I know, I know, there are Drunk Elephant skincare dupes out there — if there are Bum Bum Cream dupes and Good Genes dupes, then there are dupes for anything, right? — but I’m always hesitant to try them. What if they don’t work as well? My wallet isn’t always the thickest right before my paycheck hits, but price = quality, right?
But you can only spend so much before you wonder, “what else is out there… and for a fraction of the price?”
So, I did a hunt for Drunk Elephant dupes, products to replace the more expensive skincare options on the OG’s site. Here are the options I found that will give you the skin you’re looking for – without breaking the bank on days you just can’t afford to buy the entire shelf at Ulta. (Tempting, but not today, bb.)
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Let’s start with why peptides are such a Big Deal: they’re amino acids that are building blocks for chains like collagen and elastin, keeping your skin from sagging.
Drunk Elephant uses a blend of 11 peptides to firm and add bounce, as well as antioxidant-rich ingredients like snow mushroom extract, sodium PCA, and tocotrienols (which are part of the vitamin E family, known for protecting and repairing skin).
Enter: Peach & Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum, which uses a proprietary blend of peptides to encourage collagen production and smooth out those fine lines. It also uses a proprietary blend of hyaluronic acid molecules, supposedly locking in hydration and plumping up skin more than the usual hyaluronic acid molecule does.
Unlike Drunk Elephant, this dupe uses an ingredient derived from mushroom, rather than mushroom itself: madecassoide, which helps bring dull skin back to life.
Finally, for an extra burst of antioxidants and vitamins, Peach & Lily incorporates peach and Asian mountain yam extracts to firm up and fortify your face.
If you’re looking for a moisturizer rather than a serum, Protini Polypeptide Cream may sound like the only option.
Using peptides again, plus pygmy waterlily stem cell extract to calm, soybean folic acid ferment extract for vitamin B – which helps protect from sun damage – and acetyl glutamine for amino acids, it’s pretty good.
But Paula’s Choice goes straight to the source with amino acids and ceramides, giving your skin’s barrier the added protection it needs without requiring extra ingredients. And a bonus for the barrier: omegas 3, 6, and 9 are in the formula, which help retain moisture.
Glycerin and sodium hyaluronate mingle with the omegas for ultimate hydration in the Drunk Elephant dupe, too. And at the same time, a variety of oils — including chia seed, olive, passion fruit seed, and flaxseed (filled with vitamin B) — come in to nourish, soften, protect, and smooth skin.
So, yeah, Drunk Elephant’s product does a lot. But why would you settle for less, hm?
Ah, The Ordinary. Stupidly affordable, stupidly effective.
Since they use such scientific language on their site, I’m gonna simplify it here for you. Drunk Elephant’s TLC Sukari Babyfacial Mask is an acid-based facial, with both AHAs and a BHA. This basically renews your skin, which sounds irritating… but Drunk Elephant adds in cactus extract, virgin marula oil, and passionfruit seed oil to fight back against it.
In The Ordinary’s AHA/BHA Exfoliator, acids combine to renew and rejuvenate. The Ordinary, however, uses Tasmanian pepperberry and vitamin B5 for soothing. The result is the same, but you’ll spend $72 less at Ulta – and that’s a total win, in our opinion.
A-Gloei is pretty damn expensive for its one ounce, but the magic it performs? Priceless… kind of. Why spend $72 when you can spend less than $40 for the same magic?
La Roche Posay’s Retinol Face Serum, like Drunk Elephant’s A-Gloei, has retinol in it (pure and gradual release) to exfoliate skin and clear up imperfections like uneven skin tone and texture.
While A-Gloei is filled with ceramides, however, the Retinol Face Serum is bursting with B3 and hyaluronic acid. The result: locked in moisture, total hydration, softening and smoothing, and only $39.99 out of your bank account, not $72.
Smile at that – without worrying about those smile lines.
