Holy Grail for Oily Skin

Beauty | 9.10.2014 | Katja Kokko


I have spent the past month or so testing a variety of products from the American brand Suki, and I remain impressed. The products are true to Suki’s premise: technical and effective – and 100% natural.

Still, the claim of 100% naturalness is not a gimmick, and the products don’t contain excessive amounts of consistency modifying, chemically processed fillers. 100% natural is not the same as 100% organic, or that the ingredients are chemically unprocessed. What always catches my eye at first is the so-called base ingredients (vegetable oils and extracts, and flower waters); I check the water content of the product, as well as the amount of non-organic natural ingredients, and finally, what other ingredients are included. I have nothing against technical or quality improving substances if are the kinds that are on the approved-list of natural cosmetics. However, the ideal product for me would be one that is technical and efficient, yet containing a minimal amount of chemically processed fillers. This makes for a challenging combination as far as cosmetics is concerned, and it is by no means feasible for all products. The world of natural cosmetics is very interesting, and I’m interested in combining technicality and simplicity.


The first products from Suki that I tested were the fruit acid peel and purifying serum, which I still use regularly, and which I think are basically perfect. I also fell in love with the concealer, which I have dubbed The World’s Best Concealer, and which is now one of my go-to products.

Besides these three, I’ve also tested a cleanser, a foaming sugar peel, a clarifying toner, and a balancing day lotion. I think this might be the holy grail of oily and combination skin.


Here’s a thousand dollar tip for penny pinchers: The Creamy Foaming Cleanser is the most long lasting cleanser in the history of skin care. I have had the 120 ml (4oz) bottle since the end of August and I’ve barely made a dent in it. At this rate, I’ll still be using it by next spring. How boring! I’m only joking – I’ll be trying out other products in the mean while.

You only need the smallest amount of the cleanser, and you get a good wash out of it. If applied to dry skin it will form a thick creamy foam, while moisture will make it go soapy. It’s this soapiness which makes it alkaline, which is the only reason it cannot beat Patyka’s 3step – cleanser. This cleanser is a bit too washing for my skin, possibly contributing to its current surface dryness. For oily or combination skin, however, this product is golden.

The INCI tells us that the oils used in it have been saponified. There is chamomile extract to calm the skin, shea butter for moisture, apple enzymes for gentle exfoliation, as well as acai oil and grape seed extract, both of which are high in skin repairing antioxidants

high-potency (aqua, organic rosa centifolia) rose concentrate™, potassium cocoate (saponified coconut oil), potassium jojobate (saponified jojoba oil), sodium sunflowerate (saponified sunflower oil), sodium sesamate (saponified sesame oil), matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract, fair trade butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, organic tocopherol (vitamin E) helianthus annuus, sodium caseinate (coconut milk protein), euterpe oleracea (acai oil) fruit, pyrus malus (apple) fruit enzyme extract, cyamopsis tetragonoloba (guar) gum, 100% pure (fragrance) essential oils, limonene*.


The Concentrated Clarifying Toner is currently competing for top position with two other brilliant toners (which I will tell you more about later). I’m simply a sucker for spray/mist toners and the ingredients in this one are spot on, too. I love Suki’s trademark scent, which is refreshing, almost herbal, especially when I get to spray it on first thing in the morning. The toner is suited for normal, combination, blemished, sun damaged and rosacea skin.

The active ingredients are gently exfoliating and purifying willow bark extract, hydrating and renewing vitamin C, soothing chamomile and marigold, skin renewing rose-hip, softening aloe vera, and purifying tea tree oil.

high-potency (aqua, organic rosa centifolia) rose concentrate™, organic alcohol denat (sugar cane extracted with lavender oil) with lavandula, phospholipids (liposomal delivery system), salix alba (TLC salicylic acid™ from white willow), ascorbyl palmitate (TLC vitamin C™), calming complexion complex™ (chamomilla recutita (matricaria chamomile) flower extract, organic rosa canina (rose hip) seed extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract), vegetable glycerin, organic aloe barbedensis (aloe) leaf powder, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, organic ascophyllum nodosum (seaweed) extract, 100% pure (fragrance) essential oils, linalool*.


The Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser is one of Suki’s best known and loved products. I get the giggles every time I look at the bottle and read the words extrait de citronelle, or lemongrass extract, because for some reason I always read it as limoncello instead. The sweet citrus scent of the cleanser makes me think of summer and limoncello, and that small hint of Italy is enough to endear me to it.

The exfoliating sugar granules melt on the skin, and applying water makes the consistency turn into a creamy foam, which I find very interesting. It does have the same soapy feel to it as the cleanser, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the product enough to have hit pan (so to speak) before I had a chance to photograph it. According to Suki, the product is suitable for all skin types, but I personally think dry, sensitive, or inflamed and blemished skins should give this a miss. If you want to boost your wash, or if you have thick, porous, and oily skin, I recommend a good limoncello scrub once or twice a week.

With a combination of citrus (lemongrass and orange peel, in this case) and lavender, there’s just no way you can go wrong.

natural (sugar) sucrose, organic potassium cocoate (saponified coconut oil), organic oryza sativa (rice) powder, cymbopogon flexuosus (lemongrass) oil, avena sativa (colloidal oat™) l., poaceae, citrus aurantium dulcis (sweet orange) peel extract, squalane (from olive oil), calming complexion complex™ (chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower/leaf extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract), carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, organic ascophyllum nodosum (seaweed) extract, 100% pure (fragrance) essential oils, limonene*, citral*.


The Balancing Day Lotion was my best friend this summer once I ran out of Supermood’s Egoboost day cream. My friend Inke and I had a conversation about high quality moisturizers recently. Inke finds rich creams luxurious in general, whereas I take a more functional point of view. Oily skin benefits from a very thin lotion, or a fluid, with lots of moisture but very little oil. It is the best thing for oily and combination skin, as well as inflamed acne. A cleansing serum and, as the weather has turned colder, a light oil applied under the fluid in the evenings and even mornings is important. There are no useless fillers in this lotion either, only a list of good active ingredients, such as the familiar willow bark extract, vitamin A-rich moth bean extract, anti-inflammatory Echinacea, and a whole host of repairing oils like borage seed oil and grape seed oil.

high-potency (aqua rosa centifolia) rose concentrate™, alcohol denat (sugar cane extracted with lavender oil) with lavandula, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, ceraalba (beeswax), oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, anthemis nobilis (roman chamomile) flower oil, cetearyl alcohol, food grade acacia (gum arabic) senegal gum, phospholipids (liposomal delivery system), salix alba (TLC salicylic acid™ from white willow), vigna aconitifolia (TLC retinol vitamin A™ from moth bean) seed extract, corylus avellana (hazelnut) seed oil, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, echinacea purpurea (echinacea) flower extract, fair trade butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, tocopherol (vitamin E) helianthus annuus, calming complexion complex™ (chamomilla recutita (matricaria chamomile) flower/leaf extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract), aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf powder, matricaria recutita (german chamomile) flower oil, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, olea europaea (olive oil) fruit, squalane (from olive oil), (lecithin) brassica campestris, food grade xanthan gum, maltodextrin, 100% pure (fragrance) essential oils, linalool*, citronellol*, limonene*, geraniol*, farnesol*, citral*, eugenol*.

And since we’ve been discussing the importance of oils – Suki has a Balancing Oil for blemished skin.

Have you tested any of these products, and what did you think?

Suki’s products are available in Finland at Naturelle, amongst others. Using the code KATJA15 at checkout will give you 15% off all products until the end of November. Applicable to normal priced products only.


Products provided for testing by Naturelle

Alvar magazine featured in photos

Photos Katja Kokko


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