Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream Review - The Dermatology Review

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream Review



What is Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream?

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is a protein moisturizer that combines an array of signal peptides, growth factors, and supportive amino acids. It is said to provide visible and immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness. This moisturizer also helps to reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and signs of sun damage, as well as help the skin to feel strengthened and moisturized. In this review, we’ll discuss who may benefit from this product, key ingredients used in the formulation, how to use the product, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream reviews from real customers, and alternatives that you may want to consider. 

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Who is it for?

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream can be used by all skin types, but it is ideal for those who have signs of aging or want to prevent signs of aging. This moisturizer may also benefit those with uneven skin tone or texture. It is said to be safe for those with sensitive skin, however, as you can see in the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream reviews, many customers with sensitive skin report experiencing irritation and breakouts because of this product. 

Formulation insight

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is vegan and cruelty-free. It is 100% free of essential oils and fragrance. In fact, the list of the harmful ingredients that aren’t included in this formula is almost as long as what is in the formula! You won’t find what the brand calls the “Suspicious 6” in any of their products (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, SLS). Drunk Elephant believes that these six ubiquitous ingredients are at the root of almost every skin issue and when entirely removed from one’s routine, skin can reset and return to a healthy, balanced state. 

One of the key ingredients in Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is a 9 signal peptide complex. Peptides are fragments of proteins that are formed when amino acids bond together. For example, when two amino acids are joined together by a single bond it is called a dipeptide. Three linked amino acids are a tripeptide, followed by tetrapeptides, etc. A polypeptide consists of a large number of amino acid residues bonded together in a chain, forming part of a protein molecule.

The following signal peptides can be found in Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream: sh-Oligopeptide-1, sh-Oligopeptide-2, sh-Polypeptide-1, sh-Polypeptide-9, sh-Polypeptide-11, Copper Palmitoyl Heptapeptide-14, Heptapeptide-15 Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1. 

Two of these peptides (palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl tripeptide-1) are known by the trade name Matrixyl 3000. These two peptides work synergistically to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance through cell signaling. Specifically, these peptides mimic the same peptides that you’d find when collagen is broken down. As collagen deteriorates due to age and environmental factors, it produces peptides that signal skin cells to generate more collagen. By mimicking these naturally occurring peptides, synthetic peptides cause your skin to “think” collagen is deteriorating and therefore it needs to produce new collagen. Numerous studies have proven the anti-aging and anti-wrinkle efficacy of Matrixyl 3000. 

Several of the other peptides function as growth factors. Growth factors are messenger proteins that are inherent in our bodies and are capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and cellular differentiation. Growth factors play an important role in maintaining healthy skin since they signal to fibroblasts to produce more collagen. Thus, topical application may help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone and texture.

Peptides also serve to bind moisture to skin because they are humectants. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface. Thus, these peptides help to plump, firm, and restore bounce to skin’s appearance. 

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream also contains quite a few amino acids. Similar to peptides, amino acids improve the skin’s hydration by binding moisture to the skin. In addition, it is thought that amino acids may help to stimulate new collagen production since collagen is a protein composed of amino acids. One particular amino acid called acetyl glutamine is a skin-identical and skin-repairing ingredient that can be effective for reversing past damage. It also has an inhibitory effect on melanin production, which helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and brighten the complexion. 

One unique ingredient in Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is pygmy waterlily stem cell extract. It is an excellent source of antioxidants that help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Pygmy waterlily stem cell extract is also extremely moisturizing, soothing, and calming. 

Another interesting ingredient used in Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is soybean folic acid ferment extract. This is a fermented ingredient that delivers folic acid (a form of vitamin B9) to the skin. Folic acid plays a central role in maintaining youthful, elastic skin. One way that folic acid maintains youthful skin is by promoting the growth of fibroblasts (the cells that produce collagen). In addition, research suggests that folic acid treatment increases the repair rate of UV-damaged DNA by the NER (nuclear excision repair) mechanism. 

Lastly, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream features a high concentration of marula oil, which contains a large proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids. For example, it contains about 70 to 78% oleic acid, an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid that functions as a penetration enhancer by disturbing the skin barrier. The other fatty acids in this oil include linoleic acid (4 to 7%), alpha-linolenic acid (0.1 to 0.7%), palmitic acid (9 to 12%), and stearic acid (5 to 8%). Once applied to the skin, these fatty acids help to replenish the skin’s natural barrier function. A strong, intact barrier helps to prevent water loss, therefore keeping the skin hydrated and soft. Tocopherols, vitamin C, flavonoids, sterols, and other antioxidants are also found in marula oil. These antioxidant compounds help to protect the skin from free radicals. 

How to use

Apply Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream morning and night to clean, dry skin. You can also add a shot of Protini to any Drunk Elephant serum, cream, or oil for an extra dose of protein. 


Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream reviews are overall very positive, with 531 five-star reviews after a total of 623 customer reviews. One review points out that, “Products have a tendency to exaggerate their effects, but Protini REALLY improves the appearance and feeling of your skin after one use”. Other reviews mention that Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream helps the skin feel soft, smooth, and moisturized. Negative reviews for this product mention that it can cause irritation and breakouts in those with sensitive skin. 

What are some alternatives to Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream?

If you’re interested in adding peptide skin care products to your routine, we have a few other product recommendations for you to consider. First is Formulyst Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Serum. This anti-aging serum uses Multi-Peptide Technology to combine six rejuvenating peptides into one formula. It contains Matrixyl 3000, which we discussed above, as well as the peptides, acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18, dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, and acetyl octapeptide-3. All of these peptides have a unique mechanism of action, and they work together to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The peptides in the Formulyst Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Serum are combined in a base of several potent hydrating ingredients, including glycerin, Chondrus Crispus extract, and sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid). 

The second product we recommend is Formulyst’s Ultimate Youth Concentrate. The formula is bioengineered from plant stem cells and contains a concentrated combination of five unique peptides that can stimulate the production of Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF). EGF is a protein naturally found in cells called fibroblasts (remember, these cells are responsible for producing collagen). It is thought that EGF signals to fibroblasts to produce more collagen, which leads to cell growth, proliferation, and wound healing. As we age, our ability to produce EGF decreases, resulting in the key signs that contribute to aging skin. Applying products that increase EGF production, such as the Formulyst Ultimate Youth Concentrate, may increase skin strength and integrity. 




The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many of the Formulyst’s products harness the power of plant and citrus extracts as well as gold-standard workhorses such as retinol. Read More

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This award-winning system can help diminish wrinkle appearance, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fade away redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. Some of the standout products in this line include the Super Youth Serum, Complete Age Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment. Read More

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