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Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum Ingredients Explained

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Updated on July 18, 2023 Submitted by raydelrosario

Overview

What it is

Serum with 33 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid, PHA, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Drunk Elephant is from United States. This product is used in 95 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

PHA
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Hyaluronic Acid (2)

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation (2)
Skin Texture (2)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (5)
Dark Spots (3)
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Irritating
Eczema

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free
ph level
3.5

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Solvent
3
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
4
Cleansing, Emulsifying
3 / 0
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Skin Conditioning
8
Humectant
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
10
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Good for Dark Spots Icon
11
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
12
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
13
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
14
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
15
Skin Conditioning
16
Solvent
17
Skin Conditioning
PHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
18
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
19
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
20
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
21
22
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
23
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
24
Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
25
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
26
27
Antimicrobial
28
Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
29
Preservative
Preservative Icon
30
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
31
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
32
Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
33
Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 33 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

As a solvent, dimethyl isosorbide helps dissolve other ingredients. This helps ensure even distribution of an ingredient. It may also be used to decrease the thickness of a product.

Studies show dimethyl isosorbide is able to penetrate skin to deliver other ingredients into the skin, making them more effective.

Learn more about Dimethyl Isosorbide
3
What it does: Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Not only is vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin. It improves dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because it blocks the process of skin darkening when exposed to UV.

Remember: Vitamin C should not replace sunscreen!

Your skin uses vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen is one key component in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in regulating collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines.

Ascorbic acid shows potent antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

The best formulations include Vitamin E and/or ferulic acid. These two ingredients help stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air. In fact, you can tell your ascorbic acid has oxidized when it turns an orange-yellow color.

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
4
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Laureth-23 is created by reacting ethylene oxide with Lauryl Alcohol.

It is a cleansing ingredient. This means it helps lift oils and dirt so they may be rinsed away with water.

The 23 refers to the number of repeating ethylene oxides in the molecule.

Learn more about Laureth-23
5
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
6
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
7
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

We don't have a description for Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract.

8
What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Mixed

Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil is the oil expressed from the seeds of the Marula plant. In South Africa, Marula is called "an elephant's favorite treat".

Marula seed oil is a non-fragrant oil. It is rich in fatty acids, such as oleic, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and more. These fatty acids help hydrate the skin.

Other components of marula seed oil include vitamin E and antioxidants such as flavonoids.

Antioxidants may help reduce the signs of aging. This is because they help fight free-radical molecules. If left unchecked, free-radical molecules may damage your skin cells and DNA.

Learn more about Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil
9
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Extracts of licorice have demonstrated to have antibacterial, anti‐inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant properties.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Licorice root is native to Southern Europe and Asia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with respiratory issues.

Learn more about Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate
10
What it does: Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Community Rating: Liked

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Learn more about Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract
11
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Vitis Vinifera Juice Extract comes from grape juice.

Vitis Vinifera Juice Extract has antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals by donating extra electrons. Grape seed extract may help reduce the signs of aging.

Learn more about Vitis Vinifera Juice Extract
12
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant
Community Rating: Loved

Ferulic Acid is a plant based antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. Ferulic Acid can help reduce the formation of fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

When used with Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid has shown to prevent Vitamin C from breaking down. In other words, it acts as a stabilizer.

Ferulic Acid is sometimes used to preserve food. Foods containing Ferulic Acid include: oats, rice, eggplant, citrus.

In medicine, Ferulic Acid is being studied for helping with diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular diseases.

Learn more about Ferulic Acid
13
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract.

14
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Community Rating: Loved

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract has many benefits. It contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules that damage skin cells. The antioxidants in green tea neutralize free-radicals from the sun. This gives the skin some extra UV protection, but should not replace sunscreen.

Many components of tea have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols and L-theanine help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. L-theanine is an amino acid that makes up most of the amino acids found in tea leaves. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also contains Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also has antimicrobial properties.

