The Scoop on Youthful Essence

Youthful Essence is a skin care system that uses micro-dermabrasion as its principle method to fight the signs of aging. Fronted by celebrity soap opera actress Susan Lucci, Youthful Essence bills itself as your personal fountain of youth by combining state-of-the-art cosmetic technology with luxurious spa-quality ingredients.  This special formula of finely ground mineral crystals and a nutrient-rich antioxidant cream nourishes your skin while gently exfoliating away dull, dry surface cells.  

For $29.95 per month plus 7.99 shipping/handling per shipment, you receive a 90 day supply of vitamin enriched resurfacing cream every 3 months. They do have an introductory 30 day offer, but you must sign up to receive it. You also receive a resurfacing tool which renews your skin with a soothing massage motion, plus soft sponge applicators for smooth, even and safe exfoliation. It is water-tight, safe to use in the shower and can be used anywhere on your body! (More on that later…)

There is a 60-day money-back guarantee, just return the system within 60 days of purchase to receive a refund of the purchase price less shipping and handling.

Product Claims:

  • Fine lines, age spots, enlarged pores, superficial scars, and sun damage will seemingly fade away after first application.
  • Leaves your skin renewed, restored and rejuvenated…without the expense or inconvenience of a spa treatment.
  • Everything you need to transform your skin and gently reveal its natural beauty.
  • Safe and effective

Cross Examination:

After some digging, I came up with an ingredient list:

Aluminum Oxide (Micronized Crystals), Purified Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Lecithin, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Bran Extract, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Beta Carotene, Methyl paraben, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6, Fragrance (Parfum).

Youthful Essence Resurfacing cream does contain vitamin E, vitamin A, and stable ester of vitamin C, which are good anti-oxidants. But there are no ingredients that stimulate collagen synthesis, and there are no other high-end powerful wrinkle reducing ingredients.

To be fair, the principle claim of Youthful Essence is that it will reproduce the micro-abrasion treatments that are done by spas. Dermabrasion consists of sanding down the surface layer of your skin with a rotating brush. It removes the skin surface and a new layer of skin grows. Side effects can include redness, pain, and temporary scab formation. Youthful Essence claims that their product can reproduce this procedure in the safety and comfort of your own home at a fraction of the cost.

But how effective is this against wrinkles?? And how safe is it?

As a cosmetic procedure, dermabrasion is not the number one recommended cosmetic treatment to fight wrinkles. It is more effective in reducing age spots and smoothing your overall complex. For first time users, this can be a confusing and difficult application process, especially if you are doing it to yourself. While the thought of turning your home into a high-end spa for a fraction of the cost may seem alluring, the reality can be messy and painful.

If you've ever gotten a dermabrasion treatment, you know that your face will be red and sensitive for hours or even a full day following the treatment and you may not want to schedule any social engagements. The same can be true of using Youthful Essence, and it may not be a good skin care treatment for you, if you've got highly sensitive skin.

What is also concerning is that people who receive a dermabrasion treatment from a trained esthetician are strongly counseled to use sun protection following the procedure, as it sensitizes skin to sun damage. The Youthful Essence website simply glosses over this important detail.

Speaking of ingredients, you may be wondering what the abrasion crystals are made of. They are made of aluminum oxide, a common abrasive material that is used for polishing. You also find it in toothpaste.

Youthful Essence also contains two artificial dyes, FD&C No. 5 and 6. The common name for these dyes is tartrazine. Per Wikipedia, tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly among asthmatics and those with an aspirin intolerance.  Symptoms from tartrazine sensitivity can occur by either ingestion or cutaneous exposure to a substance containing tartrazine, such as this skin cream.

Last complaint, but not least, is, you guessed, the nefarious cream pot. Why would any manufacturer go to the trouble to put expensive esters of vitamin C in a cream and then ruin it with oxidation every time the pot is opened? You can be sure that the anti-oxidants included in this resurfacing cream are mostly inactivated by the time you apply them to you face, making them useless.

Having said that, I have neglected to mention the best perk about this product: the water-resistant resurfacing tool. Oh yes,  ladies, the sleek, newly designed and patented Youthful Essence® resurfacing tool is now even better-it's water resistant! Safe to use in your bath or shower, this powerful tool vibrates at 4,000 revitalizing micro-orbits per minute to polish away the years. Use with sponge applicators and Resurfacing Cream. Includes 2 AA batteries.

I don’t know about you, but a tool that vibrates that I can use in the shower? Hmm…let me think…those sly dogs…who cares about the questionable resurfacing cream!!

The Bottom Line:

This regimen may irritate sensitive skin. The cream does not contain any ingredients that make it stand out. Youthful Essence will probably be most effective at smoothing skin and evening skin tone, but will do little to combat or prevent wrinkles. Ultimately, there's a reason that people hire professionals to perform dermabrasion, and buying Youthful Essence could give you firsthand experience as to why. I would recommend a simpler and more effective topical treatment to reduce wrinkles and reduce the signs of aging.

However…you do get the vibrating tool…I’m just sayin’…