Established in 2012, Drunk Elephant skincare was founded by Tiffany Masterson, One of the main reasons she developed the line was to minimize her children’s exposure to toxic chemicals, hormone-mimicking fragrances and natural allergic sensitizers. The name of the company stems from the myth that elephants love to eat the fallen fruit from Marula trees: them myth being that elephants get drunk because the Marula fruits ferment in their large digestive tracks. All of the products in the Drunk Elephant line have no added fragrances so they only smell like their natural scents says Masterson. She also says they are safe, effective, non-irritating and non-toxic. At DE, they like to keep it simple by sticking to the essentials and staying away from the bad stuff; high quality is also very important. Since their focus is not only on skin health but on health overall, they place the utmost importance on using safe ingredients safety and changing the way people view skincare “by eliminating not only hazards and toxins, but also the innocent sounding natural fragrances that are irritants and allergic sensitizers… [the line is] formulated only with ingredients that benefit our skin”. Drunk Elephant is taking the skincare world by storm, here are 15 reasons why it is so awesome.
1. The Elephants
These days, many companies are taking a philanthropic approach to appeal to the do-gooder Millennials, and also to do some good themselves by supporting charities and foundations that better the world in one way or another. So naturally, you would think Drunk Elephant would support elephant conservation, and they do! Although they don’t seem to publicize it much, there is a little blurb under the ingredient lists on their website that says they are a supporter of IEF (International Elephant Foundation) and if you ask their social media team, they say that they make annual donations to the IEF. Looking at the IEF donors list, Drunk Elephant Distributors, LLC did make a contribution of between $100 and $499 in 2013 and Drunk Elephant is also listed as a current donor having contributed between $1000 and $4999 in 2016. There is no mention of the company making a donation in 2014 and 2015 but hopefully the annual contribution is a new policy and they will continue to up their donation as the company continues to grow. If you love elephants, you will also be thrilled by the adorable pictures they post on their Instagram for Trunk Tip Tuesday. Read more about this in reason number ten.
2. All Skin Types
When shopping for a skincare line things get pretty complicated because on top of all the choices out there you also have to figure out what kind of skin you have before choosing a routine. Usually, products being sold are meant to target oily versus dry skin or anti-aging and so on. On the other hand, in an Instagram reply, Drunk Elephant stated that the company subscribes to the principle that they “don’t believe in treating skin ‘types’, instead we treat all skin the same with the idea that skin is skin. It knows what to do if we don’t irritate and disrupt it with unnecessary ingredients” You can read more about these ingredients in number three. In many other replies to comments on Instagram the DE rep or founder suggests taking #acleanbreak from other products and using only Drunk Elephant to get your skin back to a homeostatic state, if you will. Once your skin has a chance to readjust, it probably won’t be too oily or dry anymore and you will just have happy skin; therefore, DE products are formulated to work with all skin types.
3. Suspicious Six
If you scroll through the comments and replies on Drunk Elephant’s Instagram, something referred to as the #suspicious6 comes up a lot. The suspicious six refer to essential oils, fragrance/dyes, silicones, chemical screens, SLS and drying alcohols. These ingredients will never be found in DE products, because although, they can’t necessarily prove they are wreaking havoc on the skin, DE believes they are “at the root of almost every skin drama” causing unhealthy, dysfunctional skin. Another distinction that is often made by the DE rep when people claim to have sensitive skin,(people seem to accept this as fact and just how their skin is), DE’s response is to say that they probably have “sensitized” skin, meaning that one of the suspicious six or other factors are aggravating their skin without their knowledge. If someone uses products with these ingredients regularly, it will create sensitized skin. Adding in new products to fix the issues is not going to be effective and the issue will likely worsen. Instead, it is better to get rid of the suspicious six, and to start with their Pekee Bar and Marula Oil and then add in the other products once the skin is no longer sensitized.
4. Shorter Routine/Mixing
If you are familiar skincare lines, you are probably aware that there are systems that have dozens of products and endless steps to follow to get their purported benefits and results. Drunk Elephant seriously cuts down your morning and night routines without shortchanging you on the benefits side. After you have cleansed your face with one of their cleansing bars or just wiped your face with a wet and gentle wash cloth and dried it, their other products for your day or night routine can simultaneously be pumped into your hand and applied all together, except of course your Lippe Balm or eye serum. Day and night routine suggestions are in numbers 12 and 13. Mixing products together is not a very common thing to see in the skin care world, and for people who are short on time or just want an easier routine, Drunk Elephant mixing may be the answer for you. This also leaves more time for perfecting that winged eyeliner.
