Gives an instant glow
Doesn't irritate my skin
Made with quality ingredients
Value could be better
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
We put Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate Intensive Pore Exfoliating Treatment to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Chemical exfoliators are my favorite skincare song. My skin has a mind of its own, but the one thing I know is my deep brown finicky epidermis loves a goop that exfoliates without the need for physical exfoliation. In walks Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate Intensive Pore Exfoliating Treatment, a product with a slew of five-star reviews and a price point that, in my opinion, makes you wonder if it's truly worth it.
Don't get me wrong—I love investing in my skin, but since there are often budget-friendly options that can achieve similar results as their pricey counterparts, I typically go for a highly-recommended dupe instead. In this case, there isn't one, so I'm trying the real thing. Keep scrolling to read about my first experience with Kate Somerville's cult-favorite exfoliator.
Best for: Normal, dry, combination, and oily skin types
Uses: Exfoliates to target dullness, uneven skin tone, and the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
Potential Allergens: Honey
Active Ingredients: Lactic acid, salicylic acid, and papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: In 2004, after working alongside cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, Kate Somerville formulated her eponymous line of science-backed skincare products.
My Skin: Combination and sensitive with hyperpigmentation
As I'm getting to know my skin in my 30s, I understand that I have to be more gentle and diligent with my skincare routine. I find the less-is-more approach to be incredibly helpful even when I have a huge hormonal pimple on my chin—or worse, smack-dab in the middle for my forehead. The aggressive products and tactics I once used no longer work for my skin.
Physical exfoliators are usually a no go for me these days as they make matters worse and cause reactive breakouts. My routine is simple these days: a cream cleanser, a toner (at night), a vitamin C serum (in the morning), a retinol product (at night), a clay mask (weekly), and a chemical exfoliator (weekly).
Considering all of the products I used to rotate in and out of my routine, what I just listed is a significant difference. At first, it wasn't easy to commit to because of my love of trying new things, but I realize now how valuable a minimalist skin routine is for me.
Ingredients: Exfoliating and calming
Papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes: This trio might sound like a simple fruit cocktail, but these three ingredients pack a big punch. Proteolytic enzymes greatly benefit skincare formulas due to their ability to break down the keratin protein in the upper layer of the skin, making way for a brighter, smoother complexion.
Lactic acid: Lactic acid is a powerful AHA that can exfoliate the top layer of skin and smooth wrinkles, reduce breakouts, and increase cell turnover.
Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble whitehead-busting BHA that can penetrate multiple skin layers, unclogging pores with minimal irritation.
Silica: The biodegradable silica exfoliating beads physically exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface.
The Feel: Like a scrub
Imagine a green scrub but with a fine texture. As you massage it on, you can barely feel the silica beads against your skin.
The Packaging: Hygienic and compact
The small white tube makes it easy not to overdo it on the product. It also seals tightly with a flip cap so that all of the ingredients stay potent.
The Results: Instantly brighter skin
Every now and then, there's a skincare product that comes along and makes you say, wow—and this is one of them. Because of the green exfoliator's texture, I was a little nervous about the mix of physical and chemical exfoliation, but my skin loved it. Upon application, I felt a slight tingle that increased in intensity the longer I had it on. I don't want to say it was a burning feeling, but it was certainly more than a tingle. After two minutes, I rinsed it off and applied hyaluronic acid.
I looked in the mirror and instantly saw brighter skin.
My hyperpigmentation didn't disappear, but my skin had the same glow as it does when I get a facial. I am thoroughly impressed with this product and can't wait to see the cumulative effects as I continue to use it once a week.
The Value: This is tricky
Digesting the fact that a two-ounce bottle of green goodness is $85 is tough. However, the instant results make it easy to see why anyone would make a relatively hefty investment in a single product. However, when I compare this to a facial, I can see that the investment makes sense because the results are just that good—I imagine I could see a skincare guru less often.
Similar Products: There’s some well-formulated competition
Goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial: Formulated with nearly 86 percent USDA-certified organic ingredients, this dual exfoliator uses physical and chemical exfoliants—AHAs, BHAs, and plant-based cellulose beads— to rinse away dead skin leaving behind a brighter, smoother complexion in just three minutes.
Tata Harper Regenerating Exfoliating Cleanser: This creamy formulation isn't just a cleanser. It is also an exfoliating treatment, thanks to its apricot microspheres that physically exfoliate and the willow bark-derived BHA that penetrates the pores, revealing brightener skin without irritation.
- Product Name ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
- Product Brand Kate Somerville
- UPC 813920010000 161889363010
- Price $85
- Weight 2 oz.
- Product Dimensions 2 x 4.76 x 1.5 in.
- Suggested Use 1 to 2 times a week
- Ingredients Water/Aqua/Eau Lactic Acid Silica Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil Pectin Cetearyl Alcohol Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Ceteareth-20 Cetyl Alcohol Phenoxyethanol Dehydroxanthan Gum Glyceryl Stearate PEG-100 Stearate Salicylic Acid Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract Alcohol Denat. Sorbic Acid Cinnamal Honey/Mel/Miel Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil Eugenol Potassium Sorbate Limonene Linalool Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil Beta-Carotene Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder Bromelain Papain Retinyl Palmitate Tocopheryl Acetate Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil Acetic Acid Pogostemon Cablin Oil Geranium Maculatum Oil Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Extract Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil