May I introduce you to your new favourite exfoliator? She’s called ExfoliKate, she’s all the way from America and she will turn you into a one-scrub-only woman!
Renowned American skincare brand Kate Somerville recently arrived in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford – and I was thrilled to be invited to their launch party (where I met the lady herself!), where I managed to get my mitts on some of their hero products. First on my to-try list was the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment… and I soon understood why Somerville has earned her reputation as the “guru of glow”!
For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, Kate Somerville is like the Einstein of the skincare world in the States. Her “medi-skin” clinic in Hollywood is famed for results-driven skincare treatments that transform complexions, whilst her client list is basically a who’s who of all the stars whose skin you dream about having (Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Kate Walsh, Taylor Swift). Somerville started her eponymous product line so that an even wider audience could get access to her skincare savoire-faire; all the products are based on her clinic’s treatments and have been developed and tested with scientists to give immediate, real-world results. If you’re a skincare junkie, then right about now is where you start rubbing your hands with glee and getting very very excited!
ExfoliKate is one of Kate Somerville’s best-known products and one that the lady herself most often recommends. As opposed to many other exfoliators that use actual grains (i.e. salt or sugar) to scrub away dead skin and dirt, the ExfoliKate uses a combination of much finer microbeads and chemical enzymes. It promises to “clarify, banish imperfections and polish the look of skin without over-drying”… and to be honest, I don’t think I could put it much better myself.
The ExfoliKate is a seaweed green scrub with a pleasant consistency – not too runny, not too thick. The exfoliating microbeads are fine and densely distributed (hands up who hates those scrubs where the few-and-far-between giant grains are marooned in acres of liquid), giving it the feel of wet sand or cement. The smell reminds me vaguely of clay or seaweed-based masks (the latter probably due to colour-association so don’t trust my massively-suggestible brain too much), but it isn’t overpowering or unappealing. And a little of this stuff goes a long way!
Application is easy; massage your ExfoliKate in a circular motion onto clean, damp skin. It’s even easier if you do this in the shower post-cleanse, thus minimising the risk of getting green streaks on your clothes/hair/dogs (yep, they’re always up in my face!). Leave it on for between 30 seconds to two minutes and then rinse it off. Expect to feel A LOT of tingling in that time. If you have more sensitive skin like me, it may even feel like burning, but do not be alarmed; this is just ExfoliKate getting down to business and working its magic on your skin… and everyone knows magic means a few sparks every now and again!
My tip is to begin the application of ExfoliKate on the areas of your face most in need of a deep-cleanse – for me, that’s my forehead, nose and chin – before finishing up with the more sensitive areas (cheeks) so that they get the least tingle-time. There’s also an ExfoliKate Gentle especially for sensitive skin if you are worried, but I’ve been using the regular ExfoliKate with no problems; just leave it on for closer to the 30 second mark rather than the full two minutes!
The results are pretty astonishing. I’ve long given up on products making any different to my flying saucer sized pores, so the best thing to do is ensure that they are clean, unclogged and sans blackheads, making them look smaller – and thanks to ExfoliKate, they were the cleanest I’ve ever seen them post-puberty. Seriously, looking in the mirror and seeing freakishly clean pores was a pretty special moment!
Exfoliators or facial scrubs often leave your face feeling tight and dry, but not ExfoliKate; it just leaves your face feeling CLEAN. The rest of my face felt soft, smooth and luminous. ExfoliKate contains papaya, pumpkin and pineapple enzymes (clearly the scientists went shopping in the “P’ groceries aisle!), which help dissolve dead skin cells – and the proof is in an immediately brighter, more even, glowing complexion.
Although it’s tempting to want to use ExfoliKate every day such are the near-miraculous results, remember that exfoliators should probably only be used around once or twice a week; the idea is to remove those dead skin cells, and there actually need to be some of those to get rid of… which there won’t be if you try and scrub your face away every single day!
Until now, I’ve never really found an exfoliator that I’ve fallen in love with; let’s face it, they’re not exactly the sexiest product in your bathroom cabinet (unless you have a sand fetish, I guess!) and I generally use whichever brand I have kicking around/received in a kit/looked most appealing during my weekly shop. But ExfoliKate might just have turned me into a one-scrub-only kind of gal.
The only inevitable downside is the price – $780 for 60ml. Scientific magic certainly don’t come cheap! But ExfoliKate really is aeons better than any other exfoliator I’ve tried and I’ve become quite addicted to seeing those squeaky-clean pores once a week. With weekly use, I reckon that my tube should last around six months (fingers crossed!) although interestingly, the ExfoliKate Gentle only costs $595 (and the ingredient list looks pretty similar) so maybe I’ll give that a go next to compare.
Packaging over the whole Kate Somerville line is pretty simple with clean colours and simple fonts; however, I noticed the ExfoliKate had one cute touch – a little winking smiley face on the tube and cap. After using it, I now understand why. It’s Somerville letting you in on the secret behind softer, smoother, glowing skin… all achievable in under two minutes. Now that definitely deserves a wink or two!
ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, $780; available at Lane Crawford IFC or Harbour City stores in Hong Kong (see full addresses here)
Note: Product provided for my consideration