a dupe for drunk elephany glycolic night serum

I’m not a fan of using more than one exfoliating acid in your skincare routine – unless they come in the same product.

The reason is simple. If you’re trying to fit 3 exfoliants in your regimen, chances are you’ll be exfoliating every single day. For most people, that’s more than their skin can take. Cue dryness, irritation, sensitivity. It’s skin hell.

But if the acids come in a single product? You can use it only when you need it. Plus, you know the acids were formulated to get along and work well together, so you don’t accidentally end up giving your skin more of the wrong acid.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the 3 most popular exfoliating acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. Where can you find them all together?

For a long time, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum was your best bet – if you could afford the splurge, that is. This stuff ain’t cheap.

What if you can’t? Meet the new dupe: Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion. Here’s how they compare:

What Do Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum And Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion Have In Common?

AHAs + BHA TO EXFOLIATE SKIN

I’m a huge fan of exfoliating acids. They work by dissolving the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off and reveal the brighter, smoother skin hiding underneath.

Both Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum and Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion use the same exfoliating acids:

If you have combination skin that needs the extra hydration from AHAs and the acne-busting properties of BHA, both of these exfoliants are made for you.

The difference? Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion contains a HIGHER concentration of exfoliants. That makes the exfoliant more effective BUT also more irritating.

This is something that only very resistant skin used to acids should use. If you’re just starting with exfoliation, this should NOT be your first product – unless you want to seriously irritate your skin and deal with a few weeks of redness, peeling and dryness. Just saying.

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Should You Choose?

SOOTHING EXTRACTS TO CALM DOWN IRRITATIONS

No matter how gentle they are, exfoliation always has the potential to irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive. Glycolic acid is often the culprit here.

That’s why I’m glad that both Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum and Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion have their fair share of soothing extracts to counteract any potential irritation.

Drunk Elephant relies on good old aloe vera and green tea, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and photo protective properties. Studies show it prevents wrinkles, soothes irritations and boosts sun protection.

Moon Juice opted for niacinamide (more on it soon) and allantoin, a plant-based soother that fights inflammation and moisturises skin to boot.

I wouldn’t say one combination is better than other. I’m just glad that both products got this covered.

Related: 9 Soothing Ingredients To Calm Down Irritated Skin


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What Else Is In Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum And Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion?

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!

DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C. FRAMBOOS GLYCOLIC NIGHT SERUM INGREDIENTS

  • Water/Aqua/Eau: The base of this (and most) skincare product.
  • Butylene Glycol: It helps active ingredients better penetrate skin and has some hydrating properties.
  • Glycerin: It’s a humectant that draws water from the air into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: It helps to adjust the pH, so the exfoliating acids can work their best.
  • Citric Acid: Another Alpha Hydroxy Acid, it has mild exfoliating properties. It also helps adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract: A liquid extracted from grapes, it contains a brunch of AHAs that give it mild exfoliating properties that make skin softer, smoother, and brighter.
  • Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract: Derived from a Mexican cactus, it hydrates skin and soothes irritations.
  • Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract: A source of antioxidants that help prevent premature aging.
  • Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract: A powerful source of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to fight premature wrinkles and reduce irritations.
  • Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract: A skin-conditioning agent that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture: It has mild antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent wrinkles and soothe irritations.
  • Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil: A.k.a. Marula Seed Oil, it’s the ingredient that gives the brand its name (rumour has it that elephants get drunk on the Marula fruit). Rich in moisturising fatty acids, it creates a protective barrier on the skin that prevents water loss, hydrates skin, and reduces irritations.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: A form of Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant that draws up to 1000 times in water from the air and binds it into your skin, making it softer, suppler, and smoother.
  • Allantoin: A powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients, it helps reduce redness and irritation.
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose: It’s stabilises emulsions and binds the ingredients together.
  • Galactoarabinan: A natural polysaccharidethat comes from the Larch trees, it reduces tranespidermal water loss. In other words, it helps water stay into your skin, keeping it hydrated and soft.
  • Propanediol: It can be used to enhance the penetration of active ingredients. But, in the small concentrations used here, it acts as a solvent to dissolve other ingredients, and as a preservative tip extend the shelf life of the formula.
  • Disodium EDTA: It binds to the metal ions in water that could spoil the formula and deactivates them.
  • Xanthan Gum: Derived from sugar, it makes the texture thicker and keeps the oily and watery parts of the formula from separating.
  • Hexylene Glycol: It’s a solvent that helps dissolve other ingredients in the formula.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that kills bacteria and germs, helping to extend the shelf life of your product.
  • Caprylyl Glycol: It’s used as a moisturiser and as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the exfoliant.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: It makes skin softer to the touch.
  • Sodium Nitrate: It’s a preservative that extends the shelf life of the product.
  • Potassium Sorbate: Another preservative that kills bacteria and helps your product last and be safe for longer.
  • Pentylene Glycol: A solvent that helps dissolve other skincare ingredients.
  • Sodium Benzoate: Another preservative that keeps your products safe from bacteria, so you can use it for longer without problems.

MOON JUICE BEAUTY SHROOM EXFOLIATING ACID POTION INGREDIENTS

  • Water/Aqua/Eau: The base of the exfoliant.
  • Phytic Acid: A very gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid, it has some mild exfoliating properties. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants that help prevent premature aging.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: It helps to adjust the pH so the exfoliants in here can perform at their best.
  • Niacinamide: One of my fave skincare ingredients, this multitasker hydrates skin, soothes irritations, brightens dark spots, helps reduce wrinkles and treat acne.
  • Propanediol: It’s a solvent that helps dissolve other ingredients in the formula.
  • Glycereth-7 Trimethyl Ether: It makes skin softer to the touch and helps to dissolve salicylic acid in the formula.
  • Allantoin: One of the most soothing ingredients used in skincare, it reduces irritations and redness.
  • Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract: A type of mushroom with powerful antioxidant properties. There’s also some research that it helps lighten dark spots, but it’s unlikely to do that in the small concentrations used here.
  • Tocotrienols: A form of Vitamin E, it has moisturising, antioxidants, and preservative properties.
  • Glycerin: A humectant. It’s a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the air into your skin, so it stays hydrated for longer.
  • Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil: It has antioxidant properties that fight the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles and sagging, so that your skin looks younger for longer.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E. It moisturises skin, fights free radicals, and helps to extend the shelf life of the exfoliant.
  • Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil: It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It soothes skin and kills bacteria that could spoil the product. But its fragrant components could soothe sensitive skin. I know, it’s a contradiction. Hear me out: plant oils are made up of lots of different chemical compounds (yes, plants are made of chemicals and so are humans 😉 ). Some of these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties while others have irritating properties. How your skin will react depends on how sensitive it is.
  • Citric Acid: Another Alpha Hydroxy Acid with mild exfoliating properties, it also helps adjust the pH of the product.
  • Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract: A plant extract with powerful soothing properties.
  • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract: It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

WHICH FORMULA IS BETTER?

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum has a bigger focus on soothing ingredients to counteract the potentially drying effects of exfoliation. No matter how gentle a product is, exfoliation always has the potential to cause irritations, especially in sensitive skin types.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion has a much higher concentration of exfoliants, so I’m surprised it doesn’t contain more soothing and hydrating ingredients to counteract those potential side effects. I’m thrilled it has niacinamide though. It’s a powerful anti-aging superstar that can treat pretty much any skin concern.

Related: All You Need To Know About Niacinamide

What’s The Texture Like?

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a lightweight gel that sinks in immediately. I was afraid the addition of marula oil would give it a slightly sticky feeling (Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum feels sticky for this reason), but luckily this isn’t the case here. The texture’s lovely and a pleasure to use.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion is a lightweight liquid. It’s not sticky and absorbs quickly into the skin too. I’d say it’s slightly messier to use than Drunk Elephant, but the texture is still pleasant.

What’s The Packaging Like?

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum comes in a beautiful white and bright pink bottle with a pump applicator for ease of use. I find it elegant and fun. The pink cap adds a colourful touch that brightens up your vanity. Plus, the tube keeps the antioxidants and exfoliants inside safe from the light and air that could spoil their effectiveness overtime.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion comes in a see through bottle with a round cap. I’m not a big fan of see-through bottles because, overtime, light spoils the exfoliants, making it less effective. A way to get around this is to store the bottle in a cool and dark place.

How To Use Them

I recommend you use Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum twice a week if you have dry skin, and every other night if you’re trying to fade away dark spots or treat acne. Either way, never exfoliate on retinoid nights. This combination is too strong and may dry out or irritate skin. Apply it right after cleansing.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion contains a higher concentration of exfoliants, so I’d recommend you use it every 7/10 days. Again, use it on nights when you don’t use retinol and moisturise well afterwards to counteract any dryness and irritation. This too goes right after your cleanser. I recommend you rinse it off after 10 or so minutes. You don’t want to leave high concentrations of acids on your skin for too long.

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

It depends on your needs.

If you don’t mind splurging more for a gentler exfoliant, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum has a slight edge here. It’s more hydrating and has no fragrant oils that could irritate sensitive skin (Moon Juice has a few drops of clary oil).

If you’re on a budget, are not using niacinamide yet, and your skin can tolerate high concentrations of exfoliating acids, Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion is a better fit for you.

Availability

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($90.00): available at Cult BeautySephora and SpaceNK

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion ($39.00): available at Sephora

Is Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion A Dupe For Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum?

I wouldn’t call Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion an exact dupe for Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. But it’s a more affordable option to get the same combination of exfoliating acids – as long as your skin has built tolerance to them over the years.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Galactoarabinan, Propanediol, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Nitrate, Potassium Sorbate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Phytic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Niacinamide, Propanediol, Glycereth-7 Trimethyl Ether, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Allantoin, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract, Tocotrienols, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Tocopherol, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Citric Acid, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract