In a hurry? This post reviewed most Drunk Elephant products other than Bestie cleanser and Protini moisturizer. See My review of Drunk Elephant C-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream here: First Impression+Allergic Reaction.
NOT SPONSORED, I reviewed Drunk Elephant whole line(by May 2017) in this article.I’ll keep updating this post for new information or new thoughts. I want to make sure if you ever stop by, my reviews could worth your time. My opinions will always remain true and honest.
- Click to watch Drunk Elephant Founder Tiffany talking about all the products.
Youtube link(not a live show anymore): DermstoreLIVE with Drunk Elephant’s Founder Tiffany Masterson.
- Read drunk elephant claims here:DE blacklists. Available on Sephora, dermstore, drunkelephant.com. Price range from $22 to $90. And they have a fund helps real elephants!
- (update) I just found 2 video reviews on DE products from Youtuber Renée Sybarite. They are very well explained by details. Even though I already used and reviewed all the products myself, I still learned some new information from her videos.
Youtube Channel: Gothamista. It’s a very informative skin care channel, I highly recommend.
Review video 1:D runk Elephant Review Part 1 | Marula, Juju, Pekee, C-Firma, TLC Framboos!
Review Video2: Drunk Elephant Review Pt 2 | B-Hydra, Lala, Shaba, Umbra, Lippe, TLC Sukari
- Beautypedia reviews on DE products, also Beautypedia.com is a great resource for Ingredients-focused reviews!
- I emailed DE team about C-firma’s color because my new one is not “golden clear”. Here’s their response.
WHY did I purchase DE (almost) whole line?
I suffered from horrible hormonal acne on and off for almost 2 years. I had acne on forehead, cheeks, jawline down to the neck and on the chest.
My face was always red, “dirty” and I felt ashamed. With makeup or without, I judged myself every single second. I’ve bought so many products trying to cure them. Eat clean, work out, even acne clarify supplements. I was so tired of all those efforts that didn’t work, I started feeling depressed once a while. It’s much better than before now, but it hasn’t completely gone. TO all acne fighters out there, If you are now suffering from the same situation, you are not alone and don’t worry that much, it will get better, for sure.
The very first review of this brand I watched was from Wayne Goss. He is an amazing makeup artist, knowledgeable and charming, I’ve learned so many makeup skills from him. When he said DE TLC serum is a life-changing product, then I searched reviews onBeautypedia.com, great reviews! I immediately purchase it on Sephora.com.
Wayne Goss Youtube Video(about DE TLC serum): FIVE LIFE CHANGING PRODUCTS!!!!
I’m sure if you are reading my reviews about this brand, you must hear tons of raves how DE products changed people’s skin and their lives, in a short period of time.It didn’t happen to me. DE products didn’t cure my acne.
I consider myself a former skincare junkie. I was always trying new products for no reason and never finished one.That’s a whole other story. Ever since I started using DE, I put way fewer products in total on my face. For me, Drunk Elephant is the brand changed my perspective on skin care, it helped my process of building a skincare routine. Ever since I started using DE, I started paying more attention to ingredients lists than labels. And know better about how to take care of my own situation.
My shortcut tips to all my dear acne fighters: Wear sunscreen, wash face gently, put on a suitable moisturizer, do not make friends with acne cure products(they are too harsh for most skin type). keep it simple. If you are considering purchasing DE products, try a sample first, DE has most products in sample size. Add one new product to your skincare routine a time regardless of which brand. Doesn’t have your own skincare routine yet? Try to build one for yourself. Try to observe your own skin, try to understand your own skin. Try to work with your own skin.One more time: Wear sunscreen, wash face gently, put on a suitable moisturizer, do not make friends with acne cure products.
keynotes: 1, DE is famous for its clean, outstanding formula, and awesome airless pump packaging, DE products are usually already better than same category products from other brands. But I feel like starting from Drunk Elephant, to the brand The Ordinary, “simple and clean formula” became a new marketing selling point. Even if they are all wonders, it doesn’t mean we need them all, we have to buy them all.
2, Your skin has to love DE Virgin Marula oil for this brand. All DE products can be mixed together, the great Mix and match technique can save a lot of time. However, for some of them, it’s very necessary. Especially when you want to try T.L.C serum, Babyfacial, Shaba complex eye cream, Lala retro whipped cream and even for Umbra sunscreen. Otherwise, those products won’t perform as great as they were promised.
3, My favorites from DE are two soap bars, C-firma VC serums, lip balm Lippe, and B-hydra is my husband’s favorite. I’m 27, oily combination skin type for reference.
A friendly reminder: this is a high percentage acid treatment, while you can benefit from it, you are also at a high risk, acid treatment will increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (UVA/UVB).
“ A 25 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA mask that works as a “facial” to clear, improve skin texture and tone.” First, there’s a 3ml sample size virgin marula oil in its package! DE recommend to use them together. That is really thoughtful!
Texture: It should be a lighter yellow color than the picture, and as time goes by, it goes deeper. I’ve had it for over 5 months now, the color has gone much deeper than this picture. It’s creamy and “sandy”. The most important is, it’s a high percentage acid treatment(banned in Canada), it shouldn’t be used too often. DE recommends once a week. if you have sensitive skin, definitely get a sample first.
How I use it: I use 4 pumps on whole face and neck after the shower, 2 times a month or less. Avoid eyes and lips area. It tingles, very noticeable, the tingling sensation goes away in 2 minutes. Wait 20 minutes, wash away with lukewarm water, then put nothing but 4 drops of DE virgin Marula oil afterward. Do not use it(any acid treatment)on open wounds, including fresh-picked acne spot.
Result: It’s a high percentage acid treatment I expected it to be dry. With the help of DE Virgin Marula oil, I had just little dry patches on my forehead, and that was all! My face was so smooth! AND soft!! The result could last 3 days to 5 days, I didn’t feel any needs to use an AHA/BHA product.
Thoughts: 1, It smoothes skin nicely, however, I don’t feel any specific improvement on acne or acne scars or even blackheads. Only on 1 or 2 small pimples. I found myself didn’t reach it that much as I thought I would. As long as I’m using an active AHA/BHA serum I won’t repurchase this one.
2, I tried other oils after babyfacial, Trilogy rosehip oil, Darphin 8 flower oil, Acure Marula oi. The results were not nearly as impressive as DE marula oil. Post-Babyfacial dry patches can last for days.
3, Wear sunscreen the second day after babyfacial and every day.
Fun Fact: Framboos means “raspberry” in Dutch. Saw it on my Sephora play Box poster.TLC is “A 12% AHA/BHA serum for the night that helps refine and resurface skin to reveal a smoother and more radiant looking complexion.” It should help with both acne and smooth skin texture.
Texture: It’s a translucent gel, applies on skin smoothly. It tingles while applying and takes at least 5 minutes to fully dry down.
How I use it: 1–2 pumps mix with 3–4 drops of DE virgin Marula oil on clean, dry skin, only at night. 2 times a week, sometimes only once a week. I didn’t like it at first, without Marula oil, it completely dried out my skin, dry patches all over entire face, day after day no moisturizer even physical exfoliator could make them go away. Foundation after that was just horrifying. Mix with Marula oil solves 90% dryness caused by T.L.C.
Results: TLC does a wonderful job of smoothing out my skin texture, even at my worst acne days, it wasn’t very “bumpy”. Some acne spots do pop out after using TLC, so it does help with acne too. I’m on my second bottle, one bottle lasts me almost a year for twice or less per week usage.
Similar products comparison: before TLC, there was Sunday Riley Good Genes $105/30ml ( Lactic Acid product). Good genes also smooth out skin texture very nicely, moreover, my skin was not as dry as after TLC.
For more affordable chemical exfoliators, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% $6.5/30ml (mild strength, pale orange/yellow color) and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $6.79/30ml(high strength, pale pink color). The color doesn’t stay on the skin. Those 2 products have some sort of “sun-dried fruits” smell but went away quickly. They sink in the skin in a snap while don’t have any tingling sensation. My skin felt just as smooth as using TLC or good genes. I repurchased TLC because it’s an AHA/BHA mixture, helps with acne too.
Thoughts: 1, Wear sunscreen the next day and every day.
