Kate Somerville ExfoilKate Acne

Kate Somerville ExfoilKate Acne. Courtesy of Kate Somerville

When Hollywood's leading ladies prep for their red-carpet close-ups, which today cause even more anxiety today due to the unforgiving cast of high-definition technology, they slip into the Melrose Place doors of Kate Somerville's clinic.

We caught up with the skin expert at New York's London Hotel, where Somerville was fresh off the heels of the Golden Globes, and the myriad of celebrity skin concerns she had confronted the week before as the stars prepared.

(And while we couldn't coax the name of the Golden Globe winner she personally treated before the big day, we were able to fish out that she was "bigger" than Natalie Portman, but not quite as established as Angelina Jolie. Guesses?)

"My big personal issue is puffy eyes, and it's a problem lots of celebrities deal with because of their constant lack of sleep while traveling and filming," said Somerville.

For an emergency fix, Somerville instructs clients to first steep two green-tea bags in hot water, and then lie back and apply them to the eyes for three to five minutes. Then apply your favorite de-puffing eye cream to the area, massaging it in with a cold spoon prepped in the freezer.

"Green tea has caffeine in it that constricts the blood vessels, and the warmth brings circulation to the area. Then the cold spoon literally pushes the fluids out of the area. It's a trick that really works," said Somerville.

The other big celeb concern at her clinic has nothing to do with skin -- but everything to do with the privacy women want when visiting a facialist bare-faced.

"The paparazzi stalk out. They even know my back door entrance now," said Somerville.

When another editor jokingly suggested an underground tunnel escape, Somerville replied, "We're actually looking to move to a bigger building with an underground entrance!"

With Somerville's extensive skin-care line of antiaging and acne-focused products now sold on QVC and at Sephora stores, big plans for line expansion are taking shape for spring and summer. Expect to see products targeting pigmentation concerns, dark under-eye circles and a "peel pad" that replicates a popular peel performed at Somerville's clinic.

The newest launch, ExfoliKate Acne, is based on the fruit-enzyme scrub for which the brand is best known. The acne version considers the inflamed and irritated skin that accompanies breakouts, and instead uses soft jojoba beads to exfoliate and phytic acid to control oil production and brighten skin.

Lactic and glycolic acid provide chemical exfoliation so that abrasion isn't necessary, and salicylic acid and naturally antiseptic tea-tree oil fight the bacteria that cause acne eruptions. Finally, a base of French green clay draws impurities out and balances moisture levels.

The 2-ounce tube retails for $65, and will be available exclusively at Sephora for the first six months of its launch. Though pricey, Somerville instructs use of a small amount just once to twice a week, so the tube should last quite some time.

With many in the industry urging her to open a New York sister clinic to her original Los Angeles base, Somerville says it's definitely in the pipeline -- but not her first priority at the moment.

"I have a 9-year-old who has basketball practice every Saturday. Being bicoastal just wouldn't work right now. I know I can have great people run it, but I'm such a control freak that I would need to be there. I know the perfect opportunity will come when the time is right," said Somerville.

It's that kind of attitude that is perhaps Somerville's best beauty secret of all.

And in other skin news, find out what a new study says may be silently aging your skin.