Sunday Riley or Drunk Elephant? We Explain Which Products Are Worth the Money
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If you’ve been following along for some time, you’ve likely noticed that we are avid users of both Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant products. Easily one of the most frequent questions we get here at Swift is: Which one do you like more? But which one is truly better? Now that we have used both brands for more than a year, it’s time to really weigh in on our favorites. We break it down for you by category.
WINNER: Drunk Elephant Protini
If you’ve looking for a high-end moisturizer, it’s likely you’ve come across both of these brands. While both are great moisturizers, there’s a few noticeable differences that set them apart. Both products are for use on dry or combination skin and great for issues with sun spots, dryness or aging. However, Tidal is not for oily skin. Tidal tends to be overly moisturizing and can leave a greasy film if over applied on even dry or combination skin.
Protini is an all-around moisturizing winner. The moisturizer is thick, non-greasy, and while pricey ($68/1.69oz), lasts due to its packaging. The pump style application also allows for a more hygienic product dispense and keeps the moisturizer from degrading in contact with the air.
According to Sephora:
In an independent consumer testing panel of 50 women age 25 to 55:
- 100% agreed their skin felt replenished and nourished
- 97% agreed their skin felt moisturized
- 97% agreed their skin texture felt soft and smooth
- 88% agreed their skin was strengthened
- 85% agreed their skin looked plumped and youthful
- 73% agreed their skin felt firmer and elastic
We recommend using one pump of Protini over your favorite serums daily.
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Vitamin C Serum:
WINNER: Sunday Riley C.E.O
Of all of the choices for this post, this was the most hotly contested category. Both serums are very similar: each boasts a 15% Vitamin C concentration, which helps to reduce the look of dark spots and discolored skin. Vitamin C is a great addition to any skincare routine looking to increase brightness, radiance, and firmness of their skin.
Two factors came into play in the decision making process. While C-Firma and C.E.O are comparable cost-wise ($80 and $85, respectively), the biggest difference is the Vitamin C formulation. C.E.O. uses 15% THD Ascorbate, which is a more shelf stable version of Vitamin C. The oxidation of DE’s C-Firma has long been an issue, as oxidation starts to become present after 90 days. Most users, if using a single pump daily, could extend the life of their bottle to upwards of 5-6 months. However, it’s unsure how much the oxidation of C-Firma changes the quality and, if spending $80, we want our product to last!
The last factor was the recent re-formulation of Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma. DE recently modified the ingredients after being sued by L’Oreal for patent infringement due to the similarities to Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic serum, which many claim to be the holy grail of skincare products.
We recommend one pump of C.E.O added to your morning routine.
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WINNER: Sunday Riley Good Genes
Both products are ideal for those wanting to target dull skin, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. Each formulation work by using a AHA treatment to refine and resurface skin for a more radiant complexion.
We’ll keep this short because this was a landslide victory. The much-more-affordable TLC Framboos ($90) is great for those with very sensitive skin since it’s a much gentler product than Good Genes. However, the light serum leaves a sticky film compared with Good Genes. While it did give a brighter glow to skin, the effects were minimal in comparison. We feel that Good Genes is worth every last dollar of its $158 pricetag.
The lactic acid concentration can cause an initial skin plumping, however, which may cause a slight irritation in some users.
We recommend using one pump at night of Good Genes.
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WINNER: A-Passioni Retinol Cream
Retinols work by drastically improving uneven skin tones and texture, as well as damage done from UV rays and free radicals. Both products work to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and enlarged pores.
The biggest difference in the two products is strength of product. The 1% Retinol cream is strong, which means that you need to easy into it slowly as it will cause redness, irritation and peeling if used too frequently. It’s imperative to use a good moisturizer (like Protini) if you’re using this product to prevent drying. You would also want to avoid using any AHA on the same night.
Luna’s oil uses much gentler Trans-Retinol Ester, which means that it is less likely to cause skin irritation. However, it tends to go on greasy and requires waiting 5-10 minutes before layering Good Genes over. If you’re looking for a gentle starter for retinols, Luna makes for a great nighttime oil. While A-Passioni is more expensive ($74), if you’re looking for a true retinol, it’s best to go with Drunk Elephant on this one.
Start slowly by using a small amount of A-Passioni one time per week until the skin has adjusted and increase accordingly.
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