2, The sensitive skin: I’m trying to use as less as acid treatment as possible recently. Because my skin now gets red very easily, My face became more sensitive than ever. I just washed face very gently, it’s red. Now I only use TLC once a week. And stopped using other acid treatments, including Babyfacial and the ordinary. If you are young or just curious about acid treatment and especially with an affordable price like the ordinary, I strongly recommend you wait as long as you can. Because even the smoothness is real, it only lasts 2–3 days at best. We are risking our skins’ own recovering strength, after this bottle, I won’t purchase any acid skin care products for a long time.
Texture: low foam, low Ph: Juju bar on the right(PH 6.34), Pekee bar(PH 6.51) .Soap-free(googled: made without the combination of fats and alkaline products), soap bar.
How I use them: I hang them in the bathroom with Foaming nets(ISHIHARASHOUTENN Ishihara Awa Foaming Net, Amazon,$4.99) to keep them dry. The foaming nets also help with more foam.I use Juju bar the brown one in the picture at night, sometimes I use it to remove light makeup too(exclude eye makeup). On the nights I don’t feel like exfoliating I’ll use Pekee bar the white one instead. I don’t use them a lot in my morning routine unless the virgin marula oil makes me too oily..
Results: 1, Slightly tight feeling after wash, but no striping feeling, both of them. They doesn’t make me feel less oily or super clean, just the right amount of freshness. Also, I need less moisturizers afterward compare to other cleansers.
2,Juju bar is an exfoliator cleanser, somehow removes makeup wonderfully(exclude eye makeup). On days when I only wear sunscreen and concealer or even light coverage foundation I’ll use Juju bar to remove makeup(exclude eye makeup), then use Bioderma micellar water do a double check, big fat chance nothing left on cotton pads, sometimes a little left near hairline.Juju bar leaves skin fresh, clean and smooth. I like Juju bar the best among the whole line.
3,Pekee bar the white one is a deep cleansing soap bar, frankly I can’t tell how “deep cleansing” it can be, to me, it’s just a “simple, I know it will work” soap bar. They both are doing so well that I don’t feel like I need to try the new Beste jelly cleanser from this brand.
Thoughts: 1, I do feel with those 2 bars, skin care products sink in skin faster than using other cleansers.
2,I bought a full-size Juju bar once, I cut them to four pieces because I like soap bar as fresh as possible. Ever since I started to purchase the traveling duo.
3, I used to change cleanser as much as I can just for staying on trend make sure I tried them all. Because there is a concept that cleansers stay on the face too short to make any difference to skin, and after wash the “dry to crack” feeling means it cleanse well! Then I learned a too harsh cleanser will damage skin barrier, make skin more likely to be irritated. A good cleanser may not change back time, but it certainly an important opening to all skincare steps.
4, Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum $85/15ml
DE just changed its price to $60 with new packing, I’m not sure if they changed the formula, New Shaba Complex $60/15ml
5 C-Firma™ Day Serum $80/30ml
1, Educational information about VC products, from Into the gloss — What Are Vitamin C’s Benefits For Skin? If you are interested or feel confused about VC products, it sure will help.
Quotes From this article — -“When in doubt, look for Ascorbic Acid. That’s really the one you want.” “Defends against free radicals, Boosts collagen production, Reduces brown spots”
2, The right color of C-firma should be “golden clear”, with 12 months shelf life. Once it’s opened, C-firma should be used up as soon as possible, best in 4–6 months.
3, Active ingredient in C-fima: 15% potent antioxidant complex of l-ascorbic plus ferulic and vitamin E.
2Tricky details — Color, shelf life and once opened.
8 months old 👆👆👆Dark orange NO
Just opened 👇👇👇Light orange✅all Right, golden clear=perfect
I appreciate that DE always keeps their costumers updated, according to DE Instagram Q&A, the right color should be “golden clear”, with 12 months shelf life. My first bottle completely lost its power after 10 months, then I opened a new one in May 2017 which I bought around black Friday week 2016. But the color isn’t “golden clear”, more a light orange so I emailed Drunk Elephant(firstname.lastname@example.org, email them if you have questions, great customer service).
Here’s the answer.
Trap 1: You’ll never know the accurate expire date of your C-firma unless you email them, I highly recommended. My second bottle is good until September even I didn’t open it. Which means I only have 4 months to finish it no matter what.
