A-Passioni Retinol Cream
Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Cream is the brand’s first foray into retinol products due to their founder’s admitted fear and confusion about the many myths surrounding this ingredient. We’re thrilled she’s come around to this research-backed ingredient and has succeeded in formulating a top-notch retinol cream for all skin types.
Housed in an opaque tube with a twist-off cap that protects its delicate ingredients from light and air exposure, this lightweight, fragrance-free gel-cream applies both smoothly and evenly. It absorbs quickly into skin with no tackiness or sticky feeling and works well both over and under other skin care products. You can also mix this with other leave-on, non-SPF-rated products if you prefer this approach.
As advertised, the star of the show ingredient-wise is 1% retinol, which has more than 40 years of research backing its ability to combat fine lines, wrinkles, breakouts, and sun damage, meaning this product can make good on its claims of giving skin a younger appearance.
Along with retinol is Drunk Elephant’s usual mix of beneficial ingredients, among them antioxidants and antioxidant-rich plant extracts (such as broccoli), nourishing non-fragrant plant oils (including the passionfruit oil that helps give this product its name), and skin-restoring peptides. This all adds up to a somewhat pricey, but multi-faceted product that will help skin look and feel younger, and become better able to resist future signs of aging as well.
One note: Because 1% retinol is a potent amount, Drunk Elephant cautions that you should start out using this occasionally to see how your skin responds, then increase the frequency of use if you see positive results, which is true for all retinol products of this strength.
Last, we wanted to mention that the brand’s claim of using vegan retinol is something most retinol products can claim. The vast majority of retinol is synthetic (made in a lab) and qualifies as vegan because it isn’t derived in whole or part from any animal.
- Contains 1% research-proven retinol to fight wrinkles.
- Includes antioxidants and antioxidant-rich plant extracts.
- Contains non-fragrant plant oils and peptides.
- Opaque tube packaging helps keep its delicate ingredients stable.
- Fragrance free.
- On the pricey side.
Retinol reimagined. A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream is a clean, cutting-edge formula that combines 1.0% vegan retinol with nourishing, superfood-rich ingredients to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles and sun damage revealing a vibrant, younger-looking complexion.
Drunk Elephant At-A-Glance
Drunk Elephant, based out of Los Angeles, California, was started in 2012 by former skincare executive Tiffany Masterson. As their website describes, Masterson developed the brand out of a desire to create natural-themed formulas that were truly effective. Beyond effectiveness, Masterson wanted to leave out what wasnt effective - primarily fragrance. We concur, because fragrance isn't skincare.
We were pleasantly surprised by this stance, as in our experience, the inclusion of an abundance of fragrance is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong, along with using too few beneficial ingredients or formulas. Fragrance, whether from essential oils or synthetic perfumes, is never helpful for skin because over the long term, it can cause damage that holds any skin type back from being its healthy best.
As for the brands unconventional name, Drunk Elephant is in reference to anecdotes that African wildlife, including elephants, partake on the fallen, fermented fruit of the marula tree, an indulgence that leads to intoxication.
Drunk Elephant avoids using ingredients like non-mineral sunscreen actives, silicones, and parabens, even though countless studies have indicated these ingredients are safe (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2013 and Skin Therapy Letters, 2013). Regardless, were just happy that the line has made it a focal point to use what research has been shown improves skin concerns like sun damage, breakouts and signs of aging, and leave out everything else. They're also using some novel yet potentially exciting ingredients in many of their formulas.
Drunk Elephant line is a small line, but tends to make each product count, or at least puts an unconventional twist on the norm. Overall, we came away impressed with most of its products and (usually) smart packaging.
Many of the formulas include the ingredient marula oil, which is an ingredient the brand favors due to the fact it contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, calming agents, and antioxidants (Journal of Food Lipids, 2004 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2014). It's a good ingredient, but there are many excellent non-fragrant plant oils, including coconut, jojoba, sunflower, and more, of which have similar benefits, meaning marula oil isn't the best out there, just one good oil among many.
Though the price tags are absolutely on the higher end, if you decide to to splurge on some key items, this is a good line to do so!
For more information, visit the brand at www.drunkelephant.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.