The true definition of beauty goes much deeper than the pores on your face, but if you’re like me, bad breakouts can make you self conscious. When I was in my teens, I was fortunate to have had very minimal skin issues. I still got the occasional zit around my period, but nothing that wasn’t manageable. In my late 20s, my hormones changed, and I started to get horrific cystic acne. Long after the cysts had faded, I was left with red marks and deep scarring. It was a vicious cycle of breakout, scar, repeat and it took a serious toll on my self-esteem.
When I was having conversations with people, I struggled to focus because I was worried about people staring at my pimples instead of what I had to say, and I’d spend hours trying to conceal my blemishes. I wish I had a picture to show you guys, but I was so self-conscious that I deleted every trace of my acne from my photos.
After I got engaged in September of 2017, I desperately searched for something that would stop further breakouts and even my skin tone. I’ve always had a decent skincare routine, and I love doing masks, using serums, etc., but nothing was working. I tried every product in the book and spent hundreds of dollars on products, which isn’t sustainable or financially responsible when you’re paying for a wedding. Nothing seemed to help my issue, and my sensitive skin was taking a beating from all of the harsh ingredients I thought I needed to clear up my acne. That year I did end up making Sephora’s Rouge status though, glass half full?
Then I found Drunk Elephant. The Drunk Elephant philosophy is to treat skin like skin. They “avoid the obvious “toxins” and controversial synthetics, along with any other ingredients seemingly linked to internal health disruption”. Their products don’t contain any of what they call the “suspicious six” ingredients that are the root of most breakouts, which makes Drunk Elephant great for any skin type.
I first came across their products when I was in the midst of an internet black hole looking for a new face mask. I saw their BabyFacial mask featured on a few different lists, and despite the hefty price tag I went ahead and purchased. And it did not disappoint. After the first use my skin was baby soft (pun intended) and I knew there was no turning back. Over the next year, I slowly started trying and acquiring different Drunk Elephant products. With each new product, I became more and more obsessed, and my skin was reaping the benefits. Now, my morning and nighttime routines are sacred to me, and it’s almost calming to go through the motions of prepping my skin. I’ve transitioned to using Drunk Elephant products 90% of the time, and it’s made a massive difference. Here is my standard weekly routine.
I wash my face every morning with Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser. If you cleansed the night before you can skip this step and simply rinse with water. I go to the gym in the mornings, so I usually end up cleansing twice a day to get the sweat and grime out of my pores. The best part about the Beste cleanser is that it’s very gentle. It lightly lathers so you know its working and leaves your skin feeling so clean.
Then onto the day serums. I mix one pump of B-hydra with one pump of the C-Firmaavoiding the eye area. This combination is probably my favorite mixture. The B-hydra makes your skin so plump and supple looking, while the C-Firma works to diminish any blemishes and even your skin tone. The C-Firma is probably my favorite Drunk Elephant product. The C-Firma has made a massive difference in my skin tone and helped reduce my acne scars dramatically.
Then I mix one pump of Protini with 1/2 pump of D-Bronzi and rub all over. The D-Bronzi seals in moisture and protects from harsh pollutants while giving my skin a nice glow. I need all the help I can get in the glow department thanks to dry, cold Midwest winters. The D-Bronzi has been a fantastic addition to my morning routine because it’s eliminated my need for any foundation or concealer. In the winter I will stop there, but in the Spring/Summer/Fall I will top with the Umbra Tinte sunscreen. If you live somewhere with high UV rays year-round, I would recommend using sunscreen daily.
At night I’ll start with the Beste cleanser again. It does a great job of removing makeup, but sometimes I will use a fragrance-free wipe to remove my mascara. Most nights I use the T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (avoiding the eye area) and top with Protini. This serum is excellent for resurfacing skin cells for better texture. Then I’ll use Shaba Complex Eye Serum around my eyes every night. Shaba is great for fine lines and wrinkles but doesn’t help with bags or puffiness under the eyes. I’ve worked up to using their new A-Passioni Retinol Cream twice a week. With this product, it’s important to start slow and get your skin adjusted to using retinol. I recommend starting with once a week for about a month and then every month add a day to your weekly routine. The best way that I’ve found to use A-Passioni is mixing two pumps of the Marula Facial oil with a pea-sized dab of A-Passioni. This approach helps spread the retinol evenly across your skin.
Once a week (usually Sundays) I’ll cleanse with the Beste, use the BabyFacial mask and finish with 2-3 drops of the Marula facial oil. Don’t use any other products that contain acids (C-Firma & TLC Framboos) the same day you use BabyFacial – and make sure you apply sunscreen for a few days after use!
I won’t sit here and pretend like I am some skincare unicorn and I don’t break out anymore, but I have seen a dramatic difference in how long my pimples and blemishes linger. If I have a break out and I stick to my routine, my blemish is gone before the end of the week, and that is a huge relief to me. My cystic acne used to leave scars and blemishes for MONTHS, and I would never leave the house without concealer – even to workout!
If you’re thinking of trying Drunk Elephant products, I’d recommend starting with The Littles kit. I suggest this to everyone who asks me about Drunk Elephant. The Littles kit has most of the products I mentioned here, and it will give you some time to get adjusted to the formulas. When first starting, it’s important to take it slow and ease the products with high concentrations of acids (T.L.C. Framboos, C-Firma, BabyFacial, A-Passioni) into your routine to minimize irritation. If you’re looking for more information, the Drunk Elephant Instagram page has some great tips and details via their highlight stories.
If you’re completely sold on the regimen, I’d recommend buying the trunk when its released exclusively by Sephora in the fall. It has 10 full-size Drunk Elephant products at a discounted rate for the bundle. It’s pricy but worth the investment if you’re in this for the long haul. In 2018 the stars aligned and the trunk release was during the Sephora half-yearly sale. I’m hoping for the same timing this year. Sephora is also giving VIB and Rouge members littles size Protini and Beste for birthday gifts in 2019 – so excited!
Now you’re probably wondering, “what’s the catch?” and that my friends, is the price. I won’t lie that their prices are probably higher than your average products, but that’s just it, these aren’t average products. They actually work, and they last for a long time. For example, I use the C-Firma every day now, and it lasts me about five months. I didn’t just buy every product they have overnight either (I still don’t have everything), you need to work up to it. I started slowly working their products into my routine and replacing my lotions, face washes, etc. with Drunk Elephant when they would run out. This helped make the cost more reasonable for me.
If it’s not already obvious, I am obsessed with this brand and how they’re changing the skincare game. However, I still use other skincare brands and products in addition to my Drunk Elephant routine, but I’ll save that for another post.