[Product was purchased by me as part of a sampler set.]
Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
Ingredients (from Sephora): Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pectin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit, Lactobacillus Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, PEG-100 Stearate, Salicylic Acid, SD Alcohol 40-B, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Sorbic Acid, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Honey/Mel/Miel, Acetic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Bromelain, Papain, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Linalool, Limonene, Cinnamal, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).
I used it a couple of times a while ago (before I stopped using microbead products), and found that yes, it exfoliates - skin is brighter and softer the following day. But, it smells really strongly of cinnamon, and I felt my face heat up after about 30 seconds of leaving it on, which is mildly alarming. It's meant to be both a physical and chemical exfoliator, and contains polyethylene beads, which are too tiny to be filtered out by most sewage systems and end up in the Great Lakes. On that alone, I really can't recommend it, especially since I haven't seen anything from the brand about reformulating the product to meet recent bans and regulations in regards to microbeads (please correct me if I'm wrong).
The chemical exfoliators are primarily lactic acid, salicylic acid and acetic acid, combined with fruit enzymes. Fair enough (people argue that lactic acids need to stay on the skin for a longer time to act, but that can also depend on concentration). I wouldn't recommend leaving this one on for longer than 30 seconds - it gets intense.
At $85 for 2 oz and the microbeads, I would say this is a skip. I've tried mask alternatives (REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Gel Mask) that feel gentler and are meant to stay on the skin for a longer time, and I would recommend either of those over this one. It makes more sense for masks to be packed full of nutrients than a cleanser, in my opinion, as you are just going to wash all of that expensive stuff down the drain in a matter of seconds. For example, why would you have retinyl palmitate in a cleanser?
Think of the fish.
Have you tried this one? What do you look for in an exfoliating cleanser?