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It's the review that's been in the works for about a year! Youth to the People has been semi-available to me previously: through Sephora stores on the continent and they were briefly stocked at Free People, however they're now back with a proper UK presence at Cult Beauty. Today, I'm going to walk you through all the products I've tried from them...
- THE BRAND -
Youth to the People is an American 'eco-based', 'superfoods + science' family-owned skincare brand. Their products are cruelty-free and vegan (great!) and they position themselves in the 'clean' space (I'm not too fond of that, I've discussed it at length here). However, I'm not overly fussed because I feel they use proven ingredients that have scientific backing and, obviously: if the product works then I'm not complaining. So, let's dive into it...
- CLEANSE, TONE, EXFOLIATE -
Let's start with the famous Superfood Cleanser* | £31 | which I've been through several minis of. I'm generally not a big fan of gel cleansers but I'd heard lots of good things about this product, and it had come in sets I'd picked up, so decided to give it a go. This is formulated with antioxidant sources like spinach, kale, green tea and aloe, so there are also some soothing properties in there too. We also have panthenol, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. I have more dry / dehydrated skin and for me this is a nice summer cleanser. One pump is plenty for a non-drying cleanse and it has a gentle lather on contact with water. It's nothing to go crazy over - I think perhaps it's been a little bit overhyped on the internet - but it's solid. There are some great ingredients, though I'm not sure that in a wash-off product it's going to make a dramatic difference to your skin. But, this is a decent cleanser and it's not a bad price for how much product you're getting here.
I also tried the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Tonic | £33 (for the full size). This is a reasonably-strong exfoliating toner that I'd personally use 3 times a week max. (and don't forget your sunscreen the next morning.) This formula combines 3% glycolic acid with 8% lactic, which I think makes an effective but not-too-crazy chemical exfoliant (though I'd still say it's still not an entry-level acid). Glycolic acid is known for its glow-boosting abilities and how effectively it can 'unglue' dead cells on the skin's surface, but can be a little irritating in higher concentrations, so it's nice to have the gentler, more hydrating lactic in the mix too. There are also some antioxidant benefits from the ginger extract and the kombucha. There are also some potential benefits from fermented ingredients in terms of boosting the effectiveness of everything else in the formula. It's not something I've found a ton of information on, but it could be promising. This hasn't irritated my skin, it gives me that immediate glow-boost and skin smoothness, plus over time this really helped clarify and even out my skin's tone and texture.
- SERUMS & TREATMENTS -
First up, let's talk about the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial* | £47. This is a standout from the line for me; it's a physical micro-exfoliant mask with enzymes and lactic acid, to provide mild chemical exfoliation. We also have niacinamide, to calm and balance the skin, and raw sources of antioxidants like turmeric in there. Do not scrub roughly or aggressively with this formula, simply apply the product, leave it for a couple of minutes and rinse; the natural motion of removing the mask is enough physical exfoliation and the time it's sat on the mask allows the chemical exfoliation to work. This leaves me with ridiculously smooth, baby-soft skin! It works so quickly but provides that instant gratification you sometimes want from your skincare. I use this about once a week, and that's enough for me; it's a proper treatment as opposed to something you need to use all the time. It doesn't irritate my skin but I'd approach with caution if you're very sensitive or prone to redness / rosacea.
Let's move on to the 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum* | £59. This is probably my favourite product from Youth to the People; I've been using it for the past 5ish weeks and it's been incredibly gentle but worked so well at not only giving me an instant glow-boost and luminosity to my skin but also for helping to even out my skin tone. For me, that's mainly erythema and pigmentation left over after breakouts and inflammation, but this could work for other issues like melasma. Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant (helping to neutralise free radical damage caused by our environment) but can be unstable, which is why this is in a tinted pump bottle. This contains a complex derivatives, which don't have the same scientific backing, but are the more stable options and are less potentially-harsh on the skin. I use this every single day, it's not irritating, it's actually nice and hydrating. It's not sticky or tacky and has some other great ingredients like a hyaluronic acid derivative and other antioxidants, including caffeine. It's an amazing serum and I'm in love with it. It's not cheap, but I know this works for my skin so I'd pick it up again when I'm done.
- MOISTURISE -
Moving on to their moisturisers, I tried a mini of the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream | £50 (for the full size). This is a product I feel like I should have loved, but it's actually the one product from the brand that I'm not that much of a fan of. The ingredients sound great, so on paper it should have been for me: squalane (plant-derived, skin-similar oil), jojoba oil and shea butter for nourishment, soothing aloe, calming hydration-booster panthenol and fermented reishi mushroom... It all sounds great, but I just don't find this as rich as I expected it to be. It's actually quite light and lotion-y and I was just left wanting a bit more. I actually prefer the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream* | £42 | which I reviewed a while back in full and was gifted a new tub of recently. I guess this is what I expected it to be: an aerated gel-cream that's lightweight but very hydrating, making it perfect for my skin in summer. It kind of just melts right in and is formulated with lots of plant extracts like spinach, kale, green tea, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and calming aloe, so you're getting lots of antioxidants. Glycerin attracts water and sunflower oil seals in the that hydration. I would recommend this as an everyday option for combination skin too.
Let's dive into something a little richer, starting with the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask | £42. This is a night mask, but honestly; you can just use this on its own and skip the moisturiser in the evening. It has a rich, buttery texture but absorbs beautifully into the skin, and has an amazing emollient effect so by morning your skin is deeply moisturised, soft, smooth and glowing. It's formulated with a Vitamin C derivative, Vitamin E to nourish and calm the skin, sunflower oil, panthenol, hyaluronic acid (drawing water into the skin), allantoin (as a calming agent) and some fruit extracts like acai and prickly pear, alongside cetyl alcohol, which is the good kind, rich in fatty goodness! There's also the Dream Eye Cream* | £42. Some people have said the only difference between this and the mask is that this doesn't contain fragrance and I don't know where that's come from, as the ingredients are actually quite different. I understand why one might be hesitant to spend the same on a moisturiser for around the eyes at 15ml vs. the mask (effectively a face moisturiser) for 59ml, but they aren't the same. This is formulated without Fragrance, as mentioned (but does contain orange peel oil, which can irritate some skin types), and we do have that stable Vitamin C derivative as in the mask as well as prickly pear, but this contains other ingredients like squalane, oat bran, goji and shea butter. This is gorgeous for nourishing around the eyes, and it isn't too thick or suffocating. Do you desperately need it? No. Will I be using it up gratefully? Absolutely.
Overall, I'm so happy this brand is now more accessible to us in the UK as there are some amazing products in the mix. And don't forget: there are a bunch of mini sets available so you can try before you buy. to an extent!
Have you tried Youth to the People?