Skin: Talking exfoliation with Kate Somerville

The creator and director of a renowned medi-skin clinic in Los Angeles, Kate Somerville , has devoted her life to creating flawless faces. Her skincare collection was produced in direct response to the challenges she sees on a daily basis in her clinic – the same skin health issues men and women of all ages and ethnicities face everywhere.

The name Kate Somerville has become synonymous with complexion perfection. So when we were researching the who, what, where, when and why on exfoliation Kate came to mind. Here, she gives us all the lowdown on exfoliation…

Exfoliating is all about…
Exfoliating is one of the most important steps in skincare and is the key to brighter, smoother, and more even skin texture. Exfoliating sloughs off dead skin, and helps subsequent products work more effectively.

Not exfoliating enough (or at all) is one of the most common mistakes I see. Skin looks dull, dry, wrinkles look deeper, pores look larger, and makeup can appear heavy and cakey because it’s exaggerating the dry skin underneath.

Hero product for exfoliating…
Look for an exfoliator like my ExfoliKate, which has both a physical and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation lifts dead skin cells and chemical exfoliation dissolves dead skin.

For physical exfoliation, look for a product with small, round beads. Stay away from products containing sharp nuts or seeds, because they can cause tiny tears on the surface of your skin. Those tears will then appear as sensitivity or irritation, and may also serve as little reservoirs for bacteria to attach and thrive.

For chemical exfoliation look formulas with lactic acid or fruit enzymes – like pumpkin, pineapple or papaya enzymes – that gently dissolve dead skin.

Ideally, you should be looking for scrubs with enzymes, acids, and/or round beads that gently roll across the surface and lift away dead skin cells.

When exfoliating at home, always remember…
Use steam! Exfoliation should take place after cleansing and steaming. It not only warms the skin, it also adds moisture and hydration to soften skin – making it much easier and more effective to exfoliate.

You can steam in the shower or by taking a clean washcloth, putting it in warm water and laying it over skin for a few minutes.  You will get the same benefits as using the steamer. Use water that’s warm enough to produce steam, but be careful that it’s not too hot. Excessively hot water can dry out skin.

Frequency…
To get glowing skin, you need to exfoliate regularly. It’s absolutely crucial for removing dry, dead skin cells and deep cleaning pores.

If you’re in your 20s – exfoliate twice per week; 30s – three times; 40s and above – three to four times, but no more (depending on skin type). Exfoliating too much can actually cause excess oil production, sensitivity and redness. Skin needs time to repair and rebuild.

Exfoliating tips…
Dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate the body, it also promotes circulation and stimulates your lymphatic system.

For a deeper exfoliant…
Try a Clarisonic or Foreo. I recommend using the Clarisonic up to 3 times a week (depending on skin type) with a cleanser that won’t irritate your skin.  For sensitive skin or active acne use 3 times a week with the ultra-sensitive brush head.  You can use the Foreo daily.

Dermaplaning is also a great form of exfoliation on a deep level. It’s a safe and painless procedure.  A scalpel is applied over face to remove skin cells and peach fuzz.  Makeup goes on smoother and you will get better results from products and treatments used after, as they can penetrate deeper. If you’re not able to see a professional, I recommend you use a razor and shave once a week all over face (morning or night).  Use a cleanser instead of a shave cream.

Who shouldn’t exfoliate…
Everyone can and should exfoliate! Sensitive or dry skin under the impression that they can’t exfoliation it’s going to cause more dryness or irritation.  Dead skin is dry skin!

Anybody with rosacea, sensitive skin or active acne should stay away from scrubbing skin. Chemical exfoliation is the safest way to exfoliate skin, depending on the strength of the acid. I recommend exfoliating with lactic acid because it dissolves the dead top layer of skin without causing irritation. Lactic acid is mild and gentle yet super effective, plus it helps with textural issues.

Kate’s hint: Try the Clinic-to-Go Resurfacing Pads

 

Post-exfoliating care…
Cleanse, exfoliate, extract (wrap fingers with paper towels, use q tips), then treat/correct and always remember to moisturize!

When should you start?
In your 20s you should start exfoliating twice a week.

Visit a beauty professional for…
A deeper level of exfoliation. I really encourage you to try dermaplaning.  See a professional if you have sensitive skin or have never dermaplaned before to make sure you don’t have a reaction.

The Kate Somerville philosophy is…
At my Skin Health Experts™ Clinic on Melrose Place, we incorporate exfoliation into every service (including laser treatments, microneedling, etc.) to maximize benefits from the treatment.   We always cleanse with steam prior to exfoliation and then we massage ExfoliKate onto skin for 30 seconds and leave it on for up 2-4 minutes.

Discover Kate Somerville from Mecca here