This New All-in-One Serum Will Cut Your Skincare Routine in Half

It already has 5-star reviews.

We Tried it First: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Resurf Serum Launch/Review
Photo: Courtesy

With more skincare products on the market than ever, it's easy to see why folks are usually looking to add more to their routines than take away. But when it comes to your beauty regimen, sometimes less is indeed more.

That's exactly why Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson knew it was time to create a serum that was safe to use both night and day (just make sure you put on some sunscreen as the last step in your morning routine), and offers chemical exfoliation so gentle that it can safely be mixed with vitamin C in the a.m. and a retinol in the p.m. All while plumping and firming skin with 11 signal peptides, and adding moisture with a multi-amino acid blend, to boot.

Yes, Drunk Elephant's Protini Powerpeptide Resurfacing Serum has officially arrived at Sephora — and it's good.

I started using the serum about a month ago to ensure I would be able to give it a proper review.

But I will start off by saying that I generally have clear skin, and a pretty diligent skincare routine, so going into it, I wasn't expecting to see a complete transformation. However, I was curious to see how it would help with texture and moisture since my skin gets a little rough in the winter.

As per the directions, I applied it both day and night. Some weeks I used it as the only active in my regimen (so only following up with a moisturizer and SPF), other weeks I mixed it into an extended routine to see if it would make any difference.

drunk elephant protini serum

To shop: $82;

By the end of my trial, I actually found that whether or not I used it solo or I paired it with another active, my skin was noticeably smoother and softer. I had far less rough patches caused by the cold air outside, and the heat blasting inside.

I didn't experience any irritation from mixing it with other products, and had no sensitivity from wearing it during the daytime, despite the 10% lactic acid, which I understand can give people some pause. So, I'll let Masterson explain some of the science behind the formula.

"Lactic acid is actually considered to be one of the mildest and most hydrating of all AHAs due to its larger molecular size — it doesn't penetrate as deeply, and therefore the exfoliation isn't as intense, which makes Protini Powerpeptide more forgiving and flexible," she says.

Not the mention the other bevy of skin-soothing ingredients.

"Amino acids, peptides, and proteins are all vital in helping to maintain the health and integrity of your skin barrier. Amino acids make up peptides, while peptides make up proteins— the name Protini is a nod to the critical role they all play in healthy, stronger skin," she adds. "While different peptides may have their own unique benefits for skin, nearly all work to improve moisture levels in skin, as well as having antioxidant and soothing, anti-redness benefits. Certain peptides go beyond this to signal skin to produce healthy collagen while also helping to protect against its loss."

She's not kidding, either.

After about two to three weeks of using this all-in-one serum, I actually found myself leaving the other serums I'd normally reach for on the shelf. My skin just wasn't yearning for them like how a leather-clad Jodeci was yearning for somebody's love in the middle of a desert back in the '90s. My skin had moved on, to say the least. And the timing couldn't be better.

VIDEO: AOC Just Dropped Her Skincare Routine, Which Includes an Under-$20 Serum

I'm pretty sure I hit that "COVID wall" about 45 gazillion times this past month alone. I've felt more lethargic than ever, and the stress of life and everything else was real. Going to the grocery store and de-COVIDing once I got home felt like an extreme sport. So I definitely didn't have the energy to go through a long skincare routine at the end of the day.

This serum made it easy to get through my regimen in about four easy steps, and then I could take my behind directly back to my natural habitat: my bed. Plus, you know, the results of smoother, softer skin certainly didn't hurt.

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