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Drunk Elephant Skincare Review


Drunk Elephant skincare is all over social media. There’s so much hype over this skincare line, it’s hard to avoid. Something about the packaging, active ingredients, and their ethos of using ethically sourced, “non-toxic/non-questionable” ingredients – definitely draws you in.

A few years ago, I bought my first product from their skincare line – the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. I have to admit, I was hooked immediately. The first time I used this overnight serum, I woke up the next day with bright, smooth, radiant skin. It’s rare I use skincare that delivers such immediate results, and it was the first time I’ve used a product containing glycolic acid that didn’t make my skin red and raw.

I was excited to try more.

I have since tried the entire Drunk Elephant Skincare range (excluding Baby Facial, which I can’t get in Canada). All products I have purchased myself. Whenever a new product has launched, I scoop it up immediately. I feel like I’m chasing the dream of finding more products that deliver such skin perfecting results as T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum.

And it’s been an interesting journey. In all honesty, I feel like I’ve come full circle. The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is still my absolute favourite Drunk Elephant product. Along the way I have found a few more products I really like, but there were quite a few products I had a bad reaction to, or wasn’t all that great.

At one point I was planning on doing a 30 day experiment exclusively using Drunk Elephant products (like the 30 Day Living Libations Experiment), but I couldn’t put together a full Drunk Elephant routine without having a bad reaction to at least one of their products. So for now, that project is on hold until perhaps other products come out that work better for me.

Drunk Elephant Ethos

Before I get into the review, I do want to briefly talk about Drunk Elephant and what they are about.

Drunk Elephant is best known for making skincare products without using what they consider the “Suspicious 6.”

These “Suspicious 6” are the following skincare ingredients commonly used in mainstream skincare and makeup:

  • Drying Alcohols
  • Essential Oils
  • Silicones
  • Chemical Sunscreens
  • Fragrance/Dyes
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Drunk Elephant believes that the “Suspicious 6” are at the root of almost every skin issue. On their website they say that they’re “committed to using only ingredients that either directly benefit the skin’s health or support the integrity and effectiveness of our formulations.”

Personally, I do agree that the “suspicious 6” can be problematic for a lot of people. But, I don’t believe it’s the only ingredients that are problematic. There’s a lot more ingredients that can cause issues for people (and some of those ingredients are even in their skincare).

I wish it would be so simple to narrow everything down to just 6 bad ingredients, and by avoiding them everyone would have perfect skin. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that, at least not for everyone.

But, I will say that I’m happy Drunk Elephant is avoiding these “suspicious 6.” It’s a step in the right direction, and it makes it a lot easier for consumers buying their products knowing that none of these ingredients are used in their formulations.

I personally avoid most of the suspicious 6.

I don’t have an issue with silicones, but I don’t use many products containing them.

Same with essential oils. I’m not against essential oils, but I’m also extremely cautious and selective about what products I use containing them. Not all products containing essential oils are equal. I’ve used products containing essential oils that have been very damaging to my skin, and I’ve also used products that have been extremely therapeutic. It’s all about the formulation, and making sure not to overburden your skin with too many products containing them.

And perhaps that’s what I really like about Drunk Elephant. Since they don’t contain any of these “suspicious 6,” their products can be compatible with products from other brands. You can use Drunk Elephant products in the same skincare routine as natural products, or even with medical-grade or prescription products. Since they don’t contain fragrance, dyes, drying alcohols or essential oils; they’re less likely to cause additional reactions or sensitivity.

Is Drunk Elephant All Natural?

A question I’m asked all the time is Drunk Elephant all natural?

Drunk Elephant Skincare is classified as clean beauty.

But their products aren’t all natural.

Their skincare products contain both synthetic ingredients and natural ingredients.

In my opinion, their products are a good marriage of the two because they’re making an effort to use safe ingredients while still aiming to formulate products that are effective and beneficial for your skin.

Just because something is natural, doesn’t always mean it’s great for your skin. And the same goes for synthetic ingredients, just because it’s man-made or synthetic, doesn’t mean it’s bad.

I’m happy to see brands like Drunk Elephant using the best of both worlds. And I especially like that they’ve made it a point not to use many of the known irritants or toxins in their skincare.

About The Review

All the products I’m reviewing I’ve used for a minimum of 30-60 days, unless I had a really bad reaction and stopped using it immediately.

I didn’t buy everything at once, but instead over the past 3 years I’ve been buying a few products at a time to test and review. The exception is T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum that I’ve repurchased numerous times for over the last 5 years.

My Expectations

Since Drunk Elephant puts such a strong emphasis on not using the “suspicious 6,” I really expected all the products to be gentle, not causing any adverse reactions or sensitivities, yet still being effective.

I was also curious to see the results I would get from avoiding the “suspicious 6.” Would it transform my skin? Would these products be way better than anything I’ve ever tried?

Drunk Elephant uses a lot of actives in their skincare like vitamin c, glycolic aid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, peptides, retinol, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, etc. These ingredients are what I would term “power players” and if it’s a good formulation, they can really make a noticeable difference in the appearance and texture of your skin.

My skin type is maturing. I’m 44 years old, my skin is a little dehydrated. I have fine lines, wrinkles, some visible pores, and some loss of volume and firmness in my skin. I used to have adult acne, and even though I no longer have acne, I still have to be VERY careful.

When I first started using Drunk Elephant products, I had melasma from prior pregnancies. Many of my subscribers recommended Drunk Elephant to get rid of the hyperpigmentation (in particular C-Firma Day Serum). I had high hopes.

I was curious to see how Drunk Elephant products would perform in terms of anti-aging, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and overall balancing of the skin.

Drunk Elephant Product Reviews


Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser review

What is it?

Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser is a mild, low foaming gel cleanser formulated to cleanse the skin, and remove all traces of makeup.

It doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, but has other surfactants to create the foaming texture.

It’s free of fragrance, SLS, and essential oils.

How did I use it?

I normally use a nourishing oil cleanser to wash my face. Switching to a gel or jelly cleanser is a big change for my skin.

I tried using it morning and night, but it was too strong for my skin using it twice a day. I much preferred just using it at night.

I also couldn’t use this too many days in a row or my skin would start feeling over cleansed.

After experimenting for a few weeks, here’s how I liked using it:

Once or twice a week as a deep cleanse.


The second step in double cleansing routine (first cleansing my face using an oil or balm cleanser, followed by a second cleanse using Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser).

What were my expectations?

Over the years, Drunk Elephant has reformulated this product many times. It seems like their goal is to achieve the perfect ph so it doesn’t dry out or strip your skin, yet still be an effective cleanser.

I was hoping this would be gentle, non-stripping cleanser that would thoroughly cleanse my skin of impurities and makeup.

My results

This turned out to be a cleanser that I liked using once in a while, but not every day. I have maturing skin, my skin leans more dry, and I’m more comfortable using an oil or balm to cleanse.

But I liked how gentle it is, especially for being a foaming cleanser. It also rinses off very easily, without leaving any residues on the skin.

It’s also mild. It never made my skin feel dry or tight. I also really like that I could use it around my eyes and it doesn’t burn or sting, and it doesn’t dry out my eye area (I’ve used it daily over a few weeks on my eyes to remove sunscreen, and it never irritated my skin or dried it out).

It does a good job at cleansing my skin, but I didn’t find it very effective removing eye makeup like mascara or eyeliner (you’d have to use a makeup remover or oil for that).

It also always left my skin feeling very soft and smooth, which I liked.

Who would I recommend this to?

I find this cleanser would be most suitable for oily skin types. If you have combination skin that is more on the oily side, this would be fine.

This would be especially good for younger skin.

If you have acne, acne prone skin, or sensitive skin; this would be fine to use.

