drunk elephant protini polypeptide cream review

You know me, I’d never buy a cream just because it contains peptides.

Marketing hype aside, there’s still not enough scientific evidence to convince me they’re the best thing since retinol. And yet, I wouldn’t hesitate to splurge on Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream.

WTH? Did I lost my marbles?

Nope. Peptides may be the stars of the show, but this moisturiser has plenty more to offer you – especially if you have oily skin. Here’s what I mean:

What’s In Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream?


Peptides are the anomaly in the skincare matrix. In theory they shouldn’t work – they’re too big to penetrate skin. In practice, studies claim they do something even when left on the surface of the skin.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream contains a lot of peptides:

Keep in mind that most of the studies are done by the manufacturers. This is why I don’t recommend you buy a cream only because it has peptides yet (but they make for an interesting bonus).

Related: Types Of Peptides In Skincare: Which One Works Best For You?

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Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. They make up 75% of the human body!

They’re essentials to almost all of its functions, including the synthesis of collagen. There is no way skin can function without them.

And yet, everyone ignores them. Go figure. 🙄 Well, almost everyone. This cream is loaded with them:

  • Alanine: It hydrates skin.
  • Arginine: May help wounds and skin cell damage heal faster.
  • Glycine: Helps repair damaged tissue.
  • Histidine: Antioxidant, fights the free radicals that cause wrinkles and soothes inflammation.
  • Isoleucine: It helps repair the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Phenylalanine: It helps treat vitiligo.
  • Proline: Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and restores collagen synthesis after UV exposure.
  • Serine: It helps bind water into the skin.
  • Threonine: One of the key building blocks of collagen and elastin. It hydrates skin, too.
  • Valine: It hydrates skin.

Related: Why You Need To Add Amino Acids To Your Skincare Routine


Marula oil is the star ingredient in all Drunk Elephant products – and this moisturiser 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: 3 Little Known Ingredients That Can Help You Fight Acne


Lightweight. Almost gel-like. Sinks in instantly.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the AM, in between serum and sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I’m in love with the texture of Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. It’s so incredibly lightweight you’d think it’d be runny but nope. It just sinks into your skin instantly and spreads like a dream.

Once in, it makes my skin softer than a baby’s. It has all the velvety feel of silk, but without the greasiness of oils or the plastic feel of silicones. I honestly can’t stop touching my face.

It makes it plumper, too. It’s a trick that makes fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. Plus, the extra hydration gives skin that as-if-lit-from-within glow.

It basically does everything a good moisturiser should do – but better. You have to try it to believe it. But only try it if you can afford the splurge – you’ll want to get the full size, trust me on this!

I can’t say it firmed my skin, but honestly I wasn’t expecting that. As I mentioned, the studies on peptides aren’t solid yet. But combined with amino acids, they do help skin behave like it naturally should – you know, if we weren’t exposed every day to pollution, unhealthy foods, smoking and all the other things that hurt it.

If you have oily skin, this is perfect for you. It gives you all the moisture your skin needs without too much extra oil. Very dry skin? You may want to try something richer.

Is your skin type in between? You’ll dig this, too.

drunk elephant protini polypeptide cream

Who Is This For?

Everyone can use it, but it’s best suitable for oily skin.

Who Is This Not For?

If you have very dry skin, this isn’t moisturising enough for you.


A sleek, white and green airless jar. You need to press down on the lid to pump out the product. This is genius: the ingredients are never exposed to light and air, keeping them safe and effective for longer.

Does Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream Live Up To Its Claims?

This breakthrough protein moisturizer combines an unprecedented array and concentration of signal peptides, growth factors, supportive amino acids and pygmy waterlily for visible and immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture and firmness.Mostly true. It can improve skin’s texture, but I didn’t see a different in firmness. But, pleas note that anything that moisturises skin can immediately improve the appearance of skin.
Lines, wrinkles and signs of sun-damage appear reduced and skin feels strengthened and moisturized. Pay close attention to the words “appear” and “feels”. Drunk Elephant doesn’t claim the cream can reduce sun damage etc, but only that it looks and feels like it can. And that’s true.

Price & Availability

$68.00/£57.00at Cult BeautySephora and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

I hesitate to call it a must-have, but it’s one of my top moisturiser picks for oily and combination skin.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water/Aqua/Eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Bacillus/Soybean/ Folic Acid Ferment Extract, Nymphaea Alba Root Extract, sh-Oligopeptide-1, sh-Oligopeptide-2, sh-Polypeptide-1, sh-Polypeptide-9, sh-Polypeptide-11, Copper Palmitoyl Heptapeptide-14, Heptapeptide-15 Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Alanine, Arginine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Valine, Acetyl Glutamine, Coconut Alkanes, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aspartic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sorbitan Isostearate, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, Lactic Acid/Glycolic Acid Copolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Isomalt, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenylpropanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Symphytum Officinale Callus Culture Extract