Let me start by prefacing that I absolutely love Retinol, in my year of testing, exploring and experimenting with different ingredients and hundreds of products (yes, the amount of money I have spent on skincare probably adds up to a substantial down payment for a nice property), retinol has been the number 1 ingredient that brings most joy and positive changes to my skin, period. I’m so obsessed with it to the point that I find it difficult to walk away from any product that has “retinol” on its label. Sure, I now understand there are different forms of retinol, and the formulation makes a world of difference. But when a skincare brand as cult as Drunk Elephant comes out with its iteration of retinol offering, how can I possibly resist? Of course, I cannot, and I didn’t. One a side note, if you are interested to know more about retinol, Caroline Hirons’ recent video series on this topic has been extremely informative and insightful, give it a watch.
I have been using the Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream consistently for the past 3 months or so, and have to say, it’s by far my favorite retinol cream, in terms of strength, texture and just all around everything, even more so than the Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment (reviewed here), which I have loved for years. However, you definitely need to exercise more caution when using the Drunk Elephant one, comparing to the Paula’s Choice’s, which in my experience has been very carefree, and I can use it every single night without any irritation or peeling. When I first started with the A-Passioni retinol cream, I completely ignored the instruction at the back of the tube, used it every night for over a week, and woke up one morning to find my skin started peeling. It took me few days to realize it was the result of “overdosage” of the retinol cream, because it felt so gentle and kind like you applied nothing on the skin, that I just didn’t expect it to be this strong. I stopped using it for 2 weeks, dosed up with gentle, nourishing and hydrating products, shied away from any acids, and voilà, my skin became softer than I have ever remembered.
After the little incident (if you would call that incident), I have certainly become more aware of its strength, and started using it only 3-4 times a week, taken a few days of break and then gotten back to it. This new routine has done wonders for my skin, my pores become visibly smaller, my skin’s texture has improved – smoother, softer, and tighter. My complexion has become brighter and have that well rested look, I couldn’t be more happier! I started noticing some fine lines appearing between my eyebrows a few months back, so I made sure I massage the cream to the area every time I use it, and I kid you not, the fine lines have significantly diminished. My skin is in a really good place now thanks to this, I have been so happy with it that I don’t even want to use any foundations on the day.
The formula of this retinol cream also makes it very easy to mix with other products. You can of course use it alone on dry face, but most of the times, I have been mix it together with night cream and facial oil to create a customized, delicious concoction that my skin adores.
Even though it’s a pricey item, I can see this tube will last a long time. Just look at it, I haven’t even made a big dent after 3 months of regular use. In my opinion, if your skin is stressed due to environmental reasons or lifestyle, and you are in your late 20s and above, starting to incorporating a retinol cream will be a wise move. And the Drunk Elephant one is worth checking out, but definitely approach with caution, especially if you are new to retinol and/or have sensitive skin.