Perhaps the next best thing to seeing Kate Somerville for a treatment in her California spa is treating yourself to one of her signature facials at home. Her popular Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, ExfoliKate, contains scrubbing microbeads which are designed to deep clean pores, while fruit enzymes help to clarify and renew the skin. A balance of hydration without over-drying should bring dramatically smoother, brighter, healthier-looking skin in just 2 minutes.
I purchased the Kate Somerville Clinic Solutions Kit for $75 from Sephora which contains four of her signature products, with ExfoliKate being one of them. The other three are the Gentle Daily Wash, DermalQuench Liquid Lift, and Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle Cream. What’s intriguing about ExfoliKate is that it’s bright green! However, the bright green color did nothing to combat my red, flushed and tingling cheeks after using this product. Let’s take a closer look at ExfoliKate to see what’s in it and how it works, and I’ll go into more detail about my personal experience using it.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Ingredients and How They Work
If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of in Kate Somerville’s products, it’s botanical ingredients, which for sensitive skin is oftentimes a no-go. ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment contains potent blend of botanical ingredients which polish and deep cleanse the skin, while smoothing, softening, and providing a balance of hydration.
- Pineapple, Pumpkin and Papaya enzymes naturally exfoliate the skin without overdrying
- Lactic Acid also acts as a natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) exfoliant
- Salicylic Acid is a BHA that aids in moisture retention while sloughing off dead skin cells, also an anti-acne treatment
- Cinnamon and Rosewood stimulate circulation
- Vitamin E and Honey smoothen and soften skin
- Aloe Vera works as a soothing agent
- Vitamin C & Vitamin A provide anti-oxidant benefits
- Soy Lipid replenish the skin’s natural barrier function to bring protection
- Lavender acts as an astringent which causes skin tissue to contract
The ingredients list in ExfoliKate is no joke, between all the acids and the fruit enzymes you’d think that this would be a picture perfect list of the best anti-aging exfoliator on the market, but can most people’s skin tolerate this level of botanicals? I can speak from experience now after having used this product only twice, that mine skin wasn’t too happy with me and turned a lovely shade of red just to let me know how it felt.
So as I mentioned, I bought the Kate Somerville Clinic Solution Kit and was excited to try it as I’ve never tried her products before until now, and you can check out my video review below where I talk about all four products.
On to my personal experience. First I used Kate’s Gentle Daily Wash, which had an invigorating botanical scent and left me feeling very refreshed. The next step was ExfoliKate. The instructions are specifically to use it once or twice per week by rubbing it into the skin lightly for 30 seconds and then allowing it to sit on the skin for 2 minutes to allow the fruit enzymes and acids to do their magic.
It’s hard to describe the scent of ExfoliKate but to me it resembled the smell of a pumpkin pie – hints of lavender, cinnamon, rosemary – it’s quite a pungent smell to say the least. While the aroma is pleasant, once I noticed how highly fragrant it was, I kind of figured I may have an adverse reaction. But what’s most interesting about this product is its bright green color which I wasn’t expecting, and after reading the ingredients list, I’m still not quite sure where the green color comes from as there is no seaweed or algae, although it does contain aloe.
So, in my usual manner whenever I use an exfoliant, I lightly scrubbed ExfoliKate onto my face, neck and chest. I always hit these three areas with all of my anti-aging products since these three areas show your age, and this is my preferred method in my anti-aging routine. I normally use non-irritating products with little or no scent to them so it’s never a problem.
There is a warning of sorts on the directions which reads “This product may cause the skin to tingle and flush slightly for a short time. For sensitive skin, leave on for less than 1 minute.” Well this was an understatement, I could literally feel my skin turning warm and red along with a very strong tingling sensation, and the warmness quickly turned into burning – my face felt like it was on fire!
I left it on for the recommended time of 2 minutes and rinsed off. I will say however, that it did leave the surface of my skin feeling extremely smooth with a renewed texture but at the expense of my skin being red and blotchy. I used the product a 2nd and 3rd time, to see if my skin would get used to the product, but I had the same burning sensation each time. The redness subsided after about 45 minutes.
I wish I knew specifically which ingredient caused me to be so irritated, at first I jumped to the conclusion that it must be the lavender, but I use another product regularly with lavender in it with no problems so I don’t think that’s the culprit. It could be the cinnamon and rosemary which stimulate circulation and is known to cause irritations, however it’s most likely just the combination of so many potent botanicals being so concentrated into one product together with AHA’s (fruit acids) and BHA (salicylic acid). Or, it could be that it has a much higher lavender content than I can tolerate.
The next step was to apply the DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment in a stripe formation along my cheeks and forehead. This product uses oxygen as a propellent to infuse hyaluronic acid, and other botanical ingredients deep into the skin and works to relax the muscles which cause wrinkles. The DermalQuench Liquid Lift was far more benign than ExfoliKate, and while very hydrating it still turned my skin slightly more flushed, however flushing is a listed side effect of this product. The last step was the Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle Cream, and while it is soothing and highly moisturizing, it has an extremely thick consistency and feels a bit greasy for my skin. Two hours after application I could still feel a film over my skin so I don’t think I could use this product during the day underneath my makeup for fear of being shiny.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Pros and Cons
- Deep cleans pores and provides a high level of exfoliation
- Renews skin cells bringing a younger, brighter complexion
- Has a potent ingredients list including botanicals, AHA’s and BHA
- Balances hydration without over drying
- Perceived as an at home spa treatment
- Can be highly irritating to the skin due to its botanical ingredients
- Comes with a warning that it may cause the skin to tingle and become flushed
- May not be suited for sensitive skin, and would aggravate rosacea
- Expensive, priced at $85 for 2.0 oz. or $175 for 5 oz.
Recommendation and Where to Buy Kate Somerville ExfoliKate
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate can easily be purchased online from Kate’s official website, or Ebay, Amazon or the Sephora store. If you don’t want to spend $85 on a 2.0 oz. full sized tube, you can buy a 0.5 oz tube to try for $15, or you can buy the Kate Somerville Clinic Solution Kit like I did for $75 which has four of her signature treatments in it including the Gentle Daily Wash, ExfoliKate, DermalQuench Liquid Lift, and Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle Cream.
After using ExfoliKate three times, along with the other three products in the kit, the one that caused me the most irritation was ExfoliKate. Its long list of botanical ingredients as well as AHA’s and BHA left my skin very blotchy and red and burned while I had it on. To be honest, I have never used an exfoliant which caused me this much irritation and there are plenty of effective products out there than you can use that don’t cause such reactions. And while I would classify my skin as somewhat sensitive, it’s on the low end of the sensitivity scale, so I can’t even imagine how this might feel on someone who has very sensitive skin – ouch!
My recommendation if you want to try this product is to buy the small sample bottle of ExfoliKate first to see how your skin reacts, or opt for the sensitive skin version of ExfoliKate, unless you know for a fact that your skin can handle a high concentration of botanical ingredients. It would suck to spend $85 on a product only to use it once and realize it causes your skin to be inflamed and red, which is not an attractive look if your goal is to look younger!
My favorite exfoliator is Skinception Microderm Facial Exfoliator, which also has fruit enzymes but at a much more manageable level for my skin type. I’ve used this product for over a year as part of my regular routine. I use it on my face, neck and chest for polished, smooth skin with beautiful results!