Reviewed: Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Cream

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Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Lisa Patulny/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Fragrance- and silicone-free

  • Suitable for most skin types

  • Contains ceramides for the support of a healthy skin barrier

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer has become a non-negotiable part of my skincare routine. If you too love a no-nonsense face cream that keeps skin supple, go ahead and give it a go.


Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Lisa Patulny/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

It’s a big call for me to come out and say that I’ve found my ultimate moisturizer, but I’m going to. That’s how confident I am that nothing else I try will ever top Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer.

I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long time, having met with the founder Tiffany Masterson years ago when she was visiting Australia. Drunk Elephant was just about to launch at Mecca Cosmetica (hello, fellow Australians), and as we sat down to chat through the range, I was completely taken in by her passion for skincare simplicity.

The range, she told me, was all about uncomplicated products that could be used solo, together, or slotted into an existing routine. Part of DE’s philosophy revolved around a list of six ingredients Masterson found were incompatible with the health of her own skin. And while clean beauty has never been a big focus for me, I was definitely drawn to the idea of bioavailability (compatibility between the formulations and the skin). Fast forward to today and there’s no denying I’m still a Drunk Elephant super fan.

So it's probably no surprise to learn that I’ve loved the brand’s Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer since I first used it. Keep reading to find out why I keep repurchasing.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

Best for: Those looking for a nourishing, yet lightweight moisturizer

Uses: Hydration and barrier repair

Star rating: 5/5

Potential Allergens: None

Star Ingredients: Ceramides, African oils, Phytosphingosine

Price: $60

About the brand: Drunk Elephant is all about creating what the brand calls "biocompatible skincare," which it defines as skincare made using only effective ingredients that benefit the health of the skin, whether they be natural or synthetic.

About My Skin: Being difficult

Usually, my skin is balanced—no dry patches, no major breakouts, no hyperpigmentation issues. Recently, however, it has treated me to a particularly infuriating case of perioral dermatitis. I also have patches of melasma showing up on top of my cheeks, despite the fact that I apply sunscreen daily like it’s going out of style. (Note: It’s not. Sun-safe skin is cute skin, forever and always). All of this is due to pregnancy hormones.

Because my skin has been somewhat reactive lately, I’ve had to ditch most of my usual skincare. The one product that has weathered the storm with me? Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer. I’ve been using it morning and night for years, so I didn’t even have to change my routine to write this review.

The Feel: Rich, yet lightweight

Swatch of Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

Lisa Patulny

How do you formulate a moisturizer that feels both nourishing and non-greasy at the same time? I have no idea, but I’m glad someone at Drunk Elephant knows the answer. Lala’s texture is luscious and fluffy, but it sinks into the skin quickly. I have approximately three seconds alone to apply all of my morning skincare before my toddler wipes his breakfast on the walls, so whatever I’m using has to work fast.

The finish is matte but slightly glowy. I also love that I can feel it come off when I wash my face at the end of the day. It makes me believe it’s been there all day, working hard to hydrate and protect, and hasn’t just up and disappeared on me. 

The Ingredients: They pack a punch

  • African oils: A unique blend of oils (like camellia seed and kernel oil) works to moisturize and impart the skin with a noticeable glow.
  • Ceramides: Plant-derived ceramides help protect against water loss and strengthen the skin barrier (think of them as a barrier to prevent dryness).
  • Phytosphingosine: Another plant-derived ingredient, this powerful lipid offers anti-inflammatory effects, and helps keep skin supple. It also strengthens the skin barrier to keep the bad stuff—irritants, pollutants—out.

How to Apply: Give it time

While it's not noticeably oily, this fluffy cream does take a little time to absorb, so be patient and allow the product to dry before layering or applying makeup. (Note that you can also mix it with serum for even more moisture-boosting power).

The Results: Suppleness x10

Having used Lala Retro for such a long time, I feel qualified to report on both its short- and long-term results. First thing’s first: Immediately after use, my skin feels soft and hydrated. It sinks in quickly–I don’t do much rubbing in. And even after a full day’s wear (under mineral sunscreen and makeup), it doesn’t turn greasy. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, when I wash it off at night I can tell that it’s still there. For me, that’s a comfort. It makes me feel like I’ve had a good level of hydration going all day long, and it didn't wear off. 

As for long-term effects, the main thing I’d note is barrier repair. My skin has become so much more resilient while using this product. In fact, if I skip a few nights I will often see my perioral dermatitis start to flare up.

My skin has become so much more resilient whilst using this product.

The Value: It’s spendy

While I would say it’s up there in terms of price, it’s not the most expensive moisturizer on the shelves. My skincare routine is pretty stripped back so I can, and do, justify the cost. (I also purchase the jumbo size, which works out to be slightly cheaper).

As anyone with a tricky skin condition can attest, when you find something that works it’s easy to convince yourself you need it. It’s rare to find a moisturizer with all the nourishing power of a richer formulation that doesn’t overwhelm my skin and result in congestion, so I’m happy to pay the price.

Similar Products: You've got options, but nothing exactly like it

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration: This First Aid Beauty pick ($38) has a very similar whipped texture, and has similar ingredients (namely ceramides). This one also contains colloidal oatmeal and shea butter to soothe particularly dry and irritated skin types.

Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer: A good option for combination and oily skin types, the Omega+ Complex Moisturizer ($36) by Paula's Choice is a little less nourishing than the Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer. The lightweight texture is still there, however, and it does a similarly great job of locking in hydration.

Final Verdict

Well, you already know that I’m a big fan. (I’ve repurchased too many times to count). I would recommend the Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer to anyone who is into simple skincare that works. It works so well for me that I’m committed for good.


  • Product Name Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer
  • Product Brand Drunk Elephant
  • Price $60.00
  • Full Ingredient List Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Isostearate, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil/Glucose/Glycine Soja (Soybean) Meal/Malt Extract/Yeast Extract Ferment Filtrate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Ximenia Americana Seedate, Cholesterol, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP ,Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Ceramide NP, Phytosphingosine, Ceteareth-20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Tocopherol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

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