By Elsa de Berker, she/her
There’s a new Youth To The People innovation in town, and it goes by the name of Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant. It’s a super-gentle leave-on liquid formula that’s mild enough for everyday use, and comes with an array of dynamic dead-skin sloughing properties as well as a robust list of antioxidant ingredients to help reduce hyperpigmentation and reveal brighter, smoother, and more radiant skin.
If you’re already loyal to YTTP’s other cult-hero exfoliant, (that’s the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner), the Unity Exfoliant is for you too, but you’ll likely need to tweak your pre-existing skincare regimen in order to reap the maximal amount of benefits from each product—and avoid the pitfalls of over exfoliation.
Explains Youth To The People’s Director of Field Sales + Education, Jacob Tomás del Rosario, “Both formulas are great for all skin types and absolutely belong together in your routine, but each contain different combinations of acids that provide differing long term benefits.”
Here, del Rosario breaks down how best to utilize the already iconic duo to effectively increase cell turnover and safely attain happy, healthy, and—above all—balanced skin.
The Primary Difference
Chemical exfoliants come in two broad categories: water-soluble AHAs and oil-soluble BHAs. The Kombucha Power Toner contains exclusively AHAs in the form of 8% lactic acid and 3% glycolic acid, and the Unity Exfoliant contains both an AHA and a BHA in the form of 3% mandelic acid and 2% salicylic acid respectively, as well as 1% gluconolactone—a skin-loving PHA that helps support the skin’s protective barrier.
“If you’re looking to clear up congestion, sebaceous filaments, and visibly extended pore size, the Unity Exfoliant is for you, because BHAs permeate deeper into pores, dissolving excess sebum,” says del Rosario.
Curious about sebaceous filaments? Read this.
Another important point of distinction between the two formulas are the secondary ingredients and their associated benefits.
“In the Kombucha Power Toner, fermented black tea and tree bark help strengthen the barrier of your skin through good bacteria, boosting elastin and collagen synthesis. And in the Unity Exfoliant, licorice, glucosamine, and YTTP’s proprietary Superfood blend provide antioxidant benefits to help further smooth skin texture and boost overall brightness and hydration,” says del Rosario.
Day Or Night
Because the Kombucha Power Toner is more concentrated in terms of active acids, it’s also more potent than the Unity Exfoliant—and therefore only suitable to use at night.
“It’s a heavy-hitting formula that can increase sun sensitivity so it requires a more gradual introduction in the PM, versus the Unity Exfoliant which is mild enough to incorporate into your morning routine,” says del Rosario, adding that the former is especially great for inconsistent skincare lovers who only need to remember to use it three to five times a week.
Pay Attention to Your Skin Status
Identifying what your skin needs in the moment—as opposed to your prescribed skin type—is the ultimate key to success, especially when it comes to exfoliation.
“The Kombucha Power Toner reduces the appearance of pores while enhancing the skin’s natural microbiome, versus the Unity Exfoliant which minimizes extended pores and fills in the gaps of over-compromised skin,” explains del Rosario. That means if your skin is feeling drier than usual or particularly sensitive, you’ll want to opt for the Unity Exfoliant for the time-being.
Find Your Flow
There’s a time and a place for everything, and there’s also room for retinol-containing products in a healthy exfoliation routine.
“Chemical exfoliation and retinol can go hand-in-hand If you’re looking to slow the visible aging process, but always listen to your skin and never use two products at once, or the morning after,” instructs del Rosario. A sample week’s schedule might look like this if you’re incorporating all three: Kombucha Power Toner x 1 night, retinol x 1 night, and Unity Exfoliant x 4 mornings.
Layer It Under...
Where the Kombucha Power Toner loves to team up with an extra hydrating overnight moisturizer to maximize benefits while you sleep, the Unity Exfoliant is a perfect match for YTTP’s 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum and, of course, SPF.
“The latter trio are your complexion’s best friend when it comes to reducing puffiness, hyperpigmentation, and providing the ultimate canvas for the day ahead,” says del Rosario, adding that should you choose to wear it, “your foundation will also glide onto the skin effortlessly and look more like skin after you apply it.”
Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People