In this review, we’ll discuss the top 10 best Drunk Elephant skin care products with a scientific lens, meaning we’ve evaluated the research that supports (or doesn’t support) the ingredients that you’ll find in these products. We’ll also share some Drunk Elephant reviews so you can get a better idea of what customers really think about these products.
What Are The Top 10 Best Drunk Elephant Skin Care Products?
With a collection of over 25 different skin care products, you may not know which Drunk Elephant products are really worth it. To help you out, we’ll give you the details on the top 10 best Drunk Elephant skin care products.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
- A protein moisturizer that combines 9 signal peptides with growth factors, amino acids, and pygmy water lily
- Certain peptides have research to support their use in skin care, such as Matrixyl 3000 (palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl tripeptide-1), but not all of the peptides used in Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream have independent research studies to support their purported benefits
- Claimed to visibly improve skin‘s tone, texture, and firmness
Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum
- A potent vitamin C serum that includes 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) combined with 0.5% ferulic acid and 1% vitamin E
- Additional key ingredients include pumpkin ferment extract and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer
- Claimed to reveal a brighter, firmer, and more even-looking complexion
Drunk Elephant Baby Facial
- An at-home “facial” that exfoliates the skin with alpha and beta hydroxy acids (25% AHA and 2% BHA)
- The AHAs include glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids; the BHA is salicylic acid
- Supporting key ingredients include chickpea flour, pumpkin ferment, and a soothing antioxidant blend of matcha tea, milk thistle, and apple
- Claimed to dramatically smooth texture while minimizing the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream
- Combines 1% retinol with a triple peptide blend (palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, and palmitoyl hexapeptide-12)
- 1% is a high concentration of retinol, so this product may not be suitable for those who have never used retinol products
- A blend of passionfruit, apricot, marula, and jojoba oils replenish essential lipids and moisture, while antioxidant-rich kale, winter cherry, and xanthophylls help defend against environmental free radicals
- Claimed to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, and sun damage
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
- A chemical exfoliant gel that contains a blend of 12% AHAs (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric acids) and 1% BHA (salicylic acid)
- Additional key ingredients include raspberry fruit extract, horse chestnut, and marula oil
- Claimed to reveal great clarity and luminosity, while also enhancing the performance of other products by clearing the way for maximum absorption
Drunk Elephant C Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
- A rich and restorative eye cream featuring a combination of eight peptides, five forms of vitamins C, vitamin E, superoxide dismutase, ubiquinone, and several more antioxidants
- Claimed to promote brighter, firmer, stronger-looking skin around the eye area
Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser
- A jelly cleanser that contains a blend of mild surfactants and makeup-dissolving emollients
- Additional key ingredients include cantaloupe fruit extract and marula oil
- Claimed to gently remove all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution, and any other impurities, leaving skin clean and soft
Drunk Elephant Marula Oil
- A nourishing facial oil for all skin types, including sensitive skin
- Only contains one ingredient: 100% unrefined marula oil
- Claimed to quickly sink in and diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel
- A hydrating serum with a gel texture that provides hydrations thanks to panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and sodium hyaluronate
- Additional key ingredients include pineapple ceramide, lentil-apple-and-watermelon complex, and squalane
- Claimed to replenish the complexion and improve the look of skin tone and texture
Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
- A cleansing balm that is activated by water, turning it into a milk that melts away all traces of dirt, makeup, and sunscreen from skin, even water-resistant formulations
- Contains what the brand calls a “nourishing fruit salad blend”, a mix of non-fragrant soothing fruit extracts (blueberry, kiwi, and strawberry) and replenishing fruit oils (cranberry seed oil, acai fruit oil, and watermelon seed oil)
What if I Just Want a Simple Moisturizer?
If you’re just looking for a simple moisturizer, you may want to consider Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream. This Drunk Elephant moisturizer is claimed to be a “rescue cream” by reinforcing the skin’s acid mantle and defending against the effects of everyday stressors. A few of the key ingredients you’ll find in this moisturizer include ceramides, phytosphingosine, and an African oil blend (marula, mongongo, baobab, ximenia, and passionfruit).
