Drunk Elephant first got my attention because of the fun name, then it got my attention because of its philosophy: “It is safe, minimal, effective, and non-toxic…. the key ingredients were added at the highest percentages possible for maximum efficacy.” One of my pet peeves is how some products boast of how amazing it is because of ingredient A, then when you look at the list it’s like the 39th ingredient so there’s barely a drop of it in the bottle. Drunk Elephant focuses on getting the best quality ingredients that are proven to work instead of the fanciest/rarest ingredients that you’ve never heard of. If there’s any doubt about the safety of an ingredient, it’s out. Here’s a list of what they don’t use.
The first product I tried and reviewed was Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum, which was ok, but then I fell in love with the next serum I tried. Before I realized it, I’ve tried all their serums and moisturizers (cleansers coming up in the next post, look forward to it!). Without further ado, here are the reviews for all the serums and moisturizers I tried.
I’m a big fan of this. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and pro-vitamin B5 to attract and boost moisture content. It also contains pineapple ceramide, watermelon, apple and lentil extract, which help with skin texture as well as fine lines. It’s a lightweight gel with no scent. It absorbs well, hydrates well and works well with whatever essence, oils or moisturizers I tried it with. I prefer layering it like a serum rather than mixing it with moisturizer/oil. It feels comfortable and hydrating even when my skin is irritated. It is fantastic under SPF if you want something that’s super lightweight but gives a nice boost of moisture. If you have oily skin this may work as a moisturizer, otherwise this would be a great hydrating serum for combination/dry skin when it feels like your skin is constantly dehydrated or irritated no matter what you put on it.
I have tried other hydration boosters such as Skin Inc Hyaluronic Acid serum, Dr. Dennis Gross Hydration Booster, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid, Fresh Seaberry Booster and Boscia Cool Blue Hydration Essence. However, those are either not as hydrating, not as comfortable/soothing or not as lightweight as the B-hydra.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Berberis Vulgaris Root Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Lactate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cyclodextrin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
It is a serum with 12% AHA/BHA, which exfoliate and clarify pores as well as diminish fine lines/pigmentation. Most products with acid tend to be slightly drying or have a stinging sensation when applied. This is a clear lightweight gel that absorbs well with no stinging or irritation, but does keep my pores clean and makes my skin smooth just like other glycolic products. I had no clogged pores or dry/sensitive skin next day. It works under moisturizer or oil. It is an excellent choice if you find most glycolic peels, masks or serums to be too much for your sensitive skin.
The only thing similar I can think of is Sunday Riley Good Gene, which focuses more on lactic acid while Framboos contains a blend of glycolic acid (helps with collagen production), lactic acid (reduces pigmentation), and salicylic acid (reduces acne). Both are excellent products and very similar, but if your main concern is pigmentation/brightening then Sunday Riley Good Gene may be slightly better, and if your main concern is skin texture then Drunk Elephant Framboos serum may be slightly better.
Ingredients: Water, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Cactus) Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Galactoarabinan, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjustor), Phenoxyethanol.
It is a scentless white cream. Even though it is a blend of “6 Rare African Oils”, it absorbs quickly and does not feel heavy or greasy on the skin. My skin feels moisturized and velvety soft. In the winter when my skin is dry and irritated, this feels like a gentle hug. The problem with my dehydrated combination skin is that some creams for dry skin don’t absorb well, so my skin continues to be irritated and dehydrated while feeling greasy and stuffy. I don’t have this problem with Lala Cream. It is a bit too rich for me in the summer, although I can use it if I apply sparingly. It’s great for sensitive or dry/combination skin.
The only comparable product I can think of is Murad Hydro-dynamic Cream, which is similar but contains a few ingredients that helps with collagen to plump the skin while Lala contains green tea and antioxidants to help with environmental stress and calming sensitive skin.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Isostearate, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil/Glucose/Glycine Soja (Soybean) Meal/Malt Extract/Yeast Extract Ferment Filtrate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Ximenia Americana Seedate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Ceteareth-20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.
This is 100% cold pressed virgin marula oil. It is high in antioxidants and Omegas 6 and 9, which means it moisturizes the skin and protects it against environmental stress. The oil is scent-less, absorbs fast and moisturizes well. It is not too thick and absorbs well, appropriate for oily or normal/combination skin. Because it is pure oil with nothing else added, it can feel a tad more greasy than other oil blends before it absorbs and is meant to be applied sparingly (2-3 drops for the whole face).
It feels the same on my face as the Marula Pure Marula Facial Oil (which is actually 99% marula oil and 1% Essential Oil Fragrance Blend). Other than that, Boscia Tsubaki oil is also similar in consistency and benefits but it’s also an oil blend.
Ingredients: Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil
Most SPF are a blend of chemical and physical sunscreen. Last time I tried a purely physical sunscreen, it left a white tint on my face, felt stuffy and melted off my face in flakes when I sweated. Fortunately, none of that happened when I tried Drunk Elephant Umbra. It’s a white lotion with no scent that absorbs quickly. It does give the skin a bit of white tint and a tiny bit of shimmer when applied, but after rubbing it in it’s no longer visible. It is very lightweight and does not feel greasy or stuffy. However, make sure you don’t over apply. When I slather it on generously for more moisture, it left a white tint that flakes off. When applied appropriately, it works great under makeup. It is infused with raspberry seed and marula oils, so it’s a great lightweight moisturizer with SPF for oily sensitive skin.
I haven’t tried a lot of purely physical sunscreen, this is probably the best I’ve tried. But if you just want a lightweight sunscreen with nice skincare ingredients, then Murad Esssential-C SPF30 is somewhat comparable. I have combination skin so I prefer something a bit more moisturizing (AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF35).
Ingredients: (Zinc Oxide 20%) Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).
If you like the idea of Drunk Elephant but is not sure about the productss, Sephora has a few sets of minis that you can try before splurging for the full size. As for me? I’m waiting for the Sephora fall 20% off sale so I can purchase full size of Framboos, B-hydra and Lala cream. Have you tried any Drunk Elephant products?