As far as serums go, Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a cult-favorite among beauty editors, bloggers, and skin care experts. It utilizes 12 percent AHA/BHA in the form of a gel to chemically exfoliate and resurface your skin — the result being a smoother, clearer complexion that looks brighter and more even in terms of tone and texture. It also helps unclog your pores, which can make them appear smaller. The problem? At $90, not everyone can afford it. That's why the internet is obsessed with finding the best Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum dupes. And lucky for you, I've researched (and compiled below) the three best out there.
One of the most important things to look for when searching for a Drunk Elephant dupe is a mix of AHAs and BHAs. This is because, when combined, these two acids become a powerhouse of an exfoliator. AHAs help to loosen dead cells on the top layer of skin and shed them, which allows BHAs to deeply penetrate and exfoliate your pores. And while these two acids will work fine on their own, the combination is, in part, what makes Drunk Elephant's serum so effective.
So after scouring Reddit, beauty blogs, and going down quite the research rabbit hole, I've rounded up the four best Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos dupes below. And while Drunk Elephant's glycolic acid serum is an investment-worthy product for those you can afford it, if you can't then these formulas can still work like magic for your skin — and are very easy on the wallet.
1. The Best Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Dupe In Peel Form
The Ordinary's Peeling Solution has an even higher concentration of acids than Drunk Elephant's glycolic serum — 20 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA, to be precise. Instead of being an overnight serum, however, it's a 10-minute peel treatment that you rinse off before moisturizing, leaving you with clearer, softer skin. Amazon reviewers say that using it is like "a religious experience," and that in just three weeks, they see a complete improvement in their uneven skin tone and overall texture. It's free of sulfates and most other common irritants, and is vegan and cruelty-free, too. Use it no more than twice a week — this stuff can be seriously intense, especially if your skin is on the sensitive side.
2. Another Great Peel From A K-Beauty Brand
Another great dupe for Drunk Elephant's glycolic night serum is this peeling gel from Korean beauty brand theSaem. It contains both AHAs and BHAs and a whole host of other botanical ingredients, like kombucha, interestingly enough, to even out skin tone, unclog pores, and improve overall elasticity. It also contains a unique technology called Hatching EX, which is what the brand relies on to shed dead skin cells and retexturize uneven skin. Leave it on for one to two minutes, then rinse — just like with the Ordinary's peel, you should only use this once or twice a week. Fair warning, though: it does contain fragrance (albeit at the very end of its ingredients list), so reaction-prone skin types should probably steer clear of this stuff.
3. Best Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Dupe In Cream Form
SkinMedica's AHA/BHA Cream isn't quite as inexpensive as some of the dupes on this list — but it's still half the price of Drunk Elephant's serum, which is significant. Plus, SkinMedica is a derm-developed, science-backed brand that makes some of the most advanced beauty products out there. This particular moisturizer contains a cocktail of AHAs (lactic, citric, malic, and glycolic acids) as well as salicylic acid, a BHA, to shed dead skin and unclog pores. The formula also contains panthenol, glycerin, and vitamin E to moisturize skin and protect it from environmental damage, so dry skin types can enjoy this, too. Because it's a well-rounded-out cream and not such an intense peel, you can use it once or twice daily. Within days, your skin will be smooth and glowing.
4. Best Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Dupe In Pad Form
If you're looking to get your AHA/BHA mix in a physically exfoliating form, try these pads from Replenix. The textured pads are drenched in salicylic and glycolic acid, so they're technically both a chemical exfoliator and a physical exfoliator. They also contain witch hazel, which is a powerful toner that helps control oil production. Use them right after washing your face — don't worry about rinsing after. Just continue to apply the rest of your skin care products as usual, and definitely don't skimp out on moisturizer since they can be drying. Feel free to use them on your chest and back to control body breakouts, too.
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