Trap 2: Magic 72 hours stay-on power. According Products description on DE’s own website: C-Firma™ has a reservoir effect, which means it will stay active on the skin for up to 72 hours and cannot be washed or rubbed off. I assume we only need apply it once in 3 days then? Yet we have to finish it in 4–6 months…If you decide to purchase full-size C-firma , make sure this is the only one you are committed to, I’ll just buy the travel size after this bottle.
3 My experience with C-firma
Texture: Besides the light orange color, C-firma has an almost oil like consistency, with a light citrus scent. It glides on easily but tingles a little bit, I’ve been using this serum for over a year now, still tingles a little, sometimes it has a warm feeling. It does leave a light orange cast on the face which I didn’t notice at first with my skin tone(Loreal W2-W3). Until one day I used Bioderma micellar water as my morning cleanser, there was some orange color on a cotton pad. Unlike TLC serum, C-firma serves more like a normal serum, no need to add Marula oil or additional moisturizer.
How I use it: DE suggests to use C-firma at daytime under a sunscreen to against UV damage. I personally don’t like to use any serums or treatment at daytime to increase any unnecessary skin sensitivity to sunlight. So I use it in my night routine, If it does have magic 72 hours stay-on power, then it will still add up power with sunscreen against UV damage right? I used to use 2 times a week(still prefer this frequency), now once every other day(because it will expire in 4 months).
Result: 1,It does light up/fade out fresh acne scars fairly fast, and brighten up my complexion. With its help, fresh acne scar is one less thing to worry about.2, It didn’t help much with old acne scars though, I don’t feel any specific improvement on brown spots, either.
Thoughts: 1, I do like this serum a lot, it’s a powerful VC serum. 2, I repurchased it because I thought it would be good for 12 months once opened(It does have a 12M sign on the side of the bottle, they really should change that).For 4–6 months use, I will go back to my old favorites, Haba white lady and Paula’s choice C15.
Texture: Watery gel consistency. Even I just put it in a room temperature, it has a cooling sensation without “minty” or “tingling”, feels almost nothing on the face and goes very smoothly, very comfortable in the summertime.
How I use it and result: It’s not enough for my combination skin type, I have to mix one or 2 drops Marula oil with B-hydra, yet it’s still not moisturizing enough for me. No matter use it alone as a moisturizer or as a hydration serum, I’ll wake up with an oily face. However, this is my husband’s favorite product among DE whole line. I don’t think he ever liked/cared about any skincare products before…He has normal/balanced skin type, who only needs minimal hydration. B-hydra is just the right light moisturizer for him, I will keep repurchasing for him.
1, It is comfortable to use and all, but to me, it surely didn’t live up to the name”intensive hydration gel”, but it is a very nice lightweight moisturizer, regardless of skin type, only for those who need minimum hydration. If you are looking for an intensive hydration serum, I don’t recommend B-hydra, at all…
2, For hydration boost, I like The ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.8/30ml)much much much better than B-hydra. It makes every moisturizer on top of it perform better. In fact, I’ve purchased 11 products from this brand The ordinary, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is by far the one and only product I like.
Virgin Marula oil is the key ingredient to Drunk Elephant.DE cold-pressed Virgin Marula oil is said to have “high in critical antioxidants”,”nourishes your skin, while restoring a youthful glow”. It introduced facial oils to my skincare world. It’s the one I really wanted to love but I really couldn’t.
Texture: It’s an oil, it has an oily smell.
How I use it: I spent a lot of time trying to work with this oil.
1, Mix with other DE products, especially with Baby facial and T.L.C serum. This is the only way works for me on my face. It totally soothes the dryness after an acid treatment. After finishing a sample size(8ml), I bought the full size.
2, As a moisturizer. Then I tried to use Virgin Marula Oil as the last step of my night time routine. I always woke up with an oily face. But if I only used 1 drop or 2, I would still have dry patches the next day. Moreover, I started to get breakouts all over entire face, those annoying tiny little pimples. NOT JUST ME, my husband never had any breakouts in his life(I’m jealous of him), after I suggested him add a few drops to B-hydra, he started to have broken out. I’m very regretful I did that. We are both stopping using Marula oil now.
3, Apply to hair, works! I tried to work it on hair and body. I applied it to damp hair, woke up with shiny, soft and detangled hair! But I don’t want to spend $72/30ml on hair, so I bought Acure Organics Marula Oil(around $15) in Whole Foods instead. Works the same on hair!
1, I end up return the full size one. Virgin Marula oil simply didn’t work out for me, and my husband. If you break out easily, be extra careful with it.
3 A lot reviewers on sephora.com experienced dramatic results on this oil. Such as fading out acne scars, I have acne scars, didn’t have any changes from this oil. Again, If you are interested in this one, please try a sample first.
8 Lippe $22/3.8g DE has changed its price to $18
Yes, it’s only 3.8g, I already bought 2, but I’ve found a great dupe for it. As long as I have it, I won’t repurchase Lippe.
Lippe is a blend of Avocado, Mongongo, Cranberry and Marula Oils to deeply moisturize,
Texture:1, Besides super tiny, it’s also super oily and shiny. DE recommends it can be used as a lipgloss. Yes, it is that shiny.
How I use it: I mostly use it overnight or at home. In this way, my lips are fuller and fewer wrinkles. Lipsticks go so smoothly on lips the next day, even matte lipsticks. I’m a lip balm junkie. I have/had about 1 million lip balms. Never had this result before.
Thoughts: 1, It is nice to have, but still not a must-have. 2, If my lips are really dry, dry to crack kind, Lippe doesn’t help much. More like a “maintenance ” lip balm than a “emergency” lip balm.
3, Dupe: Portland Bee Balm, $2.99/Regular lip balm tube, I found it in Whole Foods, but you can also buy it from its own website for same price, plus$ 2.99 Shipping no matter how many tubes you purchase.
It’s a hard bee wax lip balm but apply smoothly on lips. Not oily shiny at all. It helps with crack dry lips, make them fuller too! Plus, simpler formula, much cheaper price, support beekeeper!
9, Umbra™ Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 $38/100ml
In the picture is the old version: Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $36/60ml. What’s Unique about this sunscreen is it has 20%Zinc Oxide as effective sun protection ingredient, which should be good for all skin types including sensitive. I didn’t reach out to the old version as I would like, because it has a heavy cream texture, always balling on the skin.Pretty much like all the traditional physical sunscreen. I wish I realized that sooner so I could return it.
Neutrogena recently came up a new sunscreen line called sheer zinc.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 50 – $10.99/88ml. It has 21.6%, also has a heavy cream texture, but won’t peel/ball on the skin like old version Umbra. It will leave the minimal white cast on skin, but dry down quickly.
DE has updated Umbra’s formula: Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 $34/90ml. It is said to be more light and watery on the skin like the new Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 $36/60ml
I did stop by my local Sephora for some first impression pictures. I couldn’t get a sample to try it on my face yet because of my local Sephora’s poor service. But it didn’t peel on the back of my hand like the original one does.
Texture: It’s a little bit thinner than original one, but it is still a cream. A nice medium/light tan tinted color. It has visible glitter which I personally don’t really like in sunscreen. My favorite no-glitter perfect tinted sunscreen is from Bare Minerals.
Zinc Oxide 23.8% Titanium Dioxide 4.1%,color-adapting micro-encapsulated pigments.
Light, no peeling, works great as tinted moisturizer or primer.
1, Sun protection is the first skin care concept I ever learned and followed. I choose sunscreen over any other anti-aging products! Whether chemical or physical, please wear any sunscreen you like, every single day.
2,, I’d like to apply 2 layers of sunscreen rather than one very thick one, apply sunscreen to the skin where exposes to suns light, not only on the face.
A close look of Lala!
Texture: 1, Whipped cream, almost like a dessert. It’s light on the face. Not a gel-like light, like a silicone based primer, with a matte finish. Familiar with benefit POREfessional Primer or Smashbox Photo finish primer, just like that, but without actual silicone in it.
How do I use it:I used Lala at night as my final skincare step.
Results: I woke up with even skin texture not greasy.But sometimes I woke up feeling not moisture enough.It holds up nicely under foundation. Lala also provides anti-aging benefits, it feels like a simple moisturizer to me. I didn’t purchase the full size because I don’t think the result is that impressive.
This is it! My first post! A really long one~ I updated it for times I lost count, it has been rewritten. Not sure how many people will actually see this, but thank you for stopping by! Thank you for reading till the very end! ❤️