Cute, recyclable packaging
Sweet, nutty scent
Required frequent application
Hydration doesn't last on extra-dry, sensitive skin
Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion
We put Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
In less than ten years, Drunk Elephant has become a reputable leader in the skincare industry. Known for its clean formulations, these products pride themselves on building up the skin’s barrier layer with the right pH levels. These are all things I have never thought about when approaching skincare and am intrigued by the unique and thoughtful approach. As someone who has extremely dry skin that is prone to eczema breakouts, I was eager to see how my skin would respond to a lotion that wasn’t thick and heavy in the midst of harsh winter weather.
Keep reading for an honest encounter of my trial period with Drunk Elephant’s Sili Body Lotion.
Best for: All skin types, especially those with semi-dry skin
Uses: This lotion aims to target dull, dry, irritable skin by restoring its pH levels and balancing out hydration.
Active Ingredients: Marula butter, marula oil, 5-ceramide blend, shea butter
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: Drunk Elephant was founded in 2012 by a stay-at-home mom who committed herself to find formulas that avoided what she deemed the suspicious six: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and sodium lauryl sulfates. The brand has quickly become a skincare industry leader, prioritizing an approach to “biocompatible skincare” and balanced pH levels, and has extended into haircare products, making clean skincare approachable from head to toe.
About My Skin: Dry, sensitive, and irritable
My skin has a hard time making friends. I tried this lotion during the most difficult time of year my skin faces: mid-winter. My eczema has been flaring up from sweating on the Peloton every day; it’s dried out and cracking from the lack of moisture in the air from the heaters and wood stove going strong at all hours. The main issues I was facing entering this trial period were extreme dryness that caused my skin to crack (and easily break with the scratch of an itch), and inflamed patches of eczema. Dullness definitely fell into my secondary list of concerns because my skin was by no means glowing or radiant.
I typically tend to my skin woes holistically by avoiding hot showers, using non-scented detergents, eating clean home-cooked meals, and leaning heavily on my rotation of moisturizers. Before using the Sili Lotion, I turned to Aquaphor to tame and mend my eczema irritations and used a very thick intensive cream like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, which is specifically targeted to cater to my skin’s distress.
Knowing that this Drunk Elephant lotion is intended to moisturize and nourish skin that is “dry, dull, and irritable,” I didn’t suspect I’d face too many issues. I subbed out my intensive cream for the Sili Body Lotion during my normal usage times—after every shower, first thing in the morning, and every evening before bed—but it required much more frequent application to keep my skin feeling hydrated. I applied the Sili Lotion at least 5 times a day to keep my skin feeling calm, and it was more work than I cared to get used to.
The Packaging: Super cute and eco-friendly
Drunk Elephant has built a reputation, in my opinion, for its cute packaging. Branding is simple, and its neon color-coded tops keep products fun and approachable. What I was pleased to learn is that all three pieces of this lotion’s makeup (the body of the bottle, the cap, and the shoulder base) are all recyclable. In the beauty landscape, this is something worth noting and considering with our purchases as consumers. It’s time to break the chain of our industry’s historically high contributions to waste!
The Feel: Extra light and absorbant
This lotion absorbs into the skin quickly. The Sili Lotion is almost too lightweight to be compared to my other lotions and creams that I typically use this time of year. It has a milky texture that disperses and seeps in like a disappearing act, a trick of magic. Although I ended up laying this product on top of itself time after time after time, I truly never had any hint of greasiness. It was never heavy or leaving behind any type of residue, only the softest, smoothest of skin.
The Scent: Sweet and nutty
If you don’t love sweet, nutty, almond-scented products, this lotion may not be your favorite choice. The scent isn’t overpowering by any means—it fades fast, similar to the moisture—but it is enough to pick up on. Upon first application, it definitely turned me off a bit, but it wasn’t so strong that I couldn’t follow through with the trial period. The scent is subtle, but it’s there, and I acclimated to it. It’s sort of like using shea butter for the first time (and shea butter is present in this product). It’s not the best scent in the world, but unless you have a sensitive nose, you should be able to get by.
Ingredients: Meet the heroes
The hero ingredients in this lotion are marula oil and marula butter. What is marula? Marula is a type of tree that offers fruit, nuts, and seeds—all of which can be pressed as derivatives to marula oil. Meanwhile, marula butter is a creamy, concentrated result derived from its oil. These hero ingredients are known to be rich in antioxidants and can help seal in moisture with their high level of fatty acids.
