It's not easy to stand out in a market as saturated as skincare. But Drunk Elephant shot to cult status seemingly overnight, and for good reason - "It works, plain and simple," says founder Tiffany Masterson. The colourfully capped bottles and countless cameos in celebrity "shelfies" probably help, too.
Following the recent launch of the brand's hair and body collection - which keeps to Drunk Elephant's philosophy of eradicating the "Suspicious Six" ingredients; essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, SLS - we caught up with Masterson to talk about taking care of the skin you're in, her self care practices during lockdown and why starting a brand takes serious guts.
Do you believe that less is more when it comes to skincare?
Customers who have long described their skin as 'sensitive', 'acne-prone' or 'combination' are discovering that their skin was just confused and sensitised. It wasn’t their skin, it was the ingredients they were putting on their skin. I believe skin is skin and I don’t formulate for marketed 'types'. I want to respect the basic function of the skin without disrupting and confusing it.
Everyone has skin and all skin functions the same way, just like our livers, hearts and kidneys. How skin and other organs behave is largely a result of what we consume internally and apply externally. I became suspicious of a certain six ingredients, and believe that they are at the root of almost every skin issue we hear about - essential oils, silicones, drying alcohol, chemical screens, fragrances/dyes and SLS. Once I removed them, my skin was totally transformed and I’m hearing the same from my customers.
What prompted you to develop a line of hair and body products?
It wasn’t that I wanted to move into the hair or body space…I’m still thinking of it as the skin space. Scalp is skin and our body is covered in skin. These two category additions are still about caring for the skin. There are many great brands out there. Nothing’s wrong. This is just me developing products based on my philosophy of avoiding certain categories of skin-disruptive ingredients.