Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on their Web site; good topical disinfectant for acne; sunscreen provides sufficient UVA protection (but fails in other areas); some fantastic serums and moisturizers chock-full of beneficial ingredients.

Weaknesses: Expensive; irritating cleansers and scrubs; only one sunscreen and it contains potent irritants; several products contain irritating ingredients with no proven benefit for skin; no options for lightening skin discolorations; no AHA or BHA products.

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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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Poor Age Arrest Eye Cream Kate Somerville Eye Moisturizers  $75.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Poor ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment Kate Somerville Scrubs  $65.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor ExfoliKate Acne Clearing Exfoliating Acne Treatment Kate Somerville Scrubs  $65.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Good CytoCell P299 Oil Free Anti-Wrinkle Serum Kate Somerville Serums  $95.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Average Daily Deflector Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Anti-Aging Sunscreen (Discontinued) Kate Somerville SPF 50 and Higher Sunscreen  $48.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor KateCeuticals Replenishing Toner Kate Somerville Toners  $58.00 5.00 fl. oz.
Poor Nourish Daily Moisturizer Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $65.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor IllumiKate CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ PA+++ Kate Somerville CC Cream  $48.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Average 24 Hour Pimple Punisher Kate Somerville Specialty Skin Care Products  $28.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Poor Clinic-To-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads Kate Somerville AHAs  $48.00 16.00 pads
Good Daily Deflector Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Anti-Aging Sunscreen Kate Somerville Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $48.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Average Oil Free Moisturizer Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $65.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor Somerville360 Tan Maximizer Tan Enhancing Moisturizer Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $48.00 5.00 fl. oz.
Poor KateCeuticals Multi-Active Repair Lifting and Lineless Cream Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $195.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Best Quench Hydrating Face Serum Kate Somerville Serums  $75.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Quench Hydrating Mask Kate Somerville Moisturizing/Firming Masks  $45.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor Age Arrest Hydrating Firming Mask Kate Somerville Moisturizing/Firming Masks  $75.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Best Spot Reducing Concentrate Skin Lightening Treatment Kate Somerville Lighteners With Hydroquinone  $48.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Poor Micro Glycolic Polisher Kate Somerville AHAs  $90.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Daily Deflector Moisturizer SPF 50+ PA+++ Kate Somerville Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $48.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor Kateceuticals Restor8 Replenishing Serum Kate Somerville Serums  $165.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Poor CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $150.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Neck Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8 Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $150.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Deep Tissue Repair With Peptide K8 Kate Somerville Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $150.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Poor Quench & Correct Plumping Lip Gloss and Restorative Lip Treatment (Discontinued) Kate Somerville Lip Gloss  $29.00 0.38 fl. oz.
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