They look good enough to eat, but they're even better for your skin. 

By Erin Lukas
Apr 08, 2020 @ 4:45 pm
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Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.  

Youth To The People's skincare products look good enough to eat. Made with superfoods like kale, spinach, and green tea, and packaged in a tall glass bottle, the Youth To The People's cleanser could easily be mistaken for a cold-pressed juice from a juice bar. There's even a toner with actual kombucha in it. However, you'll get better results putting the L.A.-based vegan brand's products on your skin. 

For brand founders Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez using "it" ingredients borrowed from the wellness world is about more than keeping up with trends — it's the brand's entire ethos. Ingredients like ashwagandha and yerba mate end up in their moisturizers and face masks, because they're genuinely excited about the efficacious results these plant extracts and herbs can have on your skin. 

The cousins' love of high-quality, effective, plant-based skincare ingredients runs in the family. Their grandmother Eva was a pioneer in natural skincare with her line of professional-grade skincare products. Growing up around their grandmother's business inspired their vision for Youth To The People. 

So what's the next big skincare ingredient? How do you know if plant extracts in the products you're using are actually going to give you results? Why is sustainability so important in the beauty industry? We turned to Cloyes and Gonzalez to find out. 

Your grandmother had her own professional-grade skincare brand. How did she influence Youth To The People? 

GREG: We were immersed in the industry from a young age because we grew up around our grandma's business and my mom was an esthetician and cosmetologist. We started working for our grandma's company during the summer when school was out and then full-time once we graduated. Her brand was professional skincare line, so we learned that side of the business first. There was an advanced training program for licensed professionals and being around the institute made us passionate about skincare education and the results-driven products the professional industry uses. On the other hand, our grandma is a pioneer. She started her brand fresh off of her divorce with our grandfather and sold her car to start the business. She taught us anything is possible at any age. That stuck with us and it’s a driving force for what we do.

You launched the brand with just three products. How did you decide on these? 

JOE: We originally launched with three products from our Superfood line: cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Whether you're new to skincare or looking to change your routine, these products are simple, easy to understand, and will get your skin into better shape. There’s superfoods in the formulas like kale, spinach, and green tea, along with antioxidants, peptides, and vitamin C. Antioxidants work to fight off free radicals from environmental stressors. The serum and moisturizer also include hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump up skin. 

Youth To The People's ingredients are influenced by wellness trends like juicing and kombucha. What do you think the next big ingredient is going to be? 

GREG: There’s a natural influence from wellness because it’s such a driver in our lifestyle and we always get excited about ingesting, eating, or drinking something new. We’re really excited about our newest product, the Yerba Mate Resurfacing + Exfoliating Energy Facial. Yerba Mate is a super plant and the mask also includes caffeine, which helps accelerate some of the product’s benefits. Bigger than that, I think companies are going to focus more on extracting ingredients properly and proving they function, as well as correctly marrying these ingredients together in products. We like to take a plant extract and pair it with different active ingredients to amplify the results for the skin. For example, we added enzymes and physical exfoliants in the Energy Facial. 

With so many brands using plant extracts, how do you know these ingredients are effective in the products you're using? 

JOE: When we use these extracts, we first identify which ingredients we’re the most excited about, and then figure out the best way to extract them. Most of our ingredients are cold-pressed. A lot of juices are done this way because you get the highest benefits of vitamins and antioxidants — like eating vegetables raw versus cooked. Preparing extracts with our extract company is always the most complicated process because you can pull the extract from the plant, but it doesn’t mean you’re getting what’s right to be used on the skin. We have in-house research and development and a lab, but we also do a lot of testing with our lab partners in California to make sure we get the quality and effectiveness for each plant that we use. 

Youth To The People has always been focused on clean formulas and sustainability. Why are these things important to you? What is it like to see more brands adopting similar initiatives in recent years? 

GREG: One of our inspirations for Youth To The People is the conscious shift of thinking differently about what you put into your body and the clothes you wear. People are realizing that things need to be created and made differently. We take a full spectrum approach, from the ingredients we put in our products to packing them in glass bottles and boxes made from post-consumer waste. We want to be as conscious as we can, so the most important thing is having a true, honest conversation with our customers. I think it’s cool to see everything become bigger and mainstream. With more brands talking about the same things and being more conscious in the way they make products will help create change in the whole industry. 

VIDEO: Double Cleansing Is the Foolproof Way to Really Get All of Your Makeup Off

Which Youth To The People product can people not get enough of? 

JOE: Our Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser is our best seller, which is cool because it’s the first product idea we had. We put a lot of effort and hard work into all of your products, but this cleanser is a really high-quality product that does a great job of cleaning the skin, removing makeup, and it’s pH balanced. It’s a gel formula but it doesn’t strip skin because there’s no sulfates or phthalates in it and it comes in a larger bottle than the typical cleanser. People love it when they use it, so it’s really grown over the years through word of mouth and online reviews. If you have a good cleanser, the products you use after washing your face are going to be more effective. I think people are realizing that now. 

You opened your new headquarters in downtown L.A. last year. What’s next for the brand? 

GREG: We have a couple exciting big launches and updates with the space coming up. Our headquarters is where everyone works but it’s also an event space. We’re really inspired to use the space to bring our community and like-minded people and brands together to amplify everyone’s messages. We’re doing some programming with Unfiltered, where we host acoustic sets of up-and-coming artists at our space. We’re really inspired by the artistic and creative energy in our headquarter’s neighborhood, so we’re going to continue to build out our activations.