Make Hydration Chic Again: Q&A with bkr

Plus, the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin.

We catch up with bkr co-founders Tal Winter and Kate Cutler to learn more about the beauty inspiration behind their brand –  and see their newest collection!

Q&A With bkr

What inspired you to start bkr? 

Both our moms have gorgeous skin. They taught us early on that water is the foundation of an effective beauty regimen. But, at some point we found ourselves drinking from disposable plastic. It didn’t make sense that people who care so much about what they eat and put into their bodies were essentially drinking from trash. We couldn’t find a reusable bottle we loved, so we made exactly what we wanted: something beautiful, effortless, pure and chic.

Today our mission remains the same: to make the chic hydrated, and the hydrated chic.


How did you come up with the name? 

bkr (pronounced “beaker”) is a throwback to high school chemistry class when we all used glass beakers. In keeping with our minimalist aesthetic, we spell it with the least amount of letters possible.

Can you tell us more about the science behind hydration?

Plump cells are happy cells. Water naturally brightens and de-puffs eyes, firms and detoxifies your skin, improves your complexion, reduces wrinkles. Skin that is well hydrated is elastic and more toned. Hydration prevents and improves wrinkles and smooths lines. It keeps your lips soft and pink and it adds radiance.  If you’re just 2% dehydrated it shows on your face and you won’t be looking or feeling your best.  And 2% is just when you’re thirsty.

Tell us more about about the sustainability benefits of bkr bottles. 

The environmental impact of disposed plastic is tremendous. First, we’re using an insane amount of fuel to move water from countries that in some cases don’t have clean water, to countries where clean water already flows freely right from the tap. Then, plastic doesn’t biodegrade. Most of it ends up in landfill where it never really goes away.

Eight million metric tons of plastic waste gets into the world’s oceans each year — and it’s impractical and impossible to fully clean once it’s in the ocean.


There’s also the health impact. The type of plastic that typically is used to make disposable water bottles is called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a petroleum-based material which may or may not leach DEHA and phthalates — known carcinogens — into the water. It also may or may not leach antimony, a trace metal that is necessary for the manufacture of PET and is linked to lung, heart and gastrointestinal diseases. And if you reuse disposable water bottles, the bacteria that settles in the cracks and scratches of the porous plastic might even pose a greater health risk than the unknown leaching risk.

Glass is better, in every way. It’s better for your body and the earth. It’s chemically inert; it doesn’t alter the taste of its contents and doesn’t allow any unsafe chemicals to leach and make you sick. And it’s a fully recyclable material: it can be recycled endlessly, and recovered glass is used as the majority ingredient in new glass containers.

Without question, everything tastes better out of glass.


Exactly how much water do you drink in a day? 

When we were younger our entire beauty regimen consisted of 8 glasses of water, 8 hours of sleep, a little mascara and a swipe of lip gloss. We try to drink 96 oz (3L) a day no matter what because that’s the amount of water at which we feel and look our best. We’ll have one Big in the morning while we’re getting ready for our day, two Littles in the afternoon as we run from meeting to meeting and one Big in the evening before bed, usually curled up with Netflix.

We LOVE your new collection. Can you tell us more about the inspiration and where we can all find one?

Thanks, we’re obsessed over here too! The Big Spiked Collection is an expression of love for fearless, intoxicating, unordinary art that makes us feel something on the spectrum between humor, strength, discomfort and joy.

We take inspiration from Zack Seckler’s surreal punk afternoon tea photograph, to Jenny Holzer’s “Protect Me From All Your Bullshit” urban guerrilla installation, Christian Louboutin’s stiletto nail polish, Damien Hirst’s “Lullaby” and everything else that is ferocious, unconventional, exhibitionist, mostly chaotic, oddly calm and beautifully soulful. You can get one at or

Thanks, Tal and Kate! For a limited time, HUM subscribers can enjoy 15% off their purchase on with the code: HUM. Accessories, sets and the Big Spiked Collection are excluded from this offer – but you can stock up on all your favorite bkr classics!

(Code cannot be combined with other offers and expires Monday, 8/7 at 11:59pm PST.)

A Lesson In Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

Finally, if you thought dry skin and dehydrated skin were the same thing, think again! Dry skin lacks oil while dehydrated skin lacks water. Your skin might be dry, dehydrated or a combination of both. We put together this handy infographic to spot the difference and solve for the ultimate in dewy skin.

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