Quench Oil-Free Hydrating Face Serum

Price:
$65 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
4/29/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This water-based serum contains a high amount of the plant extract Plumeria acutifolia. Although research on this plant’s benefit for skin is scant, we know that it contains chemical constituents with anti-inflammatory action, which is helpful (Source: Planta Medica, November 2008, pages 1,749–-1,750).

The formula, which is oil-free as claimed, also contains some good hydrating ingredients, though the blend of the ingredient propanediol coupled with a film-forming agent lends a slightly tacky finish. As for the peptides, they are cell-communicating ingredients but they do not have substantiated research proving their worth for reducing expression lines or wrinkles—this isn’t liquid Botox.

On balance, this is a good, though pricey, fragrance-free serum for normal to oily or combination skin. The claims are somewhat over-the-top (for example, the tightening actin this has is from the film-forming agent, not your skin actually becoming tighter or being lifted) but it contains enough repairing and replenishing ingredients to merit consideration.

This cutting-edge solution locks in intense hydration so skin stays quenched. Powerful antiaging peptides help to decrease the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles while collagen builders help increase firmness. With immediate tightening effects, this fast-absorbing serum restores tone and refines texture, revealing healthy, glowing skin.

Water, Plumeria Acutifolia Flower Extract, Glycerin, Propanediol, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Algae Extract, Carrageenan, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Capryloyl Tetrapeptide-3, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Soy Amino Acids, Yeast Extract, Glutamine Peptide, Glutamic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Chondrus Crispus Extract, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Dextran, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, 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

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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