Drunk Elephant skincare never fails to give us a bit of a frisson, and its upcoming drop, Protinini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum , £69 has added excitement, as its the first new serum since the brand was founded in 2013.
(Quick recap: DE is known for its free-from ethos, outlawing what it calls the 'Suspicious Six' ingredients, which it believes are at the root of almost every skin issue: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, SLS, although not all formulators share this view. What its products lack in sensory experience from fragrance and smooth silicone texture, they makes up for in funky neon packaging and fun names).
While Drunk Elephant avoids language around ageing – it prefers to call Protinini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum "skin-strengthening and firming" tackling "multiple signs of damage" – if you have mature skin, like me, this light milky gel will tick many of your boxes. I look for serums that hydrate, plump, improve texture, add a little exfoliation and tackle my sun damage, and this one, which drops on 1 April (no joke), does it all.
Fans of Drunk Elephant, which recently launched in Boots , will be familiar with the Protini name; this serum sits in the same family as the Protini Polypeptide Cream , £57. It uses the same has a peptide and plant growth factor complex, but with two more peptides added (a total of 11) and double the strength. Peptides are signalling or 'cell-communicating ingredients made of amino acids that tell the deeper layers of your skin to do things such as produce more collagen.
I've been using this morning and evening and while it will take at least six weeks (one skin cycle) to see any difference in firmness, I can already feel the hydration and smoothness from the water-boosting ingredients such as snow mushroom extract.
There's a good dose of glow from ten per cent lactic acid, which loosens dead skin cells – the 'Resurf' part of the name. Lactic acid exfoliates more gently than its AHA cousin glycolic acid, which smaller-molecules and therefore works deeper. One added benefit of lactic acid is that helps the skin retain moisture (another bugbear of getting older is that your skin is permanently thirsty).
“At a ten per cent concentration, lactic acid can help strengthen and improve skin’s ability to keep itself hydrated, increase ceramide synthesis within the skin barrier, boost healthy collagen production and improve both uneven texture and tone,” says Drunk Elephant's founder Tiffany Masterson.
What else does it do? Protini Polypeptide Resurf Serum also includes non-fragrant plant oils and vitamins including squalane , green tea seed oil and the brand’s signature marula oil , (marula is the African fruit that makes elephants drunk) which made my skin feel soothed and moisturised.
You can of course cocktail it with the brand's other serums C-Firma Day Serum , £67 for day and B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum , £40, at night, However, steer clear of using it at the same time as T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, £67,) or the new T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial, £69 which are also chemical exfoliants.
At £69, it's an investment, but the strength of the ingredients and the clever combination of strengthening and brightening in my view make it worthwhile, especially if your skin is showing signs of damage (which, let's face it, mostly come with age). I always believe in spending on serum (especially peptides) and saving on moisturiser and cleanser, so this will definitely be in my basket again once my sample is finished.
Buy Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum, £69