, floral yet wholesome, not flatly sweet nor medicinally pungent...a meadow of singing flowers.

I understand that the line isn’t exactly a “steal.” but let me say that after a few weeks of use, I turned into one of those proselytizers who demands you touch her face—my boyfriend even used the word “dewy.” which I didn’t know he knew was a thing. So, if you’re into the natural thing and can admit that your own technique could stand improvement, consider the expertise of Kat Burki.

—Trace Barnhill

Photographed by Tom Newton.