Intro
At a glance

The reasons behind the big success of the American skincare brand Drunk Elephant.

Drunk Elephant is a super trendy American skincare brand: very focused on natural ingredients without neglecting technical innovations or chemical elements that are essential for it to be really effective on the skin. “Clean” skincare sure, but skincare that works!

In just a few years, Drunk Elephant has become THE talked-about luxury skincare brand of the moment.

They have a huge following on social media (especially on Instagram) and each of their launches generates feverish expectation from the brand fans.

These pop and bright colored skincare products are a real hit at Sephora US where they are sold exclusively (for now) and Drunk Elephant is even one of their fastest-growing skincare brands.

This year, the brand Drunk Elephant finally arrives in Europe and will be distributed at Space NK in the UK this autumn.

Let me introduce you to this already cult-favorite skincare range!

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The brand’s origins:

Drunk Elephant is an American brand created in 2009 by a Texan, Tiffany Masterson. At the time, she found that a lot of the products she was using were full of unnecessary ingredients and as a result, her skin was getting clogged up and dull. So she decided to create a skincare range with effective products, focused only on essential ingredients to treat the skin, and nothing more.

At the time, she was a stay-at-home mother, with no experience in cosmetology whatsoever, who simply wanted to understand the ingredients of the beauty products she was using in order to know which ones were better to avoid.

Tiffany Masterson started making her own products by herself. She became super passionate about beauty products, cosmetic ingredients and how they react with the skin.

Finally, pushed by one of her future investors, she decided to start manufacturing her own range, to be able to sell it on a larger scale.

Although she had no experience in cosmetic formulation, Tiffany Masterson has such an understanding of ingredients and formulas that it allows her to work hand in hand with her team of chemists.

So the origins of Drunk Elephant come from a consumer perspective, and this gives it a truly different angle compared to other skincare brands.

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The brand concept:

Even if the brand isn’t organic, Drunk Elephant can be described as a “clean skincare” range. It focuses on a transparent approach to skincare, favoring ingredients that are efficient, respect the skin’s health and avoid controversial or irritating ingredients.

The brand chooses efficient ingredients, whether natural or not. The active ingredients also have a sufficient level of concentration to deliver maximum results. The pH of the formulas is also optimized to allow them to be as efficient as possible.

Each ingredient in the formula is carefully chosen for the real benefit it provides for your skin. Similarly, unnecessary ingredients are excluded from the formula (silicones, drying alcohols such as denatured alcohol, chemical filters, perfumes, dyes, SLS and essential oils are among the ingredients that the brand doesn’t use in its formulas).

In short, it’s a sensible and interesting approach to skincare, which really differentiates the brand from other skincare brands.

Drunk Elephant’s characteristics:

Drunk Elephant products range is not extensive (around 15 products). The brand’s approach is quite minimalist with a range that is suitable for all skin types, ages.

The products are very simple to use. In most cases, you can mix them together for a simplified and quick skincare routine.

On top of that, most products are available in a travel size format (and they’re quite generous), which allows you to try them before deciding to invest!

The products packaging is also very pleasant to use: the Drunk Elephant range is stunning with it’s bright colors and the adorable elephant logo!

Why the name “Drunk Elephant”?

The name Drunk Elephant refers to an ingredient that is used in all products, the Marula oil. The Marula is a tree from Africa.

As the legend goes, elephants love to eat the fallen fruit from the Marula tree. Once the elephants have eaten them, these fruits ferment in their stomach, making them drunk!

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Drunk Elephant products’ reviews:

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil : the review.

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel : the review.

Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum : the review.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream : the mini-review.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptides Cream : the mini-review.

Drunk Elephant The Littles : the memo.

I also talked about the Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum in the focus on exfoliating acids.

And I talked about the two sunscreens, the  Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF30 and the  Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF30 in my sunscreen guide 2018.

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

A-

« B-Hydra™ is a cool glass of water for your thirsty skin. This ultra-hydrating vitamin B5 gel replenishes nutrients, visibly brightens and improves the appearance of skin texture and tone, while delivering intense skin hydration throughout the day.
Uniquely formulated with provitamin B and pineapple ceramide, B-Hydra™ attracts and holds...

