Drunk Elephant Reviews: The Best (and Worst!) Drunk Elephant Products

drunk elephant skincare review
By Amber Broder

Drunk Elephant, founded by Tiffany Masterson in 2012, has achieved cult-like status among influencers and skincare newbies alike. Originally designed by Masterson to address her skin’s issues, the brand boasts a following of 1 million followers on Instagram who are loyal to both Drunk Elephant and Masterson herself.

Their claim to fame is the decision to exclude the “Suspicious 6” ingredients from their products: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS. Masterson believes that these ingredients are at the root of every skin issue and, when removed, your skin is able to return to its healthiest, most-balanced state. 

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Glossing Shampoo

Drunk Elephant currently boasts a line-up of 19 skincare products and 6 body & haircare products, as well as a number of value sets. Their customers have been consistently impressed with the quality and efficacy of these products. In fact, many credit Masterson’s line with their ability to finally go without makeup.

So, you might be wondering: what are the best Drunk Elephant products? And is the brand really worth the hype? It depends on which product you’re reaching for. Some deliver on the results they promise, while others are overpriced and ineffective.

The reviews included in this guide are 100% honest feedback after months and months of testing—and they are not in any way sponsored or influenced by the brand. They also take into consideration price and ingredients, compared to other similar products on the market.

Read on for info about how to mix Drunk Elephant products, which products you should skip, and which are definitely worth spending money on.


Drunk Elephant Reviews: The Best & Worst Products


Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

drunk elephant slaii makeup melting butter cleanser

Drunk Elephant Slaii Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser

What It Does: 

  • melts all traces of dirt, makeup and sunscreen from skin
  • gentle enough to be used around the eye area
  • removes even waterproof formulas

How to Use It:

In the evening, on dry skin, use dry fingertips to massage Slaai over face and eyes. Add water to activate, rinse well with warm water, and pat dry. 1-2 times a week you can add in the Bamboo Booster for customized, skin-refining physical exfoliation.

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser Review: 

Every evening routine should begin with a first cleanse, either a cleansing balm or an oil. I personally prefer a cleansing balm, as I find them to emulsify better and provide a more enjoyable experience. This balm is gentle, doesn’t clog my pores, and breaks down the makeup, sunscreen, and dirt left over from my day.

It is reasonably priced compared to other cleansing balms, and the addition of the Bamboo Booster offers very gentle physical exfoliation – particularly important for anyone with sensitive skin.

Is this cleansing balm my favorite? No. That title belongs to the Deviant Cleansing Concentrate. But is Drunk Elephant worth it in this case? Yes. It’s cheaper than the CC, it does its job well, and is priced fairly compared to competitor brands.

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Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

drunk elephant jelly cleanser

Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser.

What It Does: 

  • removes all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution, and any other grime from the day
  • with no SLS, fragrance or essential oils, it is non-irritating and appropriate for every skin type

How to Use It:

In the evening, squeeze a small amount into hand and gently massage over wet or dry skin. Add water to lather. Rinse well and pat dry.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Review: 

This is marketed as Drunk Elephant’s second cleanse. It has a jelly-like texture, and while I do tend to like jelly cleansers, I don’t like this one.

It does cleanse the skin, but it doesn’t leave my skin feeling nourished or soothed, as I prefer my cleansers to do—it actually creates a stripped, tight feeling. For the price, there are much more effective cleansers that offer more benefits for my skin.

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T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial [Editor’s Pick]

drunk elephant babyfacial review

Drunk Elephant Babyfacial.

What It Does: 

  • uses a combination of 25% AHA & 2% BHA to resurface your skin and reveal greater clarity, improved skin texture and tone, and a more youthful radiance
  • like an “at home facial

How to Use It:

Once weekly, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Drunk Elephant recommends applying their Virgin Marula facial oil after, but any soothing moisturizer and facial oil combination will work too.

Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial Review: 

This mask is one of the standouts of the Drunk Elephant line. It is unique in that it is one of the few products to have such a high concentration of acids (the Ordinary AHA Peel is one of the others), which makes it incredibly effective at smoothing and softening the skin.

