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Q&A: Before her Thursday book signing, Kate Somerville gives us her spring skin-care tips

April 13, 2011 | 11:33 am

Kate Skin-care tycoon Kate Somerville, who boasts more celebrity presence at her Melrose Place skin clinic than the Ivy's front patio, will be heading to Neiman Marcus Topanga on Thursday to sign copies of her new book, "Complexion Perfection!: Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin by Hollywood's Leading Skin Health Expert."

The event will also include complimentary Kate Somerville DermalQuench facial treatments for guests from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The treatment drenches skin in a hyaluronic serum chock full of vitamins; oxygen is then applied as the serum soaks into cells to hydrate, heal and condition.

Somerville, who will be signing books from 2 to 4 p.m., said the treatment "is one of the most popular facials at my clinic. Everyone suffers from a lack of hydration."

And speaking of rebellious skin, we asked the skin guru to dish on how to best transition your skin (and skin-care routine) when cool weather gives way to warmer temperatures. As always, the candid expert was full of fab tips:

All the Rage: What's the fastest way to fresh-looking skin for spring, aside from a pricey facial?

Kate Somerville: Try the "strawberry swipe." Cut a large strawberry in half, lengthwise. Take a fork and poke at the flesh a little to awaken and release the juices. Swipe the strawberry across your face and massage the juice in a bit, using small circles. Leave it on for about two minutes, then rinse off. Strawberry juice contains natural skin lighteners that brighten spots over time.

You can also grab a cucumber from the fridge and slice it into thin slices. Lie down and carefully place them on your face. The cucumber will reduce redness and swelling and calm sensitivities.

And as always, you can do your own at-home facial including seven easy steps. Step 1: Cleanse — get rid of all makeup, dirt and debris. Step 2: Steam — place two drops of essential oil in your steaming water. Step 3: Exfoliate — use scrubs with enzymes, acids or round beads to lift away dead skin cells. Step 4: Extractions — clean out those black- and white-heads with clean hands and clean supplies. Step 5: Treatment Mask — use something with minerals to calm irritation. Step 6: Hydrate and moisturize — work in your serum and moisturizer. Step 7: Eye treatment — dab on your favorite eye product

ATR: Calfornia sun is harsh — but sunscreen often feels super-heavy on the skin. Is there a happy medium?

KS: I never leave the house without applying sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, and I strongly suggest everyone do the same. Sunscreen is better than ever. There have been innovations in technology that effectively protect and nourish the skin. Always look for broad-spectrum protection, meaning protection for all UV rays. I also have a philosophy about avoiding moisturizers that contain SPFs. You want your moisturizer to penetrate and be absorbed by your skin. SPF you want to protect and lay on top of your skin. When using a two-in-one product you're asking it to have two functions.

One of my favorite forms of sun protection is mineral makeup. The minerals that comprise these powders protect against UV rays. They create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun and usually have an SPF of 15 to 22. These products are a great alternative for those with really sensitive skin and the acne-prone. If you don't like to apply powder directly to your skin, add a few sprinkles into your liquid sunscreen. Don't forget to apply sunscreens to your neck, chest and hands!

ATR: Is it safe to wear sunscreen on your face all day?

KS: Yes, it's imperative that Angelenos wear sunscreen every day; I like to carry the mineral makeup with me in case I end up being outside longer than I anticipated. Make sure to up your facials in the summer months, since sunscreens can clog pores and sometimes cause breakouts.

ATR: In the event that we get a little sunburn or tan, how do you recommend rehabbing the face to its pre-burn/tan state?

KS: You want to take a lukewarm or cool shower to help with inflamation. Afterward, apply organic aloe vera and cucumber. Avoid aloe and cucumber products containing alcohol because they can cause drying. After the heat has left the body, you can create a salve using aquaphor and hydrocortisone to help heal. Do not trap the heat by applying oil-based and heavy lotions. If you have a really bad burn where it's blistering, see a dermatologist. You can also keep your aloe and cucumber products in the fridge to stay cool, as they can help with the inflamation.

We use and sell a product at the clinic called Kate Somerville Aloe Vera Calming Gel that contains aloe and white tea, and it's incredibly healing. We use it to take off any tightening masks and post-light and laser services to help bring any inflammation down.

Also, soak a washcloth in an ice bath for a few minutes. Take the washcloth out, wring out the excess water, and lay the cloth across your face for about five minutes. You'll notice that your skin instantly looks much healthier and more refreshed. The cool temperature will also help close down pores and tighten the capillaries that cause redness.

ATR: Guests will be getting the DermalQuench facial on Thursday -- why is this a great treatment for everyone?

KS: This treatment ups the hydrations levels in the skin, plumping fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin supple, smooth and dewy. It works for all skin types and the A-listers love getting this right before a big event when they'll be photographed.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Kate Somerville. Credit: Kate Somerville Skincare