Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Treatment Review & Photos

Kate Somerville

Oh, ExfoliKate, How I Love Thee!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85.00 for 2 oz., $175.00 for 5 oz.) is something I’ve been wanting to write about but have no real idea about how to go about doing it.  I just don’t know how to explain WHY I love this product so much, and it’s not exactly something you can easily show. I also struggle with what to say in regards to this product, because I love it, and it’s not cheap. While I worry about any recommendations I may make (I worry that you’ll hate what I loved!), I stress out over bigger ticket items in particular!  Anyway…

The product itself is a thin, green-tinged (think seaweed, perhaps–moss? anchovy paste… no!) mixture of enzymes and acids (which is kind of redundant, but whatever).  This is not a scrub–this is like a cleanser meets mask meets scrub.  To apply, you squeeze out about a pea to nickel-sized dollop onto fingers, then gently apply in circular motions to damp skin.  Let it sit for about thirty seconds (based on your tolerance), and then rinse off, towel dry, and enjoy the pretty glow it leaves behind.   I don’t think you need much, but considering the price tag, I still find myself ensuring I don’t over-use.  (Though my boyfriend suffers no such affliction!)  It’s meant to be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.  I usually use it twice a week myself.

I love the ridiculously soft feel of my skin post-ExfoliKate.  It’s so, so smooth.  It’s not dry, tight, or red after using it, and it’s not rough against my skin at all.  I know that ExfoliKate also comes in a Gentle formula for those with more sensitive skin, but I really didn’t feel much tingling (from the enzymes!) even from the get-go.  When I had my boyfriend try it for the first time, he felt the tingling much, much more than I, but after two or three uses, he didn’t seem to have any issues with it.  My skin looks and feels renewed and refreshed after each use.

One itsy-bitsy tube has lasted me about four months (I bought my first tube back in October ’09 but didn’t start using it right away), but I’ve definitely had lapses where I’ve only used it once a week or less… but then again, the boyfriend has definitely used more than copious amounts in the time I’ve had it in the bathroom!  All in all, I do think the 2 oz. tube lasts a good while, so it won’t be as if you’ll run through a single tube in a month or even two.   Not to say it’s cheap stuff, though!

There is one thing I have learned after having acne-prone skin for several years now–good skincare is worth it.  If you find something that works, it’s probably worth sticking to, rather than hunting for something cheaper and just as effective.  That’s just my motto nowadays; it’s worth the investment in my skin.  A good product doesn’t have to be expensive, either, but if it is and it works (and obviously, you’ve tried more than just that!), I see no reason to go elsewhere.  Once you find a solid skincare routine, you can plan to stock-up during sale events or triple points or whatever.

I like that it’s really easy to use, and you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to get a nice, enzyme-based exfoliation session in.  I love masks and all those kinds of products, but too often I completely forget about using them, but I always have a few minutes to spare for quick and effective exfoliation.    The packaging is simple, but I’ve found it works.  It dispenses product without a fuss–you don’t have to worry about getting too much out–and it’s pretty hygienic.  I could see that a pump might work better, but given my recent experience pump-packaging, it’d likely dispense way too much.  And this isn’t a product I want to waste a single drop of!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! 🙂

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I am always hesitant to recommend anyone to shell out so much for so little product, even if I’ve experienced good results with it. If you can, I’d definitely try a sample OR purchase from a retailer with a solid return/exchange policy in case you really don’t get any magic out of it. I still can’t commit to buying the big daddy size, though I’ve purchased this product twice now.

Availability: Sephora

See another photo…

Kate Somerville


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Amy Avatar

I use the Lancome exfoliator. It has the enzymes, the fruit extracts, and does the job pretty well. It’s also very gentle and leaves your skin really smooth and bright after using it – my boyfriend happens to always use my stuff as well 🙂

virginiaisforluvrs Avatar

I have acne-prone skin as well, but it’s also very sensitive (it’s gets super red very easily). I might try the sensitive skin one if it doesn’t have any kind of beads or scrubbies. I definitely agree with you about sticking to what works for you, even if it’s a little pricey. I use Boscia products almost exclusively because they are so gentle, and have worked wonders on my skin!

Susanna Avatar

ExfoliKate is amazing. It has kept my acne in check much better than any other product — even things prescribed by my dermatologist. I actually use in every 2-3 days, and I can definitely see and feel the difference when I forget and skip a few days. I wish it weren’t so expensive, but for me it’s definitely worth it.

Cindy Avatar

Years ago my aesthetician told me that smart women spend more on skin care than on cosmetics. If your skin looks great, everything else will look better when you put it on your face. It’s like building a house – you need a solid foundation to build on. You’re lucky to have found your H.G. product so young!

Mirna Avatar

Ur aesthetician is so right! Truer words have never been spoken! I remember girls in high school talking trash about MAC makeup, that it made their skin breakout. & now that i think about it, they probably were not taking care of skin in the 1st place!

Millie Avatar

Love Exfolikate too! Am tempted to try other products in her line, especially now that they are available in the Nordstrom close to my house.

Erica Avatar

I too, use the oil free moisturizer. Got a sample of the goat cream but haven’t tried it yet. Christine, do you know what its supposed to be used for? Not much detail on the jar.

Tina Avatar

I cant wait to try this out! I’ve been using Kate Somerville’s Clarifying Treatment Toner for a few months, and its awesome! Its hard to justify the cost, but Ive noticed how much my skin has improved after using it. Her products are truly the gold standard in skincare

Roberta Avatar

I have the clearing mask and I love it! Its so awesome. Kate Sommersville acne line is the ONLY thing that keeps my skin clear, it only sucks that it’s kinda expensive.

