Saturday, 9 January 2016

What to Buy? Kate Somerville

One of my most-asked questions on social is 'What should I buy from XXX brand?'. There are lots of brands that contain within their offering things that I think everyone should at least check out - not necessarily buy, but perhaps consider them as an option when deciding where to invest your hard-earned cash.

When I was on a panel at a Harvey Nichols event a couple of years ago, I was asked what brand I would pick if I could only choose one for the rest of time. There is no way I could pick one, I answered with three. So I'll start with one of them. The other two will be next.
Kate Somerville kicks off this new little series. Feel free to leave questions in the comments.


There are a lot of options in the KS range. Since the Unilever acquisition we can expect more NPD to be added much more frequently than in the past, but for now, what should you be checking out?

The Can't Live Without:


When I die, they will have to bury me with Deep Tissue Repair. I'm not a big believer in the afterlife, but one shouldn't take too many chances.
Firms, softens, eliminates dryness, restores elasticity, immediately alleviates any visible fine lines, feels like velvet. An absolute, 'must-have at all times' for me.
Top tip: I use this as a serum/cream hybrid. Apply a thin layer and add moisturiser on top. Makes it go further. This, for my skin, is about as good as it gets. More detail coming in a blog post this week.

$150 for 1oz (just under 30ml) from Sephora here or KateSomerville.com for US peeps.


The Must-Haves:

Settle in, there's a few.....


In my Top 3 moisturisers of all time, Nourish is simple in its feel, but packed in its formula. This moisturiser is so 'wet', that it immediately relieves any hydration worries, whilst simultaneously sealing in moisture and anything underneath it, in my case usually Deep Tissue Repair or Age Arrest. It is loaded with peptides and retinyl palmitate and should be more expensive than it is. (Safe for pregnancy)

$65 for 50ml available from Sephora.com or katesomerville.com


Goat Milk is what I reach for if my face needs a cashmere blanket and a cup of tea. Sensitivity/redness/rosacea - if your skin is in any way upset with you, maybe check this out. Jojoba, avocado, grape seed, aloe all nestled with lactic acid to help resurface without irritation. A winner on all fronts.

$65 for 50ml available from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com


Line Release Eye Repair is one of those products that is subtle in its delivery, yet works like a charm. If you're worried about lines, this is worth looking at. It's basically a bottle of peptides, which are designed to attack all the problem areas of the eyes. I use this more for lines/wrinkles than dark circles.

$125.00 for 15ml available from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com



Really great Vitamin C products are always hard to find due to their volatile nature, but this one is lush. Brightening, antioxidant, glow-giving, protecting, this little beauty does it all. The Vit C is micronized at 10% and separated from the main formula, which is predominantly omega oils to help prevent any irritation. You may still get a zing. I do love a zing.

$90.00 for 30ml from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com


ACIIIIDDDDD! I couldn't list my favourites without these gems. The Clinic-To-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads contain lactic acid, niacinamide, phenol, onion, sage and usnic acid, but no glycolic, making these the closest thing to the original P50 1970 formula that you can buy, but in a buffing pad version. I will not be without these. I use once/twice a week, meaning they last over two months. Always in the evening. Follow with heavy duty serums and comforting moisturisers and you have yourself a perfect skincare storm.

$52.00 for 16 pads from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com


As regular readers will know, I do not recommend oil free moisturisers as a rule. This is a glorious exception. Adult-onset acne is a huge complaint and one of the biggest growing sectors in the market and I don't like to be a cliche, but it happened to me. This moisturiser is soothing, hydrating and minimises any danger of blocked pores/aggravating breakouts by being loaded with algaes and good sugars. It almost stands alone in a market full of moisturisers whose only USP is that they contain no oil, by remembering that people with problem skin still want protecting from the signs of ageing. Products these days need to do more than just claim to be 'oil-free' and this one does.

$65.00 for 50ml from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com


RetAsphere Micro Peel is included because it blows out of the water the 'never use acids with retinols' old way of thinking. This is 10% glycolic acid and lactose built with a retinol time-release system that basically means the acids open the door to let the vitamin A enter. It's a peel that you leave on, which is my preference, and causes me no irritation. Smoothing and firming, if you want a vitamin a product with kick, try this out. Diminishes fine lines and the look of pores. 

$90.00 for 30ml from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com


Finally, Age Arrest Advanced Reviving Cream is what I would call a cross between an anti-ageing serum and moisturiser. It's full of peptides and algaes and also pays attention to lengthening the life of the cell via telomere technology, something a lot of brands are starting to use. If you're budgeting and have to cut corners, you could use this or Deep Tissue Repair as your serum and moisturiser in one.

