Senior Editor | New York City, NY | Contactable via: kat@livekindly.com

Kat has been writing about veganism, environment, and sustainability for five years. Their interests include over-analyzing the various socioeconomic forms of oppression, how that overlaps with veganism, and how the media in all of its forms reflects the current culture.

Launched in 2013, cruelty-free skincare brand Drunk Elephant has captured the attention of beauty experts, brands, and a strong customer following.

What Is Drunk Elephant?

The company, founded by former stay-at-home mom Tiffany Masterson, is one of the fastest-growing skin care brands in the industry. According to Fashionista, this is largely thanks to its philosophy. Masterson is a believer in “clean” beauty, an ethos that’s reflected in Drunk Elephant’s product line-up. Speaking to how the company came to be, Masterson said, “I came up with these criteria: It has to be nontoxic or low-hazard and it has to be bioavailable, meaning able to get into your skin.”

As such, all Drunk Elephant products are formulated without what Masterson deemed the “Suspicious Six,” ingredients that she believed her company could do without: essential oils, silicones, sodium lauryl sulfate aka SLS, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, and fragrances and dyes. When it comes to ingredients, Drunk Elephant goes by the philosophy of “If there’s any DOUBT, it’s OUT.”

“I determined that the six ingredients I wanted to avoid, which I realized were largely there [in competitors’ products] for marketing,” Masterson explained. “Silicones make a product feel better; dyes make a product look better; essential oils and fragrance make a product smell better; SLS is a cleansing agent that penetrates your skin and irritates and strips it.”

She wanted her brand to be as “clean” and non-irritating as possible. She even helped formulate the products herself: “We went through, ingredient by ingredient, and we swapped out a couple that canceled each other out or that did the same thing, but the resulting ingredient decks were very similar to the ones I first wrote down for every product.”

For Masterson, it was a perfect storm of her desire to make a clean beauty brand and evolving consumer shopping habits. Consumer mistrust in companies is on the rise, but for good reason. Last July, Johnson & Johnson was told to pay $4.7 billion to families who claimed that using its talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer.

While “natural” and “clean” beauty are on the rise, Vox points out that the terms are not regulated by the FDA nor the Federal Trade Commission. This means that any company can use the terms for their products and define it as they wish. “Clean” beauty is still finding favor with consumers – it’s a trend that’s been highlighted by Whole Foods Market. People are also becoming concerned over animal ingredients in skincare and makeup, which has helped lead to the rise of vegan beauty, according to The New York Times.

But Drunk Elephant’s ingredients list shows that Masterson takes her all-natural ethos seriously. In addition to being clean, all products are made in the US.

The company has also resonated with customers – Masterson hasn’t done any traditional marketing or influencer partnerships. But, she was able to build her brand to the point where she landed in Sephora – the TLC Sukari Babyfacial was actually one of the store’s top-selling products of 2017.

Is Drunk Elephant Vegan?

Drunk Elephant is a cruelty-free brand, but not all products are vegan. The company uses honey in certain formulas. However, it currently offers 12 products formulated without any animal ingredients.

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant


1. A-Passioni Retinol CreamThe Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol Cream combines vegan retinol with skin-nourishing ingredients like peptides, vitamin F, and plant-based ingredients like passionfruit, apricot, marula and jojoba oils, and kale. This vegan face cream was formulated to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and sun damage while evening your skin tone and texture for a “younger-looking complexion.” It’s free from essential oils, silicones, and fragrance.

Check it out here.

2. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant’s C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream was specially formulated for the sensitive skin around your eyes. This rich, cruelty-free cream features eight peptides, five different kinds of vitamin C and cucumber extract that are said to make skin stronger. According to the company, it’s rich in antioxidants, ceramides and plant oils that restore and refresh appearance. It can be used in the morning or at night. This cruelty-free formula was named editor’s choice by Women’s Health magazine.

Check it out here.

3. Lala Retro Whipped Cream

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

 

Described as a “retro-style moisturizer,” the Lala Retro Whipped Cream is formulated for dull, dry skin. The cream, which has a light, airy texture, is formulated with six African oils that help keep moisture locked in. It contains plantain extract to brighten and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer that hydrates all day long. Like other Drunk Elephant products, it contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, which soothes the skin and fights signs of aging. Although it’s rich, the light airy texture keeps it from feeling heavy on the skin, plus it has a “skin friendly” pH level of 5.5.

This cream is also a three-time consecutive winner of Allure’s Reader’s Choice Awards as well as the 2017 winner of InStyle magazine’s Reader’s Choice Beauty Awards.

Check it out here.

4. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant calls the B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel a “cool glass of water for your thirsty skin.” With a light texture, this gel moisturizer was designed to brighten skintone and improve texture with provitamin B and pineapple ceramide, which helps your skin retain moisture. A blend of watermelon rind, apple, and lentil is said to provide hydration for up to 24 hours. It was designed with molecular size and pH level in mind, resulting in a bio-available moisturizer that keeps your skin looking healthy without irritating it.

Check it out here.

5. Protini Polypeptide Cream

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

With a “breakthrough” formula, Protini Polypeptide Cream contains a proprietary lend of peptides, amino acids, and pygmy waterlily that improves skin tone, texture, and firmness. According to Drunk Elephant, the protein-rich formula reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage – they say it’s like adding a shot of plant-based protein to your smoothie. It’s ideal for all skin types.

This cruelty-free and vegan moisturizer also won the 2018 Healthy Skin Award from Women’s Health and the 2018 Skin Award from Cosmopolitan.

Check it out here.

6. Shaba Complex Eye Serum

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The Shaba Complex Eye Serum is a “satiny” moisturizer made to tackle fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage in the skin’s delicate undereye area. With ingredients like black tea ferment and copper peptides, this vegan eye serum helps smooth skin and is said to slow down the signs of aging. It also contains edelweiss stem cells and niacinamide, which work to reduce wrinkles. The antioxidant-rich ingredient Co-Q10 helps prevent “premature” signs of aging and fades age spots.

Check it out here.

7. Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser gets your skin clean without harsh ingredients. A blend of surfactants and emollients gets rid of makeup, excess oil, dirt, and pollution and leaves skin feeling soft when rinsed away. Free from SLS and essential oils, it’s ideal for all skin types, including sensitive.

This cruelty-free and vegan jelly cleanser was a winner of the 2018 Total Beauty Awards, the 2018 Cosmopolitan Skin Awards, and the 2018 Self Healthy Beauty Awards.

Check it out here.

8. Juju Bar

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The three-in-one Juju Bar cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes your skin without harsh ingredients. This mild vegan soap bar is formulated with thermal mud and bamboo powder, which help create a lather that helps get rid of dirt and oil. It’s also said to minimize the appearance of your pores A superfood blend of acai and goji extracts also help fight the signs of aging while marula oil provides moisture. It’s also fragrance-free and won’t dry your skin out like conventional bar skin.

Check it out here.

9. D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum delivers a bronzed look without the long-term consequences of sun damage. This vegan bronzer is made with a chronopeptide that is said to mimic the antioxidant effects of vitamin D, marula oil, and black currant seeds while vitamin F moisturizes and protects. Antioxidant-rich ingredients like raw cocoa powder and white tea also help protect your skin against environmental stressors like pollution while giving your skin a sun-kissed glow.

According to Drunk Elephant, a little bit goes a long way, so it should be mixed with a serum or moisturizer. It’s free from fragrance, essential oil, and silicones.

Check it out here.

10. T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a 12 percent AHA/BHA moisturizer that helps “refine and resurface” skin for a more radiant complexion while reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. It’s said to help boost the performance of other products. This cruelty-free serum is formulated with a blend of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, and salicylic acids plus raspberry extract to deliver chemical exfoliation without harshness. It also contains horse chestnut and white tea to sooth the skin. While AHAs can be sensitizing, plant extracts help keep it balanced.

This vegan and cruelty-free night serum was a winner of the 2018 Shape Editor Pick, the 2018 Real Simple Road Test, and was the product winner of New Beauty’s Beauty Choice Awards.

Check it out here.

11. T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

The T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is an AHA/BHA, cruelty-free and vegan facial in a bottle. Formulated with every skin type in mind, it’s made from a blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids that gently exfoliate. Antioxidants like matcha, apple, and milk thistle sooth while sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and plant-based oils hydrate and nourish. It also contains chickpea flour, which brightens and balances. Niacinamide aka vitamin B3 fights the signs of aging and passion fruit seed oil combats redness. This hydrating facial is said to brighten and tone while minimizing the appearance of pores and fine lines and leaving your skin feeling baby-soft.

A customer favorite, this was a winner of the 2018 Essence Black Beauty Awards, the 2019 Teen Vogue Acne Awards, was featured in Glamour, and it was named on the Into the Gloss Top 25 list.

Check it out here.

12. Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is a luxury moisturizer made from the antioxidants tocopherol (vitamin E), tocotrienol, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids, plus omegas 6 and 9. Described as being “like rehab for your skin,” this facial oil nourishes your skin to provide a “youthful” glow. The virgin marula oil featured is extracted from the pip of the fruit and is left pure, without fragrance or added ingredients. This quick-absorbing oil helps reverse the skins of aging, redness, and blotchiness while improving elasticity. It’s also naturally anti-microbial and ideal for all skin types.

According to Drunk Elephant, its Virgin Marula Luxury Facial oil is cold-pressed using unheated water extraction, which ensures that the oil stays fresher longer. It’s free from fragrance, essential oils, and silicone.

Check it out here.


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The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant
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The Definitive Guide to All Things Vegan By Drunk Elephant
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Cruelty-free skincare brand Drunk Elephant has 12 vegan beauty products in its line-up, including moisturizing skin care products, cleansers, and masks.
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LIVEKINDLY
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