Skin Care Powered by Functional Nutrition - Part 2
By Kat Burki
March 7, 2021
In 2008 I was working in the healthcare profession and renovating homes on the side. I was lucky enough to meet skincare formulators from upstate New York. They were hand batch formulators, who also had a solid understanding of ingredients. I had no idea that this world existed and didn’t realize, at the time, what exactly was to come as far as Kat Burki Skincare was concerned. I was merely intrigued, and incredibly impressed, with their work. Understanding the basic principles of nutrition and healing - it was inspiring to think you could actually create formulas to heal an organ, through topical applications.
They taught me the importance of small batches, and processing under low heat to keep the integrity of the nutrients. This was a concept that resonated with me from my background in Nutrition. By 2010, I was having them create formulas which I then experimented with in little sample tubes. My goal was to create an ingredient deck that, not only performed as it should, but also where every ingredient supported the other. The concept derives from nutritional science, and of course physiology. Our bodies are incredibly intricate, and extremely dependent on multiple variables to perform at their best and to obtain homeostasis (complete balance). Interestingly, the same applies to food. Food is not only what fuels our body, it HEALS our body. It is an extension of the tools that our body (skin included) needs to heal, to perform and to protect.
Formulating from this perspective was novel and very exciting to me. In 2011, I met with professionals from the industry. Remember, I had ZERO influence or experience in the beauty business prior to this. I was going to meetings with little bottles of the vitamin C intensive face cream – primarily for personal use – and I mean all sorts of meetings. They included my corporate work, my design jobs and even meetings to develop the potential of Kat Burki Skincare! I was so enthralled with what the Vit C Cream did for my skin that I applied it all day – everyday.
I got up the nerve to create the idea of a skincare line called Kat Burki RAW BEAUTY. I wanted to put forth the concept of Super Nutrient Complexes, Compounded and Cold Processed in the name and marketing of the products. In September 2013, we launched with four products in Henri Bendel, NYC. I think this name really helped us to stand out in a crowded world market and be given a try. We also grew at this time, being in NYC, through make- up artists. They were a bit ahead of the game and understood healthy ingredients. Equally as important, they saw that our products truly worked, and made the models’ skin radiate on the runway and in photo shoots.
Because our products are formulated to be extensions of the tools the skin fundamentally needs, they absorb quickly. Rapid absorption is a huge test in the caliber of a product. Your body, like drinking water, A) recognizes the ingredients and B) needs them! This is another reason why our products do so well with makeup artists – they need to be absorbed quickly before the make-up can be applied. Although this pocket of the world was appreciating our products and, conceptually, what we were all about, the rest of the U.S. hadn’t evolved as quickly. However, Internationally, things were flourishing for us, and we grew very quickly as health and wellness and clean concepts were taking off all over the rest of the world.
As the U.S. started to embrace the natural and organic market, I did not want my brand to be in that category. Our products were not merely a marketing ploy, I was adamant to have the concept, and the Nutritional Science behind it, understood. I refused a lot of “Natural” stories and retail placements for this very reason. I believe natural and organic should be a given. It’s the rest of the science that makes this a truly outside the box skincare line. Eventually, we dropped ‘Raw Beauty’ from the name, and simply left ‘Kat Burki’ – the person behind these formulas and the rest is really history.
We are now positioned in a world that has been touched by Health & Wellness universally. Our understanding has reached an entirely new level. This connected thinking should be embraced, and we launched ‘Nourish’ in the Summer of 2020 for exactly this purpose. I look forward to, not only learning more on my own personal journey, but also applying true Nutritional Science to applications and education that actually help people in their healing journey.
Our body and skin HEALS itself – this is beyond celebratory. It’s not just one ingredient that heals (it never is), but groups that work together in a rhythmic harmony, that only Nature controls. We just study, and apply, and appreciate all that it is.