Reviewed: Drunk Elephant's New Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray

Feeling balanced and dewy.

sweet biome sake spray

 Courtesy of Drunk Elephant

After selling to Shiseido for over $845 million in late 2019, Drunk Elephant fans had concerns about whether or not the brand would be able to maintain the control and efficacy of their products. 2020 proved that, well, they can. Over the course of this year, Drunk Elephant has launched an overnight "water facial", a milky-textured micellar water, and even forayed into a new category with a full hair and body collection. All of these new releases were massively successful, so it's no surprise that Drunk Elephant is kicking off 2021 with a brand spanking new launch: a mist infused with Japanese wine extract. Today, Drunk Elephant announced that their first launch of the new year would be a facial mist called Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray, which rounds out the brand's lineup of skincare products.

Curious how this sake-infused facial spray stands up to other mists on the market? Ahead, read my full review and deep-dive into the ingredients within Drunk Elephant's new Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray, available for purchase on January 1, 2021.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hydrates skin without having to remove your makeup
  • Balances and supports the skin barrier

Cons

  • For a mist, it's on the pricier side
  • Can leave behind a tacky feeling if you use too much

The Bottom Line

If mists are already a key product type in your skincare routine, you'll want to make the switch to Sweet Biome. The ceramides, fermented sake spray, and electrolytes found in this product make it ideal for dry, winter skin, as well as those who need some barrier repair after over-exfoliating.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray

Best for: Dry or over-exfoliated skin

Uses: Boosting your moisturizer or misting for hydration throughout the day

Star Rating: 4.5/5

Potential Allergens: There are no known allergens in this product, but it's always best to check with your physician if you have an allergy.

Active Ingredients: Fermented sake extract, ceramides, electrolytes (coconut water and sodium PCA)

Clean?: Yes

Price: $42

About the brand: Drunk Elephant is known for its cruelty-free, biocompatible skincare products. Everything in the Drunk Elephant line can be mixed, which means you can combine your serum, moisturizer, and SPF into a single super shot.

drunk elephant sweet biome spray
Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray $42
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About My Skin: Combination, but dry in the winter

For the bulk of the year, my skin can be classified as combination. It's typically dry around my cheeks, forehead, under-eyes, and jawline, but oily between my eyebrows, on my chin, and around the corners of my nose. In the winter, things take a turn towards the dryer side, with my oilier areas becoming dry and flaky from November-February.

The Feel: Thin, conditioning viscosity

Sweet Biome is thin and watery (as a mist should be), but with a twist; if you rub the product between your fingers, you can feel that the viscosity is slightly different than most mists on the market. You can't tell when you spritz your face, but if you really pay attention to the texture of the product, it actually feels comparable to a watered-down conditioner. That's the ceramides at work—more on that below.

How to Apply

There are a few different ways to use Sweet Biome. Like all of the brand's products, it can be mixed into or layered with all Drunk Elephant products, so you can boost your moisturizer by giving it a few veils of mist or layer it over (or under) your favorite serum to lock in the benefits. You can also use Sweet Biome as a traditional mist, spritzing it over your moisturizer or giving yourself a standalone mist as a refresh during the day.

Sweet Biome sake spray
 Courtesy of Drunk Elephant

The Ingredients: Ceramides, fermented sake, and electrolytes

  • Fermented Sake Extract: If you're unfamiliar with sake, it's a type of Japanese wine (sometimes referred to as rice wine). Sake is a naturally-occurring chemical exfoliant, which means the fermented sake extract—or more specifically, the kojic acid that is produced as a result of the fermentation process—in Sweet Biome exfoliates very mildly to help balance the skin. Studies have also shown that fermented sake extract can improve hyperpigmentation in as little as seven days, though more clinical research needs to be done.
  • Ceramides: Ceramides are a type of lipid that helps to restore and protect the skin's natural skin barrier, known as the acid mantle. Your skin naturally has its own ceramides, but they decrease as we age. “By the time you’re in your 30s, you’ve lost about 40 percent of your skin’s ceramides," reported board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melissa Levin in a previous Byrdie article. "And by the time you’re 40, you’ve lost about 60 percent." The ceramides in Sweet Biome help replenish your skin's ceramide supply.
  • Electrolytes: Sweet Biome is loaded with electrolytes—coconut water and sodium PCA, specifically. (If the word "coconut" is a red flag for you, don't worry; unlike coconut oil, coconut water is non-comedogenic and won't clog pores.) Together, these electrolytes work by delivering a tidal wave of hydration and provide antioxidant protection from environmental factors like pollution and free-radicals.

The Results: Skin feels dewy and balanced

Did this product transform my skin? No—but keep in mind that this is a mist; this product won't re-invent fire or cure your hormonal acne. But as far as mists go, this is definitely my favorite one that I've tried. The applicator releases in a slow woosh, so it doesn't soak my face or make my mascara run. That, and my skin looks and feels dewy, supple, and bouncy after misting. My dry patches feel more in balance with the rest of my face, and overall I feel instantly refreshed. It's an ideal way to treat my dry, winter skin throughout the day without having to mess up my makeup with moisturizer.

before and after sweet biome fermented sake spray
 Holly Rhue

My bare skin one hour after using Sweet Biome

It's worth noting, however, that if you tend to overdo it in the mist department, this product can leave behind a tacky feel on the skin. Since I immediately fell in love with the way my skin looked after using this product, I found myself misting five times a day (and doing five to seven spritzes each time). Don't be like me—just mist when you feel like you need it, and keep it to about three pumps per application session.

The Value: I won't sugarcoat it—this is pricey

At $42, this is one of the most expensive mists that immediately comes to mind (that's around the cost of a mid-tier moisturizer). But with that being said, this is a pretty big bottle. I've been using this product for a week (and misting consistently two to three times per day) and when I unscrewed the lid to see how much Sweet Biome I'd used, I was amazed to see I hadn't even put a dent in it—the formula is still right at the very top of the bottle.

Similar Products: You have options

Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream Face Mist: The texture of this product is much milkier than Sweet Biome, but similarly to the Drunk Elephant option, it delivers ceramides to the skin in a mist form (and for only $25).

Boscia Sake Treatment Water: If you're not a mist person but you're convinced you'd like to add sake to your routine, you may want to consider this toner from Boscia. This product doesn't contain the same barrier-building ceramides that you'll find in Sweet Biome, but it does contain niacinamide.

Our Verdict: If you're a mist person, you'll want to add this to your routine

Do you need to have a mist in your routine? No. Like toners and serums, mists aren't a mandatory building block of an effective skincare routine, but they are a modality to deliver ingredients to the skin. If mists are one of your preferred modalities, then I can't recommend this product enough. But if you're not a mist person, keep in mind that there are other product types that can deliver these ingredients. Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream Moisturizer, $60 for example, contains ceramides just like those found in Sweet Biome. There are toners and moisturizers on the market infused with fermented sake extract. It's all about the ingredients you want to infuse into the skin and how you want to infuse them. If mists are one of your preferred ways to deliver ingredients, then Sweet Biome is the one.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray launches January 1, 2021, on Sephora and DrunkElephant.com.

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