If you love foaming cleansers but they all dry out your skin, you should try this one.

Who shouldn’t use this product?

I don’t recommend this for dry skin, or combination skin types that are more on the dry side.

If you have maturing skin, I think you are better off using a more nourishing cleanser (like an oil, balm, cream or milk cleanser).

If you don’t like gel or foaming cleansers, don’t bother with this one.

Would I purchase it again?

No. I don’t mind using it, but I don’t think I’d ever buy it again.

I much prefer using a more nourishing/moisturizing cleanser like an oil or balm.

I like cleansers that are moisturizing enough, that if need be, I could skip a moisturizer after cleansing. Unless you have very oily skin, you’d have to moisturize after cleansing with the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser.

Pekee Bar

Review of Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar and Juju Bar (travel size)
Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar review, this cleansing bar is brightening and gentle, best suited for normal and oily skin types

What is it?

Pekee Bar is a soap-free cleansing bar formulated to cleanse, tone and moisturize your skin.

This gentle cleanser is infused with blueberry extract, marula oil, and honey to calm, clarify, and balance the skin.

How did I use it?

I used it as a morning cleanser before working out.

I applied it to damp skin and rinsed it off with water. Afterwards I would moisturize with Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer.

What were my expectations?

When I posted the my first Drunk Elephant Review video on YouTube which included my review of Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser, one of my subscribers recommended trying the Pekee Bar. As I mentioned, I found the Beste No.9 Cleanser to be too strong for my skin. I was told Pekee Bar was a lot milder, and even moisturizing.

My results

The first time I used the Pekee Bar, I loved it.

It was mild, and it made my skin soft and bright.

But after the third day using it, my skin just ached.

I was using the Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer after cleansing, but it wasn’t replenishing my skin enough. The Pekee Bar was too drying for my skin. So I stopped using it.

Who would I recommend this to?

Like the Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser, the Pekee Bar is best suited for normal, oily or combination skin types.

It brightens the complexion, so if you have a dull complexion, acne marks or scars, or hyperpigmentation; this is something to try.

Between the Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser and the Pekee Bar, I prefer the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser. It easier to use (it’s in a tube), and I find it to be a touch more gentle.

Who shouldn’t use this product?

I don’t recommend the Pekee Bar for dry, sensitive or maturing skin. It’s not nourishing enough.

Would I buy it again?


Juju Bar

Drunk Elephant Juju Bar review, this is a mild exfoliating cleansing bar, not only good for the face but body too.

What is it?

Drunk Elephant Juju Bar is an exfoliating facial cleansing bar.

It is described as being “ultra mild” yet deeply cleansing.

It is formulated with thermal mud and bamboo powder that creates a creamy lather to wash away impurities and build up off the surface of the skin.

It is suppose to brighten, clarify, refine skin texture and over time reduce the appearance of pores.

How did I use it?

I was using it once or twice a week to exfoliate.

What were my expectations?

Like the Pekee Bar, I was expecting the Juju Bar to be a mild cleansing bar.

I was excited to use this because of the deep cleansing clay, and the soft, powdery exfoliating texture from the bamboo powder. Unlike most physical exfoliants, this is not a scrub, nor is it rough.

My results

I much preferred the Juju Bar over the Pekee Bar.

I loved how it gently exfoliates and deeply cleansed my skin, making it soft and smooth.

But like the Pekee Bar, I found it a little too strong for my face.

I started using it in the shower on my upper body, which I much preferred. I am prone to getting rashes, bumpy texture, and some clogged pores on my back, shoulders and chest. Using the Juju Bar REALLY helped clarify, sooth and clear up my skin.

On my body, I use it almost daily, and I’m thrilled with the results.

Who would I recommend this to?

Like the Pekee Bar, this would be best suited for normal, oily, and combination skin.

This would also be a great treatment product for acne prone skin and for acne scars.

If you are looking for a physical exfoliant but scrubs are normally too harsh for your skin, this would be a much better option.

I also recommend using this to treat acne, breakouts, or congested skin on your back, chest or arms (you can use it more regularly on your body, like once a day, or every other day).

Who shouldn’t use this?

If you have dry skin or very sensitive skin, Juju Bar might not be too strong.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, but not for my face.

I would definitely repurchase Juju Bar for my upper body (back, chest and shoulders). This is one of the most gentle and deeply cleansing exfoliating products I’ve used for the body.

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser review, this cleanser is rich, nourishing, and gentle.

What is it?

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a rich cleansing balm formulated to melt away dirt, makeup and sunscreen from the skin.

Gentle enough to be used around the eyes, Slaai is formulated with fruit extracts and oils to soften, moisturize and replenish the skin.

Slaai also comes with a small vial of Bamboo Booster, exfoliating spheres that you can mix with Slaai to create an exfoliating treatment balm. The exfoliating granules are round and uniform in shape and size making them a safe and gentle exfoliating treatment. Used once or twice a week, this exfoliating mixture will slough away build up and dry skin.

How did I use it?

I applied Slaai to dry skin, massaged it into my skin, added a little water to activate it into a milk, and rinsed it off with warm water.

Drunk Elephant recommends using Slaai only at night, but I used it both morning and night.

The Bamboo Booster that comes with Slaai I used once in a while (maybe once every few weeks). I really liked it, but in general I don’t use physical exfoliants very often (I much prefer Drunk Elephant’s exfoliating TLC Glycolic Serum instead)

What were my expectations?

I bought Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser the week it came out. I was so excited about it. Mainly because up until its release, all Drunk Elephant’s other cleansers weren’t compatible with my skin.

I was excited about having a balm cleanser that could be rinsed off with just water (no wash cloth needed), and didn’t have fragrance or essential oils.

At the time I was using a strong retinol and my skin was quite sensitive. Slaai seemed like the perfect cleanser.

My results

I like how nourishing and skin softening Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is.

It’s gentle, and unlike many cleansing balms, it doesn’t clog pores or congest skin.

My only problem was how difficult it was to remove.

It doesn’t fully rinse off with just water. When I try to rinse it off with water, I felt like I’m mostly moving it around on my skin, not breaking it down and removing it. After rinsing, there’s still a lot of residue of the product left on my skin.

If you really want to remove it and ensure you are thoroughly removing makeup and sunscreen, best to use it with a wash cloth.

Or, you can follow up with a second cleanser to remove the residues and ensure everything is fully cleansed (Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is a good second step cleanser for double cleansing).

On its own, I didn’t find it to be an efficient cleanser. But I did use it for 60 days straight, and didn’t get clogged pores or breakouts. So it must have done something.

Who would I recommend it to?

This cleanser is best suited for dry or sensitive skin. Or if you wear a lot of makeup.

Slaai is a rich, nourishing balm cleanser that will moisturize your skin as the it cleanses.

It doesn’t have fragrance, essential oils or irritating ingredients making it especially good for sensitive or irritated skin.

If you use a retinol, this could be a good cleanser to use.

Who shouldn’t use it?

Because of the residues left on the skin, I don’t recommend this for oily or acne prone skin, unless you are just using it as a makeup remover and will use an additional cleanser to wash the residues off.

If you don’t like oil cleansers and balms that leave a residue on your skin, don’t get this.

Would I buy it again?

No. I have so many other oil cleansers I much prefer that are much easier to use and remove, and as effective.


C-Firm Day Serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum review.

What is it?

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum is a vitamin c serum formulated to firm and brighten the skin.

It has a cocktail of antioxidants, nutrients, and fruit enzymes and extracts that gently exfoliate the skin, repair sun damage, and can help protect the skin from environmental stressors.

The product contains 15% l-ascorbic acid (vitamin c), pumpkin ferment, ferulic acid, and vitamin e.

How did I use it?

I used it over the course of 4 months. I applied it right after washing my face in the morning.

