Kate Somerville has been healing skin and transforming lives for 20 years. Growing up with eczema, Kate found relief in the healing powers of goat’s milk; her subsequent personal transformation inspired a professional passion for helping others.  As a paramedical esthetician, Kate has worked with top plastic surgeons, which helped her create her signature skin care style, which melds dermatological and cosmetological philosophies.

In 2004, Kate branched out on her own and opened Skin Health Experts Clinic in Hollywood.  Quickly she became known among celebrities and entertainers for her results-with-no-downtime approach to skin care. The brand’s point of difference, according to Kate, is its clinical positioning with no downtime. “It’s the same approach as how we treat our clients at the Kate Somerville Clinic,” Kate said. “We want to show our clients that whatever the skin concern—acne, sensitivity, hyperpigmentation—we can deliver visible results and make the impossible possible,” she added.

Kate’s most valuable lesson learned in the time she’s run her business? Frugality. “Do not spend money on things unless it gets you further,” she said. “Managing cash flow is such an important lesson so you can get through tough times and keep the faith.”

The biggest challenge the brand has faced in the past seven months has been learning to pivot, and adapting to employees working from home. At the height of COVID-19, her team pulled together to launch DeliKate in May, the brand’s biggest launch of the year. “DeliKate has become one of the brand’s biggest launches to date with strong first-month DTC sales in both the U.S. and the U.K.,” Kate said.

DeliKate was created to address the uptick in clients with compromised skin barriers. “We saw lots of sensitized skin at the clinic, as our clients were experimenting with new skin care, which led to over-stimulated skin from actives like acids, retinol, and vitamin C,” Kate said. The line features a soothing complex of peptides and ceramides that work to calm inflammation and are designed to rebuild a healthy skin barrier.

As for launches for the balance of the year, Kate has two new serums lined up for her Kx franchise: Squalane + Hyaluronic Serum and the Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C Serum. “These two new serums were inspired by treatments done at the clinic formulated so you can cocktail Kx serums together to target multiple concerns,” Kate said. Squalane + Hyaluronic Serum is formulated to give skin long-lasting hydration, and Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) + Vitamin C is proven to treat uneven skin tone. “This is our second Vitamin C serum after our +Retinol Vitamin C Serum; Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C is great for daytime while +Retinol Vitamin C is an overnight treatment,” Kate said. The brand also has two new holiday offerings. There’s the ExfoliKate Kate Somerville Pore Perfecting Trio, which features ExfoliKate Cleanser, ExfoliKate Liquid and the original ExfoliKate Intensive. There is also a travel ExfoliKate Intensive offered as a limited-edition holiday ornament.

Kate said that she and her team had to consider her Skin Health Experts Clinic on Melrose in a COVID-19 era. “While our facials in L.A. have yet to resume, we’ve been able to open up the medical side of our business and are excited to treat our clients again,” Kate said. “We have implemented a comprehensive safety protocol to ensure the safety of our clients, as well as weekly in-house COVID-19 testing for our clinic employees by our wonderful nurses.”

The brand’s ecommerce site experienced growth during COVID-19. “We really focused on creating a community these past months by looking at the way we engage with our customers on social media and focusing on self care and skin care education,” Kate said. She loved creating educational videos directly for consumers on Instagram and Instagram Live. “I think this has led to the increase of brand loyalty for our customers wanting to shop from our site rather than finding our products elsewhere,” Kate said.

On the prevalence of maskne, Kate said maintaining a healthy skin barrier is important, as people are constantly putting stress on skin with wearing masks. “Especially frontline workers who are wearing multiple masks, including some of our Kate Somerville Clinic nurses who were on the front lines at our local hospitals at the beginning of COVID,” Kate said. “If your skin is reacting to mask wearing, pause on treatments and actives and use a gentle skin care routine until your skin is in a healthy state,” she said. The company donated its DeliKate range to local front-line workers at Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Health and Kaiser Permanente.

The EradiKate line has been the brand’s best seller these past six months as more customers are dealing with acne caused by mask wearing. “Our DeliKate launch has remained strong since its launch in May and is on its way to be a core line alongside EradiKate and ExfoliKate,” Kate said.

As for the biggest opportunity she sees for the brand, Kate said she and her team are seeing the brand resonate with international markets, primarily in the U.K. and in China. “I’m excited to be able to take my brand, born in California, internationally and be able to touch customers around the world, who all face different skin concerns by region,” Kate said. “We hope to see more expansion and grow the business in Canada, U.K. and China in the next five years.”