We all love skincare products that are ethical when it comes to animal cruelty and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Biossance and Drunk Elephant are two skincare companies that approach skincare with a focus on offering sustainability, cruelty-free products with interesting blends of unique ingredients. Let’s take a closer look and see whether they are worth the high price tags.
In this article, I’ll compare products from the Biossance and Drunk Elephant ranges, with a focus on comparing moisturizers and cleansers. I want to show you some of the unique ingredients, how they might benefit your skin type and any concerns we have.
Comparing Biossance and Drunk Elephant Moisturisers
Biossance’s Squalane + Omega Repair Cream and Drunk Elephant’s Protini TM Polypeptide are the brands signature moisturisers. Biossance’s Squalane cream and Drunk elephants protein moisturisers are both alcohol-free, silicon-free, paraben-free, and eu-allergen-free but Biossance Squalane is the cleaner of the 2 products. Meeting all this clean beauty criteria while formulating a cream that’s also effective isn’t easy so it’s nice to see when brands make big strides towards cleaner beauty products.
When you first open the small tub of the Squalane moisturiser there is a light aroma which isn’t perfumed but is an earthy scent from the mixture of natural and plant based ingredients in this formula. the texture of the cream is heavy so you really only need to apply a small amount and massage it into a wider area of your skin than you would with a regular moisturiser. Thick moisturisers always take a little bit of time to adjust to, I’m used to light moisturisers where I need to apply a lot more product to cover my face, but you really can go easy with a small dollop of this moisturiser and it’ll go a long way.
I would recommend the Biossance Squalane cream for dry skin as it’s super thick texture work can be too intense for oily skin, unless used as a night cream or sparingly around your eyes and more delicate facial skin.
In comparison Drunk Elephant’s Protini moisturiser works well with all skin types but is also a better choice if you have combination, dry or sensitive skin. You can also apply it to acne prone skin but if you have very oily skin it could clog your pores, especially if you don’t work it into your skin well. This cream really does take some work to avoid streaking and to soak into your skin.
Biossance’s Squalane + Omega Repair Cream boasts over 26 ingredients, but its leading ingredients are Acai berry sterols (to mimic the skin’s natural cholesterol), hyaluronic acid and squalene for hydration, omega fatty acids, and ceramides.
Squalane is the ingredient that stands out most for me in this formula and is what gives the cream a thick texture. Squalane is an emolient which can help smooth your dry and rough skin. Acai Berry Sterols are also a unique and effective ingredient, they can help to soothe and hydrate your skin. Acai berries are known as super fruits which usually means they are high in antioxidants. However, interestingly, research has shown that the effectiveness of these antioxidants may be reduced depending on the other ingredients it is formulated with and also environmental factors.
With over 58 ingredients, Drunk Elephant’s ProtiniTM Polypeptide moisturizer dwarfs Biossance’s repair creams ingredients list. Its main ingredients are its blend of 7 peptides, Pigmy Waterlily Stem Cell Extract for antioxidants and nutrients, Soybean Folic Acid Ferment Extract to deliver Vitamin B, and Acetyl Glutamine amino acid for strengthening skin cells.
Peptides are the key ingredient for me as they are often used in anti-ageing products, with collagen being one of the most used peptides in the skincare industry.
Biossance’s Squalane + Omega Repair Cream has Linoleic Acid for dry skin, Ceramide NP to reduce redness and reduce the signs of aging and tocopherol to heal and help brighten the skin. This moisturisers works especially well on dry skin because of the rich and hydrating ingredients.
On the other hand Drunk Elephant’s ProtiniTM Polypeptide is also great for dry and ageing skin but the addition of Pygmy waterlily is great for sensitive and red skin because it is very soothing but it can also balance the oils in your skin which is good for more oily skin types, although the overall thicker formula and use of linoleum acid may be too much if you have very oily skin.
Biossance’s Squalane + Omega Repair Cream contains Linoleic which works well to absorb oils in your skin but it also contains Oleic Acid which may worsen oily skin and cause acne because it could clog your pores.
The first thing you need to know is that oleic acid is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. This means it’s a “good” fat, and it’s found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Oleic acid is also the main ingredient in many skincare products, because it’s known to have some pretty amazing benefits for your skin. It can help smooth your skin, reduce inflammation and redness.