As fall rolls around, I know many will be missing the glow that summer gave them. But you can have it in fall, I promise!
Drunk Elephant’s Sunshine Drops are special because they have antioxidants galore – including in peptides, which help with signs of aging by encouraging collagen production. Throw in some chronocyclin to mimic that sun, and it’s a bronzing solution that can’t be beaten… lol, yes it can be.
Don’t freak over the lack of peptides – Milk’s Bionic Bronzer uses vegan plant-derived collagen to help with elasticity and anti-aging. And peptides ENCOURAGE collagen production, the ingredient that’s actually PRESENT here, so… do with that what you will.
The Drunk Elephant bronzer dupe has vitamin D – which the OG “mimics” – though both contain a healthy dose of vitamin E to repair and protect.
Where Milk rises to the top: the Bionic Bronzer utilizes tremella and reishi mushroom extracts to hydrate skin with hyaluronic acid, so you’re protecting yourself, bronzing, and glowing from hydration for $30.
Drunk Elephant uses virgin marula oil like it’s a sacred resource that will disappear at any given second (will it? Fact check me pls). And yeah, it’s a great ingredient, helping with fine lines and wrinkles, as well as protecting from environmental stressors.
But it’s $68 for 0.5 oz., which is… kinda ridiculous, tbh.
Glow Recipe’s Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer is — yep, gonna say it — even better, and it doesn’t even use marula oil. Nope, I’m not cheating!
Instead, your skin will enjoy the fountain of youth thanks to a strong peptide (collagen building blocks, once again), a combination of hydrating squalane and jojoba and moringa seed oils, and hyaluronic acid to lock in all of that moisture.
Unique ingredients to Glow Recipe’s moisturizer include plum and ice willowherb, which brighten, hydrate, and balance skin out. Say hello to hydration and anti-aging for less than two-thirds of the price.
Moon Juice comes to the rescue if you’re looking for affordable skincare that actually works.
TLC is filled with ingredients such as AHAs for exfoliation, salicylic acid for unclogging, raspberry fruit extract for its antioxidants, galactoarabinan (a polysaccharide) to help with fine lines, and Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture to help with photodamage. But at $90, it’s a major splurge for only 1 oz.
Moon Juice offers their Acid Potion, a steal at half the cost as the OG. With AHAs paired with salicylic acid for total exfoliation and reduction of fine lines, your skin will be rid of dead skin cells and ready to glow. Niacinamide — a form of anti-radical vitamin B — as well as clary oil and honeysuckle extract come in to soothe skin from the exfoliation; with the balancing properties of reishi, you don’t have to fret about irritation.
Also containing vitamin E and tocotrienols to protect and repair from damage, plus glycerin and allantoin to hydrate, you have a dupe worthy of bragging about.
Is your skin thirsty? Begging for hydration? It’s tempting to spend the $48 on Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Serum, I know – it’s not that much! But I’m here to tell you that you can do better than that, bb.
Cocokind uses ceramides to retain any moisture your skin can get, which also protect your skin from toxin-filled bacteria. At the same time, squalane and banana extract moisturize.
It’s basically the same thing as Drunk Elephant’s formula, which includes comparable pineapple ceramide (no plural, notice that?), as well as hydrating sodium hyaluronate and Pro-vitamin B5 for skin barrier protection. But, you know, cheaper.
I’m gonna say it just one more time: peptides are amino acid building blocks for elastin and collagen, stopping sagging in its tracks.
You may think that you’ll only find copper peptides and stem cells in Drunk Elephant’s product – after all, what the hell are those? But Derma E offers copper peptides AND plant stem cells in their eye lifting treatment, too.
There’s also a healthy dose of kakadu plum for texture and elasticity in Derma E’s option, which is comparable to Drunk Elephant’s niacinamide.
The Eye Lifting Treatment has plenty of fruit extracts for healthy nutrient contributions as well, so you’re not missing out on Drunk Elephant’s bioflavonoid derivative, aka Hesperidin Methyl Chalcon.
