When Drunk Elephant launched back in 2013, it hit the market with six clean complexion products that founder Tiffany Masterson deemed best suited as the “essentials” for any solid skin-care routine. Now, eight years (and a $845 million sale) later, the line is stocked with 20 different SKUs to help keep any skin type and concern healthy.
With so many fan-favorite options—all of which have received rave reviews online—it’s become admittedly challenging to suss out which ones are actually worth adding to your regimen… especially because they all work wonders, and happen to look pretty dang cute in an Instagram shelfie. To help you navigate the selection, we tapped board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, to rank his favorite products from the line. And—spoiler alert—we’ve already added them all to our carts.
Any dermatologist will tell you that vitamin C should be part of any good skin-care routine thanks to its antioxidant properties (which help fend off UV, pollution, and free radical damage), and Drunk Elephant’s C serum pairs the powerhouse ingredient with . “This serum delivers a trifecta of antioxidants to the skin,” says Dr. Zechner. The combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and ferulic acid not only work together to maintain stability but also enhances the efficacy of the ingredients.” The three ingredients together help to nourish and protect skin all day long.
This chemical exfoliants was a part of Drunk Elephant’s initial six-product launch, and has since earned a reputation as one of the best that money can buy. “This serum contains a cocktail of alpha hydroxy acids to effectively exfoliate without overly drying out the skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. For many beauty editors (myself included) it’s a “desert island product” that they can’t live without thanks to the fact that it’s great for all skin types and will resurface your complexion while you sleep.
The brand reformulated its cult-fave moisturizer with ceramides back in 2019, and the 2.0 version is even better than its predecessor. “This moisturizer has a light, whipped texture and helps repair the skin barrier with ceramides that fill in the cracks between cells in the outer skin layer,” says Dr. Zeichner. It’s ultra-hydrating, but its got a marshmallow texture that doesn’t feel goopy or heavy… even in 90-degree summer heat.
“This light hyaluronic acid serum helps plump and hydrate dry skin,” says Dr. Zeichner, adding that it’s great to layer as a base under your moisturizer. It acts as a sponge to help other moisturizing ingredients permeate your skin more deeply, hydrating from the inside out. This particular formula combines hyaluronic acid with vitamin B5, which adds another element of complexion-nourishing benefits.
When Drunk Elephant hopped on board the retinol train in 2019, the brand did so with a formula users were sure to love. “The serum contains a stabilized form of retinol in a hydrating base to minimize irritation, and specialized peptides also help enhance cell turnover for a complementary benefit,” says Dr. Zeichner. Thanks to this combination, A-Passioni won’t irritate skin the way other retinoids might, and can be safely used during the day (with lots of SPF, of course).
Need help figuring out how to add these to your routine? Press play on the video below for a derm’s take on how to craft the perfect regimen for your skin.
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