« B-Hydra™ is a cool glass of water for your thirsty skin. This ultra-hydrating vitamin B5 gel replenishes nutrients, visibly brightens and improves the appearance of skin texture and tone, while delivering intense skin hydration throughout the day.
Uniquely formulated with provitamin B and pineapple ceramide, B-Hydra™ attracts and holds moisture to the skin, helping improve barrier function for skin that looks healthy and illuminated. A watermelon rind/apple/lentil complex provides 24 hour continuous skin hydration and significantly reduces the appearance of fine lines, while increasing moisture retention. Barberry extract adds soothing properties. Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer soaks in easily to provide unsurpassed hydration and acts as a free radical scavenger and powerful antioxidant. Drabness, dryness, uneven texture and fine lines will appear diminished and the skin will look brighter and more youthful upon every application. This lightweight, hard-hitting gel has a pH level of 5.5 and is ideal for all skin types. B-Hydra is vegan and gluten free.
Did you know? Wheat amino acids are weightless, yet super hydrating ingredients for skin. They’re also hydrolyzed to remove their gluten proteins, making B-Hydra™ a gluten-free formula. »

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Product size:
50 ml
$52

+ Pros

- the two hyaluronic acid weights, to be able to hydrate the skin at the surface and deeper,
- the smoothing effect on wrinkles and fine lines,
- the physiological pH for an excellent tolerance of the skin,
- the different hydrating ingredients for a long-lasting hydration,
- fragrance and dye-free,
- the packaging is very well designed: it's pretty, protects the formula very well and allows an optimal use of the product,
- I love mixing it with the Marula Oil by the same brand,
- it can also be mixed with all the other Drunk Elephant products if you want,
- it can be used as a serum or instead of your moisturizer (especially if you have a combination skin). It's a multi-tasker.

- Cons

- the high-end price.

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Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum

A+

« A super-potent vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes and a chronopeptide that provides the benefits of vitamin D, all working together to firm and brighten the appearance of skin while improving the signs of photoaging.
This revolutionary serum, jam-packed with a 15% potent...

« A super-potent vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes and a chronopeptide that provides the benefits of vitamin D, all working together to firm and brighten the appearance of skin while improving the signs of photoaging.
This revolutionary serum, jam-packed with a 15% potent antioxidant complex of l-ascorbic and ferulic acids plus vitamin E, helps neutralize pollution, environmental stressors and damaging free radicals while replenishing lipids and visibly reducing the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. Uniquely formulated with pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extracts, C-Firma™ enzymatically dissolves dead surface skin cells for a smoother texture. Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer quickly penetrates the skin and provides intense hydration. The result is a noticeably diminished appearance of photodamage, replaced by incredible radiance and luminosity.
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. C-Firma™ has a pH level of 3.3 - 3.5, which Drunk Elephant believes is the key to a non-irritating, effective formulation that delivers real results.»

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Product size:
30ml
$80

+ Pros

- the vitamin C L-ascorbic concentration of 15%,
- the low pH which allows the formula to be effective (between 3.3 and 3.5),
- the presence of vitamin E and ferulic acid in the formula which stabilizes vitamin C,
- it doesn't dry the skin out (thanks to the moisturizing ingredients in the formula),
- it protects the skin thanks to its antioxidant properties,
- it's very brightening,
- it evens the skin texture,
- the boosting effect of the protection when it's paired with a sunscreen product,
- the texture seems oily at first but it's actually quite light and easily absorbed by all skin types, even oily skin,
- non-comedogenic, doesn't clog the pores,
- without added synthetic fragrance or dye,
- the packaging is very well thought out: it's pretty, protects very well the formula and allows an optimal use of the product,
- theoretically, it can be mixed with the other products of the Drunk Elephant range to save time during the application (I don't do it because I don't want to reduce its strength but the brand recommends it).