Wake up, buttercup! It’s time to seize the day and get that glow on. But can you really seize the day when you’ve just paid $78 for less than one ounce of serum? Debatable.
If you can’t stomach that, I recommend Winky Lux’s Orange You Bright Vitamin C Brightening Serum.
The Potent Vitamin Complex, aka l-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid, and vitamin E, is what Drunk Elephant relies on in its C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, while its dupe runs with jeju guava extract, which is filled with antioxidants and helps fight aging as well as environmental aggressors.
And where Winky Lux really takes off: the incorporation of peptides, which help aid collagen production and complement skin elasticity.
Sorry, Drunk Elephant – I’ll take a dupe who does more any day.
A retinol cream is important, but you need something soothing, too… like vitamin F, aka linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, to help with resulting sensitivity and texture.
Winter cherry juice has the most carotenoids out there, protecting you from free radicals; passionfruit, apricot, and jojoba oils are soothing. Tbh, Drunk Elephant is kind of showing off with these ingredients.
But the classic Burt’s Bees does just as awesome a job with its Vitamin C + E + F Serum, featuring, you guessed it: vitamins F, and E, and C.
Who needs winter cherry juice when you have straight vitamin E with an assist from lotus flower extract; passionfruit, jojoba, and apricot oils when you have safflower and sunflower oils; and then — as an added bonus — vitamin C for brightening and erasing fine lines and wrinkles?
On top of that, the dupe has chamomile for soothing and fighting inflammation – so all of that vitamin C is chilled out with the rest of vitamin F. Talk about a skin-loving serum… for less than half the price of the original.
I’ve been pulling plenty of all-nighters for QUILL (I love it, don’t worry!) and my eyes look dead. Drunk Elephant combats this with ceramides, antioxidants, and oils in their C-Tango Eye Cream, but the price is just as cute as my hollow eyes.
Aka, not cute.
Thank god for Paula’s Choice, once again, and her C5 Super Boost Vitamin C Eye Cream is filled with peptides to help with elasticity and sagging, like Drunk Elephant’s 8-peptide blend. There’s also an abundance of vitamin C to add glow and radiance to tired eyes, plus zerumbone to target under eye discoloration.
On top of these ingredients, the Drunk Elephant dupe has hyaluronic acid to fight fine lines while locking in moisture, shea butter to nourish, softening sunflower seed extract, and vitamin E to repair and protect.
Can your Drunk Elephant eye cream do that? Nah, I didn’t think so.
Kopari’s own Moisture Whipped Ceramide Cream is ridiculously similar to Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Cream with Ceramides. And the results you receive are so. freakin’. similar.
You can thank ceramide NP in both for the balancing, soothing, moisture-locking properties; Drunk Elephant also uses ceramides EOP and AP, while Kopari uses vegan ceramides like phytosphingosine. The two incorporate hydrating sodium hyaluronate as well (though Kopari also includes squalane for that bump in moisture).
See, Kopari ran with the concept of a ceramide cream and did it, well… better, including ingredients like coconut fruit extract for vitamin B; watermelon seed oil for antioxidants; vitamin E and jojoba seed oil for the assist in protection and repairing damaged skin; and shea butter, aloe, and baobab for nourishing and soothing irritated skin.
If you’re super into vegan formulas and want a multi-faceted product with a pleasing texture for less than $55+, Kopari has you covered — and well.
It sounds weird, yeah – a Fermented Sake Spray? But it’s good for your skin’s microbiome, I swear!
Still, if pouring hemp-based hops extract and kombucha on top of sake just doesn’t sound delicious, then turn to Skinfood’s Drunk Elephant dupe. It’s also filled with good nutrients, starting with sake, but following with more “normal” ingredients for nutrients.
For example: peach fruit extract is filled with organic acids, vitamins A and C, and pectin (which evens out discoloration); licorice root extract helps brighten dark spots; and centella asiatica extract soothes and irons out lumps and bumps.
