drunk elephant b-hydra intensive hydration serum review

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum is one of the most popular hyaluronic acid serums on the market.

But at $48.00 a bottle, you’d be forgiven for thinking… “Can I get the same thing cheaper? The Ordinary has a hyaluronic acid serum that’s less than $10…”

I hear ya. If there’s a product that’s easy to dupe, this is it. So what makes this one special? I’ve put it to the test to find out:

What’s In Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum?


What do Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, and Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5) have in common?

They’re all humectants. In plain English, they attract moisture from the environment and bind it into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer.

Moisture is the foundation of good skin. When you have enough, everything else falls into place. Skin plumps up so fine lines and wrinkles look instantly smaller; its texture gets softer to the touch, and your complexion glows as if lit-from-within.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydrating Serum may highlight Panthenol on the packaging, but Hyaluronic Acid is my fave. It binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. So. Much. Moisture.

Related: What The Heck Are Humectants And Why Do You Need Them In Your Skincare Routine?


Marula oil is the IT ingredients in all Drunk Elephant products – B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum is no exception.

Derived from the nuts of the fruits of the Marula trees (a.k.a. Sclerocarya birrea), Marula oil is loaded with moisturising fatty acids, including linoleic and oleic acid.

Fatty acids create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss, helping to keep skin hydrated for longer. Plus, it has its fair share of antioxidants to help you fight premature wrinkles, too.

That’s not all. Studies show that Linoleic acid also soothes inflammation, one of the main causes of acne and premature aging.

Related: How To Fight Acne With Oils


Lightweight, refreshing gel. Not sticky at all.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

After cleansing/exfoliation but before moisturiser. If you have oily skin, you may be able to skip moisturiser. This serum is hydrating enough for you.

Performance & Personal Opinion

You’d never guess Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel has Marula oil in it. Its texture is so incredibly lightweight, it sinks into the skin immediately and dries to a slight dewy, non-sticky finish.

It’s incredibly hydrating, too. You can use it alone as a gel moisturiser for oily skin or as a serum underneath your day/night cream if you’re dry or dehydrated.

Either way, it packs a hydrating punch. I personally prefer to use hyaluronic acid serums in winter when my skin is practically begging for extra moisture. In summer, I don’t need them as much. But your mileage may vary.

The serum makes my skin softer and smoother. At the end of the day, when I come home after a windy London commute, my skin is still in good shape. There’s no flakiness or tightness – tell tale signs my skin’s lacking moisture.

It makes my skin a little glowier, too. But this really depends on how dry your skin is. The more moisture your skin has, the more dewy it gets. If it doesn’t have enough to begin with, you may need to pair it with an oil to get that glow.

Related: Can You Skip Moisturiser And Use Serum Alone?

drunk elephant b-hydra hydration serum

Who Is This For?

All skin types can use it, but it’s most suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.

Who Is This Not For?

If you’re on a budget, you can find plenty of cheaper options that work just as well.


Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum comes in a sleek white tube with a blue pump dispenser. It’s beautiful and practical.

P.S. I have the mini size. Drunk Elephant has some cute sets that allow you to try their products at a fraction of the cost.

Does Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

This ultra-hydrating serum replenishes the complexion and improves the look of skin tone and texture. True.
B-Hydra™ delivers steady hydration throughout the day, leaving the skin looking healthy and more illuminated. True.
This lightweight, hard-hitting serum is ideal for all skin types. True again. It works for everyone, unless you’re allergic to one of the ingredients.

Price & Availability

$48.00/£40.00 at Cult Beauty, Sephora, and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

Your skin probably needs a Hyaluronic Acid serum. If you want to avoid silicones and don’t mind the little splurge, Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water/Aqua/Eau, Coconut Alkanes, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Wheat Amino Acids, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Berberis Vulgaris Root Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Niacinamide, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lactate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyproline, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin