Other than containing a small amount of fragrant plant extracts that pose a slight risk of irritation, this is a good, though pricey, skin-lightening product for normal to dry skin. Rather than being medicated with hydroquinone, for this version Somerville opted for alpha-arbutin and a form of vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate), though the amount of the latter is likely too low to have much impact on brown spots. Still, the alpha-arbutin is potentially helpful due to its relation to hydroquinone, and keeps this skin-lightening product on our list of good options, though you don’t need to spend this much to get a well formulated skin-lightening product.
Do you dream about perfectly even skin tone? You can actually brighten the look of dark or uneven areas while you sleep. Complexion Correction Overnight Discoloration Perfector is a high-performance treatment intended to even out the appearance of complexion. This advanced, multi-pronged solution helps to minimize discoloration and reduce the visible signs of aging.
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Malate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Alpha-Arbutin, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Glyceryl Stearate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Polyacrylate-13, Salicylic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Polyisobutene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Steareth-20, Steareth-10, Xanthan Gum, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Diacetyl Boldine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate
The woman behind this line is a Los Angeles–based aesthetician who owns her own clinic, which specializes not only in aesthetic services but also in cosmetic corrective procedures involving injections (dermal fillers), lasers, Botox, and the like. The clinic is staffed with a doctor and nurses, which is definitely what you want if you're considering services beyond a facial or a massage.
The selling points of this line are Somerville's years of experience in the aesthetics industry and her allegedly devoted celebrity clientele. As such, her products and famous clientele get press in the pages of fashion magazines, which explains why we routinely get asked about this skin-care line. Somerville herself is every bit as attractive as her star clients, and the information on her Web site is presented in such a way that you sincerely believe she has your skin's best interests in mind. And wouldn't you want to trust your skin's needs to a professional who also tends to celebrities?
Knowing all these details, we were anticipating that most of the products bearing Somerville's name would be state-of-the-art slam dunks. Alas, many of them are far afield from that level of formulation. When it comes to giving skin what it needs to function as healthily and normally as possible (and, at these prices, that's what you should expect), this line is, unfortunately, hit or miss. What Somerville knows about giving an amazing facial is one thing, but she clearly missed the research that proves how problematic several of the plant oils that she uses can be. A professional concerned with the health of her clients' skin shouldn't be formulating products with cinnamon, grapefruit, and lavender oils, among others.
If we were one of Somerville's clients, we'd certainly take her to task for that oversight, but we'd also want to know why she offers only one sunscreen and doesn't offer any effective AHA or BHA exfoliants. A discussion of advanced skin science and state-of-the-art ingredients is not sufficient if your product line has gaps: limited sun protection options, no reliable exfoliants, no non-drying cleansers, and a complete lack of options to treat skin discolorations (pigment irregularities, unlike blackheads, cannot be manually extracted, which makes the absence of a skin lightening product an issue).
This product line may not be the one you want to build your skin-care routine around, but there are some exceptional products. Of all the aesthetician-backed lines we've reviewed, none come as close to providing the level of formulary excellence of many of Somerville's moisturizers and serums. They're pricey, but if you're going to spend in excess for skin-care products, you should be doing so on products that stand a very good chance of markedly improving your skin’s appearance. We are curious to see how this product line will expand and (hopefully) improve over the years. The current mishmash of awesome and awful products makes it risky to shop this line blindly (or on the sole rationale of a celebrity endorsement), but with careful consideration to avoid irritants you can find some products of value. Hopefully, she will expand the line to fill in the current gaps (especially for sun protection) and eliminate the irritants.
For more information about Kate Somerville, call (800) 984-5283 or visit www.katesomerville.com.