You’ve probably heard that adding in an exfoliating treatment to your skincare routine can revive tired, dull skin and give you a healthy glow.
Since there’s so many exfoliating products on the market nowadays — like scrubs, exfoliating cleansers, and leave-on exfoliants, just to name a few — you may be wondering where to start.
One popular product line that contains all of these different products is Kate Somerville Exfolikate, a four-piece collection that’s clinically proven to improve texture, pores, fine lines and wrinkles at home.
What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2023?
In order to determine how well these products perform, we’ll discuss the key ingredients in Kate Somerville Exfolikate products and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skincare.
We’ll also share some Kate Somerville Exfolikate reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of these products.
What Are The Kate Somerville Exfolikate Skincare Products?
There are four products in the Kate Somerville Exfolikate collection: a cleanser, exfoliating scrub, leave-on exfoliant, and moisturizer. Let’s look a closer at each of these products so you’ll know exactly how they affect your skin.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash
Start your routine off with the ExfoliKate Cleanser, a foaming cleanser that gently removes makeup, excess oil, and impurities to reveal softer, smoother skin.
Like most cleansers, the key ingredients are surfactants, such as stearic acid, sodium cocoyl glycinate, and lauramidopropyl betaine.
A surfactant molecule contains one end that is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and one end that is lipophilic (attracted to oil). This allows surfactants to attract and suspend oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away, leaving the skin clean.
All products in the Exfolikate line include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and the cleanser is no exception. This formula includes the AHAs glycolic and lactic acids, as well as enzymes from papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin to further support exfoliation.
Unfortunately, we noticed there’s quite a few fragrant essential oils in this cleanser, such as bergamot oil, orange peel oil, geranium oil, and more. These ingredients have the potential to cause skin sensitivity reactions.
Bottom Line: A foaming face wash that removes impurities and exfoliates skin with AHAs and fruit enzymes, but keep in mind there’s several fragrant essential oils in this product.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
Also referred to as “Kate’s Signature Super Facial”, the ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is by far the most popular product in the collection.
We love that this at-home facial combines both physical and chemical exfoliants into one formula.
Silica, a physical exfoliant, breaks up the stubborn dirt and skin cell build-up while polishing and smoothing the skin.
Then, there’s a blend of chemical exfoliants, including lactic acid, salicylic acid, and fruit enzymes. These ingredients work to exfoliate dull, dry surface skin cells to reveal smoother skin. They also prep skin to better absorb the rest of your regimen, making every product and ingredient that follows more effective.
Sadly, this is another product in the Exfolikate line that contains a lot of fragrance ingredients, such as bergamot oil, lavender oil, orange peel oil, and many more.
Bottom Line: Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment combines physical and chemical exfoliants for a product that gently exfoliates surface layers of dead skin cells, thereby revealing the healthier, brighter skin underneath.
Kate Somerville Liquid Exfolikate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment
Liquid Exfolikate is a nightly leave-on exfoliating solution that’s said to gently slough away surface dullness and refine the look of pores for smoother, softer, glowing skin.
While that sounds great in theory, there’s a lot of pros and cons we need to discuss with this leave-on AHA exfoliant.
First, we noticed that the second highest concentration ingredient after water is geranium water. While geranium does contain antioxidant and antimicrobial components, it also has fragrant constituents that have the potential to cause skin irritation. So we’re not fans of the inclusion of such a high concentration of the geranium extract.
And apparently the geranium scent wasn’t enough because the brand added even more fragrance ingredients to the formula, including citronellol, geraniol, and linalool. These ingredients add to the risk of skin irritation.
The good news is there’s a 10% concentration of AHAs, primarily glycolic and lactic acids, but there’s also lesser amounts of malic and tartaric acids. These ingredients work to remove excess dead skin cells and clear out pores, thereby smoothing skin texture, evening skin tone, and minimizing the appearance of pores.
Other beneficial ingredients in this exfoliant include skin-soothers like Indian Frankincense, honey, and green tea leaf extract. There’s also Tetrapeptide-14, a synthetic peptide that helps to soothe skin and reduce redness by down-regulating interleukin-6 (a pro-inflammatory signal molecule) thereby preventing inflammation.
We love the inclusion of these skin-soothing ingredients, but keep in mind that these ingredients will mostly be working to reduce the inflammation caused by the high concentrations of fragrance in this formula!
Bottom Line: Liquid Exfolikate is a nightly leave-on exfoliant that includes 10% AHAs to smooth and even out skin tone and texture, however, we’re concerned about the high concentrations of fragrance ingredients in this formula.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Glowing Skin Moisturizer
ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer is a silky, lightweight moisturizer that exfoliates while also improving skin’s hydration.
The formula contains high concentrations of several skin-softening emollients, including one of our favorites: squalane. Squalane is super-light, non-greasy, and sinks into the skin fast, yet it helps the skin to instantly feel soft and moisturized.
This moisturizer exfoliates skin with a blend of chemical exfoliants, including lactic acid and fruit enzymes. These ingredients work to exfoliate dull, dry surface skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin.
You can use this moisturizer both morning and night, but it is recommended to follow with a sunscreen if you’re going to be spending time outside since AHAs make skin more sun-sensitive.
Of note, this is another Exfolikate product that contains a lot of fragrance ingredients, including the phototoxic oils bergamot oil and orange peel oil.
Bottom Line: A lightweight silky moisturizer that exfoliates, hydrates, and brightens the skin.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Kate Somerville Exfolikate Skincare Products?
We’ve already mentioned that the key ingredients used throughout the Kate Somerville Exfolikate collection are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). But what exactly are AHAs? And how can they benefit your skin? We’ll give you a brief overview below.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
AHAs are frequently used in skin care products because they’re true multi-taskers that provide numerous benefits to the skin at once.