Because of this concentration, it can be quite harsh—this is a mask you have to work up to using regularly. In my experience, mixing it with a moisturizer is a good idea if you are new to acids.

However, the results speak for themselves. This mask is one of the best chemical exfoliants available and worth the price tag. It is only available in the U.S. due to the percentage of acids, so if you’re from another country you would need to bring it home from a trip or have a U.S.-based friend ship it to you.

(FYI: If you’re looking for another great “clean brand” mask at a reasonable price, check out this post reviewing Cocokind’s best-selling Chlorophyll mask.)

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B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum [Editor’s Pick]

drunk elephant b-hydra hydration serum

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Hydration Serum.

What It Does: 

  • replenishes the complexion
  • improves the look of skin tone and texture 
  • diminishes drabness, dryness and the appearance of fine lines

How to Use It:

Morning and night, after cleansing, apply B-hydra to face, neck, chest, hands or any place on your body needing increased hydration. Mix with any Drunk Elephant serum, cream or oil to lock it in.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum Review: 

Out of all the products included in my Drunk Elephant reviews, this one is definitely worth the hype. More than just a simple hydrating serum, B-Hydra contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and pineapple ceramide, so it targets dehydration as well as uneven tone and texture.

I find it to be my do-it-all serum: this plus a moisturizer alone can keep my skin happy and healthy. The gel texture sinks in easily and lives up to its marketing description: “a tall drink of water for your skin.”

If you’re new to skincare, B-Hydra is a great product to incorporate into a beginner skincare routine.

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C Firma Day Serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum.

What It Does: 

  • packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients and fruit enzymes
  • firms and brightens the appearance of skin
  • improves the signs of photoaging 

How to Use It:

In the morning, apply evenly to a clean, dry face, neck, chest and back of hands.

Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum Review: 

Unfortunately, Drunk Elephant’s other serum designed for use in the daytime does not live up to the hype. At $80, I expect a vitamin-C serum to brighten dark spots, even my overall skin tone, and be usable for at least a year.

C-Firma met none of these criteria for me. I found it to be ineffective at brightening my skin, and it only lasted five months before oxidizing (turning dark orange/brown instead of the proper orange color).

There are much more effective options on the market for half the price. Here’s a list of some great vitamin C serums to try instead.

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T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Serum

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Acid Serum.

What It Does: 

  • uses a combination of AHA and BHA to refine and resurface the skin
  • reveals a smoother and more radiant complexion
  • enhances the performance of other products by clearing the way for maximum absorption

How to Use It:

At night, apply to a clean, dry face, neck, chest and backs of hands, avoiding the eye area. Slight tingling may be experienced. Start slowly by using every other night.

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

This serum is one of my favorites to recommend to people new to chemical exfoliation. It combines glycolic acid, as well as tartaric, lactic and citric acids to exfoliate built-up dead skin cells and leave behind a smoother, more even complexion.

Even with this amount of acids, it is very gentle, and I never experience irritation while using. The one downside is its price ($90 for 1 oz), but if you want to splurge on an anti-aging serum, this would be one of the areas I would recommend doing so.

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Protini Polypeptide Cream

drunk elephant protini

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream.

What It Does: 

  • signal peptides, growth factors, supportive amino acids and pygmy waterlily create a visible and immediate improvement in the appearance of skin tone, texture and firmness
  • reduces lines, wrinkles and signs of sun damage
  • skin feels strengthened and moisturized

How to Use It:

Apply morning and night to clean, dry skin after cleansing and applying serums. Can be mixed with facial oil for an extra boost of hydration.

Drunk Elephant Protini Review:

This is a great option for a daytime moisturizer! It has a lightweight texture that works especially well in the summer months under makeup, or for acne-prone skin that struggles with heavier creams.

A little goes a long way, so the jar actually lasts between 5-6 months depending on how often you use it.

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Lala Retro Whipped Cream

drunk elephant lala retro whipped cream review

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream.

