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Reviewing Drunk Elephant's Beste No 9 Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser Review

Ahh Drunk Elephant; the toast of beauty bloggers and the bane of many a bank account.

I’m still unsure whether I totally buy into the hype around all the brand’s products, but since I love their C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream and D Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops– and as a total cleanser addict- I thought I’d check out one of the Drunk Elephant’s four cleansers; Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser.


The Brand

Well-known to anyone big into beauty, Drunk Elephant is the brainchild of Tiffany Masterson, who created the line in 2012 in an effort to avoid using ingredients she found irritated her own skin.

The result is a line free of what the brand calls ‘Suspicious 6’ ingredients (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, artificial fragrance and colours, and sulphates).

Instead, Drunk Elephant bases many of its products around its star ingredient, virgin Marula oil, an antioxidant and omega oil-rich product, cold-pressed in a patented extraction process to preserve the highest amount of nutrients.  It is also the ingredient which gives the brand its name; according to popular myth elephants get drunk eating the fermented Marula fruits which fall to the ground).

Pricey, classy and opinion-dividing, the brand has soared to fame worldwide in a few short years and was last year sold for $845 million.


The Cleanser

In a cleanser line-up that also includes a balm and two bar soaps, Beste is the brand’s gel face wash, and is aimed at being non-sensitising and suitable for all skin types.

Although Drunk Elephant keeps its products fragrance and colour-free, given their general vibe is one of bright colours, clean ingredients and some pretty Instagrammable graphics, when I first bought this I was definitely expecting something, well, a little exciting.

In reality though, out of its packaging this is a very mild, clear, unscented gel cleanser, without any particular indication looks-wise that it’s any different to pretty much most gels.

Low foaming, its ingredients do make it standout, however, containing a blend of mild surfactants (cleansing agents) like coconut-derived cocamidopropyl betaine and coco-glucoside to gently remove dirt and oil.  In addition, glycerin here softens while aloe leaf extracts soothes and vitamin e offers antioxidant protection.

It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

Reviewing Drunk Elephant's Beste No 9 Cleanser


The Full List of Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycolipids, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Lauryl Glucoside, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Polylysine


On the Skin

After working onto damp skin this gel foams slightly and I find it removes my sunscreen and makeup pretty easily, although it does sting my eyes quite a bit so I tend to use a separate eye makeup remover.

Unfortunately though while this isn’t too drying, despite the addition of the glycerin and some virgin Marula oil, this just isn’t hydrating enough for me.  And compared to say Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser I definitely feel a need to moisturise straight after using this to keep my already dry skin from feeling uncomfortable.

Oilier types or those who live in hotter climates might really enjoy this though, since it does a decent job of removing dirt, oil and makeup but is still much gentler than a lot of foaming cleansers.

Dry skin or double cleansing types may also enjoy this after an oil or balm cleanse. For a cheaper dupe though I also really like Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser, a foaming yet still gentle face wash that won’t strip skin.


The Takeaway

I’m not blown away by this gel and I personally prefer the Soy Face Cleanser, which I find offers a thorough yet gentle cleanse on my drier skin- and importantly doesn’t sting my eyes.

Having said that I don’t think Beste is a bad product, just not a particularly exciting one; but sometimes unexciting is exactly what your skin needs.  And oily and acne types might really enjoy this.

Great for: Oilier skin types, second cleansing, and anyone who wants a taste of the Drunk Elephant brand without too big a price tag.

Not-so-great for: Really dry skin types, which might not find this hydrating enough.

Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is £27 for 150 ml, Cult Beauty UK and $32 for 5 oz/ 150 ml, Sephora US


This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you buy a product after clicking on it I may earn a (very) small commission in sales at no extra cost to you. All my opinions are entirely my own, however, and affiliate links never change how I write about or present a product. The money earned from them helps towards the running costs of this site, allowing me to continue writing and reviewing thoroughly and honestly.

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