Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser Review

The Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser by Youth to the People is a daily “green juice” cleanser for the face with cold-pressed antioxidants from kale, spinach and green tea that claims to remove makeup and prevent buildup in pores without being drying. In addition, on the Sephora website, it claims to help with concerns of fine lines, oily skin, dullness and uneven texture.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol (Vitamin B5),Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Butylene Glycol, Brassica Oleracea(Kale) Leaf Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract,Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Natural Fragrance, Lecithin, HydroxypropylMethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyll.

Kale is rich in phytonutrients and vitamins C, E, and K to strengthen and leave skin glowing. Spinach has cooling properties and conditioning essential fatty acids. Green Tea is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that keeps skin clear.

Directions: Use in the morning and evening on wet skin. Pump onto wet hands, rub together into a light lather, and massage into face and neck for 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly.

For best makeup removal, massage one to two pumps into slightly damp face and neck. Add more water gradually as you massage for one minute. Rinse thoroughly.

This is a light green gel-like cleanser that has a sweet, green scent. On wet skin, this lathers into light bubbles. Above, after I rinsed the cleanser, my arm had a couple blotchy red itchy patches which is an odd reaction for me. This did not happen to my face.

I have oily skin now that the weather is warmer, prone to breakouts. I got the mini sizes of this cleanser and was able to use for a few weeks, morning and evening.

I do not find this to be a very effective cleanser. Wearing a medium to full coverage foundation and following the instructions for makeup removal, then patting the skin dry and using a toner, as in the photos above, there was a lot of foundation left on the skin after the first cleanse and still some slight color after the second (there are little fuzzies on the toner pad after patting the skin dry with a facecloth). The first cleanse did not form as many bubbles as the second. When wearing makeup and/or sunscreen I usually do two cleanses anyway or use an oil balm cleanser as a first step, however, that is a lot of makeup left on the skin for a first cleanse.

After using the Drunk Elephant Happi Scalp Scrub on my face, which left an oily layer behind, I used the Youth to the People cleanser and still felt the oily layer (albeit a bit less); the same can be said for sunscreen left behind.

I did not find the cleanser to be drying on the skin and did not get increased breakouts. I do not expect a cleanser to be effective for fine lines (which this was not), nor did it particularly help with small breakouts along the jawline. This cleanser took a lot of extra time and water to rinse off and I still felt residue from the Superfood cleanser on the skin after rinsing which made me want to use a different cleanser to wash off the residue.

The Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser is not very effective and does not rinse well. I would not repurchase.

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Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel Review

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel claims to remove makeup, purify pores, balance skin and reduce excess surface oil while leaving skin visibly clearer and softer.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Coco-glucoside Citrate, Squalane, Cocoyl Proline, Melaleuca Alternafolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Levulinate, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Gluconate, Caramel, Citric Acid, Linalool

To go over some ingredients – Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate are mild surfactants derived from coconut oil. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a mild surfactant. Cocoyl proline is a mix of coconut fatty acids and the amino acid proline used as a hydrator and conditioning agent. Sodium levulinate is used as a preservative and skin conditioning agent. Alfalfa leaf extract is said to soothe skin and help make skin look brighter.

Directions state to dampen skin, massage a dime size amount into a light lather and rinse.

This is a gel cleanser that forms a light lather. On rinsing, the cleanser itself doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily, but does leave it feeling a bit dry (though not as drying as Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser), which is surprising given the addition of squalane oil. It took a bit more effort and more water to rinse than other cleansers (I found this to be the case as well with the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser; perhaps that’s the nature of gel cleansers?). The Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser smells nice; a herbal scent, which I’m guessing is the tea tree oil (I don’t think I’d used anything with tea tree oil previously).

I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, blackheads around the nose, congestion and redness. One of the reasons I chose this cleanser – for probably about 5 or 6 years I had gotten pimples on the right side of my face in one area on my lower cheek above the jawline; no idea why and I couldn’t get rid of them. One would break out, start to heal and a couple days later, the next would break out, until I had about six in various healing stages. About a year ago they disappeared; no idea why. Three months ago, the breakouts started again, in the same manner as before. I thought I’d give this cleanser a try, as tea tree oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that can target acne.

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is able to cleanse light coverage foundation, but for heavier full coverage foundation, heavier eye makeup and mineral sunscreen, needs two uses.

Having changed nothing else in my skincare routine (other than an eye cream; I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel), I’ve used the Biossance gel cleanser for a month. As above, throughout the month, the breakouts have healed nicely and I haven’t gotten any new ones. My skin looks generally less congested with a bit less redness. My skin is perhaps a bit less oily overall (though salicylic acid works better to balance oil). I noticed at day 16 I had less blackheads on my nose, but by day 30, there were more. My skin doesn’t feel any softer.

I’m happy with the results of this cleanser, but I have to wonder if the cleanser itself provided the results or if, by some coincidence or other variable, the breakouts have stopped. Being a rinse-off product, I’m generally skeptical of a cleanser providing results beyond cleansing makeup and sunscreen from the skin.

I’ll continue to use the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (and would repurchase) and will update here if the breakouts start again with continued use or on switching to a new cleanser.

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Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

I got the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser as part of this year’s Sephora birthday gift.

This is a gel foaming cleanser for all skin types that claims to remove all traces of makeup, sunscreen, excess oil and debris while supporting a healthy skin barrier.

Directions state to massage over skin, add water to lather and rinse. Drunk Elephant says to use this nightly, as they do not recommend cleansing in the morning.

