08.25.2016
1
EradiKate Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment
2 fl. oz. for $54
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:08.25.2016
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

EradiKate Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment seems like a sophisticated, beautifully packaged way to handle the stubbornness of acne. It's an interesting formula, but its active ingredient is too drying and potentially irritating for all skin types—and the potent fragrance increases the risk of irritation!

This mask is medicated with 5% sulfur, a potent topical disinfectant that also has some exfoliating ability due to its effect on keratin, the main protein in skin cells. Unfortunately, the high pH of sulfur and its resulting drying action on skin can make it an overly potent way to control acne (Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, May 2012).

The amount of fragrance in this mask is understandable given one of the major drawbacks of using sulfur—it has a very unpleasant odor (think rotten eggs). Still, fragrance isn't skincare and there are more gentle options available for eliminating acne-causing bacteria, including over-the-counter drug ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

Making matters worse is the presence of a drying detergent cleansing agent (sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate) as a main ingredient. There also are oxygenating ingredients (their reaction on skin is what causes this mask to foam as it dries) that pose a risk of triggering free-radical damage—though admittedly, the foaming action is kind of cool and fun to watch as you wait for this mask to dry.

Although EradiKate Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment contains some soothing plant extracts, only tiny amounts are present and any benefit is likely overpowered by the effects of the problematic ingredients mentioned above. Ironically, although this mask's active ingredient can help control acne, the likelihood of irritating skin could end up making oily, acne-prone skin worse, as we explain in the More Info section.

Pros:
  • Sulfur is capable of killing acne-causing bacteria.
  • The mask's foaming action as it dries on skin is kind of cool.
Cons:
  • Sulfur is too drying and irritating for most people (and cannot unclog pores as claimed).
  • Contains a drying cleansing agent as a main ingredient.
  • Fragrance in the formula poses further risk of irritation.
  • Has more potentially irritating ingredients than soothing ingredients.
More Info:

Irritation's Connection to Oily Skin & Breakouts: Inflammation in skin is usually related to external factors, such as irritation, which damages the skin's barrier in numerous ways, whether you can see or feel the irritation or not.

When irritation occurs on the surface of skin, it activates specific chemicals in the brain called neuropeptides (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2007), which regulate the hormonal system of the body. This activation process in turn leads to the formation of inflammatory chemicals in the oil glands at the base of your pores, triggering an increase in oil production, which in turn can increase the size of the pore and the likelihood of acne. The more inflammation that occurs, the higher the risk (European Journal of Dermatology, 2002; Dermatology, 2003).

Bottom line: Inflammation and its resulting irritation on skin's surface and deeper within skin is practically a guarantee you will see excess oil, larger pores, and possibly more breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009; Dermato-Endocrinology, 2011). That should be reason enough to avoid products with irritating ingredients, including fragrance and fragrant oils.

Community Reviews
Claims
This innovative gel-cream mask helps clear blemishes, dissolve impurities and minimize the appearance of pores without overdrying skin! This skin-soothing formula gently exfoliates dead skin cells while Colloidal Sulfur works to unclog pores and reduce acne blemishes. An advanced Botanical Complex of Boswellia Serrata, Honey Extracts and Rice Bran helps calm and soothe skin.
Ingredients
Active Ingredient: Colloidal Sulfur 5.0% Inactive Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Acrylates Copolymer, Coconut Alcohol, Glycereth-18 Ethylhexanoate, Propanediol, Glycereth-18, Ethyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Ethyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Stearyl Alcohol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Linalool, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Sodium Benzoate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Honey Extract/Mel/Extrait de Miel, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Limonene, Disodium Carboxyethyl Siliconate, Potassium Sorbate, Oligopeptide-10 .
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 Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


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See all reviews for this brand

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