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VegNews offers skin care gem

I was flipping through my VegNews magazine a few weeks ago and spotted an article on new and notable products in which Suki's Naturals, a skincare company from Northfield, Massachusetts was mentioned. I was intrigued by the philosophy and vision of the company and the products: completely natural products using fresh, live ingredients made by hand in small batches ensuring the most potent and active results. Sounds good to me, so how would the products be? I got an 8-piece mini skin care kit ($20) to find out.

Inside the kit are tiny, about-3-days-worth-of-product versions of Suki's full-sized product line. I incorporated all of the products into my daily routine until they were gone, starting with Exfoliating Lemongrass Cleanser ($22.50 for 5.7 oz full-sized jar). This is a citrusy rice powder, sugar and olive oil scrub with botanicals like chamomile, lavender, sage, calendula, rose hips, lemongrass, orange, and seaweed. You gently massage the scrub on the skin until the sugar breaks down and the olive oil lathers up a bit. I really liked this cleanser and used it every morning in the shower until it was gone (the 1.7 oz mini jar lasted me about 3 days); I noticed my skin looked smoother and more awake, and was not irritated by the ingredients or the manual exfoliation (just be gentle).

At night I used the Cleansing Lotion ($20.75 for 5.7oz full-sized bottle) to both remove my makeup and cleanse my face. The tiny vial was only enough for two applications (I apply my lotion cleansers generously), and I think it felt like a cross between a cleansing oil and a lotion. There are all kinds of fresh, organic goodies in here: sage, thyme, organic oat milk, organic sunflower and grapeseed oils, organic chamomile, sage, thyme, rosemary, fennel, witch hazel, kaolin, cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, lemon oil. I found it removed makeup very easily and didn't sting or irritate my skin at all. I would definitely consider the larger size of this cleanser in the future.

Following cleansing, I carefully rationed from the tiny vial some concentrated White Willow Facial Toner ($21.25 for 5.1oz full-sized spray bottle) on a cotton pad. I was skeptical about how my skin would react to this particular toner (versus the shitake one that Suki makes for dry skin), because of the astringent properties of white willow, tea tree, and witch hazel. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my skin took to it, with no dryness or irritation. I think this toner combined with the lemongrass cleanser helped to make my skin smoother and less flaky. This toner also contains rose petals, chamomile, calendula, comfrey, aloe vera, natural vitamin C, retinol liposomes, seaweed extracts, and steam distilled essential oils.

I have used blended essential oils on my face for a long time now, either for added moisture, to reduce inflammation, or help knock out breakout bacteria, and I find they can be really useful in combination with my regular skin care routine. In my mini kit I tried the Blue Chamomile Facial Serum ($23 for .75oz full-sized bottle), targeted at oily, blemished, or combination skin. Because you don't need much, this mini vial lasted me the longest of any product in the kit; after using it twice a day for four days, I still have probably one application left. I found it helped with both some flaky, red patches on my face, and reducing inflammation on a small pimple I had during the trial period. I was pleased with the chamomile oil and would be interested in trying the carrot version for dry skin next time (in the winter I tend to get very dry).

Even though the facial oil often felt like enough moisture, I still followed every application with the Velvet Facial Creme ($24.50 for 1.7oz full-sized bottle), and I think they are a good pair. The velvet cream is very light, absorbs quickly, and leaves a natural, rather than oily, finish, so I could use it with my makeup and not feel like I was covering an oil slick. The skin type chart in the kit box that has information on which products are best for each skin type indicates that this cream is not necessary for blemished skin or skin that is inflammed, but I applied it to areas of my face that had some blemishes and redness, and I found it really helped. The formula has organic chamomile, calendula, green tea, jojoba, hazelnut, rice germ, borage, evening primrose, apricot oil, standardized white willow, organic rose hip, comfrey, vitamin c, retinol liposomes, shea butter, beeswax, aloe, lecithin and pure, steam distilled essential oils.

The kit also includes vials of Hand & Body Velvet Creme ($21.25 for 5.7oz full-sized bottle) and Delicate Moisture Body Oil ($18.25 for 5.1oz full-sized bottle), and a small jar of Hand & Body Butter Cream ($15 for 1.7oz full-sized jar). The hand and body cream has a nice light texture but also moisturizes very well, and the butter cream was a favorite for me for the very dry, rough areas of my hands. I was not crazy about the body oil simply because it smells to woodsy for me. All in all I was very pleased with my Suki's Naturals experience. I hope they are able to expand to a store in my area. You can find out more about Suki's Naturals at sukisnaturals.com.

- Heather

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Posted February 8, 2005

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