Science-led, plant-powered skincare; created by cousins and hailing from California
- Who is it? Youth To The People, a vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand that aims to support women and make a difference to the earth without greenwashing
- Why do I want it? Each superfood-rich formula marries nature with science to fuel skin with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients
- Where can I get it? On the Youth To The People website, or Cult Beauty
Who is it? Having grown up in a household of strong women, cousins Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez recall their childhood spent between the thrum of their grandma’s skincare business and Gonzalez’s mum’s hair salon. “We were just being maniac kids running around – jumping into boxes of packaging peanuts,” remembers Gonzalez. Youth To The People, then, stems from this familial root in the beauty industry. “Our grandmother started a professional skincare line in the Bay Area in California in 1979,” Gonzalez continues, “Before that, our grandparents opened up a hair salon that began with just two chairs and grew to have 12, which was unheard of in the 70s.”
From there, their grandma spied a need for skincare in California, with what Gonzalez labels as “skincare innovation” primarily happening in Europe. Their grandma began distributing German skincare in California – giving birth to seven children in the meantime – before going on to sell her belongings, flying to Germany, and beginning her own skincare line.
You can see this legacy in the very DNA of Youth To The People. “Nothing would hold her back,” Cloyes notes. “She believed in a cause and she made it happen. That spirit is in Youth to the People.”
Cloyes and Gonzalez use their family’s history of strong women to motivate them, always advocating for women through initiatives like their ‘To The Future’ fund (which advocates for gender and racial equality), and ‘To The People’ fund (which champions human rights). “Our grandma would let women just stay at her house so that they could train [to be aestheticians], even though we had this huge family. We want this – we want to empower people and show them the power of skincare.”
Why do I want it? Using what Gonzalez describes as a “marriage of nature and science”, Youth To The People formulas don’t shy away from sometimes-shunned terms like ‘preservatives’, ‘synthetics’ or ‘chemicals’ – binding them with powerful plants for optimal results. “We aren’t afraid of these terms,” says Cloyes. “We are really passionate about the power of nature, but we’re equally as passionate about science. The trick is to be transparent and honest.” Completely vegan and cruelty-free, Youth To The People champions sustainability: ingredients are locally sourced and won’t cause harm to the ocean when washed down the drain; post-consumer recycled materials are used where possible; and their ‘To The Planet’ fundraises money for issues surrounding climate change.
With social media and the internet forming skincare aficionados in everyone, (according to Elle, 52 per cent of TikTok users say they discover new products via the platform), Youth To The People’s formulas work hard to stand out from the crowd. “We want to give our community something that they can’t get anywhere else. We’re doing really unique and proprietary stuff – we’re making multi-benefit products with ingredients that work really well together,” states Gonzalez. “We want people to look at our products and think ‘this answers my skin concerns’, but also, ‘I just can’t get this anywhere else.’”
When talking about the brand’s “trusted hero”, the Superfood Cleanser, Gonzalez explains how they enjoy pushing boundaries; “We thought, ‘this [Chilean wineberry] is the most nutrient-packed, dense, phytonutrient-rich plant in the world, so how do we harness it?’ We come from love and passion, so we want to have fun”.
Youth To The People’s latest formula – the brightening, moisturising, firming and smoothing Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum – features ceramides to lock in moisture and protect your skin barrier; retinal (which works faster than its often-confused-for counterpart, retinol, without any extra irritation); soothing and brightening niacinamide; industry-fave hyaluronic acid; plus ashwagandha and a blend of mushrooms to fend off environmental stressors. To this day, Gonzalez and Joe test their formulas on their family first: “My mum and aunt are very close and intertwined with the feel and effect of each formula. We send things to them – everything has to hold up to their standards.” With the approval of such pillars of female empowerment in hand, each blend of hardworking ingredients makes its own mark in the industry amongst the current “do-it-all” beauty movement, which sees brands and consumers stepping away from multi-step routines in favour of speedier and easier routines with the same, elevated results.