$90.00 for 50ml available from Sephora.com or KateSomerville.com

63 comments:

  1. Loved this post Caroline! Do you have any idea if KS is EVER coming to the UK?! Thank you :) xx

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  2. Good morning from Florida Caroline!
    I have been eyeing th KS moisturizers after binge watching your channel and reading the blog. I have recently begun both and am and pm routine following the instructions you provided in the "cheat sheet". I love how my skin is coming along, but I have developed small bumps on the surface of my skin. (Over exfoliation?) I thought I was set on the Nourish but would the Goat Milk be a better option? Thank you for the time you take out of your busy like to educate those of us who have never known better. Have a lovely day!��

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    1. I too developed these small red bumps after using Nourish. I've concluded that there must be something in there which irritates my skin. I've since donated it to my husband who doesn't seem to have any problems. Interested to hear Mrs. Hirons' take on this.

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  3. Love this post! Please do more! Something like what to buy from those brands that are usually known more for makeup than skincare - Chanel, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown, etc. I get so intimidated by those that I tend to just nix them from consideration entirely! (although with Kate Somerville, do I really need to consider anything else? :) )

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  4. I really want to try Kate Somerville one day!

    moremindfulyou.blogspot.com

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  5. I cannot rave enough about the Eradikate sulfur treatment. Bye bye blemishes !!!!

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  7. stupid inquiry, likely, but: are the clinic to go peel pads safe for pregnancy? was using the extra strength dennis gross peel pads but the second wipe has retinol and would rather be safe. that said - NEED MY ACIDS, so. help?

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    1. She said in one of her early videos that salicylic should not be used during pregnancy. Basically, she said to talk to your doctor before using the salicylic acid. Hope that helps.

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  8. Hi Caroline, I was wondering the Goat Milk moisturiser, I have acne and Rosacea mostly on the cheek and have been advised against exfoliation would you still recommend the Goat Milk with the lactic acid?
    I'm REALLY struggling to control the Rosacea and find products that do not leave my skin red and angry! Would be grateful for your recommendations?!
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi! I am not Caroline, but I could be helpful here. I suffer from the same issues on my chin and I need to be careful with exfoliation as I have eczema. The Goat Milk moisturiser is my life saviour, the only thing that stops my skin from breaking out and yet is super nourishing, leaving my skin looking hydrated and healthy. It is rich so I tend to use it as a PM moisturiser, while for AM I prefer the Oil-free one that also makes for a perfect make-up base. Hope this helps!

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    2. I've used the goat milk moisturizer and I have very dry and sensitive skin, but breakout prone. I found that it didn't irritate my skin at all. However, many other products do irritate my skin, so when in doubt, I like to use a very thin layer of oil over my skin and let it absorb into my skin before putting anything else on. I find that it instantly calms my skin and prevents it from reacting negatively to any other products.

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    3. I have very dry and sensitive, but breakout prone skin. I found that the goat milk moisturizer didn't irritate my skin at all. However, many products do. When in doubt I apply a very thin layer of oil over my skin and let it absorb completely before applying anything else. It instantly calms my skin and prevents inflammation.

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    4. Thank you Ladies! I appreciate it x

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  9. Excellent post Caroline. KS really need to be stocked in the UK. Sephora won't ship KS to the UK (restricted) and my last order from the KS website took +2 weeks for delivery. There's no quick restock option if I run out. What can we do to get them stocked here?!

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  10. Excellent post. I bought some Deep tissue repair and Nourish in NY in the autumn. Now wishing I'd grabbed a few other bits from the range as well!

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  11. Hi Mrs H. Loved this blog post. I have sensitive skin, would any of these be suitable for me.

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  12. I received the Goat Milk moisturizer for Christmas (It was on my wishlist after seeing you'd recommended it!) and I am so thrilled with it. Finding a moisturizer that really works with my skin and fits well in the rest of my routine is blissful. Thanks for always giving excellent, well-informed advice!

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  13. Do you think the Unilever acquisition will be a good thing? I know that REN has also been added to their line up and wasn't really sure what to make of it and how it would affect ingredients etc.