What were my expectations?

This was the Drunk Elephant product I was most excited about trying.

During my pregnancy I developed melasma on my forehead and cheeks. A bunch of my subscribers strongly recommended this product to get rid of the hyperpigmentation.

I also saw SO MANY YouTube reviews praising this product.

I couldn’t wait to try it!

My results

The C-Firma Day Serum turned out to be an epic fail for me.

The first problem I encountered was it turned my skin orange! The first day or two using it, my skin was fine. But by day 3, my skin had an orange tinge to it. It wouldn’t turn orange as soon as I put it on, but halfway through the day, my skin had an orange hue. I presumed it oxidized on my face.

I tried applying it on its own, with different products, and different steps in my skincare routine; but it continually made my skin orange by mid-day.

Where I live is hot, and my skin is fair. I’m not sure why this happened? I don’t regularly wear makeup, I use mineral sunscreen every day, and I was using all the other Drunk Elephant products while using this, including exfoliating my skin with the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum a few times a week.

All I can say is I never got the “brightness” that everyone is raving about. I got an orange face instead.

Even though it gave my skin an orange tinge, I continued using it. I had such high hopes of it getting rid of my melasma, I was willing to have an orange face. But, after using it daily for 4 months, it didn’t do anything to fade the melasma whatsoever.

Over time I also started to notice that I was developing a lot of blackheads and enlarged pores. I’m not sure if it was congesting my skin (I wasn’t getting pimples from the product), but I wonder if it was irritating my skin, and therefore making my pores inflamed and appearing enlarged.

Once I stopped using the product, within a week my skin was smooth again, and didn’t look porous. That’s how I realized the product was giving me issues, my skin was so much better once I stopped using it.

In all fairness, this isn’t the first vitamin c serum I’ve had issues with. I’ve tried quite a few, including making my own. None of them caused enlarged pores, blackheads, or orange skin, but all the vitamin c serums I’ve tried ended up irritating my skin after a few uses. The C-Firma was the first vitamin c serum I’ve used that was a lot gentler, and I liked how moisturizing it was.

I also liked what it was doing for acne scars and how fast my skin would heal from a breakout. I remember right when I started using C-Firma, my skin was broken out really bad (it was one of the worst breakouts I’ve had in years). I was shocked how quickly everything healed, especially the red/purple PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) that can linger on my skin for months. It disappeared in days.

But, I don’t get breakouts often, so it doesn’t warrant using the product just for that. Especially if it’s giving me blackheads, enlarged pores, porous texture, and an orange hue to my face.

If you are wondering if maybe the C-Firma I bought was bad/rancid/oxidized? It could be, but I doubt it. There is always a chance I got a bad batch. Usually if it’s gone bad, a vitamin c serum will turn deep orange, but with the Drunk Elephant C-Firma, it’s already a yellow/orange colour from the pumpkin ferment. It’s difficult to tell if the product has oxidized, especially when you first buy it and have nothing to compare it to.

The C Firma I used was translucent yellow/light orange in colour, and I did make sure to use it as soon as I bought it, so the product was “fresh” and not sitting around.

Who would I recommend this to?

I had a terrible experience using this product, but that doesn’t mean you will.

We all have different skin types, and there’s SO MANY rave reviews of this product, it has to be working for some people.

I’ve even seen some impressive before and after photos of people fading sun spots and sun damage from this product.

And, I’ve had subscribers send me DMs and emails urging me to try C-Firma because it worked so great for them.

I would say, if you are are trying to fade hyperpigmentation, melasma, PIH, sun spots, acne marks and discolouration – it could be worth trying C-Firma.

C-Firma has an oil-like consistency, which makes it hydrating and moisturizing. For oily or combination skin types, you might not even need to use a moisturizer with it. If you have dry skin, this product would complement your skincare routine nicely by adding in some extra hydration.

I also really liked how it helps breakouts heal and gets rid of marks and pigmentation left behind from pimples and acne. I would recommend this to anyone with acne or acne prone skin, but because the serum is oily, you have to be careful. If you have acne or acne prone skin, but your skin can’t tolerate oils, I wouldn’t go near this product. But if you have acne or acne prone skin and your skin really does well with oil, this could be a great addition to your routine.

Who shouldn’t use this product?

Because of its oily consistency, I wouldn’t recommend this product to anyone who can’t use oils on their skin.

If you get breakouts from vitamin e, don’t use this product.

If you’ve previously had bad reactions to vitamin c serums, I would be cautious using this.

Would I purchase this product again?


T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum review. This serum exfoliates, smoothes the skin and makes it bright and even

What is it?

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a chemical exfoliant containing a blend of AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid) and BHA (salicylic acid).

This night serum is formulated to exfoliate, resurface, and clarify your skin, making it smoother and brighter.

How did I use it?

I’ve been using TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum for over 5 years (I must of bought at least 4 bottles).

Over these past 5 years my skin has changed a lot (due to pregnancy and getting older). My skin used to be a lot oilier than it is now. So over the years I’ve used this exfoliating serum in different ways.

I find oilier skin types tolerate this product a lot better, and can use it more frequently than drier skin types.

When my skin was oily, I would use it every other night (probably 3 times a week).

When my skin was really dry or sensitive, I would use it once every week or two.

Lately my skin is normal, but leaning dehydrated, I used it 1-2 times a week.

It’s one of those products that as your skin changes you have to adjust the frequency of use. If used too often, it can cause irritation and sensitivity.

Drunk Elephant recommends using it every night, but I think it’s too strong for daily use, especially if you’re using the product for the first time.

You’re still going to get skin smoothing and brightening results, even if you use it less frequently. It’s an exfoliating product, and you don’t need to exfoliate your skin every single day.

For oily skin types:

I recommend using TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum every other night or every two nights in the beginning. As your skin responds well to it, you can work your way up to using it more frequently (if needed).

Cleanse your skin, and apply the serum. The T.L.C. Framboos has lactic acid which makes it quite hydrating. It can be used on its own, no need for a moisturizer if you don’t need one. I find the less products I use with it, the smoother and brighter my skin is the next morning.

For dry skin types:

Start by using it once or twice a week, and see how your skin responds. You can slowly increase frequency if needed.

Apply if after cleansing, followed by a moisturizer.

If you have sensitive skin, mix it with your moisturizer before applying to clean skin (this will dilute and buffer it making it less strong on sensitive skin).

What were my expectations?

I’ve always loved how bright and clear glycolic acid would make my skin, but most products I’ve used with glycolic acid would irritate and sensitize my skin over time.

When I first bought Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, I was hoping it would give me similar results without the irritation.

My results

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum makes my skin super smooth, soft, and clear. With continual and consistent use I find it also helps diminish blackheads and treats/prevents clogged pores, and bumpy skin texture.

Every time I use it, I wake up the next day with brighter, smoother, more even skin tone.

Sometimes skincare products can congest my pores causing tiny raised bumps (I get them usually on my forehead, but can also get them along my jawline). If I have this type of reaction to a product (usually from something containing coconut oil or coconut alkanes), using this serum will get rid of the bumpy texture quickly, sometimes within a week.

Who would I recommend this to?

It’s suitable for most skin types.

I adore this product. I find it so much gentler and much more effective than a physical exfoliating scrub.

I know a lot of people get scared of the term “chemical exfoliant” and “acids,” but when formulated properly, a chemical exfoliant can be super gentle, and really balancing for the skin.

I strongly recommend this if you are struggling with dull skin, congested pores, raised bumps on your skin, rough or textured skin, uneven skin tone, sallowness, blackheads, and acne scars.

Or, if you don’t have any skin challenges, but you want softer, smoother, more radiant skin – this product will give you a glow overnight.

Who shouldn’t use it?

