Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum


Today, we are taking our vitamins with Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. If you’ve been following along, you know that I have been an avid user of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and that I have been looking for an alternative. I think I have found it! In fact, it is better for me in some important ways. Let’s start with how Drink Elephant and Skinceuticals are similar. They both:

  • contain 15% vitamin C and 1% vitamin E combined with ferulic acid to firm, brighten, and smooth skin.
  • neutralize free radicals and penetrate deeply to protect and make sunscreen more effective.
  • are formulated with a low pH, which is required for optimal performance. Many of the articles that I’ve found online state that Skinceuticals has the patent for a pH fo 2.5 to 3. Drunk Elephant’s site states their pH is 3-3.5, low enough to maximize effectiveness without violating the patent.
  • are very light oils that are absorbed quickly and work well under sunscreen/makeup.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is an excellent product–especially in the areas of firming and protecting against sun damage/making sunscreen more effective. (Read the Beautypedia review for more detail here). So what don’t I like? Not much. Other than the price ($162/1 oz), the the alcohol-base–it can be very drying, particularly on skin that isn’t perfectly dry before application. While I never experienced any issues on my face, the skin on my neck couldn’t tolerate it very well. I had to be very careful not to put any there–but sometimes I absent mindedly (that’s a word, right?) did.  This resulted in very dry, scaly patches on the base of my throat that took a week or two to clear up. Here is what is in it: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth 23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

Drunk Elephant Firma-C is better for me in the following ways:

  • Wallet – Let’s start with the practical. This has a similar approach/main ingredients and similar effect, yet it costs half as much, $80/1 oz. It also carried by Sephora, which is convenient especially if you are a VIB and buy it during sales. (I am sure that I am not alone in appreciating the slow increase of greener options at Sephora and really hope they continue to expand their offerings.)
  • Ingredients – I find this formulation to be more gentle and hydrating. It leaves my skin a bit softer–the fermented pumpkin extract exfoliating action, perhaps? Also, I have been applying it to my neck without dry patches or irritation. Here is what’s in it: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydro Curcuminoids, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60.
  • Packaging – This comes with a pump, rather than a dropper bottle. It’s easier and faster to use (and I think I use less this way because one pump is just enough). I only wish there was a window to see when you’re running low.

Drunk Elephant’s mission certainly makes sense: Deliver clinically-effective, clean skincare formulated with both cutting-edge synthetic and natural ingredients; and without the ubiquitous toxins, sensitizers and irritants, such as the disruptive essential oils, that block the pathway to healthy skin. We pay close attention to pH and toxicity levels, as well as formulating with efficacious percentages of active ingredients. Our goal is to teach the consumer that “natural” doesn’t automatically mean good and that every ingredient should directly and only benefit the health of our skin or the safety of the formulation. … The line is small and carefully curated to focus on protecting and improving skin without being overly harsh. I am looking forward to exploring other offerings of theirs soon, after all the VIB sale is coming soon!

I highly recommend trying Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum–even if you aren’t a CE Ferulic devotee looking for a greener or more economic option. I see  this is an critical step in my morning skincare routine every day–especially in spring and summer when I want my sunscreen to do its job as well as possible. But rain or shine, these ingredients offer powerful anti-aging and protection against free radicals that are important and their effects are known to work. So check it out!


Yarok Centric: My Current Hair Care Routine


Since my skin is still recovering from some kind of allergic reaction or something, I have been pretty cautious with skincare products and have been keeping my routine minimal. I thought today, I’d talk hair instead. It’s one of the only areas where I am currently using products from a single brand: Yarok.  Let me start with this for my fellow citrus lovers: Yarok products smell amazing! And I am not talking basic lemon here either. Mandarin, may chang, orange,  ylang ylang, rosemary…they need to make a perfume oil. Like now. Yarok company uses primarily “certified organic” ingredients and is vegan and cruelty-free. It is a pricey line, but as you can see from the ingredients listed for each product, they are crafted with care and quality.

These are described in the order of discovery/purchase. The routine is: cleanse with Feed Your Volume or Feed Your Moisture; condition with Feed Your Ends; detangle with Wet Brush; apply Feed Your Volume and blow dry. I don’t blow dry until my hair is completely dry. I get the front/top dry and then brush it out. I put it in a high ponytail, twist it into a bun, and leave it up while I commute to work. When I let it down, it has a some extra volume.

I started my Yarok fan-girling with their Feed Your Ends Leave-in Conditioner. I love this for light conditioning and heat protection. It doesn’t weigh hair down at all and smells lovely. Yarok sells this in 2, 4 and 8 oz. bottles so you can try it out before committing to the bigger size. I finished one 2 oz. and am working my way though the 8 oz. It’s a definite repurchase. Here is what’s in it: vitamin aqua (water), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Olea europaea (olive) oil, Vitis vinifera (grapeseed) oil, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) oil, Oenothera biennis (primrose) oil, plant sourced kosher vegan xanthan gum & potassium sorbate; essential oils of: Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) & Litsea cubeba (may chang).

I have been washing with Yarok Feed Your Moisture Shampoo for a few weeks now. Like Feed Your Ends, this comes in 3 sizes as well–4, 8.5 and 16 oz. It leaves your hair and scalp very clean and I would recommend it for people who have normal to oily hair. If your hair is dry or chemically treated, this might be too much. My scalp is pretty oily–I never skip washing it on a weekday because I just don’t feel clean. I try to skip a day on the weekend to give my hair a break. With this stuff, I think I could skip a week day. It leaves hair shiny and full. I only wish the delicate citrus scent stuck around because I am obsessed with the way this smells. Here is what’s in it: urified aqua (water), decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, Coco Coco Protein, Ascophyllum (seaweed) extract, herbal infusions of: Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot), Stellaria media (chickweed), Urtica dioica (nettles), Equisetum arvense (horsetail), Ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm), Althaea officinalis (marshmallow root), Symphytum officinale (comfrey root), Calendula officinalis (marigold) blossoms, Chamaemelum nobile (chamomile) flowers & Avena sativa (oatstraw) kernel; Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) C02, Essential oils of: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Cedrus atlantica (atlas cedar), Citrus reticulata (red mandarin), Citrus Sinensis (sweet orange) oil & Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary); Citrus × paradisi (grapefruit) seed extract.

I also recently purchased the Yarok Feed Your Moisture Shampoo. I was feeling like I needed a moisture boost. This summer has been no joke in terms of humidity and sun. I figured it would be good to alternate with something more moisturizing since I shampoo so much. So far, I am really liking it. This shampoo doesn’t produce a ton of lather. Like with Feed Your Volume, I focus my on scalp and roots when washing. I find it to be softening and mild. I am really glad that I got it! I may switch to using this exclusively in the long run. We’ll see. Here is what is in it: Aqua (Vitamin Infused Water), Cocos nucifera (Saponified Coconut), Fair Trade Organic African Black Soap, Argania spinosa L. (Argan oil), Organic oils of Cannabis sativa (Hemp Seed), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba), Vitis vinifera (Grape Seed), Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel, Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose); Achillea millefolium (Organic Yarrow), Organic Guar Gum [aka guaran], Organic herbal extracts of: Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Arctium lappa (Burdock), Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail), Salvia officinalis (Sage), Origanum vulgare (Oregano), Thymus vulgaris (Thyme), Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender), Mentha piperita (Peppermint), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal), Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon), Citrus limonum (Lemon) Peel; Plant-Sourced Kosher Vegan Xanthan Gum and/or Manihot esculenta (Organic yuca starch) and Potassium Sorbate; may contain Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel) extract, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed oil) and acetic acid (vinegar); Organic essential oils of Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange), Citrus aurantium var. amara (Bitter Orange), Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang).

For styling, I have been using Yarok Feed Your Roots mousse. This comes in 2 and 8 oz options. I like this product a lot. I use small amount at the front and crown sections of my hair and it provides a nice lift. I do find that I need to dry that section thoroughly in order not to see or feel the mousse. It is a tad “detectable” (crunchy) when hair is left too damp or if you use too much. Here is what’s in it: distilled vitamin enhanced aqua (water), non-GMO corn or rice extract, organic vegetable glycerol, organic herbal extracts of: Ribes nigrum (black currant) extract, Beta vulgaris (beet root) extract, Kham thai & Vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry); natural plant sourced vitmains B1, B2, B3 & C; organic Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, plant sourced kosher vegan Xanthan gum & Potassium sorbate; organic African black soap, Vitamin A, essential oils of: Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) & Lisea cubeba (may chang)

I also bought a Wet Brush. My Tangle Teezer went missing and I decided to try a detangling brush that has a handle. It’s a bit pricier than the TT, but much sturdier-feeling and the control from having the handle makes detangling faster. Very pleased with this.


Side-eye and morning routines!



Sorry I have been away from the blog. I was feeling run down a couple of weeks ago and then broke out in this weird acne-like rash all over my chest, neck, face and arms. The doctor thought it was contact dermatitis and so I started looking at all of my products with a lot of side-eye. I have been slowly reintroduced my products and so far so good. I really think the rash wasn’t an allergy, but rather my body’s way of letting me know I needed to rest and fight off whatever was making me feel so run down. Anyway, I promise to be back soon!

In the meantime, my morning routine is on No More Dirty Looks! Check it out HEEERRREEE!!!