Kate Somerville is a skincare savant. The beloved esthetician has worked in the industry for nearly two decades, opening her first skin clinic in 2004. Since then, she's amassed a star-studded roster of clients (Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde, and Kate Hudson, to name a few) and created a namesake brand full of bestsellers (like the ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment).
With her status as a revered beauty pro, devotees are always eager to learn what's next for her and the brand. Well, we have the answer. For the past two years, Somerville has been working hard developing her latest skincare collection, HydraKate. The brand's newest range—which includes the Recharging Water Cream ($76) and Recharging Serum ($78)—is infused with Nobel prize-winning technology that provides 24-hour hydration. Curious to learn more? We were too. Ahead, Somerville shares everything you need to know about the HydraKate launches.
Somerville didn't have to look far for inspiration as her son sparked the idea for the line. "In 2020, my son was spending a lot of time in front of the screen doing online schooling," she says. "His skin was looking so fatigued. I wanted to create something that would help revive his skin and not interfere with his acne."
With the HydraKate range, Somerville aimed to formulate products that provided the right amount of hydration without making the skin oily. "We've formulated it to be especially beneficial for dehydrated, fatigued skin," she explains. "Many don't realize there is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Dryness and dehydration may look and even feel similar, but dry skin results from too little oil, while dehydrated skin is due to lack of water, which is why the collection is water-based."
The HydraKate formula takes cues from Somerville's signature micro-channeling therapy treatment. "Micro-channeling creates thousands of new invisible, microscopic pathways in the skin, allowing us to deliver deep, intense hydration with no discomfort or downtime," she says. "I told my amazing chemist, Freddy, I wanted to take this clinical innovation and find a way to bottle it up for our consumers to use daily at home. That's when he came back with the AquaPort Technology."
So, what is AquaPort Technology? It's the brand's version of the Nobel prize-winning Aquaporin Technology. "This unique technology consists of barrel-shaped proteins that are present in the cell membranes of our corneocytes," Somerville notes. "They open up and allow water to flow outside the cell into the center. This is how our skin regulates optimal hydration levels and ensures that each skin cell is sufficiently full of water."
The AquaPort system allows ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to penetrate the skin faster and deeper, allowing for more effective 24-hour hydration. "AquaPort Technology works with hyaluronic acid in the formula to act as the 'fast lane' to deliver hydration to the cells that need it most," she adds.
Though this award-winning hydration technology is powerful on its own, Somerville also included a few other ingredients to enhance the formulas further. Rosemary peptide complex combats skin fatigue, accelerates natural recovery by strengthening the barrier, and promotes optimal hydration. Marigold flower supports skin elasticity, improves tone, and smooths the appearance of wrinkles. And last but not least, blue light-activated algae extract combats photo and digital aging and reduces the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
With such dynamic formulas, it's no surprise that the testing phase delivered impressive results. "We ran a UGC study on a range of ages, ethnicities, and genders and received amazing feedback on our final product," Somerville shares. Based on the brand's independent clinical studies (conducted on 30 to 50 people ages 20 to 50), the Recharging Water Cream was proven to hydrate for up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Recharging Serum improved skin smoothness and radiance for up to 24 hours. Research also found both products were proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after one week. Impressive, right?
I'm the perfect tester for the HydraKate line as my skin is perpetually parched, and I spend an inordinate amount of time in front of screens. Needless to say, I slathered both products on my face as soon as they arrived. Somerville recommends applying the Recharging Serum first to clean and dry skin in the morning and evening, letting it fully absorb before using the Recharging Water Cream. Of course, I followed her directions to a T.
During the clinical studies, the data showed that 91% of participants experienced smoother, softer, and plumper skin after using the products once. This definitely rings true for me as my skin looked and felt refreshed. On the hydration front, using the products in tandem kept my skin feeling moisturized all day. In the evening, I applied the products right before going to bed. I happily woke up to skin that was super hydrated and radiant. Bottom line: If your skin needs a pick-me-up, consider adding the HydraKate collection to your routine.
Kruse E, Uehlein N, Kaldenhoff R. The aquaporins. Genome Biol. 2006;7(2):206.