Formulated at pH 5.5, which won't strip skin
Lathers well to remove makeup and excess oil
Cantaloupe fruit extract soothes and hydrates
May not deliver major results
Thinner than a traditional jelly cleanser
Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser
We put the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I can’t think of a skincare brand that garners as much excitement from the people in my life as Drunk Elephant. However, save for one tiny Sephora sample of their moisturizer I used a couple of years ago, I admittedly hadn’t joined the bandwagon—but that doesn’t mean I don’t hear about the clean beauty sensation all of the time. And not just from fellow beauty writers: after posting an Instagram story of my soon-to-be-applied bottle of Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, I received no less than 10 swift responses from my sisters and friends that the skincare brand was their favorite. Everyone has something enthusiastic to say about it, but would it live up to the hype? Would I too become a card-carrying member of the Drunk Elephant fan club? Keep reading for the answer.
Best for: Any skin type, including combination and sensitive skin.
Uses: A daily face wash to remove makeup, excess oil, and grime.
Potential allergens: Not likely
Active ingredients: Mild surfactant blend, glycerin, virgin marula oil, cucumis melo cantalupensis fruit extract.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: Drunk Elephant prioritizes clean ingredients with a focus on healthy pH levels and biocompatibility.
About My Skin: Sensitive, combination skin with redness and occasional breakouts
I have finicky skin, and sometimes even the most unassuming product can give me a rash, pimple, or flaking. This year, in particular, has been a tough one for my face. While everyone was waxing poetic about how staying at home with no makeup had done wonders for their skin, I was dealing with cystic acne and uneven skin tone.
All this is to say that I'm cautious about the products I'll experiment with, solely because the headache of dealing with a skin temper tantrum is something I'd like to avoid at all costs. But because Drunk Elephant's main objective is to remove irritants from the picture and return your skin to its best, most glowing state, I was comfortable trying this one out. Plus, as I mentioned above, I had used a free Sephora sample of their moisturizer a while back and was pleased with the results. If you’re curious, I had previously been using Caudalie’s cleansing milk, which has been a favorite of mine for years.
The Feel: Lightweight and bouncy
I expected Drunk Elephant's Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser to be as the name suggests: gelatinous. However, I found it to be thinner than a traditional jelly texture. This didn’t bother me, per se, but is worth noting in case that's something that matters to you. The cleanser lathers up nicely with a little water, which is a plus because it means the bottle can go a long way. Once patted dry, my face feels squeaky clean and soft, so I have no complaints.
My immediate impression of this cleanser is that it got the job done—my skin felt clean and it didn’t interact poorly with other products.
The Ingredients: Less is more
To Masterson, a good skincare product is just as much about the ingredients you don’t include as what's actually in it. The Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is free of essential oils, fragrance, and SLS (all of which are not necessarily bad for skin, but are worth trying to eliminate if you're experiencing sensitivity) and uses a blend of mild surfactants and makeup-dissolving emollients to clean and balance the skin.
Mild Surfactant Blend: Coconut-based surfactants and other cleansing ingredients that are rich in fatty acids help build a lather that gets rid of your makeup without stripping the skin.
Glycerin: This ingredient is a skin-identical humectant, which basically means it can help restore moisture to skin that’s often lost while cleansing.
Virgin Marula Oil: The Drunk Elephant MVP, virgin marula oil, is rich with antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9.
Cantaloupe Fruit Extract: To seize the benefits of even more antioxidants, the cleanser turns to cantaloupe to sooth and hydrate the skin.
There also may be an optimal method for using this product: Masterson suggests only using it at night and skipping a morning cleanse altogether (which I hadn't been doing anyway).
The Results: Gentle, effective, and plays nicely with the rest of your routine
My immediate impression of the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is that it got the job done—my skin felt clean, and it didn’t interact poorly with other products. Two or so weeks later, that sentiment holds up. It hasn’t delivered any jaw-dropping result, but it’s a versatile, gentle addition to my daily routine. It won’t be leaving my bathroom shelf anytime soon.
The Value: A little goes a long way
Drunk Elephant's Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser will run you $32 for 5 oz., which is more expensive than drugstore products but pretty standard for a cleanser you'd find at a beauty retailer. And this bottle is definitely worth the cost, particularly due to the fact that a small amount lathers up in your hands and goes a long way. Plus, it has clean ingredients, and it's well worth paying a little extra for healthy and balanced skin.
Similar Products: You've got options
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: Requiring little introduction, Glossier’s top-rated gentle cleanser ($18) has a jelly texture and touts a a pH-balanced formula. I’ve used this one on and off over the years, and it jives nicely with my sensitive skin.
Origins Cleansing Makeup-Removing Jelly with Willowherb: This jelly cleanser from Origins ($24) uses willowherb as its star ingredient. It's a smaller container than Drunk Elephant's, but the cost per ounce is pretty similar, so it's another good option for those who want an effective cleanser that's free from many of the most common irritants.
I see no reason to not give Drunk Elephant's Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser a chance in your daily routine. It won’t break the bank, it should last a decently long time, and it works with all skin types, including sensitive skin like mine. It seems that Drunk Elephant lives up to its widespread hype, after all.
- Product Name Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser
- Product Brand Drunk Elephant
- Price $32
- Weight 5 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycolipids, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Lauryl Glucoside, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Polylysine.