This is potentially the most ‘back and forth’ review I’ve ever written. Please persevere and read it through before you comment either way.
Describe the brand in three words.
‘Clean Clinical’. American.
What kind of eye concern does it claim to help?
‘rich and restorative, featuring a brightening combination of eight peptides, five forms of vitamin C and cucumber extract for firmer, stronger-looking skin around the eye area’
What’s in it?
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ceteareth-6 Olivate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Linoleic Acid, Phospholipids, Ceramide NP, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Ceramide EOP, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutyroyl Hydroxythreonine, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminohydroxybutyrate, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ubiquinone, Superoxide Dismutase, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Phytic Acid, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Thioctic Acid, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Mica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Titanium Dioxide, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Dextran Sulfate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Steareth-20, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin
The main ingredients highlighted are: a ‘power 5c vitamin complex’ which is five forms of vitamin c, apparently designed to work together to brighten, firm and help prevent damage from free radicals and eight peptides to help with the lines and wrinkles.
What’s not in it?
From the Drunk Elephant website:
Animal Fats/Oils/Musks, Benzalkonium Chloride, Benzophenone, Bisphenol A (BPA), Butoxyethanol, BHA, BHT, Chemical Sunscreens, Coal Tar Dyes, -Cones, Detergent, Essential Oils, Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA), Formaldehyde, Fragrance, Hydroquinone, Liquid Petrolatum, Methyl Cellosolve, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mercury, Mercury Compounds, Mineral Oil, Oxybenzone, Parabens, Paraffin Oil, Phthalates, Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs), Resorcinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Siloxanes, Sulfates, Thimerosal, Toluene, Triclosan, Triclocarban
How does it smell?
Possibly acne/allergy ingredients?
Yes, despite DE’s ‘suspicious six’ stance, it is of course, possible to be allergic to anything. If you are intolerant to soy for example, this is not for you. And therein lies one of the challenges currently facing Drunk Elephant and brands like them in the ‘clean’ arena.
On their website, they state: ‘You won’t find what we call “the suspicious 6” of any kind in our products (1. silicones, 2. chemical screens, 3. sensitizing colorants/perfumes, 4. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) 5. essential oils, 6. drying alcohols), making them appropriate for every skin type.’
This is problematic. It is entirely possible for any skin to have a problem with any ingredient.
Suitable for pregnancy/breastfeeding?
Natural? Organic? Man-made? Vegan?
Natural and man-made.
Sustainability? (Micro plastics/fair trade/eco-conscious)
Drunk Elephant are big on ethical thinking, but there are no specific fair trade etc claims related to this product at time of writing.
Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?
How do you use it?
The brand suggest a full pump, I think half a pump is more than enough personally, and I have a pumpkin head.
Where does it sit in your routine?
I would always apply eye cream immediately after spritz/essence/toner and before serum.
Best for winter or summer?
How long did I test it for?
I’ve been through two bottles since March.
Works well with/suggested combinations?
DE suggest mixing it with their other eye cream, the Shaba Complex. This again, is problematic on multiple levels: 1, it sends the message that one eye cream isn’t enough and that this one will not meet all your needs 2, it suggests that C-Tango isn’t hydrating enough – which it is. 3, encouraging your customers to buy two eye products when they cost $64 and $60 respectively, to my mind, makes no business sense.
Surely, it’s better to say ‘if you are XX age with XX problems, use C-Tango, if you are XX with XX, you need Shaba.’?
When should you avoid this product?
No reason to avoid. It’s a great eye cream.
Will you ‘see’ results or does it work behind the scenes?
Both. It gives immediate gratification, is hydrating and brightening and fine lines are certainly diminished with use.
How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$64.00 for 15ml. This is by no means exclusive to DE, but the generalised sizing of eye creams across the industry is frustrating. Who decided they should all be 15ml? At least make them 30ml no?
What’s good about it?
I love this eye cream. When I recorded this video with Tiffany earlier in the year, she gave me an early sample bottle that she was using at the time. (She had also given one to Steph, who doesn’t usually like or use eye creams, but who loved this as much as I did.)
