10 Minutes with: Kate Somerville - Neiman Marcus
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10 Minutes with: Kate Somerville

Regina Campbell

December 29, 2014

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If there is someone who has great skincare advice, it is Kate Somerville. After working with a renowned plastic surgeon for years and treating clients’ skin prior to and after surgery, this beauty and skincare expert started her own clinic in West Hollywood ten years ago and then her eponymous skincare line in 2006. At her clinic, Somerville still treats women who have all types of skincare issues, but we are lucky to have access to many of the clinic-exclusive secrets in the form of amazing Kate Somerville products. In her own words, ExfoliKate is “Kate in a jar” (must-have alert!).

Recently we got together with Somerville to talk about her new launches and some skincare must-dos for winter. What else would you like to ask Kate?

NM: How should we take care of our skin during the winter months?

KS: This is the time to help remove the damage of summer. Exfoliating is one of the steps that people miss most often in their beauty regimen, and it is the key because it helps turn skin cells over and get dry skin off so the new skin cells really show and other products will penetrate better. If you are using ExfoliKate once a week, you can plug in some retinols. I want you apply a peel pad once a week, and then if you are using a light moisturizer, I want you to use a heavier moisturizer. Nourish is fantastic for summer, but in the winter you can move up to Age Arrest or Deep Tissue Repair, which will help stop the evaporation of your hydration.

Another great product to use during this time is DermalQuench – shake it and spray it. We brought out two years ago, and it mimics my most famous treatments in the clinic. It’s pure hyaluronic acid and oxygen, and it hydrates the skin at a deep, deep level – and it also plumps; that’s why we call it Liquid Lift. What makes this product amazing is that it hydrates without oils, so it works for all types of skin.

If you have things to work on, such as fine lines, dark spots, and blemish control, then pepper in more exfoliation, retinols and vitamin C at night.

NM: What new products are you most excited about this year?

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KS: This year, I brought out two of my key products that I love to use on our clients every day, since I finish every treatment with Vitamin C and Omegas. The first one is Mega-C. Vitamin C is such an incredible ingredient (it keeps your skin pigmentation even as you age), but in skincare it’s really hard to get right. Our chemist made this with pure vitamin C, and it is packaged in an airless container. Omegas are very important, too. We have to eat them because we don’t produce them, but topically we need omegas, too, since they are a building block for the skin and for our collagen. This product comes as a dual pump with one side pure vitamin C and the other Omegas. You can mix it right when you apply it. The before-and-after pictures are remarkable, especially on the neck. Use it every other day at nighttime.

The other product that we came out with is the RetAsphere Micro Peel. If you have used retinols, they sometimes cause irritation, right? This product is really unique, because the retinol is encapsulated. It moisturizes and hydrates and releases the retinols into the lower skin levels. Use it twice a week at night.

NM: Which products should we avoid layering together?

KS: I don’t like to layer retinol with benzoyl or salicylic acids. Watch for your really active ingredients, and try not to layer those. If you do a peel, then do something else the next day. I would not do all at once.

NM: What are some of the myths in the beauty industry that we should erase from our minds?

KS: I’m a real believer in having a place for every single ingredient. There’s not only one ingredient that is going to change your skin. I just know because I’ve been doing this for so long that I know it takes different things to address skin issues.

NM: As a beauty expert, do you have any DIY tips for girls with hectic lifestyles?

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KS: A lot of people ask: How can I turn around my skin quickly after a trip or a long day? As soon as I land from a trip, I take a bath or a shower. Take a washcloth and get it very warm. Lay it on the skin, steam your skin, use a little bit of ExfoliKate, steam it again, get out of the shower and apply DermalQuench and a nice, thick layer of moisturizer. That is going to give you the glow.

NM: What do you use to help get rid of under-eye bags?

KS: If you suffer from under-eye bags, in the morning you can steam green tea bags, then, when they are a comfortable temperature, put them on your eye area for about 3-5 minutes. The green tea has caffeine, and it actually helps to tighten tissue. Wipe your skin, and then take cold spoons, put eye cream on and massage the eye cream in with the spoons. That will help take the bags away.

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