I don’t recommend using this when you have active acne, or any skin condition. Don’t use this on inflamed pimples, or if your skin is red, irritated, wounded, heavily flaking, oozing, cut, or super dry.

This is an exfoliant, and it will aggravate your skin condition more.

If you just get an occasional pimple or two, I would take a break from the product until the pimples heal, or just use it on other parts of your face that aren’t broken out.

I also don’t recommend this for super sensitive skin.

If you have dry skin, I recommend using a facial oil or moisturizer over it or mixed with it to buffer it a little. Dry skin types tend to be more sensitive, so using less or diluting it a bit with a moisturizing product can make it a lot gentler on your skin (especially when you are first using it).

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely. I’ve repurchased this product already 4 times.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra review

What is it?

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum is a lightweight gel serum containing vitamin B5, pineapple ceramide, fruit extracts, sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide to boost hydration and improve skin tone.

What were my expectations?

When I bought my first B-Hydra a few years ago, it was previously called B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel. Based on the reviews at the time, customers were using it as a lightweight moisturizing gel. Many recommended it for oily skin types, and for hot, humid climates.

B-Hydra has since been renamed B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, and niacinamide has been added to the formula. The product has the same weight and texture, and performs similarly but the added niacinamide will help regulate oil production and strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier.

The change of name makes it clearer how it’s meant to be used.

My results

B-Hydra is hydrating, but I couldn’t use it alone without a moisturizer on top. On its own, it feels too tight and drying on the skin.

To be honest, I don’t know how anyone could use it as a moisturizer (as many reviewers raved about and recommended). Even for super oily skin.

At first I was super disappointed.

But then one day I was reading that Drunk Elephant recommends cocktailing their products. For example, mixing B-Hydra with their Marula Oil or Lala Retro Moisturizer. At the time, I didn’t have either of those products, so I tried mixing a pump of the B-Hydra with 1-2 drops of Rose Hip Seed Oil and I instantly fell in love with the result.

I found mixing the B-Hydra with an oil moisturized my skin a lot better than using either products on their own.

When using B-Hydra on its own, as soon as it dried down, my skin felt dry and tight. When I use most facial oils on their own, they sit on the surface of my skin, softening it a bit, but not deeply penetrating my skin. When I mix the two products together, the oil seals in the hydration from the B-Hydra, resulting in soft, moisturized, plumped, velvety skin.

After a few months using B-Hydra mixed with a moisturizer or facial oil, I started to notice a remarkable change in the texture under my eyes. I’ve always had bumpy textured skin under my eyes. It’s not milia. I believe it to be sun damage. It looks like chicken skin. Plus, I’m in my 40s and my under eye area is crepy.

B-Hydra has significantly improved my under eye area. I’m talking smoothing the crepiness out, and getting rid of bumpy texture. It’s about 60% better than it’s ever been (which is huge for me). B-Hydra has been better than any eye cream or eye oil I’ve ever used. It doesn’t get rid of wrinkles, but it hydrates my skin, resulting in smoother, firmer and a more youthful appearance.

Who would I recommend this to?

This product is suitable for all skin types.

What I love most, it doesn’t have any waxes, butters, heavy oils, or anything occlusive – so it won’t clog your pores. You can safely mix it with your favourite moisturizer or facial oil, and not risk getting breakouts.

Most people have dehydrated skin. Sometimes dehydrated skin is what’s causing oily skin (because your skin over produces sebum to compensate for the dehydration). Sometimes adding a hydrating product like this can help to balance your skin.

To get the most out of this product, I do recommend mixing it with a facial oil or moisturizer. Don’t use it on its own.

I would recommend this to anyone who is dealing with:

  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Crepey skin
  • Dry skin
  • Dull skin
  • Overly oily skin
  • Unbalanced skin
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Maturing skin

You can try using it on active acne. I don’t think it would aggravate your skin. With the added niacinamide in the current formula, it could help breakouts and blemishes heal faster and prevent clogged pores and congested skin.

Who shouldn’t use this product?

If you have young, healthy, clear, perfect skin – you don’t need this!

Would I purchase this product again?

Yes, I’ve already repurchased B-Hydra twice.


Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi review adding a bronzy glow to your skincare products

What is it?

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops is a silky, antioxidant-rich bronzing concentrate you can add to your moisturizer, serum, facial oil or sunscreen to give your skin a natural-looking bronzy glow.

What were my expectations?

To be honest, I didn’t think I would need or even like this.

I like using bronzers but because I’m so fair, I have to be careful. A little too much can really muddy my complexion.

And I wasn’t sure about using a bronzing serum all over my face.

My results

The first time I tried D-Bronzi was when I bought a Drunk Elephant limited edition holiday kit that included a deluxe sample.

And I absolutely fell in love with it. So much so I bought a full size.

A little goes a long way, and it’s not as densely pigmented as I thought it would be.

I like adding it to my foundation or moisturizer to warm up my skin tone.

It gives a sheer, natural, healthy, sunshine glow.

My favourite way of using it?

I recommend experimenting with mixing it with different products (moisturizers, facial oils, foundations, etc).

My favourite mixture is one drop of D-Bronzi mixed with a few drops of Kosas Tinted Face Oil. On its own, Kosas Tinted Face Oil never worked for me. It was too thin causing it to cling to dry spots and emphasize lines, pores and texture. One of my Instagram subscribers recommended I mix it with some D-Bronzi, and it looks SO much better. The D-Bronzi thickened the face oil a little so it sits better on my skin, giving it an airbrushed look. Plus I love the healthy warm tone from D-Bronzi.

Who would I recommend this to?

If you want radiant, glowy, natural looking sun-kissed skin – try this.

It’s definitely for someone who wants a little more colour to their skin without using makeup.

This is also great for deepening a foundation or tinted moisturizer that is too light for your skin.

Who shouldn’t use this?

D-Bronzi is a concentrate. You can’t apply it straight to your skin. It needs to be mixed with a serum, moisturizer, facial oil or foundation.

If you’re the type of person who wouldn’t want to be bothered mixing it with your skincare, this probably wouldn’t be the best product for you.

Drunk Elephant says you can mix D-Bronzi with your sunscreen. I wouldn’t do that. Adding anything to a sunscreen can interfere with the formula and effectiveness of the product. Sunscreens should never be mixed with other products.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely! I love D-Bronzi. It’s fast become one of my favourite Drunk Elephant products.


Protini Polypeptide Cream

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream review. This moisturizer will plump, smooth and soften lines and wrinkles, great for maturing skin

What is it?

Protini Polypeptide Cream is a protein moisturizer formulated to nourish, strengthen, and firm the skin.

The product contains an array of peptides, amino acids, and growth factors. It’s supposed to revive skin and reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.

How did I use it?

I used Protini twice a day, applying it after cleansing or on top of a serum.

What were my expectations?

I was excited to try this product. There’s a lot of rave reviews, plus peptides have become increasingly popular in anti-aging skincare.

I was curious to see if it would firm and smooth my skin. Plus I’ve heard it’s very brightening as well.

My results

The first time I use Protini Polypeptide Cream, I didn’t like the smell, and I didn’t like the texture.

The scent is naturally occurring, there’s no fragrance or anything added to it, but I just didn’t like it. It smells like crayons.

I also found it to be heavy, kind of like a heavy, dense gel. It’s not creamy, or at least not your traditional “creamy” texture.

I didn’t find it moisturizing. And in fact, I would never rely on this as a moisturizer. It’s occlusive, and hydrating, but not nourishing.

As much as I didn’t like the smell, and didn’t like it as a moisturizer – I loved what it did to the appearance of my skin.

The first time I used it, I could see a difference in my skin. It plumps your skin, it make it firm, bouncy, and bright.

