Get to know the superfood plants, herbs, adaptogenic mushrooms, teas, and roots we’re blending up for optimal skin health.
By Brett Aaron Marlow, he/him
At the nucleus of every Youth To The People formula you will find hand-selected unconventional superfoods. From maqui berries and yerba mate to licorice root and reishi, ingredients are our muse. We're hunters and gatherers of the most premium plants, herbs, mushrooms, teas, fruits, vegetables, and roots on the planet—on a constant quest to bring you the best of nature paired with proven science to optimize your skin’s health.
New to skincare or looking to streamline your routine? Get a routine amped up by superfood blends here.
Each responsibly sourced superfood is carefully chosen for its robust antioxidant profile, bursting with polyphenols, essential vitamins, vital nutrients, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, and other skin-loving compounds that help your skin goals take flight.
The powers of superfoods extend far beyond consuming them in your daily juices, supplements, and smoothies. When applied topically, and paired together in blends, they pack an equally potent dose of free-radical-fighting compounds that help ward off environmental aggressors, oxidative stressors, and early visible signs of aging (think: fine lines wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation), so your skin can thrive at its fullest potential. That’s why you’ll see them taking the headliner spot in our product names.
Read on to discover how our custom blends can individually—and collectively—boost your results and create real change in your skin.
Kale, Spinach, Green Tea
Best for oily, combo + congestion-prone skin
A cornucopia of cold-pressed greens works to outfit skin in a protective layer of antioxidants, along with vitamins A, C, and E to help combat and ward off the damaging effects of free radicals.
“When your skin is constantly exposed to UV light, smoke, pollution, and other environmental stressors, it can wreak havoc on your barrier and make your skin appear fatigued, not to mention accelerate the visible signs of aging,” says Laura Cline, Senior Director of Product Development + Education at Youth To The People. “This purposeful blend, which you could think of as a green juice or multivitamin for your skin, helps to neutralize oxidative stressors that can contribute to premature breakdown of collagen, hyaluronic acid and lead to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles."
Studies have also shown spinach and green tea extracts to possess anti-inflammatory sebum-reducing properties, making these greens hero ingredients for all skin types, especially oily, combo, and congestion-prone.
Yerba Mate, Guayusa
Best for dull, tired-looking skin
If your skin seems to always appear as if it didn’t join you under the covers during last night’s restful slumber (hi, all of us during the pandemic), then you may want to do more than sip on these antioxidant-rich tea leaves as part of your morning ritual. Not only are guayusa and yerba mate naturally rich in caffeine, says Cline, they’re also high sources of bioactive plant antioxidant compounds like polyphenols, quercetin, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
When used on the skin, they energize and awaken without the crash, depuff virtually all traces of a late-night binge-watch or sleep-training sesh, and have been shown to help visibly reduce the signs of photoaging over time and accelerate the benefits of high-performance ingredients such as vitamin C.
Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Reishi
Best for dry, reactive, sensitive skin
“Adaptogens are a type of plant, herb, or mushroom known for their ability to help the body regulate short and long-term stress. They’ve been used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine for centuries,” says Cline. You can think of them as nature’s volume button: they’re there to slide the vibe up when you’re low or tone it down when things get too loud. The same goes for skincare.
These natural complexion-calmers are chock-full of—you guessed it—antioxidants that help coach your skin to become more resilient and better equipped to both cope with and bounce back from whatever’s being thrown at it, be it from mental or physical stress or extreme climate fluctuations. All of which can show up as dry, flaky patches, visible irritation, or flushing on your skin.
“Some adaptogens, like reishi, also have incredible hydrating abilities that can help improve a compromised skin barrier and assist in reducing the look of hyperpigmentation,” adds Cline.
Acai, Goji, Maqui
Best for dull, uneven, sun-damaged skin
While delicious as overnight oats and chia seed pudding toppers, the benefits of these antioxidant powerhouses get even juicer when used in your nightly routine.
Each berry in this mix is impressively rich in antioxidant compounds like flavonoids and anthocyanins and includes maqui, the most antioxidant-dense fruit in the world, says Cline. Together, they help your skin do its best reparative work while you sleep.
In addition to scavenging for any lingering free radicals, these superberries are known to improve the look of sun-induced damage and hyperpigmentation, promote a brighter, more even tone, while goji, in particular, naturally contains vitamin C and high levels of hydrating fatty acids to help support a healthy skin barrier, soften the look of fine lines, and to visibly firm the look of skin. Told you: juicy.
HOW TO REAP ALL THEIR BENEFITS
So, now that you know the hype for eating and using superfoods is real, how can you hack all they have to offer?
Cleanse twice daily: This critical step (pick the Superfood Cleanser for AM, and a double cleanse with the Dream Balm for PM) helps to rinse away any remaining traces of environmental pollutants and impurities.
Always wear SPF: Top off your favorite superfood-stacked serums and creams with a broad-spectrum sunscreen before heading out for the day. You can't always put the toothpaste back in the tube, so take a proactive approach. Sunscreen will not only help protect superfoods' potency but help to defend against further and future damage while the antioxidants get to work.
Layer + mix it up: Studies show that antioxidants work best when paired together, hence why you see them paired together in our proprietary blends.