5. Blemishes and Texture
When it comes to acne, Drunk Elephant doesn’t claim to treat it; their philosophy is that it’s better to avoid the ingredients they feel contribute to breakouts in the first place as well as those that trigger confused “acne-prone” skin. Their TLC products contain salicylic acid which they say helps keep pores from getting clogged, as well as AHA or alpha hydroxy acids which remove dead skin cells. It states the following on the package insert of their night serum: T.L.C. Glycolic Framboos is “a high-tech AHA/BHA gel that resurfaces dull, congested skin by gently lifting away dead skin cells to reveal an even-toned and radiant looking complexion” and diminishing oiliness and pores; This product is basically perfect for those who feel they have blemish and texture issues. You can read about other benefits in number six. The T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is another product that helps get rid of skin cell build-up which improves texture and radiance. The facial is meant to be used once a week as an at-home peel-like exfoliation instead of getting chemical peels or other treatments in an office. The Framboos serum is a nightly maintenance to be used on the other days.
If there’s something we all want from our skin care regime, it is to look youthful and wrinkle free; or simply put, some anti-aging benefits. Drunk Elephant skincare is all about this. In addition to helping with texture, the night serum and Babyfacial also claim to make “fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging appear greatly diminished”. In the insert, the C-Firma Day serum also claims to help “reveal a brighter, firmer and more even looking complexion…the result is a noticeably diminished appearance of UV photo damage and aging”. For the eye area there is the Shaba Complex Eye Serum which is meant to “tackle the major signs of aging under and around the eyes such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness… [it] supports a firmer look around the eyes while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. The result is awakened, youthful and radiant looking eyes.” What more could you want? All of their products work well together to provide nutrients that support youthfulness. Their Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is also great for this.
7. Global Appeal
Drunk Elephant started in the US and then moved into Canada, but now it is truly taking the whole world by storm. When scrolling through their Instagram comments you constantly see people pleading for the DE line to be available in their country. These are the marketing results that every company dreams of. For example; everyone who tries the Sukari Babyfacial instantly falls in love with it simply because it really works, but the problem is it is only available in the US. So, if you want it, you had better plan a there US or know someone from there. Their Umbra, DE’s SPF, is only sold in the Western Hemisphere for now and Australians cannot wait to get their hands on this award winning product either. Not only is there demand for the products in many countries, but when formulating products, Drunk Elephant keeps all races in mind. They recently relaunched their Umbra and added a tinted version, but only in one colour; however, they are marketing it as a universal shade that will work on the very light and very dark without making darker skin tones look ashy like many universal products do. They apparently did their testing on all skin tones until they perfected the formulation, and voila, a another product that has global appeal.
8. Social Media
A booming social media presence is a must-have to distinguish one skincare line from another and build a following that will remain loyal throughout all stages of the product life cycle. As a brand that prides itself on being different from the rest, Drunk Elephant also uses social media as means to educate the masses and answer questions much more rapidly than by email (which they do as well). DE’s Instagram is filled with pictures of their products, many provided by users of their line. DE will share pictures if they are tagged #drunkinlove; only the best and most creative pictures are used of course. Drunk Elephant Skincare currently has 69.9 thousand followers on Instagram. They get over a thousand likes on most of their posts and dozens of comments, praise and questions that come in on the daily. Many of these questions, if not most, receive individualized replies. If you want to learn more about the company’s philosophy or their products, and get timely answers about your skincare concerns, the DE Instagram is a great place to do so. They also receive regular enquiries on Instagram from places like Australia, India and Europe asking when products will be available near them. Clearly this brand is in high demand and their social media team is on top of it.
9. Customer Service
Providing good customer service is essential for a company. You can have a great product, but if your customers don’t feel important, there is a greater risk of losing them. While Drunk Elephant uses social media to educate people, they also take care to answer questions (very often the same ones many times a day), such as: what colour should their C-Firma serum be. The answer is anything other than dark brown btw. For customers who purchased a C-Firma that is this dark colour, DE allows them to send it back to them for an exchange, or suggests they send a picture so they can verify the colour for them first. Now, that is dedicated customer service. Drunk Elephant is one of Sephora’s fastest growing brands. Sephora is an authorized retailer of the brand and they too have a great return policy: If you’re just not loving the product, you can return it. With such great product support, no wonder this line is getting so much attention.
10. Trunk Tip Tuesday
Trunk Tip Tuesday is an Instagram series created within Drunk Elephant’s Instagram to share tips and tricks for using their products. It also gives customers a chance to share their tips as well. Not to mention, each Trunk Tip post has an adorable elephant picture accompanying it. One of the recommendations they posted is to apply B-hydra to your face and let it soak in before applying your self-tanner. This helps the skin stay hydrated and also keeps the tanner from clinging to dry patches that would normally make it appear darker and patchy. The B-Hydra won’t hinder the absorption or development of the tan like lotions do. Another tip is to use their Marula oil in your hair to tame flyaways. It also adds a glossy effect to the hair and of course the antioxidants in it don’t hurt a bit. Another suggestion is to mix a little bit of their Lala Retro Whipped Cream with their B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel and use it on your combination oily skin. A great tip, which was provided by a user, was to mix B-hydra with your regular full coverage foundation to sheer it out and add hydration. If you’d like more tips, check out their Trunk Tip Tuesday series.
11. Ingredient Spotlight
In response to the many questions they were receiving, DE has added Ingredient Spotlight as one of their Instagram series. It informs and educates people about ingredients used in their product line. They say they will be filling us all in “on the what, how and why of some of our favorite powerhouse DE ingredients”. Followers seem to be thrilled with this new addition, which is just one more reason that Drunk Elephant amazing. The first spotlight is about L-Ascorbic Acid, the only form of vitamin C that is naturally present and active in skin. This type of vitamin C, contained in their C-Firma serum, which creates a “powerful defence against environmental free-radical damage”. DE worked hard to stabilize this ingredient so that the customers receive the full benefits of it; it is blended with other antioxidants and soothing agents to make their perfect award winning product, the Best Antiaging Beauty Buy on InStyle. Glycolic acid is another spotlighted ingredient. They say it is a “leave-on exfoliant from the alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) family. It promotes healthy collagen production (reducing the look of fine lines), and boosts the effectiveness of other ingredients by sloughing away dead skin…”. It has more benefits too and is found in their two T.L.C. products. Check out this series to read about more spotlighted ingredients.
12. Day Routine
Every good skincare line needs an ultimate morning routine to start your day off right and keep your face looking fresh all day. In the morning, they recommend to either wash your face with their Juju Bar which subtly exfoliates or with a soft wet wash cloth. After patting dry, apply C-Firma Day Serum and then their award winning Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30. (They are actually in the process of re-releasing their Umbra products which will include a universally tinted one that can be used in place of a tinted moisturizer or BB cream). Umbra not only blocks UV rays but is also full of antioxidants that help with fine lines and wrinkles. You can also incorporate some B-Hydra or Lala cream to your serum as part of your morning routine. Of course Lala can also be used on it’s own or with some Marula Oil added. Once again, don’t be afraid to mix these products together as you see fit before applying. You can experiment with mixes to see what works best for you. The Shaba Complex Eye Serum can also be applied day and night to the eye area of course.
13. Night Routine
A great nightly routine can be equally as important as your daily skincare and sometimes more important because our body does a lot of repairing when we sleep. Start with cleansing by using the Pekee Bar which is a gentle facial bar that the insert says “clarifies, balances and moisturizes, while rinsing away pore-clogging surface debris, impurities and excess oil.” It also tones and promotes moisture retention. Next, apply the Framboos Night Serum alone or mixed with B-Hydra and then finish with Marula oil. Once a week, you can cleanse your face and then use the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial which you apply for 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly before patting dry. The facial does tingle at first and can even burn a little for a couple minutes. (If your face is sunburned or otherwise irritated you may want to hold off on using this product). After the facial, you can apply the Marula Oil all over your face then head to bed. Of course, the Shaba Eye Serum can be used with either of these regimes too.
When talking about Drunk Elephant products, it is impossible to forget their Lippe Balm and The Littles. The package insert says the Lippe is a “moisturizing, volumizing balm [that] helps rejuvenate and nourish super delicate lips.” It can be applied with your nightly routine so you wake up with full and conditioned lips or applied throughout the day as needed. A tip provided by a user suggested using the Lippe and Marula to soothe sensitive areas on your nose that you get when you have a cold or have to blow often. As for The Littles, it is basically a package containing mini-sized products, which includes B-Hydra, C-Firma, T.L.C. Framboos, Virgin Marula, Lala and Pekee and Juju bar. This kit will be available for purchase on the DE website, as well as from Sephora Canada and US. You can also purchase the mini bars together and other various kits. These are all great for traveling, since they are not only little and light, they are carry-on approved as well. Most products should last for about 3-4 weeks, and the bars will likely last even longer. The containers are not refillable, except for the mini Lala, so when you run out, you will have to repurchase instead of just using your full sizes to refill them. However, the containers are recyclable.
15. Continued Improvement and Packaging
The last, but certainly not the least, amazing thing about Drunk Elephant skincare is their continued commitment to improving their products and their packaging. Not only is DE packaging so attractive and eye catching with their spring-like and neon colours, but it is also specifically made to keep air out to avoid oxidization, which ensures the products stay fresh and continue to provide maximum benefits. The twist style bottles keep the seals locked and pump out needed product without your hands touching unused product. Drunk Elephant’s continued improvement is also amazing. Firstly, the packaging has been improved several times. For instance, Lala used to come in a container that exposed the product to air each time it was opened. Now, Lala has a wide flat special pump of its own under the lid. Shaba is also now being packaged like the rest of the twist pumps, while before it looked more like a medical syringe. They have also improved their C-Firma formula to make it more effective and stable. They not only continue improving existing products but there website states that they have a long list of new products in developmental stages. All of the Drunk Elephant fanatics are waiting with bated breath. Hopefully some body products are in the pipeline and maybe even some hair care and makeup products down the road!?