This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen has been reformulated. It used to be water-light, but is not creamier and more lotion-like, with a completely different list of active ingredients. It used to contain a high amount of the gentle mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, each of which provides ample broad-spectrum sun protection, and now contains an in-part avobenzone sunscreen. Although this still provides broad-spectrum sun protection, it isnt' as gentle as the previous version.
In terms of anti-wrinkle ingredients, yes, this contains a few, including the called-out Matrixyl 3000 peptide. Despite the presence of peptides, none of them can reduce "the depth and volume" of wrinkles from facial expressions. This isn't Botox in a bottle! On balance, the formula contains some good repairing ingredients and a couple of antioxidants but it contains fragrance ingredients known to be irritating and these coupled with the active ingredients can make this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen sensitizing for use around the eyes or, really, anywhere on the face. This would be rated higher if it was fragrance-free.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Moisturizes dry skin.
- Contains some good anti-aging ingredients.
- Fragranced formula makes this a tough sell for sensitive, reddened skin.
- The peptides it contains cannot stop or reduce muscle contractions that lead to wrinkles.
Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+ sun protection. Contains mineral-based sun-blocking ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Matrixyl 3000 reduces the depth and volume of wrinkles caused by the contraction of muscles, especially on the forehead and around the eyes. Matrixyl™ 3000 helps reduce the visible depth and volume of wrinkles on the face caused by the contraction of muscles, especially on the forehead area and around the eyes.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate, 7.5%, Avobenzone, 3.0%, Oxybenzone, 4.0% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Adipic Acid/Diglycol Crosspolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Steareth-21, PEG-100 Stearate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidene Malonate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium PCA, Urea, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Dimethiconol, Trehalose, Silica, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Maltodextrin Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Lentinus Edodes Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Cucumis Melo Fruit Extract, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyquaternium-51, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Sodium Hydroxide, Mica, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
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.