- Cons

- this goes for all the vitamin C L-ascorbic acid serums, but you can't keep the product very long (6 months maximum after opening) because this ingredient isn't very stable,
- you have to apply a high SPF during the day when you use this product (personally, it's something I do regardless but some may see it as a con),
- the price (even if, when you compared to the competition, the other vitamin C serums are usually at the same price range for the same quantity).

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Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

A-

« Like rehab for your skin, this wonder-working, luxury facial oil, high in critical antioxidants tocopherol (vitamin E), tochotrienol, phenolic compounds and flavonoids, and rich in omegas 6 and 9, helps to moisturize, rejuvenate and nourish skin while restoring a youthful glow. Straight from the “pip” of the marula fruit, our Virgin Marula...

« Like rehab for your skin, this wonder-working, luxury facial oil, high in critical antioxidants tocopherol (vitamin E), tochotrienol, phenolic compounds and flavonoids, and rich in omegas 6 and 9, helps to moisturize, rejuvenate and nourish skin while restoring a youthful glow. Straight from the “pip” of the marula fruit, our Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is untouched by any chemical or fragrance, natural or synthetic and remains in its purest form.
Our Virgin Marula Oil is cold-pressed using a patented process of unheated water extraction, ensuring the oil remains nutrient-dense and stays fresher longer. We don't cut, bleach or deodorize, nor do we add scented essential oils, which can act as irritants and disrupt the many benefits of this pure and unrefined oil. Highly absorbable, Virgin Marula Oil delivers advanced defense against environmental stressors and free radicals. Look for a noticeable reduction in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, redness, and blotchiness, with a marked improvement in skin's elastic feel. It is naturally anti-microbial and appropriate for all skin types.
Our Virgin Marula Oil is totally pure, which is the way it is used by the African women. So close your eyes and pretend you're sitting under a beautiful Marula tree...your skin will never know the difference! With regular use as part of your complete Drunk Elephant skincare routine, your skin will be balanced and optimized to look and feel it's healthiest.»

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Product size:
30ml
$72

+ Pros

- the Marula Oil used is high quality,
- it nourishes the skin without it getting greasy,
- it protects the skin thanks to its antioxidant properties,
- it repairs and helps to heal the skin,
- the texture is ultra fine and easily absorbed by all skin types, even oily skins,
- non-comedogenic and doesn't clog the pores,
- without added perfume or dye,
- the packaging is very well thought out: it's pretty, protects the formula very well and allows an optimal use of the product.

- Cons

- the very high-end price.

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Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

A

"A retro-style moisturizer that rescues dry, dull skin while slowly delivering a steady dose of moisture throughout the day and night."

Product size:
50ml
$60

+ Pros

- the rich formula filled with great ingredients for the skin,
- the super luxurious and lush texture,
- the long-lasting moisturizing and nourishing effect,
- the protective effect when the skin is in extreme environmental conditions,
- the repairing effect when the skin needs comfort,
- the semi-matte finish on the skin after you applied it (even if I still look shiny a few hours later with my combo skin),
- the innovative, beautiful and super hygienic air-less jar packaging.

- Cons

- it can feel a little bit too rich depending on the season and your skin type,
- the high-end price, even if the value for money is good.

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Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptides Cream

A-

"This breakthrough protein moisturizer combines an unprecedented array and concentration of signal peptides, growth factors, supportive amino acids and pygmy waterlily for visible and immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture and firmness."

Product size:
50ml
$68

+ Pros

- the formula packed with good ingredients, with very few "filling" ingredients,
- the innovation of the formula with its high tech anti-aging ingredients,
- the really nice texture to use, this gel-cream is ultra silky and non-greasy,
- the semi-matte finish on the skin after application, perfect for a daytime use,
- the innovative, beautiful and super hygienic air-less pot packaging.

- Cons

- even if I want to believe in the effectiveness of this product and I know that the ingredients it contains require a very long-term use to make a difference on the skin, the lack of visible results after more than 8 months of use tends to make me a little bit doubtful,
- for this type of product, with so much technology and powerful anti-aging ingredients in its formula, I prefer a serum format that has a better penetration, rather than a cream, which tends to stay more on the surface of the skin,
- the high-end price, even if the value for money is good.

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