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  14. These are great suggestions. Kate Sommerville is a name I keep hearing time and time again, and if it wasn't for the prices, I would have a ton of it in my routine. I have very acne prone adult skin, so I'm very interested in the Oil-free moisturizer. How do you feel about the goat's milk moisturizer for acne prone skin?
    www.divaandthedivine.com

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  15. I have a €100 (equiv. £75) gift voucher for Space NK - what should I buy? HALP!
    They don't sell this brand there but is there anything else I should try for my skin that is patiently waiting -- 8 months and counting -- for the initial Retin-A breakout to resolve and so is a bit irritated and sensitive a lot of the time?

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    1. 8 months is a long time to still be breaking out. Lots of people cannot use a retinoid full stop due to irritation. I wonder if you are simply sensitive to it?

      Nude is great & hopefully is still stocked in Space NK.... Especially the Rescue Oil (I have acne prone skin and use Epiduo every night, followed by the Rescue Oil. Love it!)

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  16. I'm having withdrawal symptoms from not having Kate Sommerville here in the UK! I used to pass by it in Sephora all the time and now I'm kicking myself for not doing a huge stock up before I moved from the U.S.

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  17. This is a great post! I wish I had this when they had the 30% sale. I definitely would have gone with the Age Arrest over the CYTOCELL oil free serum. I received the AA as a sample with my order and I love it! I also loved my oil free moisturizer sample. I like the CYTOCELL, but I love those samples. Next time. Thanks Caroline!

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  18. I'm in the market for a new retinol product for night use. I have been using VI Derm Ulta A - a coule times a week mixed with moisturizer is all I can tolerate. Do you think the Retisphere would be a good option to help me increase my tolerance?
    Thank you!

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  19. It's mad that you don't have this in the UK, we have it in New Zealand (Mecca Cosmetica) for goodness sake!!!

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    1. Yeah I'm a Kiwi now living in London so was surprised to see it at Kirkcaldies (Wellington) given it's not in the UK!

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  20. Going to be coming back to this post when I next go over to the US. Some of those moisturisers sound lush. Also I'm very intrigued by the Resurfacing Peel Pads.
    Great idea for a series, I cant wait to read more!

    www.georgietoms.com

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  21. Love the peel pads, Nourish and CC cream. Next up, I'll try the deep tissue. So, I'm trying to get my husband to use something on his face (treatment/moisture) and am not sure which product to buy for him. Any thoughts anyone? He is 52 with some sun damage and an all-in-one product would be ideal.

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  22. I'm so glad you put this post on. I am visiting the states in 12 days time and I was a little unsure what to prioritise on a budget for this brand...and you have made my life so much easier.
    Question- you say about vitamin c being hard to find because of their volatile nature...would you recommend the body shop vitamin C range to be any good especially in comparison to KS's one?

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  23. Arrrggghh acronyms please explain NPD did I miss the meaning in there? Sorry

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    1. Sorry. It's New Product Development! X

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  24. Love posts like this. clear, concise, easy. Thanks Caroline.

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  25. Great post, Caroline! I have many of the above products and a few more, I love the Nourish line and have the moisturiser, spray and mask. May I ask, KS Retasphere (the original one, the above isn't sold in Australia, yet...) or SR Luna??? 39 yr old, combo skin, very clogged pores, only a few fine lines.... Cheers.

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  26. I really like Kate Sommerville skincare, sp happy to see all your faves in one spot! Nourish is one of my favourite moisturisers and I have the Mega Vitamin C but haven't used too much of it at this stage. Definitely interested in the Age Arrest line...
    The Beauty Bloss

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  27. Great post Caroline! Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us :)

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  28. Great post Carolne! Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us with this series :)

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  29. Just brought Black Sabbath tickets purely to see Rival Sons! Another one of your influences!

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  30. I hope to tryout some of their skincare products soon! Great post Caroline x

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  31. I've been using KS for a few years now. My fave from her are the Exfolikate (nothing gives quite a glow like this imo), Peel pads, Vit C serum and Goat Milk cream. Not a fan of Nourish smells funny to me. Interested in trying her Retinol 2 in 1 cream. Amazing brand. Love her skin philosophy. Read her book if you haven't.

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  32. Thanks for posting Caroline! I've been using KS Micropeel and putting Sunday Riley Flora on top for additional hydration. Is that a bad thing or what would you recommend the nights I use Micropeel? Thanks!!

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  33. Hi Caroline,
    How would you compare Darphin Stimulskin Plus to Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair?
    Thanks

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  34. Hi Caroline,
    How would you compare Darphin Stimulskin Plus to Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair?
    Thanks

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  35. I should have bought the KS Deep Tissue Repair when I had discount code over the holidays. It's pretty pricey but I will keep my eye out for next sale opportunity. Have yet to try any KS product.
    www.mavensinmedicine.com

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  36. I never tried anything from that brand, but my wish list is now long enough to spend a months salary on it.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  37. What are your thoughts on the EradiKate items?

