My Drunk Elephant Review & My Favorites From The Brand

Drunk Elephant is one of the most popular skincare brands on the market, and it’s one of my favorite skincare brands. The brand has beautiful aesthetics, and the idea of a results-driven line without fragrance or alcohol is always intriguing, especially with my sensitive skin. 

I started using this brand back in 2016 after watching one of Gothamista’s Youtube videos. She raved about their Vitamin C serum, so shortly afterward, I purchased my first bottle. And my love-affair for Drunk Elephant began.

So, this blog post is intended to break down my thoughts on the Drunk Elephant line. Today, I’m reviewing all the products I’ve tried from the brand and giving you my top five favorites from the line.*

About the Brand

Drunk Elephant launched in 2012, and there are currently 26 products in the line**. The brand’s hero ingredient is marula oil, which is excellent for sensitive skin.

All of their products DON’T contain what their founder, Tiffany Masterson, calls the “SUSPICIOUS SIX.” This means none of Drunk Elephant’s products contain:

  1. Essential oils
  2. Drying alcohols
  3. Silicones
  4. Chemical sunscreens
  5. Fragrances and dyes 
  6. Sulfates

Tiffany believes that skincare without the “Suspicious Six” eliminates major skincare concerns, and I’d have to agree. As someone with sensitive, eczema-prone skin, I’m always looking for products that don’t include many of these ingredients because they’re known irritants. I know there’s been controversy about the brand, but I like them because their products work.

Alright, on to my product reviews!

Product Reviews

Here are the products I’ve tried from the brand. And for reference, my current skin type is sensitive and eczema-prone. I am also prone to dehydration. I am 38 years old, and I live in New York, where there’s still a chill in the air. I’m just putting that out there since your skincare routine should reflect your environment, age, lifestyle, and concerns.

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is an oil cleansing balm. Check out my views on oil cleansing balms here. In short, oil cleansers break up dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. And as with most oil cleansers, it should be applied on dry skin. It comes with a separate bamboo booster, which includes charcoal and microcrystalline cellulose granules. It’s recommended to add it to the oil cleanser 1-2/per week for gentle physical exfoliation. Still, I love the oil balm cleanser by itself. And it doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser ($32) is a sulfate-free gel cleanser with a jelly-like texture. And it rinses off easily with water. I wouldn’t use this cleanser to remove makeup, however.

It’s suitable for sensitive skin, but I prefer to use this in the spring and summer months when my skin is less dry. In the fall and winter months, I prefer a creamier cleanser, like Lait V.I.P. O2 and Holifrog Rashmoo Water Lily Nourishing Milky Wash. Check out my review on second cleansers here. I also have a few options in my winter skincare routine post. 

I do think the Beste cleanser is a gentle cleanser for normal to oily skin.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80) is a vitamin C serum, and it’s the first product I tried from the line. This is the serum that drew me into the brand! 

It contains 15% l-ascorbic acid, which is the most potent, proven form of vitamin C for antioxidant protection, brightening, hyperpigmentation reduction, and boosting collagen production. 

It’s comparable to the O.G. vitamin C serum, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. However, the consistency of Drunk Elephant’s serum is slightly more viscous. Like all l-ascorbic acid treatments, it must be used up before it oxidizes, which is usually within three months of opening. 

This and Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster are my go-to vitamin C serums (outside of the O.G. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic!)

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a chemical exfoliant serum that contains AHAs and BHAs. The AHAs exfoliate dead skin cells and brighten the skin, and the 1BHAs help unclog pores. BHAs also penetrate deeper into the skin. This is the only chemical exfoliant I have in my skincare arsenal that isn’t an acid toner.

It has a gel texture that I usually apply all over my face, but you can also use this as a spot treatment on pimples. This serum is potent, but it leaves my skin soft and hydrated the next morning. My skin responds best to this serum when I layer it with the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Serum, followed by the Protini Polypeptide Cream and Marula Oil.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is designed as a weekly chemical exfoliating treatment that contains a 25% blend of AHAs and BHAs. This is extremely potent, and I wouldn’t recommend this treatment to anyone with sensitive skin, as it could cause some inflammation and irritation. Many people love this, but I prefer to apply mild doses of acids on a more frequent basis. My friend, Toni, known as @beautyetcblog on Instagram, loves this treatment and has a detailed review here.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream is a retinol treatment that contains a high 1% concentration of retinol. Retinol treats fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and pigmentation, and this retinol treatment has three peptides for skin firming. Now, this is a potent retinol treatment! As a retinol newbie, I definitely purged. So, if you’re new to retinol and want to buffer this treatment, I’d suggest cushioning your skin with the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra and a skin barrier serum, like Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum is a lightweight hydrating serum with a gel texture that’s ideal for layering under a moisturizer. It’s named after a pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol), which is a humectant that helps the skin absorb and retain moisture. The serum also contains the humectants glycerin and sodium hyaluronate. As someone who loves a good hyaluronic acid serum, I can say that I’ve enjoyed this for the past two years. It feels like a big glass of water for your skin!

