I Tried Drunk Elephant’s Exfoliating Night Serum and I'm Sold On Its Benefits

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Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What We Like
  • Clean formula

  • Fragrance free

  • Exfoliates skin

  • Gentle yet powerful

What We Don’t Like
  • Makes skin sensitive to sun

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a pricey product, but in return, it delivers smoother skin, reduces fine lines, and clears congested pores.


Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

We put Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

No matter what you want your skincare products to do, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is probably what you’re looking for. It’s good for aging concerns, but also acne. It targets fine lines, but also pores, dullness, and oil. It does everything you want a good product to do. But it’s also $90. And for most people, for that kind of price tag, the product really needs to be worth it.

While Drunk Elephant has a reputation for creating effective products and for using quality ingredients, I wanted to try the serum myself to see how well it delivered on its claims.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Best for: All skin types

Uses: Anti-aging, acne, uneven skin tone

Active ingredients: Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, raspberry fruit extract

Cruelty-Free?: Yes

Price: $68 - $90

About the brand: Drunk Elephant creates skincare products with an emphasis on active ingredients and effective formulation.

About My Skin: Uneven tone and texture

My acne is mostly under control, but I still have rough texture and discoloration left behind. I’m also beginning to focus on preventing premature aging. For most of these issues, I’m a big fan of chemical exfoliants like the kind used in this serum and I’ve used several in the past from Paula’s Choice and Biologique Recherche.

I didn’t use any other major actives in my routine while testing the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. In the morning I used Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment followed by sunscreen, which I’ve found has done a great job lightening my dark spots. After washing my face in the evening, I either applied CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (if I felt my skin needed extra hydration) or went straight to the Drunk Elephant serum. I followed up with one of my favorite moisturizers, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration.

The Feel: A slight tingle

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is clear and lightweight, with no noticeable scent. The instructions warn that it might cause tingling for the first use or so, and I noticed that I felt an extremely mild burn that went away within the first minute. The serum sinks in quickly and leaves nothing behind, so after several minutes I couldn’t feel it on my skin.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

The Results: Smoother skin

Drunk Elephant claims that results can be seen after the first night, and while that might be true if you’re completely new to exfoliation (or haven’t been keeping up), I didn’t notice any remarkable results immediately. 

While I started by applying it every other day, I quickly found that it wasn’t drying my skin or irritating it in any way so I jumped up to every night use. I don’t think it needs to be used every night to deliver results—and giving your skin time between applications might even yield better improvement—but I like knowing that it's gentle enough for everyday use.

Exfoliation comes from a blend of AHAs (including glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acid) and salicylic acid, while raspberry fruit extract soothes skin and protects from the irritation that acids can cause. It’s also formulated at a pH of 3.5, a level that allows acids to keep their potency.

I’m enjoying enhanced skin smoothness and a brighter complexion.

Overall, I found the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum to be an effective product. I loved that I noticed softer skin without dryness or irritation, and with the effective formulation, I have faith that with long-term use I’ll notice a continued lightening of dark spots and less congested skin.

The Value: Pricey

The one-ounce size that I used sells for around $90 at most retailers (and $68 on Amazon). A larger 1.7-ounce bottle costs $134, which is less per ounce. The benefit of spending more on a product like this is that it's not only formulated to be effective, but also very gentle. More affordable chemical exfoliators that have a high percentage of actives, like those offered by The Ordinary and similar brands, get the job done but might require the addition of soothing serums to counteract irritation or sensitivity.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Similar Products: Other chemical exfoliators

Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment ($6): At just $6, this treatment feels like a steal compared to Drunk Elephant’s $90 serum. At a 10% concentration of AHA and BHA at a pH of 3.5, it’s nearly the same strength, too. It’s missing additional ingredients that might help soothe skin, but for the price, it might just be worth it.

Herbivore Prism AHA + BHA Exfoliating Glow Serum ($54): This serum combines AHA and BHA in a stronger percentage than Drunk Elephant’s serum.

Final Verdict

If it’s in your budget, the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is an effective exfoliating product to target both aging and acne concerns. The gentle yet potent formula will smooth skin, reduce discoloration, and give you a glow that’s worth the price.


  • Product Name T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
  • Product Brand Drunk Elephant
  • Price $68.00
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Ingredients Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Galactoarabinan, Propanediol, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the SkinMolecules. 2018;23(4):863. Published 2018 Apr 10. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863

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