The company maintains that the "proprietary peptides" used in this moisturizer tighten and lift sagging skin, but there's no research proving this to be true. More important, what causes skin to loosen and sag involves many factors, from sun damage to bone loss and gravity—and many of these are not within the scope of what skin care or any mix of peptides can fix. See More Info to learn why products claiming to lift sagging skin simply can't work the way we hope they will.
We're not anti-peptide, as they can, at least in theory, improve signs of aging. What we are against is misleading information that gets consumer's hopes up (and at a hefty price) and only gives them a teeny-tiny amount of the allegedly brilliant ingredients, which is what this product does. Plus there is no research showing there are any special blend of peptides are the best ones for skin, it's utter nonsense to make claims about a proprietary blend as a way to suggest this formula offers something special.
Instead of the peptides being front-and-center, fragrance is given more prominence, but fragrance isn't skin care—and the fragrant oils this moisturizer contains are strong sources of irritation. In fact, the citrus oils can cause what's known as a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). See More Info for details on how highly fragrant products can damage skin.
Without the fragrance and looking past the won't-come-true lifting claims, this moisturizer has a lot going for it for those with normal to dry skin. The airless jar packaging keeps the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use, and this moisturizer has a rich, smoothing texture that leaves a soft glow on skin, courtesy of the mineral pigment mica. It isn't worth the cost, but it certainly feels nice! Sadly, judging a moisturizer on texture alone isn't enough to provide anti-aging benefits for skin, it takes more than feel to make a truly informed decision.
Highly Fragrant Products: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Products Claiming to Lift Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
This potent formula utilizes a proprietary blend of Collagen-building Peptides to effectively tighten and lift the look of sagging skin, dramatically reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles with instant relief of dryness and long-term moisturization. Designed to renew and rejuvenate, this powerful formula creates a lifted look and bright, youthful glow.
Water/Aqua/Eau, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Sucrose Polysoyate, Glyceryl Betaine/Polyacrylic Acid Esters, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Maltodextrin, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Mica, Silica, Sucrose Palmitate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Ceteareth-20, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Rabdosia Rubescens Extract, Glyceryl Linoleate, Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Ceramide 2, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Linalool, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163)
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.
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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