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  38. Also wondering about the acronym NPD ??

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  39. Thank you for sharing!
    I am not sure where questions or requests for posts are supposed to be made, but I would love to know your opinion on Alcohol (Alcohol Denat, not fatty alcohols) in beauty products. I know some skincare experts are categorically against it as an irritant, skin dryer, and skin damager, but some products you have recommended on your blog contain alcohol so I assume you have a different opinion. Personally, I'm not too bothered if it is very low on the ingredient list, but I avoid it otherwise as I do notice its drying properties.

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  40. Another amazing post - as usual! Please, please make Kate Somerville available at Cult Beauty or SpaceNK. Only you can make it possible. I simply could not use your generous discount code for Kate Somerville - regret it. I'll be better prepared now, with your latest post. Thank you.

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  41. I've been using Nourish for about a year now (and just restocked in the US over the holidays), and I love this one. I had a very bad reaction to the Goat's Milk - I tried it not even thinking about my history of having issues with milk and lactose, and that it would also occur from using a cream. I've been on the fence about Age Arrest, simply because of the cost. I wish they would bring KS to the UK so I don't have to keep stuffing pots in every place possible in my suitcase!

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  42. I've never tried Kate S's products before. I am researching a new eye cream as in my "about to be 50" year, bored with Sisley, not to darkly circily but a little lined, dry plus sometimes puffy soooo my question is.........Zelens, Kate Somerville or anything else........Caroline?......Anyone?

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  43. Hi Caroline,
    I bought the Nourish moisturiser and the Exfolikate using your money off code and love both. I also received a sample of the Age Arrest cream and the eye cream and absolutely loved them both. They are next on my list to buy. Thanks for the code and this post - really useful to know.
    Also wish KS was readily available in the UK(have a word! ;) X

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  44. Amazing. I've totally screen shot some of these. One thing ( as I approach 30) is I want to look after my skin x

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  45. I like the line but i just did find out that it is now under the big hat of unilever. https://www.unilever.com/news/press-releases/2015/Unilever-acquires-Kate-Somerville-skincare.html
    Hopefully it stays as good as it was

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  47. Does anyone know if you can buy KS products in major US airports? I currently have the other half on a mission at Boston! Thanks X

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  48. Caroline or anyone. The description on Sephora.com states that Age arrest works on dark spots.From your experience, have you noted this to be true? Trying to decide between Age arrest or the Deep Tissue. Dark Spots are a concern for me. I would love to have the Zelens Z luminous.But, at $260 in the states, at the moment it's not in my budget.

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  49. Hello Mrs Hirons, I have an acne prone skin and its been over a year that it settles and comes back after a few weeks of happiness. Initially I thought it was hormonal as I have just turned 30, but been tested all my hormones are normal and I cant figure out cause of it. I have been following you cleanse and skincare routine but still I have 1 or 2 red pops coming up every 3rd day ! I was eyeing on Kate Somerville Products like oil free moisturiser & Goat milk with Eradikate for acne. Can you please help me.
    My skincare is as follows
    Mornings
    -Cleanse with Sunday Riley's Ceramic slip
    -Pixi Gow Tonic
    -LarochePosay Serozinc
    -Start Over Eye Cream by SR
    -Good Genes by SR
    -Artemis by SR

    Evenings
    -Emma Hardies double cleanse
    -Sarah Chapman overnight Facial / Luna by SR

    Please help looking forward for you response.

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  50. Hello Mrs Hirons, I have an acne prone skin and its been over a year that it settles and comes back after a few weeks of happiness. Initially I thought it was hormonal as I have just turned 30, but been tested all my hormones are normal and I cant figure out cause of it. I have been following you cleanse and skincare routine but still I have 1 or 2 red pops coming up every 3rd day ! I was eyeing on Kate Somerville Products like oil free moisturiser & Goat milk with Eradikate for acne. Can you please help me.
    My skincare is as follows
    Mornings
    -Cleanse with Sunday Riley's Ceramic slip
    -Pixi Gow Tonic
    -LarochePosay Serozinc
    -Start Over Eye Cream by SR
    -Good Genes by SR
    -Artemis by SR

    Evenings
    -Emma Hardies double cleanse
    -Sarah Chapman overnight Facial / Luna by SR

    Please help looking forward for you response.

    ReplyDelete

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