What Are The Key Ingredients in Drunk Elephant Skin Care Products?
Drunk Elephant takes a “clean clinical” approach to skincare. Put another way, “a product is only as good as its worst ingredient.” Clean clinical means a commitment to only using ingredients that directly benefit the skin’s health or support the integrity and effectiveness of the formulations. Ingredients are based on their biocompatibility, rather than choosing them based on whether they are synthetic or natural. Another key cornerstone of the Drunk Elephant philosophy is to ensure proper pH levels and safety, and using active ingredients at their optimal levels.
If there’s one thing we noticed about Drunk Elephant, it’s that this brand utilizes a wide variety of unique ingredients that you typically won’t find other skin care brands using, such as pineapple ceramide, acai fruit oil, and cantaloupe fruit extract, just to name a few. It’s always great to see innovation in skin care products. The only problem with using these unique ingredients is that there’s not always a substantial amount of evidence proving their effectiveness in skin care.
But not to worry, Drunk Elephant still includes tried-and-true ingredients in their formulations, such as retinol, vitamin C, and sodium hyaluronate. Let’s take a closer look at the science that supports the use of these ingredients in skin care.
Drunk Elephant Ingredient Highlight: Retinol
Retinol is one of the gold standard ingredients when it comes to correcting signs of aging, as well as preventing acne breakouts. According to a publication in the journal, Clinical Interventions in Aging, retinol can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and unclog pores.
Retinol provides all of these benefits by first being converted to retinoic acid (its active form) after being absorbed into the skin. Retinoic acid works deep within the skin where it boosts collagen synthesis, increases elasticity, and repairs connective tissue. It also increases cellular turnover, which helps to prevent clogged pores and also promotes smoother, healthier skin.
While it may not seem like it, the 1% concentration of retinol in the Drunk Elephant retinol cream is a pretty high concentration. Therefore, it’s possible to see side effects like redness, irritation, and peeling after using this product, especially if you’ve never used topical retinol before.
Drunk Elephant Ingredient Highlight: Vitamin C
The next key ingredient in Drunk Elephant skin care products is vitamin C. Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum contains pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) while the Drunk Elephant eye cream contains multiple vitamin C derivatives. Regardless of the form used, all vitamin C ingredients are converted to ascorbic acid once absorbed into the skin.
Ascorbic is a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from environmental free radicals that can damage collagen in the skin. Damaged collagen manifests as signs of premature skin aging, including wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin. Since ascorbic acid can protect collagen, the Drunk Elephant products that contain vitamin C can help prevent signs of aging.
There’s also research that suggests vitamin C can help to correct existing signs of aging since vitamin C promotes new collagen synthesis. Specifically, ascorbic acid serves as a cofactor for enzymes that are responsible for stabilizing and cross-linking the collagen molecules. According to the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, clinical studies have shown that the topical use of ascorbic acid increases collagen production in both young and aged human skin. Therefore, the Drunk Elephant skin care products that contain vitamin C should help to promote firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
Vitamin C is also known to brighten the complexion and reduce the appearance of dark spots and improve uneven skin tone. This is accomplished through inhibition of melanin synthesis. Melanin is a pigment that gives our skin color, but too much of this pigment can lead to undesirable dark spots called hyperpigmentation. Ascorbic acid decreases melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that is required for melanin synthesis. Therefore, you may want to try out the Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum if you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Drunk Elephant Ingredient Highlight: Marula Oil
The final key ingredient used throughout the Drunk Elephant skin care line is marula oil, derived from the marula fruit tree native to southern Africa. Did you know that the marula fruit actually inspired this brand’s name? Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson read about the myth that elephants become drunk after eating marula fruit that has fallen to the ground and fermented. According to Vanity Fair, the phrase “drunk elephant” stuck in her mind and the brand name was born.
So is marula oil actually a beneficial skin care ingredient? One of the main benefits of marula oil is its ability to absorb into the skin quickly, strengthen the skin barrier, and help other ingredients absorb better. This is because marula oil contains about 70 to 78% oleic acid, an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid that functions as a penetration enhancer by disturbing the skin barrier. You can use Drunk Elephant Marula Oil if you want to get the full experience of this oil, or you can find marula oil in nearly all of the other products in the Drunk Elephant skin care line.
