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19 Apr

Kate Somerville: Peptides and goat’s milk are the perfect

The celebrity facialist shares her top skincare suggestions, including why peptides are the perfect and most underrated ingredient, and the way emotional distress impacts the skin

Kate Somerville takes credit for putting eyelash extensions on the map. In the future, within the early 2000s, a lady got here into her skincare clinic with amazing lashes. “I said, ‘what is happening together with your eyelashes, they’re incredible!’ There was no strip, I couldn’t see anything and I’m doing a facial on her so I had her under a lightweight,” Somerville tells me over Zoom from her house in California. When the client told her that she had had individual lashes placed on in Koreatown, Somerville went down and came upon all about it. 

Paris Hilton was certainly one of my biggest clients on the time, so I said, ‘Paris I discovered this recent thing, would you let me do one eye after which send it to People magazine?’ It took off so fast. When that story hit, our phone rang off the hook. After which it became mainstream.”

For those not within the know, Somerville is a skincare aesthetician beloved by Hollywood. In 2004 she opened her own Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose Place and it was soon the place to go for young 00s stars like Nicole Richie, Kirsten Dunst, Lindsay Lohan, the solid of Grey’s Anatomy and, in fact, Hilton. When Kendall Jenner needed help with her pimples, it was Somerville she visited, and it was these celebrity clients who pushed her to create the products that may turn out to be Kate Somerville Skincare in 2005.

With over 20 years within the industry, Somerville has seen trends come and go, and witnessed the rise of recent innovations – a lot of which she has been pushing forward herself. “I’ve been on the forefront of a number of things: LEDs, several types of laster, different injectables,” she says. “I had LEDs 10 years before they became huge… it takes some time for things to get mainstream.”

One other Somerville innovation: self-tanner towels. “It was Paris again, because she was into every part recent. She’d have this woman coming to her house and doing this spray tan. In the future I couldn’t get this, like, orange dirt off of her neck and I used to be like ‘what is happening!’” Somerville says. “I got here up with this towel that she could use on the road and we sold thousands and thousands of those tanning towels. Unfortunately, they discontinued them. I do not know why they don’t bring them back because they’re so good.”

Fresh off the launch of HydraKate, a recent hydrating collection inspired by her son, Somerville shared with Dazed all her top skincare advice.


The very first thing Somerville does when she starts seeing a recent client is put them on a regimen of what she calls the “five every day do’s”: cleanse accurately in your skin, exfoliate, hydrate, moisturise and sunscreen. 

“After I’m taking a look at any person’s regimen, I’m really taking a look at what holes I want to fill,” she says. “Lots of the time they’re using a number of various things and a number of different brands and it’s in all places. They don’t know what to make use of and when or why.” As an alternative of shopping for products due to a buzzy ingredient – for instance, caviar, as Somerville says – be consistent together with your five steps and consider maintenance.

For younger people of their 20s, she says, other than using a retinol or vitamin C if there’s damage to repair from pimples, she won’t introduce any actives into the routine. “The five every day do’s goes to maintain their skin looking great for a number of years,” she says. “Then once they get into their 30s we are able to start talking about peptides and vitamin Cs and retinol. But unless I’m correcting something I don’t add those actives. You don’t need retinol at 20. I keep it basic, ensuring the skin is hydrated, exfoliated and protected against the sun. Should you’re doing those things, you’re doing an awesome job.”


One in every of the largest mistakes Somerville sees people making with their skincare is overusing products, particularly actives and exfoliants. If you overdo things, it could actually cause damage to your skin barrier and even conditions like contact dermatitis, each of which might take some time to repair. 

When this happens, her advice is go really basic. Get a sulphate-free cleanser and use products with ceramides. “If you’ve compromised your barrier, your skin is actually irritated,” she says, adding that because she has eczema her barrier is all the time compromised. For this reason she often uses the ‘DeliKate’ collection from her brand which is designed to create a “second skin” to calm things down and permit your body to heal itself.

