drunk elephant beste no.9 jelly cleanser review

Milky and cheap. These are my criteria for cleanser shopping.

Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser is a gel with a high price tag. Kinda the opposite of what I tend to go for.

And yet, it won over my heart. Here’s how:

What’s In Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser?


Surfactants are a family of ingredients that allow water to mix with oils and dirt, so they can be rinsed away.

Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser uses quite a few:

  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Coco-Glucoside
  • Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
  • Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate

They all have one thing in common: they’re incredibly gentle.

That’s why they’re so many. If the cleanser contained only one or two, it wouldn’t remove anything. The strength each surfactant lacks individually is made up in numbers.


It doesn’t matter how gentle a cleanser is, the cleansing process always has the potential to be traumatic for skin.

That’s where glycerin comes in. This moisture magnet attracts moisture from the environment into the skin, keeping it soft and hydrated during the cleansing process.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In ALL Your Skincare Products?


A lightweight gel that barely foams when you mix it with water.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

Morning and night, it’s the first step of your skincare routine. Gently massage it over wet or dry skin. Add water to lather. Rinse well and pat dry.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect to like Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser as much as I do.

I prefer milk or oil-based cleansers because they do a better job at removing makeup without drying out skin. Plus, I don’t like the idea of spending more than $20 on a cleanser (I’d rather splurge on a retinol serum, you know what I mean?).

But when I put it to the test, I was impressed. It took off every trace of makeup – including longlasting concealer – without drying out or irritating my combination skin.

Keep in mind, I don’t wear too much makeup. Here in Europe, we still prefer a more minimalistic style of makeup. The Kardashian look is way too much for me.

But I do wear a dab of concealer, a dusting of blush, a little eyeshadow, a sprinkle of contouring powder on my cheekbones… on special occasions I’ll even apply a sheer layer of foundation. The cleanser takes everything off quickly.

My skin digs this cleanser (my wallet, not so much). But I also know women who find it a little too drying for their skin type.

This is a wonderful option for oily, sensitive skin. But if yours is dry, you’re better off with a cream or oil-based cleanser, like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.

Fun fact: lots of people compare Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser with CeraVe Foaming Cleanser. The formulas are different, but the performance is similar: they both remove grime and makeup from oily skin well, but are a little too drying for dry skin.

Related: My Review Of CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

drunk elephant beste no9 jelly cleanser

Who Is This For?

Oily, sensitive skin.

Who Is This Not For?

Dry skin.


Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser comes in a white and orange tube. Pretty and hygienic.

I have a deluxe sample size. To open it, simply screw the cap around. It’ll reveal the opening.

Does Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser Live Up To Its Claims?

An innovative jelly cleanser that removes all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution and any other grime from the day. True.
Free of SLS, fragrance and essential oils, Beste™ No. 9 is totally non-irritating, non-sensitizing and appropriate for every skin type. Mostly true. But it’s more suitable for oily than dry skin.
With a unique blend of mild surfactants and makeup dissolving emollients, this gentle formula rinses away without an ounce of residue, leaving skin clean and soft. True again.

Price & Availability

$32.00/£27.00 at Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

Need is a strong word. But if you’re looking for a cleanser that removes dirt and makeup without irritating skin – and your skin isn’t that dry to begin with -, you won’t be disappointed.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water/Aqua/Eau, 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