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops is an antioxidant serum with a beautiful bronze tint. It contains cocoa extract, white tea extract, and vitamin E for additional antioxidant benefits. It also contains platinum peptides that are said to treat wrinkles. Since it has a concentrated bronze tint, I generally mix a drop into my moisturizer. And then I apply my sunscreen on top.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is a lightweight, silicone-free moisturizer. It has a gel-cream texture and contains nine different peptides, which are the building blocks of skin proteins. Skin proteins help stimulate cell growth and increase collagen production. This is a light but nourishing moisturizer that I love using most in the spring and summer months. I’ve been going back to this moisturizer in the warmer months for the past two years.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a more emollient moisturizer that’s great for dry skin. It has a whipped texture, and it’s the heavier of the two moisturizers that Drunk Elephant offers. I’d recommend this moisturizer to all my dry skin beauties looking for something nourishing. And, for clarification, these are my feelings about the new formula, which has a creamier texture and melts into my skin easier.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil contains 100% unrefined marula oil, derived from the kernels of marula fruit. Marula oil is high in naturally-occurring antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols. It works best for me when I use it on top of a serum or cream to trap moisture in the skin. I wake up to soft, dewy skin!

Given how little you need per application, I’d suggest purchasing the smaller (0.5 oz.) size for $40. It will be harder to use up the bigger size ($72 for 1 oz.) before it expires (12 months).

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer & Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 is a broad-spectrum, low-silicone mineral sunscreen. And mineral sunscreen is known to provide the most effective protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Although I love the texture and formula, I don’t like that it leaves a detectable white cast on my skin. It’s suitable for lighter skin tones, though. I feel similarly about the Umbra Tinte sunscreen too. 

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is an anti-aging eye cream with a beautifully, creamy texture. It absorbs well, gives my under eye some brightening, and contains great ingredients such as vitamin C and peptides. I’m not a big believer in eye creams, but I can vouch that this one is moisturizing and brightening. When I use it, it’s generally in my morning routine.

Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial

This electrolyte water facial sleeping mask is packed with linoleic acid (Vitamin F), which helps protect and strengthen the skin barrier AND keep the skin hydrated. It also contains skin-replenishing ingredients like squalane, niacinamide, and ceramides.

I’ve been using this mask since the beginning of the year, and I’m hooked! I don’t usually use sleep masks because I find them messy and sticky, but this isn’t like that at all. This sleep mask has a gorgeous, gel-like texture that melts into the skin, and it instantly feels cooling and calming when you apply it. Most importantly, when I wake up the next morning, my skin feels plump and soft. I like using this the best at night after layering serums and maybe a moisturizer. And I only need 2-3 pumps for my entire face.

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm contains peptides to plump the lips, a vitamin C derivative for antioxidant protection, and Vitamin E to protect the lips from moisture loss. If you are looking for a nourishing, non-irritating lip balm, try this. I love that it has a fat tube, so it covers my entire lip. I just wish this lasted longer for $18. However, I like it so much that I find myself keeping it in my arsenal year-round.

Drunk Elephant Body Products

Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

Kamili Cream Body Cleanser is a luxe-feeling, creamy body cleanser that gently cleanses and replenishes the skin leaving me feeling silky soft. It’s been formulated to soothe sensitive skin types, leaving behind a light layer of protective lipids.

I’ve had a great experience using this cleanser. It’s gentle and doesn’t make my skin feel tight when I get out of the shower.

Sili Body Lotion

Sili Body Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer that leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. As someone with dry skin, I’d probably mix in a body oil if it wasn’t summertime. My feedback is based on me using a trial size bottle.

Drunk Elephant Hair Products

For reference, my hair is relaxed and fragile. I’m growing out my hair from a pixie cut, and I’m focused on products that help give me volume and products that hydrate, moisturize, and strengthen my hair.

Cocomino Glossing Shampoo

Cocomino Glossing Shampoo has a sudsy consistency without any of the side effects. It’s not drying or harsh at all. Overall, it does the job, leaves my hair soft, and doesn’t leave any residue, which is all you can ask from a shampoo. I’ve loved it over the last few weeks.

Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner

Now, the Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner was a pleasant surprise! I didn’t think this conditioner was going to moisturize and seal my type of hair as it has. And it doesn’t leave a residue, so my hair is still light, fluffy, and bouncy afterward. It also has a good slip to help as I detangle my hair. I honestly didn’t think this would be such a hit for my hair. I’ve received many compliments on my hair during my #winedownwednesday on IG Live, and I genuinely thank you for the compliments.

Wild Marula Tangle Spray

This Wild Marula Tangle Spray is a detangling mist and leave-in conditioner that helps smooth and restore the hair. I love how it’s helped improve my hair’s manageability and shine, all while giving my hair natural movement. I love hair with body and bounce! My hair is shiny and bouncy when I use this mist in conjunction with the Drunk Elephant shampoo and conditioner. I’m a fan!

My Final Thoughts & My Top Five Favorites!

I hope this review has helped you learn more about the Drunk Elephant line! They have great products that are definitely worth the investment.

I love the brand for formulating without the so-called “Suspicious Six.” I think it’s commendable to raise awareness about the skin issues associated with essential oils, alcohols, and fragrances. I’m an advocate that avoiding them can indeed improve your skin.

As you can tell, I love most of the products from the line. But, if I had to rank them, here are my top five favorites from Drunk Elephant:

I LOVE the brand’s hair care line too! Although I’ve loved using their hair care consistently for the past month, my top five favorites have been in my arsenal for years.

Have you tried the Drunk Elephant line? What are your favorite products?

Shop The Drunk Elephant Products Reviewed:

Drunk Elephant Trunk 6.0
Drunk Elephant Drunk Break™: A Night to Remember Night Kit
Drunk Elephant C-Tango™ Vitamin C Eye Cream
Drunk Elephant F-Balm™ Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask
Drunk Elephant Slaai™ Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Eye Cream
Drunk Elephant F-Balm
Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos
Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum


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*This review is based both on my experience and my analysis of the ingredients in each product. ** As of May 24, 2020

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