There is so much hype around Drunk Elephant, I felt like I was almost "virtually" bullied into buying this kit. Now, of course I am exaggerating. Frankly speaking, I couldn't wait for my Night Bright Duo to arrive in the mail and after testing it for a few weeks now, I think I am ready to share my thoughts.
About the Brand
As you might already know, Drunk Elephant is a relatively new kid on the "skincare" block and although these products have somewhat a millennial-appealing packaging (fun and quirky), price tags are comparable to some of the high-end niche brands on the market. The question is: are these serious skincare products? Answer is: hell, yes!
Drunk Elephant is one of the "cleanest" brands available; you won't find any nasty ingredients here and more so - these have a great nutritive value. If you think your skin deserves good quality "food", this is a brand to look at. Here is a long blacklist of ingredients, which you won't find in any of Drunk Elephant products.
Night Bright Duo
Although the brand doesn't give any samples with purchase, they did create a few different deluxe-sized kits for those of us, who prefer to try everything first (and splurge after). Night Bright Duo costs 28 USD and you get 8 ml/ .27 fl.oz of each product here: T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (90 USD) and Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil (72 USD). Both of these products normally come in a 30 ml bottle, so if you do the math: you get a bit less than one-third here (which, compared to most deluxe-sized goodies out there, is actually a good amount).
My skin type/concerns: before we go ahead, I thought I would mention a few words about my skin type and issues that I have. My skin is dry, sensitive and dehydrated. Plus I am prone to texture and clogged pores (did I mention painful hormonal breakouts? well, count them in). I have used AHAs and BHAs in the past and they do work incredibly well for me: skin gets clearer, I don't get as dry/"patchy" and when the time comes - I don't get as many blind pimples on my chin/forehead.
This little guy is merely a mix of five wonderful acids (+tartaric), which are known for their skin "rejuvenating" properties: they effectively remove dead skin cells, to reveal radiant and clear complexion. Glycolic acid in particular can be used to reduce scarring, skin discoloration and fine lines. Some say it also boosts collagen production, which is great news if you feel like your skin could use some plumpling action. Sounds like a fairytale?
Well, there are a few things to consider:
a. your skin needs some time to get used to the acid, which is why many dermatologists recommend starting with a low percentage and gradually building it up;
b. it makes your skin a bit sensitive, especially to the sun - so wearing a good sunblock is a must;
c. you should only use acids like this overnight.
Texture: as you can see, this serum is clear and has more of a gel-like texture. It has no scent and gets absorbed in a matter of one-two minutes. Once it sets, your skin might feel a bit sticky/tacky to the touch, which is nothing to worry about really, since most glycolic acid products have this same consistency/feel.
Ingredients: aside from a mix of acids, this product has a lot of natural extracts, which were added to help soothe your skin. Find full list here.
First time: if you are new to AHAs, then you might experience a slight tingling sensation. Typically it should go away in 30-60 minutes, but might last longer. When I used T.L.C. Framboos for the first time, I swear - it was borderline comfortable. And thing is, I have used AHAs before, so in theory I should be a glycolic-acid ninja by now (probably not). Tingling lasted for hours.
Other times: thanks to the power of elephants, I am no longer sensitive to this product. And it took me a few uses only, which is a great thing in my book. Although I did not expect to see life-changing results right away, this serum definitely makes my skin smoother and clearer in no time. When I wash my face the next day - it looks much brighter and feels soft to the touch; not as uneven or dull/lacklustre.
My routine: the brand recommends using this serum every other night, yet many girls I know use this serum every night. Personally that would be a bit "too much" for me. Perhaps that's just an act of rebellion, but I find that using this serum once or even twice a week does the trick for me. Here is my reasoning: although it is perfectly safe to use glycolic every other night, if you think about it - you are working with a Rolls Royce of chemical exfoliants here and if you are able to get optimal results by using it less frequently - you do you boo (and vice versa). Plus I live in a very sunny/hot climate and am a bit concerned, considering my skin is exposed to the sun 24/7.
After using T.L.C. Framboos for almost a few months now, I can say that I really love this serum. I get fewer breakouts when I use it (even though I use it not that often) and my skin looks healthy, clear and radiant. I also find that my pores don't get as clogged, which is amazing news, considering I don't have to extract as much and any scarring goes away quicker. I don't see much improvement with my random freckles just yet, but I will certainly keep you guys updated via Instagram. If you want to exfoliate like a pro, try Drunk Elephant. I will be certainly getting a full size when I run out of my mini.
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
If you are a friend on social media, then you know that I love a good facial oil; especially during drier winter months. So, what makes Virgin Marula Oil so luxurious and special? It is rich in antioxidants, as well as omega 6 and 9, which means it is going to moisturize and protect your skin/improve elasticity at the same time. And - it works for all skin types.
Texture: unlike many other oils I have used before, this one is quite runny and almost watery. It is not "oily" in the slightest; I would describe it as balmy, almost like a good serum. It is clear and scent-free. Doesn't feel greasy or sticky whatsoever.
Ingredients: funnily, there is only one ingredient here and you can read its "official" name above. It is important to mention that this is a cold-pressed formula, which means the product remains nutrient-dense and fresh longer.
My routine: I typically use this oil every other night/once a week when I feel like my skin could use that extra boost of hydration. This oil blends like a dream and gets absorbed really fast. When you work with it - it feels like you work with a cream. Skin feels smooth, fresh and well-moisturized. I think marula oil is great for someone with dry/dehydrated skin.
Although Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is a wonderful product, I don't think it would substitute a night cream for me. It feels lightweight, smooth and lovely, but... if I were asked to choose between the two - I would have to go with glycolic acid. I will definitely save my little tube of marula for colder winter months, but as for now I can go on without it. If you live in a severe, windy or cold climate - definitely give it a go as it might really improve the way your skin looks/feels over time.
Final thoughts? Well done, Drunk Elephant. I am definitely curious to try more products from the line and if you have any recommendations, please make sure to leave them in the comments below.