One of the most well known benefits of AHAs is their ability to exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, more radiant skin.
While exfoliation is typically associated with skin dryness and peeling due to the removal of the upper layers of dead skin cells, AHAs are known to produce the opposite effect.
This is because AHAs have a hydroxyl (-OH) group in the alpha position that enables AHAs to function as humectants. A humectant is an ingredient that sits on your skin and grabs onto water, slowing it from evaporating.
Plus, the ExfoliKate products contain several more humectant ingredients, such as aloe vera, honey, and glycerin, which also aid in maintaining skin hydration.
AHAs have also been found to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a structural protein naturally produced by the body that is responsible for keeping skin strong and firm.
Unfortunately, collagen production starts to decline around age 25 and continues to decrease with age. Collagen levels also decrease due to factors such as smoking and overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Ultimately, this decrease leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Thus, the ExfoliKate products may provide anti-aging benefits due to the inclusion of AHAs in each formula.
Beta Hydroxy Acids
A few of the ExfoliKate products also include salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA).
Salicylic acid works by exfoliating the pore lining, which loosens clogged dirt and oil. It also has the ability to dissolve keratin, the protein that acts as a “glue” to keep dead skin cells together in the stratum corneum.
This is effective because dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin, leaving it looking dull and also possibly clogging pores.
In addition to AHAs and BHAs, several of the ExfoliKate products include exfoliating enzymes derived from fruit, such as pineapple, papaya, and pumpkin.
Similar to salicylic acid, these enzymes work by dissolving keratin, thereby helping to promote brighter skin and clear pores.
One problem with the ExfoliKate collection is that all of the products contain fragrance ingredients. We understand that consumers appreciate when products smell pleasant, but we’d like to point out that fragrance is not skin care.
Fragrance ingredients (both natural and synthetic) are well known to cause skin irritation and damage.
In fact, according to a publication in the scholarly journal Dermatitis, nearly 80 essential oils have caused contact allergy.
You see, fragrance ingredients impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin.
While these fragrance ingredients may not cause visible effects like redness and rashes for everyone, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.
How Much Do Kate Somerville Exfolikate Products Cost?
Kate Somerville Exfolikate products are mid-range in terms of cost; they aren’t cheap but they are ridiculously expensive. For example, the ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment costs $88 USD for 2 fl oz, while the Exfolikate Moisturizer costs $70 USD for 1.7 fl oz.
Where to Buy Kate Somerville Exfolikate Products?
Kate Somerville Exfolikate products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as several third party online retailers, such as Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, and more.
What is The Kate Somerville Return Policy?
The Kate Somerville return policy states, “If you are not completely happy with your Kate Somerville Skincare products purchased from KateSomerville.com, you may return them within 30 days of your order date. Returns will not be honored for Kate Somerville Skincare products purchased from other sellers or through unauthorized distribution channels. If you purchased a kit or duo, all products within the kit or duo must be returned – partial refunds will not be issued.”
Is Kate Somerville Cruelty Free?
Yes, Kate Somerville is cruelty free. The brand does not test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. In addition, Kate Somerville does not sell their products where animal testing is required by law.
Even though Kate Somerville is cruelty free, it’s important to note that the brand is owned by Unilever, a company that tests on animals.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Reviews
Kate Somerville Exfolikate reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. The product with the most reviews is the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, which has earned an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars after more than 1,300 reviews.
The positive reviews for the Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment mention how well this treatment works to brighten and firm skin while also minimizing the appearance of pores.
For example, one review says, “I really struggle with large and clogged pores, nothing seems to be able to help the appearance of them, other than this! I tried a sample of this and noticed after 1 wash my skin looked firmer!
And another 5-star review says, “Absolutely love this exfoliator, gets rid of any dirt on my skin and leaves it looking fresh and glowing.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment from customers who found this formula to be too strong for their skin. Several reviews mention side effects like burning, redness, and irritation.
For example, one review says, “I found this way too strong. It practically burnt my cheeks. Might be good if you don’t have sensitive skin!”
Another 1-star review says, “I left this mask on for the recommended time. I thought the tingling sensation was just the product working…until it was burning 12 hours after applying. I now have a burn rash on my face and the other parts of my face are very dry. I would only recommend this to my enemy. I reached out to the site for advice and haven’t received a response. I used this product to prepare to be in my friends wedding… now I have a painful birthmark on my face.”
Overall, we wanted to love the Kate Somerville Exfolikate collection, but we cannot recommend these products since all of them contain fragrance ingredients that have the potential to cause more harm than good!
- Formulas contain beneficial exfoliating ingredients (AHAs, BHA, fruit enzymes, and physical exfoliants)
- Formulas contain skin-soothing ingredients (green tea, honey, tetrapeptide-14, etc.)
- Many positive Kate Somerville Exfolikate reviews
- Kate Somerville is cruelty free
- All Kate Somerville Exfolikate products contain fragrance
- Brand is owned by Unilever, a company that is not cruelty free
What Are Some Alternatives to Kate Somerville Exfolikate Skincare Products?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, one brand we recommend is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
One example is Formulyst’s Microdermabrasion Exfoliator. This exfoliator contains fine aluminum oxide crystals to effectively remove dirt, excess oil, and dead cells, while nutrient-rich jojoba oil, red tea extract, apricot kernel oil, squalane, and hyaluronic acid deeply nourish and soothe newly exposed skin.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.
de Groot AC, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part IV: Contact Allergy. Dermatitis. 2016;27(4):170-175. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000197