Skin Deep Q&A

You can wear the best makeup in the world, but you won’t get the results you’re looking for if your skin isn’t cared for properly. That’s why LN caught up with skincare guru Kate Somerville on her recent trip to St. Louis. The facialist to the stars spent her time here giving individual consultations at Neiman Marcus in Plaza Frontenac and signing copies of her book, Complexion Perfection! Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin by Hollywood’s Leading Skin Care Expert.

LN: What’s the No. 1 thing people should do for their skin in the summer?

KS: Since it’s so important to protect your skin, but most people still want that tan look, I recommend my tanning towelettes. I created them because starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie would come in wanting to have a deep, rich tan, but anyone can use them every day or for special events like a wedding. It works with the body’s proteins to create the color that you would naturally turn in the sun, so you don’t get that orangey look that older sunless tanners are associated with.

    Another thing that I’ve noticed is that when it gets hot and humid out, people don’t want to wear facial sunscreen because it can get sticky. I offer an SPF 55 serum that is light so you don’t notice it, but it’s also water resistant.

LN: In your book, you talk about the effect your emotions have on your skin. Do they have a big impact?

KS: Absolutely. If you’re going through a hard time such as a death or a divorce, or even just finals in school, one of the most important things you can do is take time for yourself. Pamper yourself and take a bath. Make sure you carve out time for exercise and drink plenty of water. Your body will react to the way you’re feeling, and when you’re having a tough time is not when you want your skin to get out of hand.

    Apart from your emotions, diet is key to skin health. Things like sugar and caffeine can be detrimental. Switching from coffee to green tea can make a huge difference, and if you can’t give up the coffee, drinking a glass of water with lemon squeezed in it will help dilute some of the negative side effects of the caffeine. Dairy is something to stay away from, especially if you have breakouts or rosacea, because it increases estrogen levels. Things to include in your diet are plenty of protein and hormone-free meats. 

LN: You also recommend facials with relative frequency. What benefits do they have?

KS: Having a facial once a month to every six weeks is purifying and cleansing, and keeps the skin fresh and healthy. I’m not a fan of microderm abrasion, because it’s too harsh, but you can do things like mild exfoliation and peels, or non-invasive lasers.

LN: You’ve worked with a lot of celebrities. Do they really have better skin than the rest of us?

KS: Actually, it’s just the opposite! They spend a lot of time under harsh lights, they’re always busy and they use thick makeup, so typically they have more skin issues. But for them, their face is their business card and so they come to a professional. It’s a challenge to keep their skin clear, but many of them are serious about having a good diet that will keep the skin clean and will do detox programs. It’s great to work with someone who takes care of their skin.  LN