Krys Avatar

I had a large sample of this and loved it! My face felt as soft as it did after using any good exfoliator/face mask but this product clears out my pores better than any other product i have tried. As a result the size of my pores shrink like wonders and makeup then looks better. I’m in the process of trying to find alternatives because the price makes me sick but I still cant get this product outta my head! 🙁

Beck Avatar

How would you describe the texture on your skin, does it have any “scrubbies” anything mildly abrasive to help slough off the dead skin
or just the enzyme action?

Grace Avatar

i’m so excited for you that you really liked it! could you post some pix of before and afters to show the “glow” after using it? thanks!

Christine Avatar

Gosh, I’ve found a good deal…

I love NARS’ Skincare – their Hydrating Moisturizer & Toner are great, as is Aqua Gel! I also love Origins’ skincare – simple and effective. Kate Somerville has been great so far (Oil-Free Moisturizer, ExfoliKate).

Rachel Avatar

Hi! It seems were have very similar skin issues, so I was wondering, besides this product, are there any other acne or skin-clearing products that you swear by? I have tried a million different things over the years, and still am at the age of 26. Not too old, I know, but old enough that i don’t want to feel like a teenager. :/

PS-I am relatively new to your blog, so forgive me if you’ve done such posts in the past!!
PPS-love the blog!!!

Christine Avatar

Hey Rachel,

I like Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion & Drying Cream for spot treatments. They’re relatively affordable and work pretty well for me (better than a lot of other drugstore spot treatments!). I also make sure to cleanse AM & PM. In the PM, I use a makeup remover (shu uemura’s cleansing oil – the orange one) and then a cleanser. I also make sure to avoid touching my hands, try to avoid any food touching my skin area (e.g. a splash of whatever!), and regularly change my pillowcase. Sigh!

Rachel Avatar

Cool, thanks for the info!! I think I’m going to get one of the Kate Somerville gift sets from sephora.com. I realize I’ll be spending more than one tube alone of ExfoliKate, but I figure it will be worth it to try her other products as well.

I got the Baby Quasar & Baby Blue set from last month’s Gilt sale (tax-return splurge) and have been using them for about a week. I’ve read so many good reviews about both and really hope I have the same experience.

Stef Avatar

Oh my, I LOVE Exfolikate! The price is indeed painful, but it works so well. I always imagine that the fruit enzymes are tiny Pacman’s, chomping away on all the stuff that shouldn’t be on my skin. Kinda gross, but isn’t that what it feels like?! It’s pretty intense, but wow, how your skin glow afterward!

This is one of my top 3 Holy Grail skincare products, hands down.

Stef Avatar

#1 favorite skin care product ever? Kiehl’s Calendula toner. I’d marry it if it were legal! And I also really love Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel.

Christina Avatar

I love this product as well!
I was hesitant to purchase this because of the price tag and the large amount of exfoiliating products ive purchased in the past that didnt work!
But based on the amazing reviews I decided to just go for it… and well I LOVE it! its amazing! it reminds me of a less intensive glycolic peel in a way 🙂 I suffer from flakey dry skin that is impossible to scrub off with a physical exfoliant without irritating my skin! This is great, I will continue to buy! You only need a VERY small amount… do not use more than a pea size or you will just be wasting your money! True love in a bottle 🙂

knownever Avatar

I wouldn’t worry about recomending expensive products. different bloggers fill different niches and i know personally at least read your blog to hear about higher end stuff that I could never afford.

Kristina Avatar

After having a facial at Kate Somerville’s Spa, and then buying all the products (including this one), I thought I could find another product that I liked just as much. So, I strayed from Kate for a while, then got bad skin again. I went to get another facial from Kate Somerville’s Spa because I just couldn’t stand my skin any longer. What I realized is that I can’t use anything else because it’s not good enough. Exfolikate makes my skin so much better. And using the Quench sample they gave me makes my skin feel AHhhhhh-mazingly soft.

So, I tried straying once. I’m not ever gonna do that again. No matter what the price – it’s not worth it to me to hate the way my skin looks and feels. Her whole line is fantastic.

Aide Avatar

I loooooooooooveeeeeeeee it. I got it at sephora sample you can tell the diff right away. So when I was done with the sample i saw how much it cost so I waited for about two months big mistake my skin didn’t look the same. So I decided to buy it and I can not and would not live with out it. It is a product that you have to try.

Lauren Avatar

I have tried Exfolikate and love it! I haven’t bought yet b/c of the $$$. Any idea when the next friends and family is at Sephora, I think I might cave soon!

Lauren Avatar

Okay! I caved! Thank you for giving me that final push by professing your love to a product I already loved myself. By the way, if you go to the Kate Somerville website and sign up for the newsletter, you will receive a code for 15% discount with free shipping and free sample if you spend over $65 (which is easy on her products)!

Yael Avatar

Hi Christine,
Do you feel that you build up any immunity to this product over time (or any other beauty product for that matter)? I want to create a solid skincare regime for myself but i find myself changing products more so than not, perhaps because i haven’t found the great ones. Also, how do you feel about the other 2 masks you pictured (clearing and hydrating)? Thanks!

beck Avatar

have you tried the Clearing Mask too? I just bought it and I am not sure if I will return on not i’m on the fence about it. I heard it’s good for clearing redness from post acne red spots. Please let me know of the Clearing Mask. Thankyou,Rebecca

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