If there was one type of product that took the beauty community by storm this past year, it was chemical exfoliation. Alpha hydroxy acids and Beta hydroxy acids have become the new standard for soothing out the skin and removing that layer of dead skin cells. But none of these products had quite as much hype behind them as the Sukari Baby Facial from Drunk Elephant. Containing almost every AHA and BHA available, this formula is widely considered the ultimate acid exfoliating treatment. But is it really worth the hype? In this Drunk Elephant review, we’re looking into the brand behind this product, as well as their formula to give you an idea of what to expect.
Behind the Brand
Tiffany Masterson had been at war with her own skin from day one. She’d flit from brand to brand, never truly happy with with the results. After fighting fairly constant breakout and bouts of irritation, she started to do her own research on the ingredients behind some of the most popular beauty brands. What she found was that most of them contained one or more of what she would later nickname, “the suspicious six’. These included essential oils, fragrances, silicones, chemical UV filters, SLS and drying alcohols. This list has grown in the time since Drunk Elephant’s birth, and there is now an entire Blacklist that you can read through on the Drunk Elephant Website.
After eliminating the suspicious six, Masterson noticed that her skin was almost instantly clearer, brighter and calmer. Inspired by her own discovery, she created a brand that not only eliminated the suspicious six from every formula, but included only the most effective ingredients available. The result is a pared down brand that invites the simplicity back into skincare.
Drunk Elephant’s Suraki Baby Facial
Of the brand’s 16 skincare products, there is one that is legendary within the beauty community: T.L.C Sukari Baby Facial. The product contains 25% AHA and 2% BHA, making it one of the highest concentration of acid exfoliators on the market. But, while the formula is very strong, it’s designed to be non irritating. Masterson and the team behind Drunk Elephant wanted this formula to be suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin that oftentimes have difficulty using exfoliating products. This is mostly due to the cactus root extract which is suited to soothe redness and sensitivity that some people
This serum like mask is designed to be used once a week. Their advice is to consider the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial as a weekly treatment and the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum as daily maintenance. Apply the Baby Facial to dry, clean skin and leave for 20 minutes. After the time’s up, rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize with the Virgin Marula Facial Oil.
About the Actives
T.L.C stands for Tartaric, Lactic and Citric acid, which is actually only three of the six AHA’s and BHA’s that included in the formula. While this may seem like a bit too much, in truth, acids actually work better when used in tandem with others. Each acid works a little differently, so using all of them on a regular basis can address your skin concerns for different angles. For a little bit more information on each acids, here’s a quick run down.
Now this particular acid is very uncommon to see in skincare in comparison to other AHA’s like glycolic acid. Tartaric acid is naturally occuring, and is found in grapes and apricots. Like other AHA’s it exfoliates the skin at the surface, revealing more smooth, even skin. Additionally, during the exfoliation process, tartaric acid also stimulates collagen production, so it’s a great acid for those with mature skin.
This AHA is perfect for sensitive skin. Since the molecule size is larger than that of other AHA’s like glycolic acid, it doesn’t sink into the deeper layers of the skin, so it’s less likely to lead to irritation. While it may not reach the deeper layers, this acid still does an excellent job of resurfacing the top layer of the skin.
Lactic and Glycolic acids are often paired together in chemical exfoliating treatments. The reason is because while lactic has a larger molecule size, glycolic has the smaller molecules to fill in the gaps. Using the two in tandem allows for an even more skin resurfacing effects.
Another less common AHA that’s found in this product is citric acid. Found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, this also helps to remove the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal a fresh, radiant complexion.
Acne sufferers, take note. If you have trouble with blemishes, BHA’s are the way to go. Salicylic acid penetrates deeper than any AHA, so it can get into your pores and clear out dirt, debri and oil.
Different from the rest of the acids we’ve mentioned previously, this acid serves a completely different purpose. After more intense exfoliating treatments, hyaluronic acid rehydrates the area so you don’t get that dry, tight feeling after your treatment.
This Allure Best of Beauty award winner has 4.5 to 5 star reviews on almost every retailer’s website. Most reviewers saw results quickly, even from the very first application. The most common results included a brighter complexion, skin softening, a morning after ‘glow’, and diminished fine lines and wrinkles.
But, while there are hundreds of reviewers with nothing but good things to say, there are a few negatives to be aware of. Although this product is designed for all skin types, there are people who reported irritation and breakouts immediately following this product.
That being said, if you find that your skin reacts well to acids, this may be a great option to take to chemical exfoliation game to the next level. Are you a chemical exfoliant convert? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!