And just to reiterate: you won’t smell like sake after rubbing Skinfood into your skin. Sake DOES protect your microbiome thanks to its peptides and sebum control, so don’t ditch it simply for the name, okay? Especially when you have peach and licorice root surrounding it.
So, what’ll it be: $42, or $16? Ya gotta wonder.
Do you ever look at a product and go, “wow, I wish I could have that but cheaper?” Yeah, me too… but not with Drunk Elephant, because their dupes are just as good.
For example, the name brand’s SPF 30 sunscreen comes with ingredients to neutralize free radicals and fight environmental stressors and oxidative damage, like sunflower shoot extract, astaxanthin-rich algae extract, and raspberry seed oil.
Kinship’s Self Reflect Probiotic SPF 32 said “oh, please, that’s nothing.” Non nano zinc oxide is reef-safe, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fight UV rays like a knight in shining armor. Turmeric also plays a huge role, providing antioxidants to soothe and protect sensitive skin from free radicals.
But it’s Kinship’s Kinbiome that makes it special. The proprietary plant-based probiotic protects the skin’s barrier and helps to keep skin clear. The variety of fruit extracts help provide extra antioxidants, vitamins, and light exfoliation, so free radicals are banished and skin is left radiant — but not red, thanks to soothing aloe.
So, before you pick up another tube of Umbra, take a glance at Kinship, okay? I know the price tag doesn’t seem that different, but when you’re getting all you are from Self Reflect, it’s best to ~self reflect~ you know?
The Ceramighty AF Eye Balm is new from Drunk Elephant, and we have the perfect dupe for it.
But first, the low-down: Ceramighty uses ceramides, vitamin F, and omegas to give your eyes a rejuvenating boost, soothing eyes that have seen too many all-nighters. But at $60 for half an ounce… yikes.
Invest in Paula’s Choice’s Eye Cream instead, which has ceramides and peptides to help with tired, looser skin. Throw in hydrating glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, vitamin C to fight dark circles and brighten under-eyes, a little retinol to clear out the old and bring in the new skin cells, and pomegranate and licorice extracts to counteract redness, and you have eyes that look like they slept for more than eight hours.
Wash off without drying your skin out. Drunk Elephant’s Pekee Cleansing Bar coddles your skin while cleaning and fights aging, using ingredients like honey to soothe and nourish, blueberry extract to stop glycation (the process that causes visible aging), and marula oil (of course).
CeraVe’s Foaming Cleanser Bar is also soap-less, but it’ll still keep you clean and give you benefits that can’t be denied. For example, hyaluronic acid fights fine lines and plumps skin, while niacinamide calms the skin following a sebum-sucking sesh from the kaolin clay.
But CeraVe didn’t come to f*ck around. The bar also includes three ceramides, giving you anti-aging benefits galore, straight from the source — not extracts or oils that mimic what the body needs.
Again, no soap in either, but one is less than a quarter of the price WITH ceramides? Yeah, you choose.
Okay, so a lip balm that’s $18. Not the first time I’ve heard of it. But for less than 0.5 oz.? Nope, there’s better than that.
Drunk Elephant’s Lippe Balm has ingredients like antioxidant-bulldozer mongongo oil, protective cranberry seed oil, moisturizing avocado oil, and hydrating sea fern algae.
But you can get just as much hydration from Mario Badescu’s Moisturizing Lip Balm, which has a variety of oils and butters — think conditioning cocoa and shea butters, as well as nourishing coconut and sweet almond oils.
But Mario Badescu’s lip balm also contains vitamin E, helping to protect and repair any damage. And then there’s the fact that it contains vitamin F, something y0u won’t find in many products — let alone a lip balm.
Oh, and it’s less money for more product, which is just [insert chef’s kiss here].
Which Drunk Elephant dupe do you swear by? Are you going to try any of these? Tell us below!