I’m in my 40s, and after being pregnant twice over the past 6 years, my skin has changed. Its lost volume and firmness (probably from weight and hormone fluctuations from my pregnancies, plus getting older).

Even though Protini is not very moisturizing, it is hydrating. Plus, it’s not oily. So even though it’s quite dense and heavy, it absorbs well into your skin and doesn’t leave any shiny or greasy residue.

But the big issue I started having with the product was it started to congest my skin. After a few days of using it, I got tiny raised bumps all on my forehead. I get a similar bumpy texture on my skin from using pure coconut oil and marula oil. Protini has coconut alkanes and I believe that’s what causing the issue.

It’s too bad because I loved the results I got from the Protini Polypeptide Cream, but not the clogged pores and raised bumps.

I did quite a few experiments looking for a way around the bumpy skin issue. I found if I used Protini less frequently (like once every few days), I wouldn’t get the raised bumps. But if I started using it every day, within 3-4 days the little bumps would start appearing (and probably faster if I used the cream twice a day).

I also found that if I used the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum every other night, I could get away with using Protini every day without getting the bumps. It seems like regular exfoliation helps prevent my skin from getting congested from the product, but I don’t like the idea of relying on T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum to use the Protini.

I also experimented with mixing Protini with Lala Retro Moisturizer (1 pump of each product). By diluting Protini with the Lala Retro, I didn’t get the bumpy skin. But again, I don’t like that in order to safely use one product, I need to use it with another.

Who would I recommend this to?

I had a bad reaction to this product, but it doesn’t mean you will too.

I would recommend this to anyone struggling with crepey skin, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, dull skin, and loss of volume and elasticity of the skin.

This is an awesome product for maturing skin.

I really wished it didn’t congest my skin, because I loved what it did for my skin, especially helping to firm it up and bring some bounce and elasticity back into my skin.

Who shouldn’t use this?

If you get breakouts from coconut alkanes, I don’t recommend this.

I don’t recommend this for young skin, or anyone under 35. You don’t need it (yet!).

Would I purchase this product again?

No. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I got bumpy texture all over my forehead from using it.

Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Moisturizer review. This whipped cream is occlusive, gentle, and new version is much more moisturizing.

What is it?

Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a rescue cream formulated to replenish and strengthen the skin’s barrier by reinforcing the acid mantle.

The moisturizer is infused with six rare African oils, plant ceramide complex, sodium hyaluronate, omega acids, and antioxidant-rich fermented green tea to help the skin retain long lasting moisture.

How did I use it?

I used Lala Retro twice a day, applying it after cleansing or on top of a serum.

What were my expectations?

I was expecting Lala Retro to be a nourishing, gentle, barrier restoring moisturizer.

My results

I’ve used both the original formula, and the new formula with added ceramides.

The original formula wasn’t as moisturizing as I expected.

It’s more of a basic barrier cream.

It’s occlusive and seals in moisture beautifully, but it’s not very hydrating or nourishing. To make it work, I had to use a facial oil and hydrating serum with it. It was also a little heavy.

I did like that I could apply it on top of all my skincare and it would seal everything in. It’s also very gentle and has a non-greasy finish. And despite feeling heavy, it never clogged pores or caused breakouts.

But, if I had dry or irritated skin, this would not be my rescue cream. It’s not very moisturizing. I much prefer Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream which is as gentle, but much more hydrating and nourishing.

When the new formula with ceramides was released, I was reluctant to purchase it.

Recently Sephora rewards was offering a travel size, so I picked one up.

The new Lala Retro Whipped Cream with ceramides is a little lighter, still occlusive, and a little more nourishing. It softens the skin and feels good to use. I prefer the updated formula, but I still don’t find it super moisturizing. It’s strength is in being a barrier cream, not so much as a moisturizer.

Who would I recommend this to?

Lala Retro is a basic barrier cream. This is a good product to layer or combine with hydrating serums and/or facial oils to seal in moisture.

It’s not oily or greasy. On its own it would be best suited for normal skin types.

If you are already using Drunk Elephant products like the B-Hydra, Protini, or Marula Oil, this could be a good addition to your skincare routine. All the products work great together. And I find the B-Hydra, Protini and Marula Oil compensate for what Lala Retro is lacking

(If you don’t find Lala Retro is hydrating enough, layer it on top of B-Hydra, or, mix it with Protini (1:1 ratio). If it’s not moisturizing enough, add a few drops of a facial oil).

Who I wouldn’t recommend it to?

On its own, Lala Retro Cream is not moisturizing enough for dry skin.

And it might be too heavy and occlusive for oily and acne prone skin.

Would I buy it again?

No. I wasn’t that impressed with this product. I needed to mix other products with it to make it work. Unless you want to stick with just using Drunk Elephant products, there’s so many better moisturizers available.

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

Drunk Elephant Marula Oil review, this oil is moisturizing and absorbs well, but beware if you have acne prone skin.

What is it?

Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is a pure, raw, cold pressed oil derived from the pip of the marula fruit.

It’s high in the antioxidant polyphenols which helps defend against pollution and free radical damage.

Marula Oil is also rich in vitamin E, omega 6 and 9, making it a moisturizing and nourishing facial oil.

How did I use it?

I used a few drops after cleansing to moisturize. I could use it in a very minimal skincare routine (cleanse and moisturize), or in a more elaborate skincare routine with serums, moisturizers and treatment products.

My results?

Before trying Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil, I had tried The Ordinary Marula Oil. And I loved it. Except, within 2 days of using it, I got tiny raised bumps all over my forehead. I get the same bumpy texture from pure coconut oil. I was really disappointed because I loved how nourishing and moisturizing it is, it’s not greasy, and absorbs beautifully. But I had to stop using it.

Both Marula Oils from The Ordinary and Drunk Elephant are 100% unrefined, cold pressed, virgin African Marula Oil. But, Drunk Elephant uses a patent process of unheated water extraction. When an oil is cold pressed, it will retain more nutrients than if it was heated, but Drunk Elephant claims their patent process of unheated water extraction “ensures the oil remains nutrient-dense and stays fresher longer.” The price difference between these two oils is huge, for a 30ml bottle, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is $72 and The Ordinary is $9.90. Both come in glass packing, but Drunk Elephant’s is completely opaque which can preserve the oil slightly better than The Ordinary’s amber packaging.

Some say the two Marula Oils are different, the Drunk Elephant is better quality and that justifies the price difference. Others say they are close to being the same.

Based on getting tiny bumps all over my forehead from The Ordinary’s Marula Oil, I was reluctant to try Drunk Elephant’s, especially with the hefty price tag. From what I experienced from having a similar bad reaction to pure coconut oil, it doesn’t matter how the oil is processed or using a better quality brand; all pure coconut oils give me those bumps. I don’t get those bumps from makeup or skincare that contains small amounts of coconut oil, it’s when I use the pure coconut oil on its own that I run into the bumpy skin problem. I presumed this would be similar with the Marula Oil.

So even though many customers and reviewers claim Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is the best, I avoided it. That is until I got a deluxe sample of it in one of Drunk Elephant’s limited edition holiday sets. And I had a chance to try it.

And yes, it’s a beautiful oil. The Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is a touch richer than The Ordinary’s, but they both nourish and hydrate the skin beautifully. Unfortunately within just one day of using it, tiny bumps started appearing all over my forehead.

(And btw, if you ever get those tiny bumps all over your forehead, Drunk Elephant’s TLC Framboos Glycolic Serum works great at getting rid of them. Use it every other night, or every two nights and the bumps should be gone within a few weeks, or sooner).

Who would I recommend it to?

Marula Oil is suitable for all skin types, but I find it especially good for dry, dehydrated or maturing skin types.

