Drunk Elephant: Worth the Hype?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve without a doubt heard of the skincare brand Drunk Elephant. Their cohesive brand is appealing for sure, instantly recognizable on shelves thanks to fun, colorful packaging that makes it stand out among its competitors. But the Drunk Elephant difference is this: the brand is committed to using only ingredients that either directly benefit the skin’s health or support the integrity and effectiveness of our formulations. You won’t find what they call the “Suspicious 6” in their products (Essential Oils, Drying Alcohols, Silicones, Chemical Screens, Fragrance/Dyes and SLS,) making them appropriate for all skin. These six ubiquitous ingredients are at the root of almost every skin issue, and Drunk Elephant is all about pH levels, safety, and always making sure that the active ingredients are at efficacious levels.

Drunk Elephant products range from facial cleanser soaps to serums, facial oils, eye creams, and moisturizers, and–luckily for ladies on tight beauty budgets–they offer “mini” sizes of most their products that last a surprisingly long time. My first recommendation is to get the smaller sized products first, that way you can test out which products work wonders on your skin, or not, and what you can purchase at a lower price point.

In September, when I decided to splurge on my Drunk Elephant collection, I was frustrated about the acne prone, combination skin I had after giving birth, as well as my current, ineffective skincare regimen. I was actively seeking new products that would, I hoped, transform my skin. I had high hopes and expectations for the line, and wondered whether to trust the hype or not. I decided to take a leap of faith and try it out for myself. I’ll be reviewing six products in this post, all of which I’ve been using for the past two months now: the C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, Protini Polypeptide Cream, Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, as well as the Juju and Peke Face Wash & Moisturizer Bar Soaps. I’ll be discussing four distinct points for each: packaging, texture, absorption, and results, giving each a score out of 10.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not Drunk Elephant is right for you, this post should help you decide whether you should try them out. If you do decide to, I recommend taking advantage of the pre cyber week sales happening at Sephora in November! Beauty Insider members will have their own special weekend to shop discounts from 15–20% off, something that does not happen often. FYI: if you’re not a Beauty Insider member yet, the membership is free and instantly qualifies you to shop the Beauty Insider holiday event. Easy as that! In addition to this post, I’ll be linking my favorite Sephora splurges on Instagram ahead of Sephora’s “VIBBONUS” 20% discount happening November 9-12.


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packaging: Super cool twist top concept that dispenses just enough product for one use. I’m sure that because of this, I won’t run out of this eye cream for a really long time!

texture: I am obsessed with the texture of this eye cream! It applies like butter and stays put until morning.

absorption: Although this cream is advertised as both a day and night product, I definitely prefer using it at night because of how moisturizing it is. When I wake up, my under eye still feels dewy and soft, as if I applied it only a few hours prior.

results: I have definitely noticed an improvement around my eyes due to this cream. The sensitive skin around my eyes is regenerated and  I will be purchasing this item again when I run out.


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packaging: One of my favorite dispensers ever. All you do is press down on the round top and an exact dose is delivered into your hand. So easy to do, even with one available hand.

texture: I love that this cream is not too thick (and doesn’t get greasy during the day), but moisturizing enough. Very satisfied with texture.

absorption: This cream absorbs very quickly and leaves skin soft. It makes makeup application much easier.

results: I had high hopes for this product. I love the packaging, texture, and absorption, but I’m not sure this cream would work wonders on my skin alone, without the c tango eye cream and tlc framboos serum I apply at night. That being said, the combo has really changed my skin as a whole. So I can’t really dismiss this cream and say it wasn’t worth the purchase on its own. It is a great day cream/moisturizer that leaves my skin hydrated, never oily, and makes makeup application a lot smoother.



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packaging: This full sized serum costs upwards of $90, so I opted for the mini size. I’m so glad I did! I still haven’t finished it! The tubes are perfect for travel, and one pump distributes a very conservative amount of serum. I usually do two pumps for face and neck.

texture: The way you would expect a serum to feel, only not as oily as expected.

absorption: Impressed with how quickly my skin goes from oily and dewy to just dewy. This product absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft and glowing. Even when I wake up in the morning!

results: I think that this product is the true winner in my Drunk Elephant collection. It gently exfoliates dead skin and has changed the overall tone and texture of my skin. I will definitely be spending the money on the full size bottle when I’m done with the mini. Worth the splurge!



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packaging: Also a mini size, like the tlc framboos serum.

texture: It’s a facial oil, so definitely oily. I only use at night, maybe 2-3 times per week.

absorption: most of the oil absorbs surprisingly quickly. I despise oils that leave you feeling really oily hours after application. This marula oil leaves your skin glowing, but not saturated in oil.

results: I’ve never been a huge fan of facial oils (I have combination skin and hate when my skin gets too oily in the t zone), but I have to say that this product works wonders during the colder months when my skin gets dryer than usual. I use it in combination with the tlc framboos serum and c tango eye cream and really think the three products together are spectacular.



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packaging: I got the mini set of both the juju and pekee bars because I wasn’t sure which one to buy full size. They come in a cute little cardboard box (which I use as a soap holder), although I wish that the full sized soap came in an actual reusable soap holder.

texture: The juju bar is a very gentle exfoliator. You simply wet the bar rub it between your palms. You can slightly feel the grains, but it is definitely not a rough exfoliator (which is a good thing – rough exfoliators tend to irritate the skin). It comes on like a soap, but washes off really nicely, leaving the skin soft and moisturized in addition to cleaning it.

absorption: It leaves the skin soft, with no soapy residue.

results: This is my favorite of the two bars. Although the Pekee bar is more gentle and moisturizing (I use that one when my skin isn’t breaking out), I do prefer the slight exfoliation I get from the Juju bar. It has convinced me to say bye bye to traditional gel or cream facial cleansers. I’ve been using the same mini soap since early September and have not had any bad breakouts since then.



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packaging: Also a mini size. See above.

texture: In comparison to the Juju bar that is slightly grainy, the Juju bar feels like a rich, creamy bar of soap. It leaves your skin feeling very soft.

absorption: It leaves the skin soft, with no soapy residue.

results: As mentioned above, I prefer the Juju bar to use daily (it’s the perfect balance of moisturize and exfoliation), but this one is great to use when your skin is in good shape and just needs a little gentle loving. I do love having it as an option and alternative to the Juju bar.



If you have any questions about any of these products, do not hesitate to comment! I’ll do my best to help 🙂 All in all, I am very happy with Drunk Elephant and am glad I gave them a try! They regenerated my skin after baby and keep it clean and hydrated, which is exactly what I wanted. Plus, the investment goes a long way if you use the recommended amount daily.

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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