What It Does: 

  • multi-faceted rescue cream infused with six rare African oils and plant ceramide complex
  • reinforces the skin’s acid mantle 
  • defends against the effects of everyday stressors
  • helps skin retain long-lasting moisture

How to Use It:

Apply a pump of Lala Retro anytime to clean, dry skin. Can be mixed with serums or oils for extra hydration. It can also be used on any part of the body for nourishing relief from dryness.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Review: 

I have only tried the original formula, and not the new version, but I have heard from friends they are very similar. This is one of my favorite nourishing moisturizers that I use whenever my skin is particularly dry.

It has a whipped texture that feels wonderfully soothing on the skin, and with skin-loving ingredients like their African oil blend, ceramides and phytosphingosine, helps to heal any irritation and boost hydration levels in the skin.

I find this too heavy for daytime use, but it is great as a night cream and also works well when mixed with Babyfacial to reduce the intensity of the acids.

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Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

drunk elephant marula oil review

Drunk Elephant Marula Oil.

What It Does: 

  • pure and concentrated form of Marula oil
  • defends against pollution and damaging environmental free radicals
  • helps moisturize, rejuvenate, and nourish skin while restoring a youthful glow

How to Use It:

Apply 2-3 drops evenly to face, neck, chest, hands, cuticles, backs of arms or any place needing increased moisture without any greasy residue for balanced, glowing, healthy-looking skin.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Facial Oil Review:

Marula is one of the most-used ingredients in the Drunk Elephant line, and it has a lot of benefits for your skin. However, it costs $72 for 30ml when other marula oil options cost $9.90 (The Ordinary), $18.99 (Face Theory), or $27.99 (Honest Beauty).

I did not see a difference between Drunk Elephant and these brands when I tried them, so you are really paying for the brand and packaging more than anything else.

Additionally, there are other facial oils I have used that I find have much more of a positive impact on my skin. This tends to sit on top of the skin and doesn’t sink in. 

If you’re still tempted to try it out, there’s a mini travel-sized version which makes the price commitment a bit more palatable.

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Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

drunk elephant umbra daily defense review

Drunk Elephant Umbra SPF.

What It Does: 

  • sheer, physical sunscreen
  • delivers powerful broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • aids in the prevention of free radical and oxidative damage
  • antioxidants reduce the appearance of photoaging for a more youthful looking complexion
  • raspberry seed and marula oils deliver essential moisture and minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles

How to Use It:

Every morning, apply evenly onto face, neck, chest and backs of hands. Apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least two hours. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Review:

It is so important to wear sunscreen every day but doing so requires finding one you actually like using. This is my least favorite sunscreen I have ever tried, for a number of reasons: it pills on my face and doesn’t play well with my other products.

It takes forever to rub in and leaves a noticeable white cast. I also notice I can feel it on my face, unlike other sunscreens that absorb and feel comfortable.

I am just not a fan of this formulation and would recommend many other options in place of this one. Here’s a list of the best facial sunscreens for every skin type.

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TLC Happi Scalp Scrub

drunk elephant body products

What It Does: 

  • a stable, supercharged AHA/BHA blend rapidly breaks down and dissolves dead skin cells and product buildup
  • biodegradable and perfectly gentle plant cellulose exfoliating beads sweep the dirt away
  • keeps the scalp nourished, flake-free and balanced

How to Use It:

Before showering, when hair is dry, apply directly to a dry scalp and massage. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and follow with cocomino shampoo and conditioner. Use 1-2 times per week. Can also be used on the body.

Drunk Elephant TLC Happi Scalp Scrub Review

I find the worst part of scalp scrubs to be actually getting the product onto your scalp, and this product comes with a tip applicator that you can use to apply it directly!

That alone makes it a good product for me, but the scrub itself has proved effective at breaking up the dirt, sweat and product buildup found on my scalp.

I feel refreshed after using this. It can also be used as a body scrub, and it is effective that way as well.

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PRO TIP: If you’re tempted to check out the full line of the hair and body products, this Drunk Elephant set is a good option, since it gives you travel-sizes of every item for a reasonable price.

drunk elephant shampoo conditioner travel size

The Littles Head to Toe Starter Kit

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Cocomino Glossing Shampoo

drunk elephant cocoamino shampoo review

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Shampoo.

