Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment
1 fl. oz. for $65
Last Updated:03.12.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Kate Somerville's contribution to the burgeoning group of facial oils contains some very good, often unused, ingredients for dry to very dry skin. Unfortunately, it also contains several fragrant plant extracts and oils, some of which are irritating and make this product a poor choice to increase skin's firmness and elasticity. Why? Because applying irritating fragrant ingredients on a daily basis can lead to collagen breakdown, not stimulation, and can cause a host of other problems from redness to increase sensitivity.

What about the dilo oil from Fiji? Is it a worthwhile skin-care ingredient that sets this facial oil apart from all the others? Listed by its Latin name of Callophyllum inophyllum seed oil, this plant oil is more commonly known as laurelwood or tamanu oil, and it's use is not exclusive to Kate Somerville. More important, there is nothing but anecdotal information proving this plant oil's worth for skin. The scientific research has plenty of studies showing how this oil may be a helpful agent for treating or controlling HIV, but that's medical treatment of a virus, not a solution for aging skin.

Somerville was on the right track by selecting the core emollient oils in this product, but it seems her nose lead her astray! What a shame fragrance isn't skin care! As is, Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment is impossible for us to recommend. The juniper and clove oils are of particular concern, especially for sensitive skin (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

  • Contains some very good, lesser-known plant oils and emollients for dry skin.
  • Highly fragrant, but fragrance isn't skin care.
  • Some of the fragrant plant extracts and oils are a source of pro-aging irritation.
  • Clove and juniper oil can cause contact dermatitis, resulting in red, itchy skin.

An exclusive oil treatment that improves the appearance of skin’s firmness and elasticity.


Ethyl Macadamiate, Coconut Oil , Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Water, Canarium Indicum Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seed Extract, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil , Calophyllum Tacamahaca Seed Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sunflower Seed Oil, Rice Bran Extract, Plumeria Acutifolia Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllata, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Cananga Odorata, Citrus Limunum, Ferula Galbaniflua, Jasmine Officinalis.

Brand Overview

Kate Somerville At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on their website; effective Anti Bac Clearing Lotion for acne; good eczema cream; some fantastic serums and moisturizers chock-full of beneficial ingredients.

Weaknesses: Expensive; irritating cleansers and scrubs; several products contain irritating ingredients with no proven benefit for skin; disappointing CC cream.

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, now owned by Unilever, call (800) 984-5283 or visit www.katesomerville.com

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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I love this stuff

I am very fair. I'm also over 50. I love this Dilo Oil. It is over priced but a little goes a long way. It's light and sinks in quickly. My face was so soft, as were my arms. It softened a deep scar. I don't have overly sensitive skin, so it didn't irritate me. It would be nice if it was in cream form for feet!

Reviewed by
Carol D
super irritating

Pay attention to Paula's warning please! Agree with the other reviewer PMBR as well- by the 2nd wk my skin was itchy, with small red patches all over. My naso-labial fold area cracked and peeled horribly, and my skin isnt normally dry! I've been using jojoba/olive oil as well as plain moisturizer/serum to try and get my skin back to normal. I'm so upset, less then a month of daily application has scarred my skin from the irritation. The scarring/hyperpigmentation is fading slowly. Avoid this!

Reviewed by
Those with sensitive skin beware!

I have been curious as to how Paula would rate this product and can't agree more with the "poor" rating. After reading all the hype about Kate's Dilo Restorative Oil maybe I was expecting a miracle in a bottle. Needless to say I bought into the hype. What I soon discovered after only two days of use was not a miracle in a bottle, but a product that left my sensitive skin red, itchy, and oily. Not surprised that it took several days to "restore" my skin back from an irritated mess to normal!

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