Kate Somerville at her L.A. med-spa. Courtesy of Kate Somerville
If you haven’t yet heard of Kate Somerville, you soon will. The veteran aesthetician-to-the-stars runs her own medi-spa on tony Melrose Place in L.A. catering to such famous faces as Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsdale and Molly Sims, to name a few. She also created a namesake line of cosmeceuticals, which is sold at Neiman Marcus stores and is set to launch internationally, and is about to publish a part-biographical skin care handbook (it’s working title: “90 Days to Beautiful Skin,” Hay House Publishers) next year. We asked the busy working mom—in town recently for a public appearance at Neiman Marcus—to confirm or debunk seven common skin care myths. Here’s her take on creams, collagen, and the real cause of breakouts.
7x7: True or False? You should always drink plenty of water for better looking skin.
KS: Always, always drink water. It will help you with clearer skin. It will help you with hydration. But it’s the chemistry that helps you hold the water in your skin cells. Even your eyes will look better. Everything will be clearer when you drink water.
7x7: Don’t sleep on your face. It clogs pores that lead to breakouts.
KS: I’d say keep your pillowcase clean. Keep hair off your face, because a lot of hair products will clog your skin. But I don’t necessarily believe that you shouldn’t sleep face down. Can it cause wrinkles? Absolutely! Because you’re constantly pushing the skin. But I’m a believer of getting a good night’s sleep. We are all aging. Love yourself. You’re going to age no matter what, so thank god for lasers!
7x7: Don’t wash your face in the morning. Only wash at night.
KS: It really depends on your skin type. I don’t wash with a cleanser every day. But I have really dry skin and exfoliate every morning to get the dead skin cells off. My favorite from my line is the ExfoliKate for sensitive skin.
Courtesy of Kate Somerville
7x7: You shouldn’t use your middle finger to apply eye cream. Only use your ring finger to avoid pulling on skin, which leads to wrinkles.
KS: If you pull on your skin period, you will get wrinkles. Which finger you use doesn’t really matter. But what I recommend is just patting lightly. Be gentle and do not pull. It’s more the motion and not necessarily which finger that causes the wrinkles.
7x7: If you shave your hair on your legs or face, it causes hair to grow back thicker.
KS: That’s a huge myth! It’s hormones the only thing that changes hair growth.
7x7: Topical products such as moisturizing cream can add collagen back into your skin.
KS: Nothing topical can add collagen. It can either preserve it or it can actually help stimulate your own body to produce it. If you get a cream that says contains collagen, don’t waste your money. It may have lipids or moisture that helps plump the skin. Peptides are scientifically proven to stimulate the fiberblast cells in your skin, which lead to collagen growth. But it can never be added in to your skin.
7x7: Stress, not oily foods, is the number one cause of breakouts.
KS: Stress? Absolutely. Emotions. I’m writing a book right now about this, and nine times out of 10 it’s an emotional issue that causes the skin’s reaction. For instance eczema is tied to feelings of anger. Anger can be stress related. Or it can be the toxins you are creating. But diet is also huge. Some physicians say your diet doesn’t have anything to do with your skin. That is absurd. We are what we ingest. If you start to eat poorly and don’t rest, you don’t look as good. Our skin is our largest organ. If we do the right things for our bodies internally and externally we will see benefits.