So why do some people think that oleic acid is bad for your skin? Well, it all has to do with the types of products that contain oleic acid. Many skin care products, especially those aimed at acne-prone skin, contain high levels of oleic acid. And while this ingredient can be beneficial in small amounts, too much of it can actually lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
This formula also contain Tocopherol which might also irritate sensitive skin by drying out your skin. Tocopherol is a powerful antioxidant and a great addition to any moisturisers in small amounts however if using too much it can dry out your skin. In my opinion this formula does well to moisturise and the mixture of ingredients means Tocopherol is unlikely to try out your skin.
Drunk Elephant’s Protini TM Polypeptide also contains Linoleic Acid and Cetearyl Alcohol so is also best avoided if you have very oily skin.
Let’s take a look at Biossance’s Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil and Drunk Elephant’s Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser, two of the brands most recognisable cleansers. This is. a comparison of an oil based cleanser and a thick butter cleanser which does contain some oils but shows two different approaches to skin cleansing and makeup removal.
Using a cleansing oil such as the Biossance’s Squalane Cleansing Oil works best if you have dry skin because it helps lock in moisture and balance your skins ph levels. I personally enjoy using cleansing oils because they aren’t as intense and don’t strip away natural oils from your skin in the way that more intensive cream or gel cleansers often do.
Surprisingly the Squalane cleansing oil does remove makeup residue, dirt and excess oils, even though it is itself an oil. Oil’s can remove unwanted oils from your skin, contrary to the belief that you need a non-oil based cleanser to remove oils. In some cases you may even have success applying this cleanser to cotton wool and cleansing oily skin. Many ladies with combination, acne prone or oily skin have also had success using this cleansing oil on their faces.
We categorise our skin into different skin type categories but this doesn’t mean only products recommended for those skin types will work best, you can experiment, looking for quality ingredients and a formula you believe in. It may work better than you expect, just be sure to start with a small amount to test it out, you don’t want to apply too much and end up with irritated skin.
In comparison, Drunk Elephant’s Slaii melting butter cleanser is a cleaning balm which contains kiwi and strawberry seed extracts which contain a lot of antioxidants. These extracts aren’t used widely in skincare products but after some research, it seems like they are most widely used in anti-ageing products because they contain fatty acids and antioxidants. Kiwi seed extract contains Linolenic acid which works to hold moisture in your skin. Moisture loss is one of the biggest causes of dry flaky skin and can cause a number of skin conditions and irritations.
Biossance’s Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil does not have any allergens, alcohols to irritate the skin, silicones that are difficult to wash off, sulfates that may damage the skin, potentially toxic parabens, polyethylene glycol, or fragrances. This cleansing oil is a good choice if you have dry skin as the hydrating effect of a cleansing oil is very moisturising and helps moisture stay in your skin.
Drunk Elephant’s Melting butter cleanser is also a very good choice for removing makeup from dry skin. If you don’t like the feel of an oil, this thick formula has a completely different texture and feel on your skin. You really need to work the formula in to remove all your makeup and you can cleanse with both your fingers and a cotton bud, whereas a cotton bud is necessary with the oil cleanser.
The focus of this cleaning butter is to remove make-up without irritating your skin. You can use a regular cleanser after using this to remove make-up. The purpose of this product is to gently remove make-up from your face, not your eyes, without irritating your skin like more intensive alcohol based cleansers might. There is no scent to this product and you’ll find if you only use it for make-up removal it’ll do the job well and leave your skin soft.
You can even use the drunk elephant cleanser to remove your makeup and then cleanse your face again with the Biossance squalene oil if you like. Either way, cleansing should only be the beginning of your cleansing routine. We all love multi-use products but don’t expect a cleanser to moisturise or treat your skin, this isn’t the purpose.
Cleanse and then move on to a moisturiser and begin the rest of your skincare routine. These cleansers are hydrating but shouldn’t be used in replacement of other face care products, they can help hold in oils and keep your skin hydrated, but this isn’t a proper moisturiser, they are gentler alternatives to strong chemical based cleanser that can leave your skin feeling much worse and more irritated.
The final word about Drunk Elephant and Biossance
Both Biossance and Drunk Elephant have similar environmental credentials and comparable price points for their products. Drunk Elephant scribes to a strict no ‘Suspicious 6TM’ policy which means that it has to be more creative in its ingredients and is more likely to use natural products with pleasing aromas.
Biossance, on the other hand, is the preferred option for those who ascribe to its commitment to using plant-based Squalane, a cruelty-free alternative to the Squalene found in shark livers.
Drunk Elephant boasts a philosophy where ingredients are chosen because of their healthy pH levels and biocompatibility. This means that they will always refuse to use their Suspicious 6TM ingredients which are: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS.
Biossance’s point of difference from other similar brands is Squalane, its 100% sugarcane-derived moisturizer.