It’s a beautiful consistency, it absorbs extremely well, it immediately hydrates and soothes the area, and it definitely helps to brighten the eye area. It was perfectly comfortable for me to use, even with hayfevered-up, sore eyes.
As with all their products, the packaging is great.
I have since bought and used another bottle and will repurchase this when I’m in the US or when they launch here in the UK, whichever happens first.
It’s in my Top 5 eye creams. It’s honestly great.
What’s not so good about it?
Aside from the generic 15ml size, which is hardly Drunk Elephant’s sole responsibility, with the eye cream itself, nothing.
The ‘not so good’ concerns the claims made on Drunk Elephant’s website and across their social communication. I fully recognise that it hits the spot in the US, who are fully in the midst of a ‘paraben=bad, toxic ingredients cause cancer’ frenzy that sadly shows no signs of abating. However, when they transition to the UK, I sense they will be challenged much more frequently by the always-more-sceptical Brits, where the ‘toxic-free’ brigade are always seen with a much more discerning eye.
- For a brand that coined their own term for their brand ‘clean clinical’, there appear to be no actual clinical trials on any products. If there are, they aren’t clear on either the packaging or the website.
- Similarly, Drunk Elephant are proof that the word ‘clean’ is essentially open to the interpretation of the consumer because there are a lot of clean brands on the market that would choke on their kale before they included 78 – yes seventy-eight ingredients in a product, never mind one that goes on the eye. And as an aside, 60 of them are at levels higher than 1%. If I had Drunk Elephant’s money and an eye cream with 78 ingredients in it, I would happily put it to clinical trials and in vivo testing. There’s also a section entitled ‘Less is More’ on the website. Erm..
- Claiming that your skincare products do not contain ingredients like formaldehyde or mercury is lip service. Relax. You’re not going to find formaldehyde in your serum or mercury in your moisturiser. It’s akin to stating ‘there are no raspberries in this tinned tuna’.
- The Blacklist Page https://www.drunkelephant.com/pages/de-blacklist uses phrases like ‘Chemical sunscreens have ingredients that actually promote cancer.’
- Words such as ‘toxin’, ‘toxic’ and ‘cancer’ are used so frequently that it becomes less about giving information and more about scare-mongering, even if that is genuinely not their intention. ‘Inhibited fetal brain development’ is a scare tactic that belongs on the EWG website, not on a customer-facing website from a brand selling skincare. Please stop trying to freak out pregnant and breastfeeding women. It’s an extra worry they don’t need.
Would I purchase/repurchase?
Do you need it?
Depends on your eye area. If it is an area of concern, yes, check it out.
Do you need this if you are young? (I.e. preventative)
No, but as always, if your lifestyle dictates (smoker/boozer/sugar lover), then yes.
Is it worth the price?
It’s $64.00. If that doesn’t make you choke, then yes. Price is relevant to the buyer. If you need to credit card it, then no. If you’re older, and your eyes are a concern, and you need to save for it, you may still find it worth it.
Hype scale 1-10?
10. Drunk Elephant, along with maybe one or two others, is perhaps ‘the’ most talked-about, promoted (via Sephora) and celeb-endorsed brand around at the moment.
What’s the website like?
Herein lies the problem. The website is great. Four clicks to buy. Easy to manoeuvre. Clear accessible information. The problem is within the information given therein. See ‘What’s not so good about it?’ section.
How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
Pretty much their own website and Sephora.
Great product, that I use and recommend. As is most of the Drunk Elephant range.
I have met and filmed with Tiffany and found her to be genuine, likeable and with the best personal intentions for her brand.
Maybe consider toning down the ‘toxin-free’ rhetoric? The products are good enough to stand on their own. I think it’s possible to get your point across without using the phrase ‘a possible neurotoxin, developmental toxin, and cause of DNA mutations that could lead to cancer’ on your website.
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is $64.00 and available from Sephora.com