With the warmer weather, my skin is oily, more so on the T zone.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycolipids, Linoleic Acid, Lauryl Glucoside, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Polylysine

Key ingredients – Coconut-based surfactants and cleansers create a “rich” foam to dissolve makeup and oils. Marula oil helps remove makeup. Glycerin keeps skin hydrated. Cantaloupe extract contains antioxidants and helps sooth and hydrate the skin.

I’ve used this cleanser for about a month. It doesn’t have much of a scent, especially on adding water. The gel forms into a slight foam (I wouldn’t say a rich foam like that of Amarte’s Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam) on adding water. From the first use, I was surprised by how and dry and tight my skin felt on rinsing and patting dry. The texture of the cleanser is nice and it seems to rinse well (provided extra time/more water is used than has been my experience with other cleansers; otherwise there is a bit of a sticky feeling on the skin). When using in the evening, I would often notice larger breakouts on my jawline/lower cheek in the morning. I stopped use for a few days and upon resuming, got the breakouts again, so could assume this cleanser is the culprit.

It removed my light/medium coverage foundation and sunscreen quite well (I used The Ordinary sun care). For eye makeup I wore NudeStix Nude Metallics for Eyes and a non-waterproof mascara from Tarte. The Beste Cleanser left makeup smudges around my eyes.

While the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser removes face makeup and sunscreen, eye makeup is left behind and it leaves the skin feeling dry and tight with (perhaps) breakouts on use. I would not purchase the Beste Cleanser.

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Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser Review

michael todd charcoal cleanser michael todd cleanser front michael todd cleanser

I have been using the Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser for about 3 months. This cleanser is for oily and acne prone skin and claims to remove dirt, oil and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. It also claims that the absorbent activated charcoal penetrates into pores to draw out impurities and blockages. This product is certified vegan, uses 70% organic ingredients and is made in the USA. Directions state to shake well before each use.

The packaging of this product could be improved. It comes in a bottle with a pop-off type lid.  I prefer products with a pump, or better yet, an airless pump that reduces the risk of impurities and bacteria entering the product. *Please see note below.

I use a dime size amount of this cleanser morning and night by massaging onto my face and neck for about a minute. At  night I use this with my Clarisonic Mia. This gel cleanser feels nice on the skin and doesn’t lather much. I find that too much lather such as a foaming cleanser can make the skin feel dry and tight. It rinses nicely with no residue and the skin feels soft, oil-free and clean with no tightness.

Looking over the ingredient list (I won’t go over each ingredient, but will mention some perhaps unfamiliar ingredients or ingredients that stand out to me), aloe leaf juice is first. Aloe contains two hormones,  auxin and gibberellins, that have anti-inflammatory properties and can help minimize acne and promote cell growth. Being a rinse-off product, these benefits might be minimized as opposed to a leave-on product. Tea tree oil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This cleanser uses a number of plant extracts that could be irritating to the skin; wintergreen, orange, lemon, lavender. I, however, have not experienced any irritation. Bilberry, sugar cane and maple extracts are the ninth, tenth and eleventh ingredients and are sources of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) used as exfoliating agents to aid in cell turnover. Oily skin needs help exfoliating. I was surprised to see activated charcoal toward the bottom of the ingredient list at number nineteen of twenty-eight. Being called “charcoal detox cleanser”, I would have expected it to be towards the top. *Please see note below.

The name of this product, Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser, to me, implies that this detoxes the skin. This cleanser claims that the charcoal is able to penetrate the pores and draw out impurities. Activated charcoal, when taken internally at the right time as an emergency treatment, may help with food poisoning or a stomach flu as it absorbs most toxins and poisons before they can harm the body. It is also used in water filters. Can activated charcoal draw out impurities and detox the skin? I looked at PubMed for any articles relating to charcoal detoxifying or purifying skin and could not find any. I did find that charcoal can help with odors of blistering skin and skin loss related to wounds such as open ulcers from diabetes, for example. So it seems that charcoal will not help with intact skin (from what I could find).

It may be that cleansers such as this with activated charcoal rely on other good ingredients that cleanse, exfoliate and help heal the skin such as the aloe juice, sugar cane extract and tea tree oil.

This cleanser has retinyl palmitate and beta carotene. Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer can combine to water and oil to create a smooth consistency and can also be used as a stabilizer. Benzyl alcohol is second-last on the list. This type of alcohol can be problematic in high amounts, but nothing to worry about in this product.

Throughout my few months of using this twice a day, my skin hasn’t been irritated and does not feel dry after use. My skin is very oily by the evening and this washes away the oily feeling without leaving a dryness. I don’t usually wear makeup, but when I do this cleanser is able to wash it away. Compared with other cleansers I have used in the past, this one seems to indeed be helpful for my oily skin and helped clear up some bumps and congestion on my forehead.

Despite activated charcoal popping up in many skincare products, I could not find any science-based evidence that it works to detox the skin and purify pores. It might be a logical jump though; if activated charcoal can absorb toxins/poisons from the body to prevent further harm, it might pull out impurities and toxins from the skin. Perhaps clever marketing? In any case, I like this cleanser, I don’t find it very expensive and it lasts a long time. I like that it has no artificial colors or fragrance. It does have a smell that may bother some. It is pretty strong in the jar, but when taking a bit to spread on the face, it wasn’t so bad. I couldn’t put a name to the smell and when I asked my husband, he said it smelled like lilacs in acid…a pretty good description actually. I don’t mind the smell though and it is being washed off anyway.

*Note: Since buying this, I note on the website that the packaging has been changed to a pump. The ingredients have also changed a bit. The activated charcoal is third and twentieth on the list. Why that would be I am unsure, and it looks like they took out the benzyl alcohol. On the Michael Todd website, it states that they are always improving formulations and ingredients and the ingredients on the website should be taken as up-to-date.