Another day, another TikTok retinol hack to pique your interest
TikTok seems to have everything figured out when it comes to the vitamin A derivative, retinol. First there was “Botox in a bottle,” which literally means a needle-free topical alternative that helps keep the signs of skin laxity at bay. Then, there was “retinol sandwich,” a skincare regimen that involves layering retinol with other products, minus the risks of red, peeling, and flaky skin brought by using the notoriously harsh exfoliator on its own.
In 2023, enter the “skin care smoothie.”
Not to be confused with Hailey Bieber’s strawberry glaze skin refresher drink—skin care smoothie-ing is a technique coined by Drunk Elephant that involves mixing together lighter serums with heavier creams, and applying them all at once to achieve skin goals. No waiting time needed. Such a method has left skin care aficionados and novices alike exhilarated, knowing they can play around with different skincare ingredients and come up with their own recipe based on their needs. In fact, as of this writing, the term has racked up over 152.8 million views on TikTok alone.
What does ‘skincare smoothie’ actually do?
Generally, the smoothie method is done by blending together edible ingredients to boost the immune system and digestive health. One can be as creative and unbridled as they like, heeding to their cravings at the moment.
Skin care smoothies are no different—the goal is to get into the habit of questioning your routine. You pick your daytime and nighttime products based on how your skin feels, and create a combo of moisturizer, serum, and sometimes makeup to achieve your desired effect.
How do I ‘skin care smoothie’ my skin?
As with anything, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for skin. “If you have dry and dull skin, you need this [smoothie]. First, you need [petroleum jelly], a good moisturizer or body lotion, some sort of glowy product or an illuminating serum… This is optional, but if you want a little bit of color, [add] just a dot of fake tan makeup. And then mix them up. Trust the process,” TikToker and beauty content creator Amy K recommends.
Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson also previously shared on TikTok her go-to formula for a hydrated, glowy skin that lasts even after 22 hours of traveling. “Take a Protini, a pump of C-Firma, one drop or two of A-Gloei, and a drop or two of D-Bronzi. Mix it all together, apply [the mixture] all at once on my face and my neck, and I’m good to go.”
The idea here is you would want a smoothie that is biocompatible and close to your skin barrier’s natural acidity level, which is between 4.7 and 5.75, so it is easily absorbed into the skin. Using products that have a lower or higher pH level than that may result in irritation and other dermatologic issues.
The Vegan Retinol Finds
Ahead, the Houston-based cosmetics and beauty brand Drunk Elephant presents retinol products suitable for skin care smoothie-ing—thus, allowing you to achieve the glowing benefits of the notoriously harsh exfoliator without sacrificing the integrity of the skin care formula. These retinols are made from carrots and sweet potatoes, and are safe to use during the day with sunscreen.
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream
Key Ingredients: 1.0% vegan retinol, vitamin F, a blend of superfood-rich oils such as passionfruit, apricot, marula, and jojoba, and antioxidants such as kale, winter cherry, and xanthophylls
Best For: Visible signs of sun damage
Suggested Use: Morning or night. Apply a pea-sized amount or less to a clean, cry face, avoiding the eye area. Limit initial use to once or twice a week, gradually increasing to every other night, and then every night as tolerated.
Tip: Mix with B-Hydra™ for an extra shot of hydration and vitamin B. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Drunk Elephant A-Gloei™ Maretinol Oil
Key Ingredients: 1.0% vegan retinol, virgin marula oil, ceramides
Best For: Hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and lax skin
Suggested Use: Morning or night. Apply two to three drops on a clean, dry face. Avoid direct contact with eyes.
Tip: Mix with C-Firma™ for even greater brightening and firming benefits. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
What Else You Need to Know: Designed for both new and experienced retinol users, A-Gloei™ is formulated with the soothing benefits of marula oil to ensure efficacy without redness or irritation from retinol.
Drunk Elephant A-Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum
Key Ingredients: 1.0% vegan retinol, 3% antioxidant-rich caffeine, and copper peptides
Best For: UV-generated and environmental free radical damage, and puffy eyes
Suggested Use: Morning or night. Gently pat one pump under and around the eyes, including along the orbital bone.
Tip: Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
What Else You Need to Know: A-Shaba Complex™ is formulated at a pH of 5.5, which is around the same level of acidity of the skin’s natural barrier.
In the end, whichever routine or TikTok hack you follow, pay attention to what is going on with your skin on a particular day, because the skin doesn’t always need the same thing. It feels tight? That’s usually a sign that your skin has suffered dehydration. Itchy? That could mean your skin is stressed out. It all boils down to what you do—and what you don’t do. Listen to your skin.
In the Philippines, you can find Drunk Elephant at SM Makati, SM Megamall, LOOK SM Aura, and LOOK SM Mall of Asia. Shop online via LOOK. For skin care smoothie recipes, visit Drunk Elephant’s website. For updates, follow Drunk Elephant on Instagram.