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Drunk Elephant launches in Boots: These are the products worth buying

Your skin will love you with this Instagram favourite brand

Pippa Bailey
Thursday 11 March 2021 12:04
<p>It’s universally loved for its promising-sounding formulas and its bright pops of packaging</p>

It’s universally loved for its promising-sounding formulas and its bright pops of packaging

There were a long four years between Drunk Elephant’s launch in the US in 2014 and its landing in the UK, during which time it became the envy of Instagram and beauty bloggers for its promising-sounding formulas and its bright pops of packaging.

It’s been available through Drunk Elephant’s website, Space NK and Cult Beauty since 2018, but this week, on 9 March, it’s reaching a whole new level of accessibility in the UK as it launches into Boots.

The story goes that Drunk Elephant got its name from a myth about marula fruit– marula oil is one of the key ingredients of the line – which elephants eat when it has fallen from the tree and is rotting and fermenting on the ground, making them drunk.

The brand clearly has a thing for slightly cryptic naming: please don’t ask us to explain what the “Beste No 9” means in the Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser, for example.

Read more: 10 best ice globes to bring a healthy glow to your face

The brand founder, Tiffany Masterson, describes the line as “clean clinical”, and while we don’t love the word “clean” (it has no clinical or legal meaning and gets slapped on all sorts of products), the approach is appealing: high-tech, clinically proven ingredients that are the best for the job, whether synthetic or natural , without what the brand calls the “Suspicious 6”: essential oils, alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes and SLS.

You’ll find lots of the big-hitter ingredients here, from retinol and vitamin C to glycolic and hyaluronic acids, lots of “cult” formulas, and, of course, the internet-famous neon-pop packaging. To tie with with the Boots launch, we’ve rounded up our favourite Drunk Elephant formulas, so you know what to make a dash for in Boots.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Slaai make-up melting butter cleanser

Slaai has quickly become one of our favourite cleansing balms (use it as the first stage in a double cleanse to remove your make-up). It’s fairly loose in texture compared to some balms once it’s out of the tub, use the handy scoop for maximum hygiene, and melts across skin with very little work, dissolving grime and make-up. We also love that it has zero sting when used on the eyes. It contains a rich, conditioning blend of African oils; marula, baobab, kalahari melon, mongongo and ximenia to leave skin soft and plump.

A-Passioni retinol cream

Drunk Elephant’s retinol has a cream texture, which acts as a buffer to make it gentle on the skin, and contains one per cent retinol, which is a moderate but effective concentration. It also contains nourishing, hydrating oils; marula, passionfruit, apricot and jojoba and peptides, fatty acids and antioxidants such as kale leaf extract. The result is an exfoliating, tightening and brightening serum that improves skin’s texture and appearance without stripping moisture or causing irritation.

C-Tango multivitamin eye cream

This contains vitamin C, peptides and ceramides, antioxidants and plant oils; all of which are incredible for conditioning skin and restoring it to its natural, glowy brightness. It left the skin around our eyes soft, hydrated and firmer, with fine, papery lines plumped out. We love the vitamin C-appropriate orange cap, too.

F-Balm electrolyte waterfacial

We love an overnight mask for their ease (the ultimate in lazy skincare) and promised transformative powers. F-Balm is a cooling, hydrating cream that has an ingredients list that made us squeal: niacinamide (for clarity, tone and texture), super hydrating squalane and hyaluronic acid, no fewer than five ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier, and vitamin F, two soothing fatty acids. The so-called electrolyte blend is of coconut water, sodium PCA, magnesium PCA and prickly pear extract; we’re not 100 per cent sold on the idea of electrolytes in skincare, but this sounds like a solid list of humectant and antioxidant ingredients.

TLC framboos glycolic night serum

This AHA/BHA gel serum contains glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric and salicylic acids to slough away dead skin cells and reveal clearer smoother skin. There’s also the soothing raspberry fruit extract, cactus extract and horse chestnut, as well as a low weight hyaluronic acid and, of course, virgin marula oil, all of which help keep the application experience gentle, with just a light tingle. Apply it on cleansed skin at night before other products, as its exfoliation will improve the absorption of the rest of your regime.

B-hydra intensive hydration serum

B-hydra is probably the least exciting sounding product in the range, but it’s quietly dependable. Its velvety cream texture feels more like a moisturiser than a serum on first application, and it dries to a tacky, thin layer. It combines hyaluronic acid with vitamin B5, with its moisturising and soothing properties, and pineapple ceramide, which brightens skin.

Lala retro whipped cream

This contains the same blend of African oils as the Slaai cleaning balm; marula, baobab, kalahari melon, mongongo and ximenia as well as passion fruit oil, which is rich in fatty acids and vitamin C. You’ll also find a light molecular weight hyaluronic acid for deep penetration, and a blend of soothing plant derived ceramides that strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and prevent moisture loss. It’s a comforting, relieving cream that leaves skin bouncy and baby soft.

Beste no 9 jelly cleanser

One of our favourite things about Drunk Elephant cleansing products is the generous sizes: you won’t feel like you’ve wasted a penny with this chunky tube. Beste No 9 is a clear, gel textured cleanser that has a very light foaming effect when massaged into damp skin, but isn’t at all drying. We find this isn’t heavy enough to remove all our make-up on first pass, but we love to use it in the morning and as our second cleanse in the evening.

TLC sukari babyfacial

We’ll be honest, we’ve yet to be able to get our hands on a sample of this, but it’s such a much loved Drunk Elephant product that it feels amiss not to mention it. It was one of the brand’s late launchers in the UK, only arriving at the end of last year, to much hype. It’s a weekly mask that is supposed to act as a mini facial (hence the name), with a smoothing blend of 25 per cent AHAs and 2 per cent BHAs: glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric and salicylic acids.

The littles 4.0

If you still don’t know where to start The Littles is a brilliant kit of eight minis including many of our favourites, from C-Tango eye cream to TLC Framboos serum, plus some others, such as the Virgin Marula Facial Oil. It’s also great if you want to travel with your favourite Drunk Elephant products without making the effort to decant.

The verdict: Drunk elephant skincare

Cleansing is an area where you simply need a project that gets the job done, but Slaai makes it a luxury experience too; a little treat at the end of the day. It’s also among the most accessibly priced of the range. Coming a very close second is the skin-smoothing and clearing powders of the TLC framboos glycolic serum.

Now that Garnier is officially cruelty-free, here are the IndyBest team’s favourite products

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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