This facial oil is both moisturizing and hydrating. It can be used in place of a moisturizer, or in conjunction with one.

Who I wouldn’t recommend it to?

Marula Oil might be too rich for oily skin types.

If you are prone to getting tiny bumps or clogged pores from coconut oil or other facial oils, keep an eye on your skin to see how it responds (not everyone will have a bad reaction like I did, but good to be cautious when using a new facial oil).

Would I buy it again?

No, because I get tiny bumps all over my forehead from using it.

It’s too bad because I REALLY liked it.

But it’s good to know I need to be careful with Marula Oil. So far, other skincare products I’ve used containing small amounts of Marula Oil haven’t caused the bumpy forehead like the pure oil does. Most of the Drunk Elephant products contain Marula Oil, but the only products I got clogged pores from were the Protini and F-Balm which contain coconut alkanes; the rest were fine in that regard.

Masks & Treatments

A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream review, this retinol is strong but when used correctly can really firm and smooth the skin.

What is it?

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream is a treatment product for diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.

A-Passioni contains 1% vegan retinol and peptides to restore bounce, resilience, and clarity in the skin, as well as even skin tone and texture.

The product is formulated with vitamin F, and an array of fruit oils and antioxidants to counter dryness and irritation associated with retinol use.

How did I used it?

Initially I followed the instructions of using a pea size amount on dry skin once a week. But whenever I used it, my skin would ache the next day. I didn’t get redness or peeling, just achy uncomfortable skin.

For an over the counter retinol, 1% retinol is strong. You have to start slowly to allow your skin time to repair and adjust to it.

This isn’t my first time using a retinol. I’ve been using over the counter retinols over the past few years, plus throughout my 20s I used prescription Tretinoin (Retin-A) and Adapalene (Differin) on and off for nearly a decade (unsuccessfully for acne). I have a lot of experience using these types of products and there’s a few things you can do to ease into using retinol a lot more comfortably.

Instead of using a pea size amount (which I find to be way too much when first using a retinol product), I used a fraction of the amount. I started with using 1/10 of a pea size amount, and mixed it with a moisturizer (I liked mixing it with Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream). And instead of using it only once a week, I used it every other night.

Starting with trace amounts, but using it regularly, allows your skin to gradually get used to the retinol without peeling, redness, or irritation.

And after two weeks or so, I increased the amount to 1/8 of a pea size amount, still mixing it with a moisturizer, and still using it every other night.

Two weeks later, again I increased it again to 1/6 pea size amount, mixed with moisturizer, and used every other night.

I basically increased the amount every two weeks until I was using a pea size amount. By then my skin tolerated it well enough that I eventually stopped mixing it with a moisturizer. If I wanted to, I tolerated it well enough to use every night. But I prefer using it every other night, and in between using the TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, or taking a night off completely).

I find this method of starting with less, but using it more frequently being a lot easier to tolerate, less or no side effects, no irritation. You get used to the retinol much quicker. Plus, studies have shown that consistent regular use of retinoids is what delivers results. Why not use it more regularly from the very beginning? (just use a lot less).

My results

I used A-Passioni Retinol consistently every other night for about 8 months. I enjoyed using it.

I never had peeling, redness, or flaking.

The most noticeable improvements was firmer and smoother skin around my eyes. The skin under my brow bone which had started to hang, firmed up considerably from using the retinol. The crepey and textured skin below my eye was a lot smoother and firmer. My skin overall had a radiant appearance.

But after a few months of using the product, I did notice I was developing texture and enlarged pores on my forehead, in between my eye browns, sides of my nose and chin. I normally have a smooth forehead (all the lines and wrinkles are around my eyes). I started using TLC Glycolic Night Serum twice a week which helped to get rid of some of the texture but I could tell something in the A-Passioni was causing fine lines, porous skin and a shrivelled up skin texture.

Once I got up to using a pea size amount of A-Passioni without a moisturizer, it also started triggering my melasma. As soon as I’d put it on in the evening, my skin tone appeared bright and even, but always the next morning I would wake up with dark patches on my forehead. These dark patches would fade slightly a few hours after washing my face and applying skincare to calm it down. But it was concerning and a nuisance to deal with. I’ve never had this type of reaction to a retinol product before, but I’ve had similar reactions to vitamin C and brightening products. I presumed it wasn’t the retinol causing the issue, but perhaps another ingredient in the formula.

Between the porous skin and the darkening of my melasma, I double checked Drunk Elephant website to make sure there wasn’t vitamin C in the formula. I had checked a few times previously, but didn’t recall vitamin C in A-Passioni. When I checked the product description, there’s no mention of it. But, if you look deeper and go through the full ingredient deck, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (a vitamin C ester) is listed.

I wish I had known sooner, I would have stopped using the product with the first signs of enlarged pores and skin texture.

Who would I recommend it to?

A strong retinol like A-Passioni is good for anti-aging. It will help soften wrinkles, lines, texture, and firm the skin.

I recommend A-Passioni for anyone over 30-35 years of age as part of their anti-aging/youth preserving skin care routine.

Since it is a strong product, you need to start slow, and the rest of your skincare routine has to be super mild, minimal, and on par with using a retinol.

With that being said, using a strong retinol takes some commitment, even some research into how to use retinol properly, and best practises.

You also need to be committed to using sunscreen every single day. If you don’t, you can damage your skin.

Who I don’t recommend this to?

Don’t use A-Passioni for acne, it’s too strong and will irritate your skin more.

If you have sensitive skin, or an inflammatory skin condition, don’t use A-Passioni Retinol.

I don’t recommend A-Passioni for younger skin, no need to be using such a strong retinol product in your teens or 20s.

Would I buy it again?

No, but it’s because of the vitamin C in the product adversely affects my skin (this happens with 95% of products I try with vitamin C).

I loved how it firmed up my skin around my eyes. The lines, texture and wrinkles around and under my eyes was greatly improved, but I didn’t like how it triggered my melasma and getting all that texture and porous skin on my forehead, center of my face, and chin.

It worked great on part of my face, but not my whole face! (I think that’s why I continued using it for so long, I didn’t realize it had the vitamin C in it, and I was hoping my skin would eventually improve).

The formula itself is really nice. It’s very light and moisturizing. I found it to be more moisturizing than their moisturizers! It’s really too bad it didn’t work out for me.

Also, a little goes a long way. If I continued using A-Passioni, I couldn’t finish the entire tube in one year. Drunk Elephant now sells a mini size. I recommend getting the smaller size to try it before investing in full size tube.

F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial

Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial review, this is gentle, hydrating, and works great with the TLC Framboos Night Serum

What is it?

Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial is a hydrating overnight mask that plumps, strengthens, and restores the skin.

Formulated with niacinamide, sodium PCA, plant squalane, 5 ceramides, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants; F-Balm hydrates dehydrated skin making it soft and supple.

How did I use it?

On the instructions it says to use 4-5 pumps of F-Balm as the last step of your nighttime skincare routine.

4-5 pumps is a lot of product. Looking at the 50ml container I would go through the contents pretty fast using that much product.

Reviews on Sephora said 4-5 pumps was way too much product, and 1-2 pumps was perfectly adequate.

Reviews on Drunk Elephant website strongly recommended the 4-5 pumps for the best results.

I found it interesting how polar opposite the reviews and suggestions were on this one detail.

So I experimented using different amounts to see if it made that much of a difference how much I used.

My results

I liked F-Balm overnight mask. It’s gentle, hydrating, and restorative.

It’s a good reset for dehydrated skin.

The following day after using this my skin is soft and plumped.

I especially like using F-Balm on top of T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. I got much better results. Since the T.L.C. Glycolic Serum exfoliates the skin, the F-Balm can hydrate and replenish the skin better resulting in brighter, smoother, more youthful looking skin.

Like Protini PolyPeptide Cream, this product also has coconut alkanes, which unfortunately clogs my pores, gives me tiny raised bumps on my skin, and sometimes even causes milia. Used with the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Serum, the exfoliating serum helps prevent my skin getting congested from the F-Balm.

I did liked how versatile this product is. It’s meant to be an overnight mask, but you can easily use smaller amounts as a daytime moisturizer. If you are prone to dry skin, you can also spot treat dry patches.

I tried using 1-2 pumps of the product versus the recommended 4-5 pumps to see if the results were radically different.

When I used 1-2 pumps of product, the mask dried down with 10-15 minutes. After it dried down, it wasn’t sticky or heavy, and was comfortable to use while sleeping.

The next day my skin was plumped, hydrated and smooth.

When I used 4 pumps of product, it was way too much to cover my face. Even trying to apply a thick layer. I have a small face and there was excess that I ended up having to use on my hands. I applied the mask over an hour before going to sleep and it never dried down. Even after an hour, it felt moist, a little heavy, sticky, and uncomfortable. I could feel it a lot more on my skin than when using 1-2 pumps. And I was concerned it would transfer all over my pillow.

The next day, my skin was a little more plump and hydrated than when I used the 1-2 pumps of product, but not so much so that it warrant using that much product. The difference was small.

Drunk Elephant doesn’t say how often to use the mask. Some customers are using it nightly, while others are using it weekly.

Unless I am treating really parched, flakey, dry skin; I wouldn’t use the 4-5 pump treatment nightly. A rich treatment like that is better once or twice a week. Whereas using 1-2 pumps could be used more regularly. I used 1-2 pumps of F-Balm every night for 2 weeks, and I was pleased with the skin softening and hydrating results.

Who would I recommend this to?

Drunk Elephant F-Balm mask is best suited for anyone struggling with dry or dehydrated skin.

This is also a good treatment product for maturing skin that is losing volume. It will plump the skin and soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

If you’ve started using a retinol and your skin is flakey and sensitive, this would be a good treatment mask on nights you’re not using retinol to bring your skin back to balance.

This product would be especially good in cold or dry climates, like during harsh winters or locations that have low humidity.

If you sleep with indoor heating or air conditioning that’s drying out your skin, adding F-Balm to your evening skincare routine a couple nights a week could replenish dehydrated skin.

Using F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial before and after being on a plane could also really protect and restore your skin.

Who shouldn’t use it?

If you have healthy, balanced skin; you don’t need this.

It would also be too rich for oily acne prone skin.

If you have a sensitivity like me to coconut alkanes, you need to be careful with this product. I found using T.L.C. Glycolic Night Serum twice a weeks with the F-Balm helped to prevent clogged pores and congested skin.

Would I buy it again?

I really liked how it replenishes the skin, and how gentle it is. But because I get tiny bumps and even milia from the coconut alkanes, I wouldn’t repurchase it.

Like the Protini and A-Passioni, F-Balm is a great product, but unfortunately it has ingredients I’m sensitive to.

Sun Protection

Umbra Sheer SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Sunscreen review

What is it?

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF30 is a physical sunscreen that delivers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

The mineral sunscreen contains 20% zinc oxide, and is infused with antioxidants to prevent free radical and oxidative damage.

How did I use it?

I used it twice on my face, once on my body.

My result

I had an awful experience using this sunscreen.

I had such high hopes for this product, but it turned out to be the worst mineral sunscreen I’ve ever used.

I had a terrible reaction to the product. Upon application my skin became red with a strong burning sensation.

The sunscreen had a slick, slimy, grainy texture. Kind of oily with tiny grains suspended inside. It was difficult to rub in, and left a weird purple cast on my skin.

It was a massive disappointment.

Sometimes when a sunscreen doesn’t work for my face, I will use it on my body. But using Umbra Sheer on my body was also irritating, left the purple cast, and used in large amounts it has a strong medicine scent (even my husband asked me why I smell like medicine!).

Who would I recommend this to?

Not everyone will have the same bad reaction to this product like I did.

But because of the purple cast and grainy texture, I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending this to anyone.

In all fairness, it does have 20% non-nano zinc oxide which is great UVA and UVB protection.

Who shouldn’t use this?

I don’t recommend Umbra Sheer for sensitive skin.

It’s a lot more oily than what I was expecting. If you have oily skin, this product will probably be too emollient for your liking. This product seems best suited for normal to dry skin types.

This product would be fine under makeup (and in fact, it would be a nice base under makeup due to how emollient it is). But if you want to go makeup free, and you don’t like a white or purple cast from the sunscreen, avoid this product.

Would I buy it again?

No, unless it’s reformulated then maybe I would try it.

Because of my bad reaction to Umbra Sheer, I didn’t purchase Umbra Tinte (the tinted version of this sunscreen) for the review. I figured I’d have the same bad reaction to the product.

Eyes & Lips

Shaba Complex Eye Serum

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum review

What is it?

Shaba Complex Eye Serum is a satiny eye serum formulated with black tea ferment and copper peptides to smooth the skin around the eyes and slow down the signs of aging.

The product also contains edelweiss stem cells, niacinamide, and CoQ10 to diminish the appearance of lines, wrinkles and age spots.

How did I use it?

I use Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum morning and night. I apply it under my eyes, along the orbital bone, top of eyelids, and also on my eye browns.

My results

I was surprised just how much I liked Shaba Complex Eye Serum.

The most surprising (and exciting) result was how it stimulates my eyes lashes and eyebrows to grow, and the colour of my lashes darkened ever so slightly.

My eyelashes and eyebrows are now so much fuller. My eyebrows especially, being in my 40s, I’ve noticed my eyebrows thinning out in recent years. The Shaba Complex has reversed that. The tails of my eyebrows were starting to appear non-existent, and now they’re growing back. I’ve actually had to trim my eyebrows (which I’ve never had to do in my life!).

A few years ago I got eyelash extensions which ruined my eye lashes, and despite all efforts, my eyelashes remained short and thin. But now the Shaba Complex Serum is helping. My eyelashes are fuller, darker, and curl ever so nicely.

I am thrilled! I believe it’s the copper peptides in the formula that is stimulating the hair growth.

And this is a much “cleaner” option than using an eye lash serum.

Plus, it’s an eye cream. So as your eyelashes and eye brows are growing; your wrinkles, lines and crepey skin around the eyes are being treated too.

I like the moisturizing and softening texture of the Shaba Complex too. It’s more of a cream than a serum (and that too surprised me).

As far as eye wrinkles and lines, I don’t believe any eye serum or cream will get rid of them. But it can soften the appearance of the lines.

In comparison to Drunk Elephant C-Tango (their other eye treatment serum), Shaba Complex is a little more nourishing and emollient, making it a better choice for treating dry skin under the eyes.

Who would I recommend it to?

Shaba Complex is a nourishing eye cream. It’s good for softening and moisturizing the skin under and around the eyes. If you are prone to dry or flaky skin around your eyes, this would be an excellent treatment product. It will also soften the look and appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Shaba Complex is satin and emollient but it’s not heavy or oily. It can be comfortably used under makeup, making it a good base. It absorbs well, never moving around or irritating the eyes.

An added bonus is fuller eyelashes and eyebrows, so make sure when you apply it around the eye area, you lightly apply leftover product to your eyebrows. For safety reasons, don’t apply it directly on your eye lashes (eye creams shouldn’t be applied that close to the eyes incase of clogging tear ducts or infection). You’ll still get the eyelash growing benefits even without applying it to your lashes or lash line.

Who shouldn’t use this product?

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

If you don’t like emollient or creamy eye creams, this product is not for you.

