We purchased Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
I’ll just say it—I’m a self-proclaimed beauty product connoisseur. If there’s a new product on the market, I’ve researched and tried it, unless it comes at a price tag I can't justify. When one of my best friends mentioned the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial to me, I did a quick search and immediately swore off the cult-favorite chemical peel because it’s pretty expensive.
However, over the last year, I’ve focused more on what’s in my skincare products and less on the price for health reasons. As a woman with fibroids, I recognize that what I eat and put on my skin could be affecting my hormones, which is why I am finally ready to see if this beloved Drunk Elephant product is worth the hype. Read on for my honest review.
Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
Star Rating: 4.6
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Exfoliating the top layer of facial skin
Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid, chickpea flour, pumpkin ferment extract, pomegranate extract
Byrdie Clean: Yes
About the brand: Known for its Insta-worthy packaging, Drunk Elephant offers clean, high-end skincare products—but with a pretty high price tag to match.
About My Skin: Combination, sensitive, and uneven
I put my skin through a lot for the sake of trying new products, but I’m learning to put more thought into what I’m willing to test since my skin is so sensitive. When my skin reacts, I end up with a new wave of hyperpigmentation spots that will take months—if not years—to fade.
Just before I was set to add this product to my routine, I had one of those massive reaction breakouts because of a facial oil I’d tried. After letting my skin settle down for a week, I was ready to give it a go, especially since I still had visible whiteheads on my nose and my forehead.
Ingredient Quality: Non-irritating exfoliation with maximum hydration
When I started using the Babyfacial, I had a lot of questions, but the main one was: How did Drunk Elephant create an exfoliant that’s so effective but feels so creamy? After taking a good look at the active ingredients list, it all made sense.
The product’s 25% AHA blend (containing glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids) promises to promote skin cell turnover, which explains why I saw subtly brighter skin after one use. On the other hand, the BHA (2% salicylic acid) blend is meant to help unclogs pores, which is why those pesky whiteheads on my nose never stood a chance.
But how is the formula so buttery and non-irritating with all of those acids? My skin can thank the chickpea flour, virgin marula oil, niacinamide (vitamin B3), and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer for that. According to the brand, the chickpea flour works to keep the skin balanced while brightening, while the antioxidant-rich virgin marula oil and niacinamide work together to restore and replenish moisture, and the sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer does double duty by hydrating while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
I also appreciate Drunk Elephant's commitment to keeping fragrance and silicones out of its products. It's also deemed clean by Byrdie’s standards, as well as vegan and cruelty-free.
The Feel: Creamy and nourishing
The consistency and color of the Babyfacial was a pleasant surprise. It’s creamy—almost the consistency of body butter sans any oily residue. As I smoothed two beige creamy pumps on my face, I could start to feel a tingle—nothing intense enough to dunk my face in a sink full of cold water, but a little something that let me know that it was working immediately.
The Results: Baby-soft, clearer skin
I left this mask on for 20 minutes, as recommended by the brand, to let the acids do their thing on my skin. When I rinsed it off, those whiteheads I'd spotted had disappeared with the tide—or, well, the water from the faucet. As I patted rosehip oil into my skin post-rinse, my skin was smooth to the touch. There were no dry or irritated patches in sight.
After three uses, I noticed that some dark spots on my chin were less noticeable and required less concealer if I wanted to cover them. Also, one thing I look for after I use a peel is a morning-after glow, especially on my forehead—that area lets me know when my skin is clear or if it's irritated. On each of the mornings after I used the Babyfacial, my forehead was breakout-free.
The Value: Worth the investment
I know an at-home treatment likely won’t be able to stack up against a one-on-one session with a trained esthetician or dermatologist, but witnessing my whiteheads disappear after one use was seriously impressive. I could see this product being a maintenance tool to keep my skin congestion at bay—which, for me, means it’s worth the investment. That said, I may not give up my more cost-effective alternatives, but I’ll definitely keep this product in rotation about twice a month.
Similar Products: Less expensive options
The Ordinary. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution ($7): I've used this peeling solution by The Ordinary for a couple of years, and it is one of my all-time favorite products—so much so that I keep at least two bottles on-hand in case it's ever sold out. In my opinion, it really does stack up to the competition—especially as a budget-friendly option.
Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48): If you’re looking for a more natural version of a peel, Herbivore is well-known for products that speak to that. I like that the Blue Tansy comes in a glass jar (cheers to sustainability!), but I prefer a pump or dropper to prevent contaminating my skincare products.
Our Verdict: Yes, buy it
Yes, this product's $80 price tag may seem a little off-putting, but this creamy exfoliant definitely lives up to its rave reviews. For those with sensitive, acne-prone skin, Babyfacial is worth a try because it's effective yet gentle at the same time.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of a 2% salicylic acid cleanser for improvement of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;68(4):AB12. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2012.12.052