Research has shown both drinking Camellia Sinensis Leaf Tea and applying it to the skin can help boost skin elasticity and hydration. Studies also show using tea extract may reduce sebum, or oil, production.

Learn more about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
15
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

This ingredient comes from fermenting pomegranate with lactobacillus.

It displays strong antioxidant properties. One study found fermented pomegranate to help with moisture, brightness, elasticity, and collagen after 8 weeks.

16
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs have a larger structure than AHAs and BHAs and are more gentle. It is an created by reacting gluconic acid with an alcohol.

When applied, Gluconolactone has the same affect on skin as AHAs such as lactic acid. It helps dissolve the dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin. This helps improve texture and brightens the skin.

Gluconolactone is a humectant and helps draw moisture to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

PHAs are more gentle than AHAs due to their larger structure. They do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs and take a longer time to dissolve dead cells. Studies show PHAs do not cause as much irritation.

PHAs also exhibit antioxidant activity by neutralizing free-radical molecules. This can help with anti-aging.

In a 2004 study, Gluconolactone was found to prevent UV damage in mouse skin cells. However, we still recommend wearing SPF especially after using exfoliating ingredients.

Learn more about Gluconolactone
18
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer is a type of hyaluronic acid. In fact, it is modified version of hyaluronic acid.

The structure of Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer allows it to stay in the skin's top layer for a longer period of time. This allows for even more hydration and humectant action than hyaluronic acid.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer
19
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
20
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Loved

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract comes from the outer layer of a rice kernel. It is a byproduct of milling rice, or the operation to produce a whole grain rice product.

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract is moisturizing. This is due to its components of polysaccharides and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract contains numerous antioxidants such as ferulic acid. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material.

Learn more about Oryza Sativa Bran Extract

We don't have a description for Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole.

22
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning

Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane is an antioxidant.

23
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning

Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane is an antioxidant.

24
What it does: Antioxidant

Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane is an antioxidant.

25
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
26
What it does:
Community Rating: Liked

Caprylhydroxamic Acid is a chelating agent.

Chelating agents help prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps prevent unwanted reactions and effects from using the product.

Caprylhydroxamic Acid is often used with natural antimicrobial products as an alternative to preservatives.

Learn more about Caprylhydroxamic Acid
27
What it does: Antimicrobial
Community Rating: Liked

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is a natural preservative. It comes from fermenting radish roots with a bacteria called leuconostoc. Leuconostoc comes from lactic acid. This bacteria is used to make the traditional Korean side-dish, kimchi. It is also used to make sourdough bread (both incredibly yummy foods).

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate has antimicrobial properties and helps prevent the growth of bacteria in a product.

It is believed the preservation property comes from salicylic acid and ammonium salt, neither of which are involved in the fermentation process.

Learn more about Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate
28
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sorbic Acid is a preservative. It is the most commonly used food preservative in the world.

Sorbic Acid is a natural antibiotic and highly effective at preventing the growth of fungus. It is less effective against bacteria.

Potassium Sorbate, another commonly-used preservative, is the potassium salt of Sorbic Acid.

Sorbic Acid may worsen eczema. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Potassium sorbate and sorbic acid can be found in baked goods, cheeses, dried meats, dried fruit, ice cream, pickles, wine, yogurt, and more.

Learn more about Sorbic Acid
29
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

30
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
31
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
32
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Chondrus Crispus Extract comes from a red algae native to the northern Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America.

Chondrus Crispus Extract helps hydrate the skin and is rich in antioxidants.

The antioxidants in chondrus crispus help fight free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage skin cells and DNA. Antioxidants present in chondrus crispus include lutein and zeaxanthin.

Lutein has the ability to filter blue light from screens.

Other contents of chondrus crispus include polysaccharides, peptides, and amino acids. These help hydrate the skin.

Learn more about Chondrus Crispus Extract
33
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 33 ingredients in this product ✨

61% are loved or liked
12% have mixed ratings
12% are disliked or very disliked
15% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum ->
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