Have you ever started out absolutely loving a product, only to end up wishing you could be rid of it once you began hitting the end? That was, sadly, my experience with Youth To The People’s Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. To be fair to this mask, I still think it’s an amazing product. It wasn’t that the mask was bad, but rather my skin’s needs changed at a certain point. My skin started out being perfectly fine with this mask, only to reject it later. So, who would best benefit from the Dream Mask? Read on to find out!
The full ingredients list for the Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask is as follows:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Betaine, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearic Acid, Opuntia Tuna (Prickly Pear) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí) Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Extract, Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui) Fruit Extract, Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearyl Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glyceryl Laurate, Squalane, Carbomer, Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Natural Fragrance, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Sunflower seed oil is an emollient, quick-absorbing oil that also happens to be non-comedogenic (i.e., it won’t clog your pores.) The super berry blend that gives this mask its name is comprised of prickly pear extract, açaí fruit extract, goji extract, and maqui fruit extract. Prickly pear hydrates and soothes redness, and maqui, açaí, and goji are all potent antioxidants. Moringa oleifera leaf extract contains vitamin A, which helps skin cells renew themselves faster. In doing so, it can limit breakouts and lessen the appearance of fine lines. This extract also contains vitamin E, which has moisturizing and antioxidant properties. It can protect skin from environmental stressors, and it is able to soothe inflammation too.
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is, technically speaking, a derivative of vitamin C. Despite that, it does all of the things that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) would do: it fights pigmentation, encourages collagen production, and helps protect the skin from photoaging. (If you want to learn more about the different forms of vitamin C and which one might be best for you, this YouTube video by dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss is a great source.)
Squalane acts like the skin’s own oil, making it an ideal ingredient. It helps reduce moisture loss without clogging pores in the process. Panthenol is a fantastic ingredient that soothes inflammation by keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. As a humectant, it pulls water into the skin and reduces dehydration.
To find out more about the ingredients in this mask, you can check out incicoder.com, which breaks down each ingredient and its use in the formula.
I opened this in January 2020, and I used it throughout that winter, lightly in the summer, and more so again in fall 2020. The Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask has a 12-month shelf life, so thankfully I was able to stretch it out quite a bit! I didn’t have to use much of this mask, as it had a rich, easily spreading texture. I tried to avoid using too much on my forehead especially, as I would sometimes wake up looking super oily in that area if I used more than I should. However, as my skin slowly got drier, I noticed that the oiliness was less of an issue.
The texture was velvety smooth, and it sat on my skin like a comforting blanket. It truly felt like it was effectively holding in the moisture and hydration from my previous skincare steps. It had a bright, berry/citrus smell to it, but I didn’t mind it for the most part. Could I have gone without the scent? Probably. But it didn’t necessarily turn me off the product either.
The first winter that I used this, I enjoyed it immensely. I spread a thin layer of it on almost every night as the last step of my evening routine, and things always went smoothly. I used it intermittently throughout the summer when I felt I was in need of extra moisture. Once fall arrived, I began to use the Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask in earnest once again. This time, though, something hit differently. And that something was the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
My skin was extra sensitive during the fall of 2020 for a number of reasons. The first, of course, being the change in weather, which is always rough on my easily-reddened complexion. The second was that I had been dabbling in using a stronger retinol, which my skin did not take to kindly. Before I knew it, I had a compromised barrier on my hands.
As a note, all this time I had been using the Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask as well, further adding to my skin distress. Vitamin C is an ingredient that can irritate the skin, and its derivative, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, can do the same. I had absent-mindedly been including this mask in my routine, even though my skin was becoming increasingly sensitized. I stopped using retinol, acids, and any strongly fragranced products. But somehow I forgot about the vitamin C in this mask and just kept using it. Yikes! I finally noticed one night that my skin would redden after applying the mask, even on my forehead. I immediately ceased using it after that, and my skin was finally able to start the process of healing.
I want to emphasize again that I don’t think this is a bad product. On the contrary, I thought it was wonderful! BUT, I do think that this mask is better suited for some people than others.
On their site, Youth to the People claims that THD ascorbate is non-irritating. It bothers me when companies make these types of claims, as typically the spotlighted ingredient still has the potential to irritate. I see this done often with retinol, as companies will assert that their product is “specially formulated” to be less irritating. We always have to take these assertions with a grain of salt, because brands will try to paint their products in the best light. The reality, though, is often a different story. THD ascorbate does have the potential to be irritating to people with sensitive skin.
What Skin Type is the Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask Most Suitable For?
I think this mask is best for someone who a) has hardy skin that doesn’t become irritated easily and/or b) someone who doesn’t have a lot of other exfoliating products in their routine already. If you’re using an acid in the morning, a retinol at night, then topping it off with this mask, your skin probably won’t be happy. The Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask requires a delicately balanced routine.
This mask is fairly pricy at $48 for 2 oz, but it does last quite a while. Because there’s so much careful planning I would have to do around this mask now, I probably wouldn’t buy it again. I’ve been leaning more towards all-purpose, calming sleeping masks that I can use every night.
My journey with this mask was long (well, twelve months, but you know. Long for skincare.) and varied, but in the end, my opinion of it is somewhat neutral. It was pleasant at the beginning, but kind of did me dirty later on. Or rather, I sort of screwed myself with it. (This keeps sounding more X-rated as I go on, ah!) You get the point, I think.
As with any skincare product, approach this one with caution. Use your judgment to decide if this will be suitable for you or not. If so, I think you will enjoy it! If not, it’s ok, there are lots of other amazing masks out there! I hope you’re able to find the perfect mask to suit you and your skincare routine.
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