This petrolatum-based body cream is formulated to address the needs of skin affected by eczema, a disorder characterized by dry, itchy skin that can become extremely uncomfortable and progressively irritated as you struggle to deal with the symptoms. We're pleased to tell you that this cream hits all the right marks and is absolutely capable of improving this bothersome skin concern.
The fragrance-free formula is medicated with 1% colloidal oatmeal, a soothing ingredient that can reduce itching and inflammation (though for severe itching you'll likely need a prescription topical steroid cream from your doctor).
Because eczema-affected skin needs more than just oatmeal, this cream also contains some very good emollients along with plant sources of repairing fatty acids and some novel water-binding agents that help attract and hold moisture to compromised skin. Somerville included a couple more anti-irritants to complement the oatmeal active ingredient, making for an overall well-rounded cream that improves dry, sensitive skin.
The only drawback is the price, which is on the steep side for a 4-ounce tube of moisturizer; however, the rich formula spreads easily and this can last awhile if you're only using it to treat smaller patches of eczema. You can find less expensive options, such as creams from CeraVe, Cetaphil, and Eucerin, but if those haven't given you the results you were hoping for, Eczema Therapy Cream may be worth the investment.
- Fragrance-free, gentle cream formula.
- Contains a great mix of emollient and repairing ingredients.
- Active ingredient oatmeal helps reduce eczema-related itchiness.
- Somerville didn't rely on oatmeal as the only soothing ingredient.
- Expensive for what you get, but at least the formula goes beyond the standard products you'll find for eczema.
Kate’s personal battle with eczema is what led her to skincare in the first place. Knowing what it was like to feel uncomfortable in her own body, Kate wanted to create a product that would help people feel wonderful about their skin.
Active Ingredient: Colloidal Oatmeal 1%; Inactive Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Caprylyl Caprylate/Caprate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Meadowfoam Estolide, Dimethicone, Ethyl Linoleate, Squalane, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Sea Whip Extract, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol
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.