Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

                             

Most of the cleansers I use are very very gentle or suitable for more mature skin although I myself have combination skin that can break out. The reason I typically use gentle cleansers is because I learned that my skin is extremely sensitive. It is easy for cleansers to strip my skin or make it red/irritated. But lately my skin started looking dull and I knew I wasn’t exfoliating the dead skin off as frequently as I should.

I really wanted something that was more of a chemical exfoliant rather than a physical scrub, and I knew I wanted to try something from a clean brand. Enter Suki. I had seen Suki at Whole Foods before, right next to Dr.Hauschka but never really paid too much attention. It wasn’t until my friend sang their praises that I decided to look into the line. Suki calls itself the “ first & only synthetic-free skincare solution that truly integrates advanced technology with clinically-proven results.” I did my research and discovered that their Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser is one of their most popular products and decided this is the perfect product to try out!

The reason I was so curious to try this product, besides great reviews, is because the ingredients are all very clean AND it uses natural sugar as both the physicial and chemical exfoliator. Sugar provides a buffing effect that melts away upon contact with water, and the acids in sugar then gentle exfoliate dead skin cells. Here is the full ingredients list:

sucrose (sugar), potassium cocoate, oryza sativa (rice) powder, cymbopogon flesuosus (lemongrass) oil, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, lavendula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract & squalene, citrus aurantifolia dulcis (orange) peel extract, ascophyllum nodosum (seaweed) extract, *aroma/fragrance, limonene, linalool, geraniol
 
*component of 100% pure essential oils

Potassium cocoate is the 2nd ingredient listed and it is a coconut derived potassium salt used in cosmetics to cause the foaming action. It is listed on EWG as a relatively “low concern” chemical so I’m fine with it being used in that large quantity. Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol are chemicals you may often see especially from natural skincare companies. They are chemicals of plant origin used for fragrance. Limonene is extracted from citrus origin, Linalool is usually from lavender, mint, etc. and Geraniol is from Geranium. These can cause irritation in some people and Limonene is capable of oxidizing quickly unless there is a stabilizer. The aroma is composed of 100% pure essential oils which is great, usually I’d like to see which oils are used but since my main concerns with EOs have to do with plants that cause photosensitivity, this wasn’t too big of a deal since the entire product contains multiple ingredients that can cause photosensitivity. If it wasn’t clear from my last sentence, this is a product that should only be used at night, and per Suki’s instructions, no more than 3 times per week.

The product itself looks and feels very much like a soft, dried scrub. It is kind of airy and not dense. The product smells like lemon and reminded me the lemon drops. Upon washing I noticed that the scrubbing exfoliators typically melted away within 5-10 seconds, leaving almost a viscous gel that was significantly more gentle. The lemon scent stayed during the entire process but did give way to something that smelled like ginger. If you leave it on your face for a bit longer than you would a typical cleanser, you can really feel the product clear out the pores.

I was surprised at how effective this cleanser was, my skin felt clear, clean, but not stripped. I noticed that the area around my nose was a little red but also spotless. I don’t think it was too harsh but I could feel it working. Overall, I see why this is one of their best sellers, it is a delight to use: the scent is heavenly (I even snuck in a taste and yes, it tastes just like lemon candy), the results are spectacular, and I genuinely look forward to using this at night. The only cons are: this should really only be used at night due to the photosensitivity issue and my product came with not as much product as I thought based on the pictures. The picture you see above was one I took after my 2nd time using it, and I don’t use a lot – so I’m just a little bit disappointed there wasn’t more product in the jar. One thing to note, Suki does not recommend this product for those who have active cystic acne, and I can understand why – it would just irritate already unbalanced skin, but for everyone else this is a wonderful product to exfoliate skin.

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The Essential Clay Masks

(L) Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask Sample;
(R) Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque

I’ve been on an obsession with masks recently and I’ve noticed they seem to be divided among two camps of “purifying” masks and “nourishing” masks. My skin is at that stage where a mask that is solely purifying is not enough since I need that extra something to make it glow, and a mask that is purely nourishing is too rich for my blemish prone skin. So I started paying more attention to clay masks.

Kahina’s Antioxidant Mask and Aesop’s Primrose Masque aren’t like the pore-vacuuming clay masks of yesteryear that left skin irritated and stripped. These masks infuse skin with nutrients like antioxidants, nourishing botanical oils, and minerals that give skin a wonderful glow while decongesting pores.

Aesop’s Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque has an earthy, green scent that won’t offend most senses. The product is a hardened clay so you will need to use the heat from your fingers to liquefy it a little so it melts easily on the face. It uses Kaolin clay and Bentonite, which are very ancient traditional cosmetic ingredients used to draw out toxins and impurities. There is also Evening Primrose Oil, Rose Canina Fruit Oil, and Sage Oil which provide antioxidants, Vitamin E, and hydration.

I found this masque a little messy to scoop since it is a little hard, which is why the sides of the bottle are a little messy. But applying on the face was a breeze. My skin didn’t really feel anything when I had it on, even when it dried, my face wasn’t stiff and stone-like. I love that upon drying, it turns to a white crust on top of the skin so it washes off very easily and cleanly. The only thing is it wasn’t as strong as the mask by Kahina in drawing out impurities and hydrating. 

Kahina’s Antioxidant Mask utilizes Rhassoul Clay, which is a mineral rich clay mined from the Atlas mountain region in Morocco. This type of clay is very rich in skin friendly minerals such as silica and magnesium. Kahina’s Antioxidant mask is richer in hydrating and nutrient dense ingredients such as Argan Oil, Sunflower seed oil, Acai Fruit Oil, Pomegranate seed Extract, and Rosemary Leaf Extract. I love that Argan Oil, which Kahina is known for, is included so high in the ingredients list because it balances out the drawing properties of the clay perfectly so your skin is being nourished as well. There are definitely more antioxidant rich ingredients in this formula which is important for repairing your skin.

Upon using this sample, I noticed the mask is significantly lighter than the Aesop mask. The clay scoops very easily onto my finger and applies effortlessly onto my skin. Because it was so easy to apply, I really didn’t need a lot of it to cover my entire face. I noticed some granules in the formula which provide gentle exfoliation. The scent is interesting, it shares a definite clay scent with the Aesop product but this product has undertones of key botanical oils of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Geranium which is very refreshing. I felt a little bit of a tingling sensation along the pores next to my nose so I knew this product was more active than Aesops. Upon washing the mask, I found that it turned into almost a foamy cleanser. I was pretty surprised at that! I felt that despite being a stronger purifier, this also left my skin more nourished, most likely due to the more abundant number of skin repairing antioxidant actives. I was also surprised after washing off that my skin was a little flushed, not red in an irritated way, but a healthy glow showing that there was some circulation to my skin. 

I think both products are wonderful with the edge going to Kahina due to higher quality of ingredients, more abundant ingredients, and a more effective product that both purifies and nourishes. Ultimately both will provide great detoxification and carry good antioxidant nutrition, so you can’t go wrong!

Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque ($47) 

Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask ($62)