What is the “Suspicious Six”?
All Drunk Elephant skin care products are formulated without the brand’s list of “Suspicious 6” ingredients, which include:
- Essential oils
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Chemical sunscreens
- Drying alcohols
Drunk Elephant believes that these six ingredients are behind every skin issue and when they are eliminated from your routine (which they called “a clean break”), your skin can reset and return to a healthy, balanced state.
Where are Drunk Elephant Skin Care Products Sold?
Drunk Elephant skin care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as several third party online retailers, such as Sephora, Dermstore, Amazon, and more.
What is The Drunk Elephant Return Policy?
The Drunk Elephant return policy states, “We want you to love your Drunk Elephant purchase, so if you are not totally satisfied, please send an email to [email protected] within 30 days of your purchase, and we will provide a return authorization and mailing information. Simply return the unused portion, and we will be happy to remit your account for the full amount of your purchase, minus shipping.”
Is Drunk Elephant Cruelty Free?
Yes, Drunk Elephant is cruelty free.
Drunk Elephant Reviews
Drunk Elephant has received plenty of editorial coverage in publications such as Allure, New Beauty, Vogue and Refinery29 and has scooped up plenty of industry awards as well. The Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum won an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2018, and a Reader’s Choice Award in 2019.
A Glamour editor described the T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial in this way: “despite the hefty price tag, this formula is a facial in a bottle and it lasts a while” and a writer for the Zoe Report was “floored” by the Sukari Babyfacial. “A 20-minute at-home facial achieved what my entire skincare regime hadn’t before.”
While beauty editors certainly love Drunk Elephant, what do real people think? Drunk Elephant reviews on Sephora.com are a mix of positive and negative. For example, the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream has received an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars after more than 5,000 customer reviews.
The positive Drunk Elephant reviews for the Protini Polypeptide Cream mention that it moisturizes well without feeling heavy or greasy. For example, one review says, “This is my favorite moisturizer I’ve ever used. I’ve been using Protini for about 2 years and have found it to be light enough for summer use, when my skin is oily, but still nourishing enough to keep away winter dryness.”
However, there are quite a few negative Drunk Elephant reviews for the Protini Polypeptide Cream from customers who didn’t find this cream to moisturize well, and some even experienced breakouts after using it.
For example, one review of the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream says, “I am very disappointed in this moisturizer. I have dry and sensitive skin. No matter how many good ingredients this moisturizer claims to have, it does not perform its basic function which is to hydrate and moisturize. I often wake up my skin is so dry and tight it has fine lines! I tried to apply two pumps but it just sat on my skin no matter how long I tried to message it into my skin. I have to reapply it during the day several times, but my skin is still dry after one hour. This may be suitable for combo or oil skin as night cream, but not for dry skin like mine.”
Overall, we think that Drunk Elephant skin care products are formulated well and can be a good option for treating common skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, dullness, and signs of aging. The only drawback is that the cost of Drunk Elephant products may be out of reach for many people.
- Excellent packaging (most products come in twist-top airless pump bottles)
- Evidence-based ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, AHAs, BHA, etc)
- Formulations never include harmful ingredients like fragrance, dyes, essential oils, and drying alcohols
- High price point
What Are Some Alternatives to Drunk Elephant Skin Care?
Drunk Elephant may not be the right choice for everyone, in terms of the price point or how it reacts with your skin. If you’re looking for a well-rounded skincare line, we’d recommend Formulyst. Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare that will help you achieve your best looking skin.
If you want to address multiple signs of aging at once, try Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate. This serum contains natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which provide powerful antioxidant activity to protect the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, this serum contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex that helps to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen. Overall, Formulyst Anti-Aging Concentrate is a multi-tasking serum that is formulated to help promote the five signs of youth – radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone and smoothness.
There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals as well as the preservatives, emulsifiers and thickeners commonly found in skincare products.