OK, Let's Talk About Drunk Elephant's New Protini Powerpeptide Serum

Victoria Warnken/Elite Daily

With thousands of beauty brands crowding virtual shelves and influencers touting a new product every day, how do you decide what's actually worth a shot? You leave the trial and error to the pros. In Elite Daily's new beauty review series, What's The Deal With..., we'll sift through and test the buzziest products to give you an honest, no-bullsh*t look at how it works IRL, from the price and packaging all the way to the actual results. From there, you can decide which ones deserve a coveted spot in your beauty arsenal.

I don't think there's a person in this world who loves Drunk Elephant's Protini Polypeptide Cream as much as I love it. I know this because my loving girlfriend asked to borrow some moisturizer once. All I had with me at the time was my beloved Polypeptide Cream, and it took everything in me to let her use a dime-sized amount of it. That said, I had extremely high expectations when Drunk Elephant dropped its new Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum. The new product was naturally inspired by the original moisturizer, and being the serum snob that I am, a Drunk Elephant Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum review ensued the minute it hit my doorstep.

Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum ($82, Drunk Elephant) came in hot to the market with an impressive résumé. Suitable for day and night use, the serum is composed of 10% lactic acid for light exfoliation and delivers a solid dose of good-for-your-skin peptides and amino acids. The result is an overall brighter complexion and more even skin texture over time, minus the irritating effects that can come with harsher ingredients. To lessen any harshness, the serum delivers a surge of moisture with the help of snow mushroom extract and sodium hyaluronate, while ingredients like tocotrienols (a type of vitamin E), squalane, green tea seed oil, and marula oil help soothe the skin and protect it from environmental aggressors. Overall, the serum and its ingredients — like all of Drunk Elephant's products — are formulated to work with one another and maintain a safe, optimal pH level for your skin.

We can talk science all day, but let's get to the nitty gritty: Does the Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum actually hold up IRL? Here's how I scored it in the following areas:

Victoria Warnken/Elite Daily

She's whipped, you guys. I'm going to be completely straight up here: I don't want to spend $82 on a serum. I don't think anyone truly does. But if you've got the cash to spend, this serum is it. From pump to application, the serum and its consistency were dreamy. It easily absorbed into my face without a bunch of effort on my part and felt super creamy and hydrating the entire time. The product, unfortunately, smells more clinical and less like rainbows and butterflies, but at least you know the product isn't loaded with artificial fragrances.

This serum is packaged in the same way all of Drunk Elephant's are: with a twist top that twists the pump nozzle up when you need to use it and tucks it away when you're done. It's no small consideration when you think about the fact that this keeps the product mostly free of any outside bacteria finding its way in and keeps any product from potentially leaking out.

Lesser aspects aside, the product works incredibly well, at least for my dry, sensitive skin. In the before-and-after comparison below, you'll notice increased texture, redness, dullness, and enlarged pores on the left. In the after photo on the right, you'll see my overall smoother skin texture and brighter complexion after just a few uses, and I'm eager to see what the difference might be after several months of use.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Are there equally effective serums on the market for less money? Yes. Are there less effective serums on the market for much more money? Also yes. If you feel comfortable with the price, and you're looking to invest in a serum that packs a hydrating, resurfacing, radiance-boosting punch, shop the Drunk Elephant Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum below:

We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.