Kate Somerville is a beauty brand that I’ve postponed looking at for the longest time because I feared that it bring out the nasty old cynic in me. But when I saw an ad for Kate Somerville CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment ($150) with “stem cell technology”, I could no longer restrain myself.  And then I came across the $500 Deep Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8 and it was time for the gloves to come off. This is a shockingly bad product

Peptide K8 indeed! I suppose I could give someone credit for a play on words as I suppose that K8 = Kate. Ho, ho. But before anyone’s sense of humor overtakes their senses long enough for them to drop $500 bucks for a trademarked peptide, know that there is no such thing as peptide K8. What you will find in Deep Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8, trailing after a long list of mostly underwhelming ingredients is palmitoyl oligopeptide. And this, my friends, is Matrixyl.

As peptides go, Matrixyl is perfectly respectable, although not one of the newer, more cutting edge ones. It isn’t even as powerful as its sibling Matrixyl 3000.  What’s more you will easily find Matrixyl in products that have one zero less on the price tag.

Kate Somerville may the chutzpa to pass off Matrixyl as her very own peptide, but she’s got a cheek charging $500 for this lackluster potion. Even if I beat back my old cynic and try generously to focus on the positives, I don’t get very far before becoming enraged. For example, the first ingredient that comes after the typical chemicals and silicones is orbignya oleifera seed oil. This is extracted from a South American weed and is increasingly being used by the cosmetics industry as a coconut oil substitute.

About the only things of any interest are macadamia (full of omega 7 and B vitamins) and cannabis oil (good against acne and also a source of fatty acids). OK, but they don’t even begin to justify $500. And the rest of the formula is so mediocre (the best being vitamin C and ceramide-2) and full of fillers and harsh preservatives that it is too depressing to dwell on for any longer.

Before giving up entirely on Kate Somerville, I did go back and check out Cytocell. This is another sorry specimen. It is billed as having peptide p-199, which “catalyzes stem cell activity”.  As you might, by now, guess peptide p-199 exists only on Planet Somerville. Lurking at the end of CytoCell’s ingredients list is polypeptide-72. An online search provided no information on polypeptide-72. Oh well, at least this one is only $150.

Ingredients in CytoCell

Water/Aqua/Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Dimethicone, C4-24 Alkyl Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Isohexadecane, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Pentylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Behenyl Alcohol, Linoleic Acid, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Whey Protein, Cetearyl Glucoside, Linolenic Acid, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, o-Cymen-5-OL, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Polydiethyleneglycol Adipate/IPDI Copolymer, Tocopherol, Tropolone, Polypeptide-72, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.

Ingredients in Deep Tissue Repair Cream

Water, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Squalane, Cholesterol, Urea, Sodium PCA, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Silk Powder, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Butylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Polyquaternium-51, Trehalose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Allantoin, Limonene, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ceramide 2, Citric Acid, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Tribehenin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triacetin, Copper PCA, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzoic Acid, Geraniol, Disodium EDTA.