The Comeback of Kale

Why this superfood is still number ONE for your beauty routine…

Kale. A few years ago, this cruciferous vegetable was just a humble leafy green, tucked away at the farmer’s market, unnoticed in the produce section. Then Gwyneth Paltrow started making kale chips, Beyonce went public with her love for the green in the form a kale sweatshirt, fast food chains tossed it into salads, juice bars stocked it in bulk and the veggie shot to fame, becoming a true superfood.

And for good reason — the botanical is packed with nutrients (vitamin C, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium). But too much of any one thing can be overwhelming — and you can burn out on it. Perhaps that explains why any of us took a break from our kale salads, and turned to other plant obsessions (ramps, anyone?).

But lately there’s been a quiet kale resurgence as wellness purveyors realize its enduring benefits. Case in point: Youth to the People, the small-batch skincare brand from California that’s never strayed from kale and kept it as the star ingredient in their vegan range since their inception in 2015. Here, we talked to co-founder Joe Cloyes about the green’s unique and potent powers — and why kale deserves a permanent spot in your beauty routine.

Ok first, why kale? What inspired you to create kale skincare products?

When we had the initial spark of idea for a line that united superfoods with science, it was at the beginning of the cold pressed juice revolution. We loved the idea of green superfoods being juiced. And we started to think, could we gather those same benefits from green superfoods — the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — but apply them topically for your skin’s health and youthful appearance?

What are kale’s skincare benefits?

Kale carries an arsenal of health benefits. With one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, it goes miles in keeping your skin looking fresh and youthful. Loaded with vitamins A, C, E and K, kale fights free radicals, repairs sun damage, boasts high levels of phytonutrients that rebuild skin cells, and helps preserve your youth.

So how exactly do you extract the benefits from the plant?

Cold pressing is a big part of our process at Youth to the People. It preservers the protein and antioxidant integrity of the plant extract, so it can be more readily absorbed and utilized by your cells. We approach our superfoods scientifically, figuring out ways to get more of the good stuff to your skin. Our products are designed, made and filled in small batches in California.

Do you think kale experienced a moment of cultural saturation?

We’ll never stop paying homage to the wonders of kale, or other green, leafy superfoods. We don’t view the superfood as only a trend — any more than we think people valuing clean eating and clean beauty is just a trend. This isn’t a new cultural shift but one underway for decades. We believe valuing nutrition, youthfulness and being your best self has longevity.

What other key nutrients do you rely on in your range?

While our line includes kale, it’s not one built solely on kale. Kale is one ingredient among many. We’re also big believers in the benefits of spinach, green tea, and alfalfa. Our products include age-defying Tripeptide 37 (found in the Firm & Brighten Serum), collagen-boosting Tripeptide 5, and uber-hydrating and smoothing Hyaluronic Acid (found in our Moisture Cream and Gel Cleanser).

Do you plan to introduce any other ingredients in the upcoming year?

Our brand mythos is superfoods plus science, meaning we have a myriad of ingredients found to be effective in age prevention science. In the upcoming year, we’ll have a lot of exciting developments, as our line continues to evolve with the addition of more superfoods and science. Stay tuned!

Photos by Jillian Guyette.

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