The Sili Body Lotion is also formulated with a signature 5-ceramide blend. Drunk Elephant has formulated this blend entirely from plant sources. Ceramides help the barrier of our skin by filling out the gaps between skin cells that typically cause that dry, dull, and irritated appearance. They also help increase the skin’s elasticity, because those gaps I mentioned earlier also result in a thinning of the skin which decreases collagen and elastin levels. Ceramides' assistance in this area will provide visible anti-aging results with regular use over time.
According to Byrdie’s standards, this lotion is a clean product that does not contain sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, BHA, BHP, or other ingredients that can cause additional damage and irritation to our skin. Despite its mild yet sweet nutty scent, there are no added dyes, fragrances, or drying alcohols, and it has been made cruelty-free.
The Results: Not for sensitive, eczema-prone skin
There was nothing about this lotion that I didn’t like, per se, but it did not work very well for my ultra-dry, sensitive skin at this time of year. The first time I used this lotion after exiting the shower, my skin was still slightly damp (a derm requirement for eczema inhabitants), and I loved the feel of it gliding on, spreading easily, and absorbing instantly.
This was the fastest absorbing lotion I’d seen or felt in my history of hoarding moisturizers.
But after about two hours post-application, my skin looked like it was peeling from a sunburn. This isn’t something my skin normally does this time of year. It will look dry and cracked, most definitely, but this was a result I wasn’t used to encountering. Repetitive application served me better than single-use, so it wasn’t any result that brought worry or irritation, more so inconvenience.
Applying the Sili lotion to my arm, covered in splotches of cracked, irritated areas had a stinging, mild burning sensation. It didn’t cause additional redness or irritation, but I had to repeatedly apply this product because otherwise my skin would still look and feel scaly immediately after a single use. Again, I realize my current skin conditions are excessive and likely more abnormal than most. Perhaps, as per the brand’s philosophy, my pH levels aren’t being met with what the Sili is offering (a 4.5 pH level). It could be too acidic for me? Regardless, I truly think this lotion would suit me best when my skin wasn’t so extremely needy.
While Sili was no match for my current skin woes, I do think it’s more comparable to the moisturizers I gravitate towards in late spring and summer, ones that aren’t as thick and heavy as what I need in winter when my skin is naturally calmer and less affected by its physical climate. I had to keep my Aquaphor in the mix to help tame eczema, but the rest of my skin just never felt calm or hydrated enough while using this product.
The Value: Affordable and approachable
The Sili lotion is very affordable at only $20 for 8 ounces, which, similar to their branding, makes the product very approachable. I truly think Drunk Elephant’s products have done an excellent job of bringing thoughtfully formulated, high-quality standards to their line without being overpriced or too “high-end”. It should last you just over a month, roughly six to seven weeks based on my application frequency of two to three times per day, and the cost won’t cause you to hesitate to refill your bottle when it runs dry.
Similar Products: Another popular option
Necessaire’s The Body Lotion ($25): As I stated above, holding this lotion up against my winter creams is a night and day comparison, so I’m not going to do that. Before the winter months crept in on my skin, I was actively using Necessaire’s unscented body lotion, and it worked wonderfully. The Sili Body Lotion has a similar weight and feel, which is why I’m so confident it would serve me well outside these winter woes.
The two biggest things that stand out in differences from a user standpoint are price and scent. If the sweet, nutty, buttery scent, though mild, isn’t to your liking, Necessaire will best serve your needs. But at $20, that’s $5 less than Necessaire’s $25 lotion, you’re getting 1.2 ounces more by going with Drunk Elephant’s Sili. So if you want to get quality bang for your buck, choose that approachable neon-capped lotion on your way to checkout.
If you have some minor dryness or a lack of glow, I think the Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion is going to work wonders for you. If you have the most sensitive, high-maintenance skin in the world, like me, choose your timing of this product wisely. This is not a thick, winter cream, so give your skin what it needs when it needs it.
- Product Name Sili Body Lotion
- Product Brand Drunk Elephant
- Price $20
- Weight 8 oz.
- Ingredients Water/Aqua/Eau, Squalane, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Coconut Alkanes, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Pentylene Glycol, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, PCA, Alanine, Arginine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Valine, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Behenic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Beta-Carotene, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Pulp Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Ceramide NS, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOS, Cholesterol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Pulp Extract, Caprooyl Phytosphingosine, Caprooyl Sphingosine, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ceteareth-25, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin