Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review

Sunday, May 17, 2015

drunk elephant c-firma day serum review

So sticking to the skincare theme for Sundays, I've recently updated my skincare routine again and have a small backlog of products I'm testing. Today I realized that I've finally logged about a month of using the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (!!!), my new vitamin C serum, so it's about time for a review.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review and Photos Pictures


This is one of those products that give me starry eyes after reading the ingredients list. It's got 15% l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), stabilized with some ferulic acid, along with vitamin E in the form of tocopherol. It's also got some ingredients I've been dying to try like pumpkin ferment extract and marula oil. Then there's pomegranate, grape, licorice root, indian gooseberry, all great antioxidant-rich substances and a dash of hyaluronic acid.

An unexpected but welcome addition is the chronocyclin which according to the DE website is "an anti-aging chronopeptide that biotransforms into Vitamin D and mimics sun exposure activation of the circadian genes. It optimizes skin physiological activities of defense and cells regeneration." The way I understood this statement is that chronocyclin (in addition to diet of course) may be part of the solution to the dilemma of how to ensure your body is getting enough vitamin D while being meticulous about blocking UV rays.

Lastly, the pH of this product lies within the effective range of 3.3 - 3.5


The ingredients list for this serum is like a long list of "YES". It's literally a laundry list of potent antioxidants. Notably absent is alcohol, which is great for my dry skin. Furthermore, the brand attitude toward incorporating ingredients, is to err on the side of caution and shuns fragrance (natural and synthetic).

As a whole, they have a very interesting approach toward ingredients, which you can read about here: If there's a doubt, it's out

Water (Aqua), Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydro Curcuminoids, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjustor), Phenoxyethanol

Ingredients in red are potential acne triggers.


I apply this as part of my morning routine just before moisturizer and sunscreen.
Updated routine here.


It comes in a totally opaque package with a pump. I prefer this to dropper bottles and tubs because it makes the ingredients less likely to lose effectiveness due to oxidation. Side note: if you want to extend the life of your serums, store them in the fridge. 

I have seen feedback from other customers on the Sephora website expressing that they dislike the packaging because the product sprays a bit erratically and can get messy, but I've found that if you hold the bottle parallel to the ground with the nozzle pointing straight down, and pump it into your hand, all the good stuff inside won't get everywhere and you won't waste any product or have to clean up residue on the bottle.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review and Photos Pictures

So below is a shot of the serum itself. It's orange but I don't worry that the serum has oxidized nor do I believe that DE is trying to hide oxidation with dyes since there are none in the ingredients list. (Some brands do this.) I actually think the color is due to the pumpkin ferment extract.

The consistency of the serum is thin and runny with the slightest bit of tackiness/stickiness to the formula. There is a slight pumpkin-y scent to it that goes away almost immediately after application. Again there's no fragrance in the formula.

I have dry skin  and my skin loves this. The consistency is thin enough for those with oily skin to enjoy this serum as well.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review and Photos Pictures


Can I just say this kicks the pants off of my past vitamin C serum: the nuFace Lifter Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Serum? Because it does. So, I saw improvement when I first started using vitamin C serums in general, but I couldn't really find a reason to stick to just one serum because none of the serums that I was trying really outperformed the others to a huge degree. But with this one, my skin has been brighter and more glow-y. I've also seen some lightening effects and evening of my skin tone. So far in my experience, the rankings go Drunk Elephant > Ole Henriksen in the orange bottle > Ole Henriksen in the blue bottle > nuFace and Murad tie for last place.


1 oz. retails for $80.00 at dermstore, Sephora, Drunk Elephant, and Kirna Zabete. (I've yet to try KZ as a retailer.) It's a shame that skinstore does not carry this yet (they run an almost constant 20% off discount code on their site). At the time of this writing, I would also recommend checking ebay and Amazon for this product because apparently some full sizes came out in a Popsugar box around the February/March timeframe which some people are offloading on those sites for less. 

1 oz of product has historically lasted me between 3-5 months of twice daily application.

So will you be trying it out? Or do you have a vitamin C serum to which you are already loyal? If so, which one is it? I'd love to know!

SHOP THE POST        $80 at Sephora

Thanks for reading!

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