Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner
Youth to the People’s Kombucha + 11% AHA Power Toner is a good option for exfoliation, but with just a few tweaks it could have been even better.
This refreshing liquid dries quickly without leaving a sticky feel behind. It works well both over and under other skin cares products, and despite its slightly yellow tint (thanks to the coloring agent caramel), it doesn’t leave a residual color on skin.
As claimed, this fragrance-free chemical exfoliant contains an 11% concentration of alpha hydroxy acids, specifically lactic and glycolic. Both acids have years of research proving their effectiveness in restoring skin’s radiance and helping reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and at this amount you’re likely to see noticeable results.
Even better: this is formulated at a pH of 3.98, which is within the optimal pH range of 3 to 4 that AHA ingredients need in order to best exfoliate skin. We should point out though that if you’re counting on this to reduce your pores as claimed, you’ll have better results with a well-formulated BHA exfoliant because BHA (salicylic acid) is oil soluble and better at improving pore size and function.
We do wish the formula was a bit more robust, though that’s not to say there aren’t any additional beneficial ingredients: the skin-replenishing and antioxidant amino acid l-arginine is present, as well as antioxidant black tea ferment (kombucha). Still, we’d like to see some skin-soothing ingredients such as allantoin or bisabolol to help buffer the potency of the AHAs.
What isn’t good about this exfoliant is that it contains lemon water. This form of lemon isn’t quite as bad as lemon oil or lemon extract, but it still poses a slight risk for irritation, so it’s best left out of the mix.
That aside, this is a good leave-on exfoliant that can do what it says when it comes to improving both the tone and texture of skin.
One note: Since this comes in a clear bottle, it’s best to store it out of direct light to protect its light-sensitive ingredients from losing their effectiveness.
- Contains proven exfoliants lactic and glycolic acids at an effective amount.
- Formulated at a pH that is optimal for exfoliation to occur.
- Contains skin-replenishing and antioxidant ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
- Contains lemon water, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
- Clear packaging means this should be stored out of direct light.
The newest addition to your nightly routine. Use this powerful exfoliating toner to minimize the appearance of pores, smooth skin texture, and firm the look of skin. Feel the power within.
Youth To The People is the creation of cousins Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes, whose decision to start a skin care company was a roundabout way to continue the family business. Their grandmother was an esthetician whose own line of products, Eva’s Esthetics, is sold in spas and salons throughout California. Inspired by seeing her work over the years, the pair decided to start their own line, but with the focus being on vegan, superfood-focused products.
To that end, most of Youth To The People’s products feature well-known “green” ingredients such as kale, spinach, and berries. While appealing to people’s desire for natural, these ingredients are also rich in antioxidants, so there’s research-backed merit to their inclusion beyond the marketing appeal.
The brand speaks a lot about science and uses lab-created (synthetic) ingredients as well, including hyaluronic acid and peptides, so it’s good to see both sides being embraced. That’s because skin needs a mix of naturally-occurring and synthetic ingredients to look and feel its best. Natural can’t address every skin care need on its own.
There’s also some talk about “adaptogenic” ingredients in a couple of products, which is the concept that these ingredients, once applied, can adapt to skin’s needs in certain ways to create certain results. There’s less science showing this can actually happen, though all the adaptogenic ingredients used here have antioxidant benefits as well so they’re certainly not wasted--well, at least when packaged correctly.
Most of the products are good, though none of them are without a couple of missteps. In some cases, it’s the inclusion of fragrance (and fragrance, even naturally-derived, puts skin at risk of irritation), in others jar packaging and the problems it presents for natural ingredients. While jars look pretty, they expose all those wonderful antioxidant ingredients to light and air, which over time breaks them down, leading to lost effectiveness.
To learn more about Youth To The People, visit https://www.youthtothepeople.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.