Review of Kate Somerville, GlamGlow, and Algenist Products

You may recall that about a month ago, I purchased the Sephora Beauty on the Fly value set which included a variety of items I either vaguely remember trying in the past, or was excited to use for the first time. I’ve had the time to try some of these out, and will be reviewing 3 of the more high-end products in there to decide whether they’re worth repurchasing individually.

Just as a quick recap of my skin — Combination, redness in the cheeks, and occasional acne. My skin used to be super oily, but it has been less that way since I’ve gotten older.

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Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment: This is a definitely a cult-ish product that claims it “combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration, and polishes skin for a smooth complexion”. I brought this with me on my most recent trip because I knew the temperature would be super warm at my destination, and wanted a good way to give my skin some TLC without being high-maintenance. One thing I loved about this product is that I only needed to leave it on my face for up to 2 minutes, compared to many other treatments with similar claims, which required having it on for 10 minutes or longer.

The tingling sensation in the description was definitely real, and I would probably describe it as…if pop rocks went off on my face, lol. It wasn’t super comfortable, but I could tolerate it for 120 seconds and many people attribute the tingling to the product working. As far as smell, I actually enjoyed it since it reminded me of cinnamon with some herbal undertones. As you can see from the photo above, it dispensed evenly and the consistency was also smooth for easy application.

Washing this off was definitely the best part about using this product since I received immediate relief from the tingling, and my skin definitely felt baby soft without much redness. However, when I took a closer look at my face, I didn’t really notice any visible improvement such as reduced blackheads or smaller pores. But, at least my skin felt pretty good and wasn’t irritated. It’s also worth mentioning that I did not get any major breakouts during my trip.

I received the 0.5 oz size which retails for $22 on Sephora’s website, and after 3 uses while on vacation, I have a little less than half the tube remaining, so I can probably get 2 more uses out of it, which comes out to a little over $4 per use.

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment: The purpose of this product is to “provide gentle resurfacing exfoliation and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer”. Basically, the same thing as ExfoliKate when you get down to it.

You can leave this product on for up to 10 minutes, and initially it does not tingle at all. I had it on for 10 minutes when I was trying this, and I only started to really feel it towards the end when it was drying on my face. The color out of the tube is grey-ish, with black pieces that kind of remind me of charcoal. No black pieces came out when I squeezed it onto my forearm in the photo above, so I apologize that you can’t see any. Basically, because of these black pieces, I felt like the treatment did not apply as evenly or as easily as ExfoliKate. The smell? Kind of like a strong plastic, mixed with some kind of fragrance that I can’t quite put my finger on. When I washed this product off, my face definitely felt extremely smooth, and a big part of the black pieces is that they’re supposed to help with the exfoliating process.

After I washed this off, I noticed the redness on my cheeks and forehead were more pronounced, and I applied my evening moisturizer (Origins Night-A-Mins) as well as some Pur-lisse brightening serum which I received in my most recent Ipsy, before going to bed. When I woke up, the redness was mostly gone and my skin looked fine and perhaps a little more even.

I received the 0.5 oz size which retails for $19 on Sephora’s website, and that comes in a container instead of a tube. I feel like I could get at MOST 3 applications with this product, so that makes it at little over $6 per use.

Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser: This cleanser claims to melt away makeup with oil, so it’s kind of like using one of those cleansing oils by Boscia or Shu Uemura. I tested this product twice, once with makeup on, and once after using a makeup remover wipe.

The first time with makeup, I had a pretty bad experience. The product basically removed very little makeup, and my skin felt extremely greasy. I also could not stand the smell, which smelled kind of like rubber and I even remember feeling slightly nauseous (not trying to be dramatic here). At the time I thought perhaps the smell was the result of mixing with my foundation. I ended up using my Philosophy Cleanser to wash everything off, and it was just overall not a fun experience.

The second time, I removed all my makeup with the Dickinson’s Witch Hazel wipes that I received for free from Influenster (Original post here), and then lathered on this cleanser. The weird smell was still there, but at least the product felt really gentle and almost nourishing as I was using it. When it finally came time to rinse off, I noticed that the cleanser was leaving behind this greasy residue; probably the oil that was in the product. I guess you could say my skin felt clean, since I had already removed 95% of my makeup, but it is worth mentioning that my skin wasn’t irritated.

This product does claim to be anti-aging, so I started to wonder if the formula is tailored towards people who have very dry and sensitive skin. Even so, I didn’t feel like this “melted off” makeup at all, and the retail price is $38 for a 5 oz tube, which is really expensive IMO. If you’re looking to try a cleanser with an oil formula, I would recommend Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil which costs $10 less for the same size, and actually does remove makeup and leaves no greasy residue!

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As far as comparing the GlamGlow to the ExfoliKate, both are luxury products that were at least somewhat effective for me. Although I didn’t notice a super big difference, who knows what my skin would have been like if I didn’t use ExfoliKate on my trip? With GlamGlow, I noticed a difference in my skin the following morning, but it was also pretty harsh on my skin. Ok but what if I had to pick one or the other….I would pick ExfoliKate at $22 because even though it costs a little more upfront, I believe I can get more uses and I like the smoother method of application. Also, I’ve used it 3 times now and it hasn’t broken me out or irritated my skin, so I believe it is a high quality product that works more “behind the scenes”.

While these products were fine, they weren’t worth breaking the bank for. I would say that you can afford to wait like I did, and possibly get them in another value set of some sort, or maybe even in a subscription box if you’re lucky.

Let me know if you have used tried these products, and what your thoughts on them were. Do you think the price is worth it? Have you found any products that serve a similar purpose, for a fraction of the cost? As always, thank you for reading!

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13 thoughts on “Review of Kate Somerville, GlamGlow, and Algenist Products

  1. I think a good rule of thumb with skin care is if it’s tingly, itching or burning, it’s irritating. Personally, I think Glam Glow (yes, every single one of their products) is all hype and pretty packaging with no substance. If you’re looking for an anti-aging/exfoliating treatment, my HG is Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic Acid Moisturizer. You have to ease into it, though. Like start with a once weekly application and s-l-o-w-l-y work up to once or twice a day. (Remember: irritation is the enemy.) It’s certainly not cheap BUT a pea-sized amount is more than enough to cover your face and neck so one tube goes a long way. I’ve yet to find anything I like half as much.

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    • Ah yes, I tend to agree with you. I feel like my skin used to be more resilient to harsher products, but that’s getting to be less the case. I’ve definitely seen a lot of PTR’s products online and at Sephora so I may need to check that out. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

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  2. I’ve tried the GlamGlow one and it’s OK, but I actually prefer their Clearing Treatment one in the white tub. That one is definitely worth the price (you can find it cheaper on Amazon)! Nice post 🙂 x

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  3. Great Post! I have used the Kate Somerville Exfoliate too! I received it in a beauty subscription! There really is a huge cult following with that product! I was really excited to try it out! However, I did not think it was a miracle product. That could be because it is so hyped up haha! I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t see that much difference in my skin.

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  4. I actually love the Kate Somerville one as it leaves my skin feeling so soft and my skin always looks better afterward. Glam Glow didn’t do much for me and one of the makeup removers that works well for me is Dermalogica PreCleanse. 🙂

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