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Kate Somerville Blemish Banisher Kit takes a different approach to the usual 1-2-3 “Salicylic Acid Cleanser – Benzoyl Peroxide On-the-Spot Treatment – Retinol Moisturizer” that is so typical of anti-acne products. Instead, this unique kit all but banishes those mainstay ingredients entirely, and depends on a slew of AHAs, natural exfoliating enzymes, oil-absorbing substances, and a whopping 10% sulfur in the EradiKate™ Acne Treatment.
Overall, I like the Kate Somerville Blemish Banisher Kit for anyone with mild to moderate acne who has tried the traditional route for acne, and is looking for a new approach. That said, I am highly doubtful this kit would work on anyone with severe and/or cystic acne, and would recommend more of a prescription retinoid – benzoyl peroxide – salicylic acid approach for those folks (and perhaps even Accutane). For more on each individual product in the Kate Somerville Blemish Banisher Kit, read on!
The real secret to Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser is the blend of phytic, salicylic, glycolic, lactic acids.
Salicylic acid works in part by softening keratin, a protein that forms part of the skin structure. This helps to loosen dry scaly skin, increasing cell turnover and effectively renewing the skin. It is often used in acne treatments to cleanse and to prevent clogging of the pores. When salicylic acid is used in combination with other treatments, like in this acne kit, it often allows the other formulation’s ingredients to penetrate the skin more effectively.
Glycolic acid is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and is a common ingredient in skincare products. Both in vitro and in vivo tests have shown it to increase collagen production, fibroblast proliferation, and cell turnover rates (Dermatologic Surgery). By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, glycolic acid peels smooth the skin, quicken the rate of cell turnover (which is reduced by up to 7% every ten years), decrease small wrinkles, increase the fibroblast proliferation of collagen, and may help reduce the lifespan of acne lesions.
Lastly, lactic acid has a lot of the same effects as glycolic acid. The two big differences between glycolic acid and lactic acid are that glycolic acid will smooth the surface of the skin, while lactic acid doesn’t, but, in turn, glycolic acid is not hydrating and lactic acid is super hydrating. Proof of lactic acid’s humectant abilities is that one of the only prescription drugs FDA approved for dry skin, LacHydrin, has lactic acid (12%) as the main ingredient. Pretty impressive!
Overall, I like Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser, and I recommend it for anyone with mild to moderate acne, as well as anyone with signs of aging.
Ingredients in Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Phytic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Sodium PCA, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cyanocobalamin, Urea, Panthenol, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorphenesin, Limonene.
This product is a classic, and for good reason: Way back in 2008, it was amongst the first to use a combination of natural enzymes (papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin) to gently exfoliate. Papaya fruit enzymes were used in medicine even before Kate Somerville included them in her products: a 1999 study in Burns reports that papaya fruit extracts are able to help skin after mild to moderate burns, most likely by increasing cell turnover. Similarly, with bromelain (found in pineapple), according to a 1988 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, bromelain modulates tumor growth, blood coagulation, third degree burn debridement, enhances the absorption of drugs, and – significantly for skin care – helps decrease inflammation in the skin.
This is a great anti-aging product for anyone with dry and sensitive skin, who find it hard to exfoliate but know they need to do so. I kind-of love this product. I think it’s an interesting recommendation for acne — not necessarily a first-line treatment, mind you, but as a part of the Kate Somerville Blemish Banisher Kit, it’s a nice addition.
Ingredients in Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliator: Water, 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.
I’m not going to mince words: I dislike this product. Yes, Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer contains oil-absorbing spheres of sodium polyacrylate. And, yes, polyacrylate has long proven to be safe in the medical and dental industries: Methylacrylate is found in adhesives, dental impressions, and nail sculptures. In a skin care product, oil-absorbing spheres of sodium polyacrylate will absorb oil, but not release it back into the skin (DermoCosmetica).
Despite this unique “one way sponge” effect, I’m not really feeling Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer. Here’s a chance not only for oil absorption, but also to add some soothing anti-aging ingredients, like EGCG-rich green tea, oatmeal extract, bisabolol — you get the idea. This moisturizer kind of banks everything on the “oil-absorbing spheres,” and while it’s fine as a part of the kit, I wouldn’t repurchase it on its own.
Ingredients in Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer: Water, Isocetyl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate/Tetracaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyamide-5, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol, Pullulan, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Trideceth-6, Algae Extract, Triethanolamine, Ahnfeltiopsis Concinna Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine.
Kate Somerville EradiKate™ Acne Treatment
This product is one of the reasons why I really like Kate Somerville products: High concentration of proven ingredients, elegant formulation, easy to use. Like, sulfur can be incredibly messy (especially when you use it in a mask, like many brands provide), or it can be really drying. But this on-the-spot treatment is neither, mainly because it’s just an on-the-spot treatment. I swear by it when I’m hormonal and breaking out here and there.
Sulfur is only permissible in products up to 10%, which this product has. Sulfur has drying properties, which help the skin to heal. Numerous studies have found sulfur to be effective against fighting inflammation and redness in the skin, including a 1997 study in the Journal of Dermatological Treatments.
I’m a big fan.
Ingredients in Kate Somerville EradiKate™ Acne Treatment: Isopropyl Alcohol, Water, Camphor, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Salicylic Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947).