“I actually made it for after we do treatments on the clinic but it surely became certainly one of our biggest selling products,” she says. “The body is an incredible machine, it’s unreal how it could actually heal itself when you give it the chance. But if you happen to’re consistently going after your skin with actives, your body can’t go into repair mode. It’s good to provide your skin a break and let it act because it should.”


One in every of Somerville’s favourite ingredients, which she says in comparison with things like retinol or vitamin C is hugely underrated, is peptides. “I’ve been doing this a really very long time now, happening 30 years, and truthfully I must have worse skin than I do – and I attribute it to peptides.” 

Calling them very gentle and great for sensitive skin including eczema, Somerville explains that peptides help with collagen production and are anti-ageing ingredient. “I don’t know why it doesn’t get as much play within the press, possibly since it’s so gentle. With Vitamin C I’ve noticed that a number of my friends are sensitive so now we have to buffer it or it could actually be irritating, but I never have a problem with peptides.”


One other favourite, which has turn out to be a signature for Somerville’s brand, is goat’s milk. A really personal ingredient to her, Somerville first discovered it when her mum put goat’s milk in her bath to attempt to help her eczema. The change was so significant that when she began making products she knew she needed to make use of goat’s milk in them. The Goat Milk Moisturiser has since turn out to be the brand’s number-one cream within the UK. 

“It helps repair your barrier, it has a number of proteins, it has natural lactose so it exfoliates the skin gently. It’s really healing,” she says. “It’s light but it surely’s super moisturising and it really helps with rosacea.”


The mind-skin connection is stronger than we sometimes think and conditions like eczema, psoriasis and pimples can often be exacerbated by stress or emotional distress. “Every major stress or issue in my life I’ve broken out either in eczema or breakouts,” says Somerville. “I went through a divorce, I’ll always remember my whole brow was just blackheads which I’ve never experienced.” 

One in every of the explanations she went into skincare in the primary place, Somerville shares, is that she had a extremely rough upbringing which exacerbated her hereditary eczema. She sees the identical thing occur with the clients she works with – once they are stressed or going through a divorce, she will tell. “I cope with a number of people going through a number of stuff, and once they’re stressed I needless to say notice the difference.”

Emotional distress was at the guts of her latest range, the HydraKate collection. In the course of the pandemic, her son went through a extremely tough time after he was sent home from university to isolate and his classes moved online. “The poor guy was just on screens from eight within the morning until 10 at night. I noticed his skin modified, he got that fatigued skin, he suffers from breakouts so his skin was dry and crusty.” Realising there was nothing in her line to assist him, she got down to create recent products that may be super hydrating and the HydraKate collection was born.


What many individuals don’t realise, Somerville says, is that there’s a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin, she explains, doesn’t have enough oils and its barrier is compromised whereas dehydrated skin has an absence of water and will be treated with ingredients like hyaluronic acid. 

It was dehydrated skin that Somerville got down to help along with her recent range, and when she went to her chemist she asked him to create a lightweight hydrating moisturiser that also protected against blue light. The result was a formula that comprises Nobel Prize-inspired AquaPort Technology, which increases the degrees of hyaluronic acid going to the skin cells, in addition to blue algae, marigold flower extracts and peptides.  

“It’s not going to assist with deep, dry skin,” she says, but for people who find themselves of their 20s and 30s, who don’t need to make use of harsh actives, it’s perfect. “It’s going to maintain your pigment really even, it’s going to hydrate your skin, it helps with redness and keeping the skin barrier healthy.” 


All the time looking for the subsequent innovation in skincare, Somerville says what she is enthusiastic about for the time being is what the longer term holds on the subject of stem cells and exomes. A self-described “huge, huge believer” within the technology of stem cell injections due to part it played in helping treat pain from a neck injury sustained in a “pretty bad” automotive crash, Somerville is now working on the best way to incorporate it into skincare.  

“I feel like that’s going to alter skincare, that’s going to be the subsequent generation. I just think the world has to catch as much as it,” she says. “I comprehend it’s only a matter of time though. We’re already using stem cells – you already know we give the vampire facial, so we’re already doing it. That is exciting, it’s going to be expensive though, so I don’t know if it’ll be for the masses, but it surely’s definitely starting out within the clinic, after which we’ll see where it goes.”

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