Beauty review: Drunk Elephant A-Gloei Maretinol Oil

When a natural skincare brand gets major props on the notoriously thorough – and tough! - Paula’s Choice Beautypedia website, you know it’s gotta be good. Welcome to the world of Drunk Elephant, a brand available in New Zealand at Mecca that I was totally in love with from the get-go.
Based out of Los Angeles, California, Drunk Elephant was founded back 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 and high performance. From the get-go Masterson was emphatic that they leave out that which wasn’t effective – primarily added fragrance. The inclusion of a plethora of exotic fragrances is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong, leaving many potential customers with major irritation to their already-sensitive skin. Fragrance, be it from essential oils or synthetics, has even been found to cause damage in some skin types. Happily, Drunk Elephant are one step ahead with their innovative, fragrance-free products.
As for the brand’s super cute name, it actually makes reference to anecdotes about African elephants, beautiful, big beasts who love to snack on the fermented fruit of the marula tree. It’s an indulgence that leads to well, a little tipsiness, as once eaten, fermentation occurs inside their very large tummies and the elephants become drunk. One only hopes the hangover isn’t as great as their size!

The Drunk Elephant line is a small but beautifully curated one, and it makes each product count. All of the clever packaging keeps the ingredients inside protected, and many of the formulas include the aforementioned ingredient Marula oil, which contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants. Drunk Elephant's Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil has been on high rotate in my house for years, due its abilities as a marvellous multitasker and its general awesomeness. It’s actually a very straightforward beauty product, in that it contains just a single ingredient: Marula oil. Marula oil is an excellent ingredient for skin, and thanks to the aforementioned great packaging that keeps it stable, the formula is a winner. But what happens when you add a vegan retinol to Marula, for a little extra smin-loving boost? You get the brand’s A-Gloei Maretinol Oil, which I have started using and yes, adore.
I’m the first person to admit that high-strength retinol serums are intimidating. My skin is both dry and sensitive, so when it comes to retinol, I've long been cautioned to take it slow and build up my tolerance. So I tried that in the past, but honestly the fall out often far outweighed the benefits, apart from with a few gentle formulas. A-Gloei is certainly that and a lot more, with vegan retinol, virgin marula oil, and ceramides to refine skin’s texture and minimise the appearance of lines, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and sun damage while locking in moisture and restoring that always-elusive healthy glow.

And about the name? The 'A' stands for vitamin A, to indicate retinol, which Drunk Elephant fans will recognise from the label's existing retinol cream, A-Passioni, which is a twice as strong at a 1 per cent retinol concentration. The 'Gloei' is a nod to the brand's proprietary Marula oil. The 'Gloei' actually means 'Glow' in Afrikaans, which speaks to the Marula oil in the formula, which is sourced from Namibia. Masterson has said that 'Maretinol' “is like naming a celebrity couple: Marula plus retinol gives you Maretinol". Cute!
When using it, the hybrid retinol-oil looks and feels almost identical to the Virgin Marula Oil, which makes sense because it makes up 95 per cent of the formula. The difference is made up in the other 5 per cent: half a percent concentration of bioavailable retinol, and the 4.5 per cent concentration left over is made up of the aforementioned barrier-strengthening ceramides. You can use it morning or night - just 2-3 drops massage onto to a clean, dry face – and you can also mix it with any moisturiser or serum for a bit of a skincare "smoothie".
So far it’s been almost a three weeks of consistent nightly use of this baby for me, and yep, my skin is loving it – even through the humidity and mask use. It also has had zero signs of irritation or rosacea flares, which gets big tick from me.

Drunk Elephant A-Gloei Maretinol Oil is available now, and gets a big tick from me.


Popular Posts