4 Editors With Different Skin Types Review Drunk Elephant's Bouncy Brightfacial
Bubble, paper, clay, exfoliating, overnight, peel-off — the modern-day face mask has taken on many forms over the years. (Not to mention the entirely other type of mask we've all, hopefully, also been wearing.) Still, despite its evolution, and no matter if you are prone to acne, experience dryness, or are on the oilier side, the end goal when using one is always the same: brighter, clearer, better-looking skin. That's the focus of one of the brand's latest launches, the Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial Mask ($49, originally $68), which promises to give your visage that ring-light effect.
It marks the third face mask in the Drunk Elephant product lineup — joining heavy-hitting predecessors Babyfacial and Waterfacial — but it's the brand's first treatment to harness the power of the buzziest ingredient in skin care right now: azelaic acid.
"It's a really interesting ingredient with lots of great properties, so I wanted to create an entirely new formulation around it," founder Tiffany Masterson tells POPSUGAR. "We always go as high as we can with our actives, but at a low molecular weight and at a safe pH level so it's effective yet not irritating." That's why the team loaded Bouncy Brightfacial with 10 percent azelaic acid, plus salicylic acid (to dissolve dirt and grime from pores), diglucosyl gallic acid and glutathione (to brighten), and marula oil and ceramides (to hydrate), among others.
In recent years, azelaic acid in particular has been identified in the market as a workhorse ingredient that exfoliates just as well as other well-loved acids like AHAs and BHAs, albeit more gently, making it better tolerated by sensitive or compromised skin. It's also said to treat a plethora of skin concerns, from dark spots and hyperpigmentation to redness.
"It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, which are great for acne-prone skin as it can help calm and reduce spots," says consultant dermatologist Mary Sommerlad, MBBS, MRCP. This also makes it a solid treatment for rosacea: "Papulopustular rosacea is associated with red bumps and pus-filled blemishes, and regular use of azelaic acid helps to mitigate the associated redness and swelling with minimal risk of adverse side effects."
For anyone with postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, Dr. Sommerlad says azelaic acid can also help to fade stubborn marks. "It can improve hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme crucial to the production of melanin."
As a result, Masterson assures that Bouncy Brightfacial works across all skin types and can be used as the last step to your existing skin-care regimen or, for "a brightening win-win," coupled with the brand's C-Firma. The formula is meant to be left on the skin, instead of rinsing it off, but really how (and how often) you use it is entirely up to you. "We're big on 'smoothies' — mixing products together depending on what your skin needs that day — so you can customize. Some people need more moisture, some people need less. Some people want more exfoliation, some people don't want as much depending on your age or your concerns."
Because Bouncy Brightfacial was designed to play well with other acids and skin treatments, you don't need to replace a skin-care step to make room for it in your routine, either. "You can put it on as the top layer of your smoothie at night; you can mix it in with your other products during the day; you can use it just twice a week if you want; it's even gentle enough that you can use it twice a day," says Masterson. "That's the thing, it's very versatile."
Now, for the all-important question: is it too good to be true? We were determined to find out, so we asked four POPSUGAR editors with different skin types — from oily and acne-prone to dry and beyond — to put Drunk Elephant's Bouncy Brightfacial ($49, originally $68) to the test for a full month. Keep reading for our unfiltered reviews.
Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial on Acne-Prone Skin: Review
Skin type: Acne-prone
Review: "As someone who struggles with hyperpigmentation and dark spots, I was extremely excited to try this product out. It did not disappoint. Even though it takes time to really fade stubborn spots, after using this for a little more than three weeks, I've already noticed a big difference. It's the booster my skin needed. A good amount of my postacne dark marks have faded to a lighter color, if not completely disappeared. What I really appreciate about this product is that it has ingredients to correct discoloration, like azelaic acid, and prevent future acne, like salicylic acid. I've used it every other day, primarily at night as the last step of my skin-care routine. Though you can use it in the morning as well, I found that the product pilled a bit when I put sunscreen on. Plus, a little goes a long way. I like to also use it as a spot treatment on areas that need an extra push." — Anvita Reddy, assistant commerce editor
Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial on Sensitive Skin: Review
Skin type: Sensitive, combination
Review: "I should preface that I love nearly every Drunk Elephant skin-care product. My skin is like a tyrant toddler — fussing about the littlest inconvenience, like air travel, cold or windy days, and the like — and tolerates very few brands so consistently. All of that is to say: I knew the Bouncy Brightfacial mask wouldn't cause any irritation to my sensitive skin, and it didn't. What it did do, after a little more than a month of testing, was reduce all the other things I experience: redness, sunspots, and the slight hormonal breakout here and then. I found it layered nicely under all my skin-care treatments at night, but I sometimes snuck it into my a.m. routine too, since it also had a mattifying effect that I wasn't expecting that made it the perfect makeup primer underneath foundation on the areas that tend to get oily throughout the day." — Kelsey Castañon, beauty director
Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial on Oily Skin: Review
Skin type: Combination to oily, acne-prone
Review: "I really loved how lightweight this mask felt. It didn't pill when used in conjunction with the rest of my skin-care products, and it also didn't leave behind any greasy residue. I enjoyed the fact that it didn't break me out — in fact, I noticed that I went quite a few days without any new blemishes when I slowly started incorporating this into my routine, which is a major win for me. I found that Brightfacial is great for stopping future hyperpigmentation (since it does a great job at stopping pimples in the first place), but I wouldn't say it addressed my existing postacne hyperpigmentation marks. I would recommend using this more as a preventative or maintenance step rather than trying to use it to clear up spots you already have, especially if they are more severe cases." — Ariel Baker, assistant beauty editor
Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial on Normal-to-Dry Skin: Review
Skin type: Normal to dry
Review: "I used to be so great at doing a face-mask treatment on Sunday nights, but I've recently fallen off that routine. However, Drunk Elephant's Brightfacial mask has gotten me back into it simply because it's so easy to add to my regimen. I've been applying it in the morning after my serum and moisturizer and letting it sit for a few minutes before putting on sunscreen. The texture is silky and lightweight, and it layers beautifully under my other products. I've noticed a huge difference in my complexion already — it's brighter, more even, and extra smooth." — Jessica Harrington, beauty editor