Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment
0

Kate Somerville

Liquid Exfolikate Triple Action Resurfacing Treatment

4.00 fl. oz. for $ 58.00
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

Community Reviews

Claims

Ingredients

Brand Overview

Kate Somerville’s Liquid Exfolikate Triple Action Resurfacing Treatment is an AHA exfoliant that would be an excellent option for all skin types, but the amount and pervasive nature of its fragrance makes it a product we cannot recommend.

Housed in a frosted, weighty glass bottle topped with a pump dispenser, you’re directed to saturate a cotton pad with this thin, serum-like solution, pat onto skin, then wait for it to absorb before applying moisturizer.

The formula includes a 10% concentration of AHAs, primarily research-proven glycolic and lactic acids. Lesser amounts of AHAs malic and tartaric acids are also on hand, but the glycolic/lactic blend is at the forefront.

Although the acid content is there, the pH of 4.35 is just outside the range (pH 3-4) AHA ingredients require to work optimally as exfoliants. You will get some exfoliating action, but it won’t be on par with today’s best exfoliants, all of which omit the skin-troubling fragrance.

Ah, fragrance. While this exfoliant has a pleasant, geranium-like scent from its second ingredient (Pelargonium graveolens), this poses a big risk of irritating skin, even if you don’t see the damage taking place (see More Info).

Along with fragrant geranium flower you’re also getting fragrance ingredients citronellol, geraniol, and linalool. All of these are known to irritate skin, and can be particularly problematic in a high-acid product like this.

In an ironic twist, all of the fragrance is joined by proven skin soothers like Boswellia searrata, honey, green tea (Camellia Sinensis), and tetrapeptide-14, an anti-inflammatory peptide known to reduce redness. In the absence of fragrance, all of these ingredients would be able to direct their energies toward improving your skin; as is, they’re stuck fighting the inflammation that fragrance can trigger.

As for the enzymes (bromelain and papain), although they can have keratolytic (a fancy word for exfoliation) action on skin, they’re highly unstable and most likely aren’t providing this benefit.

All of this leads to a mixed bag whose detriments don’t earn an enthusiastic recommendation from us. See our list of best exfoliants for AHA (and BHA) products that deliver pH-optimized results without the problems fragrance presents.

Pros:
  • Thin, serum-like texture is suitable for all skin types.
  • Contains effective amounts of AHAs.
  • Great mix of soothing ingredients, including a redness-relieving peptide.
Cons:
  • Highly fragrant formula poses a strong risk of irritating skin.
  • The pH is just outside the range needed to exfoliate.

More Info:

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

A 10% AHA and fruit enzyme-powered nightly leave-on exfoliating solution that gently sloughs away surface dullness and refines the look of pores for smoother, softer, more glowing skin.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower/Leaf/Stem Water, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycolic Acid, Propanediol, Phytic Acid, Glycerin, Papain, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Mel Extract/Honey Extract/Extrait de Miel, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Bromelain, Microcitrus Australasica Fruit Extract, Tetrapeptide-14, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Maltodextrin, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool.

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 Angelesbased 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 skins 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 team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our terms of use here.