What It Does: 

  • sulfate-free, color-safe blend of coconut-based surfactants create a gentle creamy foam that lifts dirt, styling products and other substances without damaging the hair shaft or stripping color
  • soothing and strengthening amino acids and extracts help prevent water loss and add smoothness and shine
  • antioxidant and fatty-acid rich oils add moisture without weighing hair down
  • multi-amino acid blend adds strength, improves manageability and gives hair a healthier appearance with visible body and bounce

How to Use It:

Apply to wet hair and massage. Add a little more water to get it nice and sudsy. Rinse well. Do not repeat. Follow with conditioner.

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Glossing Shampoo Review:

This shampoo makes it onto my good list because of how shiny and soft my hair is after using. It’s not quite the best at dealing with super dirty, sweaty post-workout hair, but for a quick refresh or for before an event, it does its job.

My hair feels softer and stronger when it dries.

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Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner.

What It Does: 

  • blend of non-fragrant plant oils and butters softens, smooths and detangles all hair types (as well as clip-in hair extensions) while penetrating the hair shaft to fortify and protect against the damage done by heat styling and color treatments
  • fights frizz and static while adding shine
  • leaves hair soft without weighing it down
  • adds strength and improves manageability
  • amino acid blend gives hair a healthier appearance with visible body and bounce

How to Use It:

For best results, apply to freshly cleansed hair and comb through root to end to disperse evenly.

Drunk Elephant Cocomino Marula Cream Conditioner Review:

This has the same amino acid blend as the shampoo and creates a similar effect with softening and leaving behind a nice sheen. I also like that I need to use less of this conditioner than I have to use with others and my hair is still detangled and smooth.

Lastly, the shampoo and conditioner combo are priced quite fairly in comparison to competitor brands, and for their effectiveness, I am impressed.

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Wild Marula Tangle Spray

drunk elephant marula tangle spray

Drunk Elephant Marula Tangle Spray.

What It Does: 

  • effectively detangles and smooths
  • restores natural movement, manageability and shine
  • doesn’t weigh hair down
  • provides heat protection

How to Use It:

Shake before use. Spray evenly over towel-dried or damp hair and comb through. No need to rinse.

Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray Review:

My hair always needs detangling after a shower, so I had high hopes for this product. Unfortunately, it leaves my hair feeling weighed down and a little lackluster.

While it does detangle, it doesn’t make my hair feel soft and healthy like other leave-in conditioners do.

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Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser.

What It Does: 

  • gently cleanses using a stack of ultra-mild surfactants
  • calms while rinsing dirt and other substances away
  • non-fragrant plant oils and skin-restorative amino acids replenish and soothe

How to Use It:

Apply to wet skin. Massage gently and rinse.

Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser Review:

This cleanser is a perfect option for anyone with dry or sensitive skin. It is soothing and lathers nicely without stripping your skin of its natural oils.

I like it for a soothing nighttime cleanse especially.

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Sili Body Lotion [Editor’s Pick]

drunk elephant sili body lotion

Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion.

What It Does: 

  • restores dull, dry and irritable skin to a healthier and more balanced state
  • locks in hydration and restores moisture
  • defends against free radical damage

How to Use It:

Massage Sili all over body until absorbed. May also be applied to wet skin.

Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion Review:

This is my favorite body/hair product of the Drunk Elephant line. This lotion is super lightweight and sinks into the skin nicely.

My skin is left soft and hydrated without feeling greasy or sticky. I also particularly love the smell in this product—the fragrance of almonds is present in all the hair & body care products, but it’s especially noticeable and enjoyable in this lotion. 

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I hope these thoughts help you if you are curious about trying out the Drunk Elephant line! We’ll be adding additional Drunk Elephant reviews to this post as new products are released.

Amber Broder is the founder of AmberSkinCareDiary.com. When she isn’t studying or riding horses, she can be found testing, researching & reviewing skincare products. You can read more of her product reviews on her Instagram or her blog.


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1 Comment

  1. July 2, 2020 / 6:49 pm

    I have to agree about Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum. It is not as amazing as I had hoped but I do enjoy other Drunk Elephant products.

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