If you have very oily skin under or around your eyes, this product might be too rich (C-Tango is a more suitable option).

If you are in your teens or early twenties, you probably don’t need this (unless you are treating dry skin under the eyes, or trying to get extra growth in eyelashes/eyebrows).

Don’t expect this eye cream to erase your wrinkles. No cream or skincare product can do that.

Would I buy it again?


C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream review

What is it?

C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is a firming and brightening eye cream.

Formulated with 8 peptides, 5 forms of Vitamin C, cucumber extract, ceramides, plant oils and antioxidants; this potent eye cream is designed to firm, strengthen and restore the skin around the eyes.

How did I use it?

I used it morning and night. I gently pat a small amount under my eyes and around the orbital bone.

Sometimes I would alternate with the Shaba Complex Eye Serum, using C-Tango during the day, and Shaba Complex at night, or vice versa.

I’ve mixed the two together (as recommended by Drunk Elephant) but I prefer using them separately as not to dilute the active ingredients in each product.

My results

I had bought one of Drunk Elephant’s limited edition kits and it came with a C-Tango mini. I liked it so much I bought a full size.

While Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum is deeply nourishing and hydrating, C-Tango works more on the surface of the skin by smoothing texture, brightening the skin, and softening the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles.

C-Tango is also soft and has a skin perfecting, almost matte finish. The peptides gives the skin more bounce and fullness, while the vitamin Cs brighten dull, darkened skin.

I did find C-Tango was sometimes a little strong. I mostly noticed this when I used it on days when I was outdoors and it was hot. The heat always makes my skin a little more sensitive than usual, and the C-Tango would cause a stinging sensation on the skin under my eyes. I’ve since stopped using it when I’m outdoors, and prefer using it at night (I don’t have this reaction to the Shaba Complex).

Other than being a little sensitive to it, I really like how it softens the texture and lines under my eyes. I especially like the finish, it’s not oily or shiny making it complementary for maturing skin.

I have dark circles under my eyes caused by loss of volume, thinning skin, and environmental allergies. C-Tango won’t help that, but if you have darkness under your eyes due to sun spots or surface hyperpigmentation issues, the vitamin C in the product could help brighten it.

Who would I recommend it to?

C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is suitable for most skin types, but I find this to be most beneficial for skin that is showing signs of aging, has skin texture, lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and dull darkened skin.

It softens the skin and is a great base under makeup. It absorbs beautifully, and doesn’t move around the skin.

Who shouldn’t use this?

C-Tango is a treatment product targeting the signs of aging. You don’t need this in your teens or 20s.

It’s also a strong product. It might not be suitable if you have sensitive skin.

I recommend being cautious using it if you are using a retinol or prescription strength retinoid, or strong exfoliating acids. Sometimes using too many active ingredients all at once, or in the same day can be too much, especially around the eyes.

If you have very dry skin, this eye cream might not be emollient or hydrating enough (Shaba Complex is more nourishing for very dry skin).

Would I buy it again?

Yes, I’m really impressed with Drunk Elephant’s eye treatment products. I highly recommend them.

Lippe Balm

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm review

What is it?

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm is a moisturizing lip balm.

Formulated with an array of fruit oils and peptides; Lippe is designed to plump and volumize the appearance of lips.

How did I use it?

I applied it to dry lips, morning and night.

My results

Lippe Balm was my least favourite Drunk Elephant product.

It didn’t do much to moisturize my lips.

And I really didn’t like the oversized shape of the product. It’s so wide making it very awkward to apply to my lips. I found it impossible to apply without it getting it on my face. It’s awful.

And the price… $18 US.

Who would I recommend it to?

Lippe Balm is free of essential oils and fragrance. If you are struggling with perioral dermatitis or have an allergy to scents, this could be a safe option.

Who shouldn’t use this?

I found Lippe Balm to be extremely disappointing. If you are looking for a product to truly nourish and moisturize your lips, and easy to apply, there’s so many better options.

Would I buy it again?


Final Thoughts

Is Drunk Elephant Worth The Hype?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Drunk Elephant is all over social media. There’s a lot of hype.

So is it worth the hype?

I have mixed feelings about this. After trying their entire skincare range, their products are high quality, deliver results, and very much worth the hype, but…

You have to remember that the very first product I tried of Drunk Elephant was the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. I instantly fell in love with this products and it fast became one of my top 5 all-time favorite skin care products. I adore this product, and I have re-purchased it over and over again. I couldn’t imagine what my skin would be like without it. It makes my skin bright, super smooth, soft, and takes away texture, raised bumps, skin congestion, and uneven skin tone. It delivers a lot!

Let’s just say I started my Drunk Elephant journey with very high expectations.

The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum was the first product I tried from Drunk Elephant, and after that, I had super high hopes about the rest of their skincare line. Not only because of that winning product but because of all the rave reviews I see online and social media.

Over the past 3 years I’ve spent over $1000 trying the entire Drunk Elephant line. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I started with the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Serum being my favourite, and I ended with it being my favourite. Besides that product, there’s only been a handful (at most) of other Drunk Elephant products that truly wowed me and that I could use.

I had a lot of bad reactions to their products. And some I had to mix with other Drunk Elephant products to truly make them work.

For a range that has taken out the coined “suspicious 6” that they claim “are at the root of almost every skin issue,” I still had a lot of bad reactions and skin congestion from their products (and I normally have clear skin). I’m happy they don’t use those ingredients, but please don’t be led to believe that the “suspicious 6” are the only ingredients that cause skin issues, or that Drunk Elephant is the only brand that will deliver skin perfecting results.

Drunk Elephant also promotes mixing and cocktailing their products to customize their skincare for your skin needs. But, that means you need to buy more products. Shouldn’t the products be good enough on their own? Based on my experience, a lot of their products aren’t so great on their own. To get really good results, you need to mix them or use them together.

And mixing a bunch of products not only becomes more costly, but you’re essentially doubling or tripling the amount of ingredients you’re putting on your skin. Drunk Elephant products typically have large ingredient decks. The serums and moisturizers have about 100 ingredients each. Loading hundreds of ingredients on your skin comes with a higher risk of sensitivity.

These were some of the things that didn’t sit so well with me.

But with that aside, I do want to say that I’m so happy I tried these products. After all that time and money, I don’t have buyer’s remorse. I’ve been curious about Drunk Elephant for a long time. What stood out the most is how unique each product is. Whether they worked for my skin or not, they’re different from anything else I’ve tried, and the quality is certainly there.

And that’s something I would like to emphasize, is the quality of the products and formulations. Drunk Elephant prioritizes using quality ingredients and making effective formulations, as well as safe ones. All over their website they are constantly talking about this.

At the end of the day, if you look online and on social media, the hype isn’t only coming from the attractive packaging and marketing, but their customers and devotees are getting remarkable results using their products. As I’ve personally experienced from using Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Serum – when a product works for your skin, it really works.

I’ve found a holy grail product in their line, and you might too.

Drunk Elephant Review Videos

I’ve done two review videos.

Here’s the most recent one that is a review of the entire Drunk Elephant skincare collection.

And here’s my first Drunk Elephant review I did back in 2018, which reviews:

  • Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser
  • B-Hydra
  • T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
  • C-Firma
  • Protini Polypeptide Cream

Best Drunk Elephant Products

To roundup my Drunk Elephant reviews, I want to summarize what I consider the best Drunk Elephant products.

These are the star products that are unique, deliver great results, and I recommend:

  • Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser
  • Juju Cleansing Bar
  • T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
  • A-Passioni
  • B-Hydra
  • Protini Polypeptide Cream
  • F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial
  • D-Bronzi
  • Shaba Complex Eye Serum
  • C-Tango Eye Cream
About the Author

Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

Please see our Disclaimer for more information.

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