As a beauty editor, my biggest gripe with the industry is the power of social media hype. Buying products based on Instagram success totally goes against everything I believe in and have been taught about skincare. Much like books, you should never judge a skincare product by its exterior. Speaking from experience, I have found that most of the products that look really great on the shelf suit my needs far better as home ornaments than skin treatments.
All too often, I find my blood starting to boil as a result of seeing remarkably average (and sometimes terrible) skincare products hit the big time on Instagram purely because they fit the aesthetics of someone’s grid. And the truth is that even I, someone who has years of expert advice and knowledge stored in my brain, sometimes find myself being sucked in. In fact, when lockdown hit last year, I realised that I was wasting so much money on overhyped, Instagram-famous skincare and vowed to never buy an Instagram-famous beauty product ever again. It was all going so well until Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial came along and made me question everything I thought I knew.
Prior to trying the product for the first time back in December, I assumed it was the sort of exfoliating treatment that beauty editors and skinfluencers raved about primarily because it was somewhat exclusive. You see, when massively popular (and very Instagrammable) US skincare brand Drunk Elephant launched in the UK back in 2018, its most-loved, raved-about product didn’t quite make it. Loved by both celebrities and beauty editors, T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is essentially a potent exfoliating treatment that promises to deliver more even, glowing, and baby-soft skin. While we have been able to happily shop Drunk Elephant for the last couple of years, Babyfacial remained a hard-to-get miracle product of faraway lands.
And honestly, I wasn’t that bothered. Sure, I like the Drunk Elephant products I have tried, but something about Babyfacial has always screamed "instant flare-up." (I have very sensitive skin.) Anything containing such a strong blend of acids was, if you ask me, set to be a disaster, especially when it has amassed such hype on Instagram. You see, acid treatments can be very powerful and potentially damaging when used incorrectly or if they end up in the wrong hands. In my opinion, hundreds of thousands of Instagram fans hurrying out to slather their faces in a potent acid treatment doesn’t sound like a great idea. But then, back in December and ahead of it finally launching in the UK last week, a sample arrived on my desk, and I gave it a whirl.
Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is one of the best at-home acid treatments I have ever tried. My skin is sensitive and usually detests any sort of strong alpha-hydroxy acid, let alone a 25% blend. The minute I slathered it on my face, I was expecting that all too familiar burning sensation to arise (the bottle does warn "tingling may occur," which, for my skin, might as well read "get the ice ready"), but it never came. In fact, for the 20 minutes that the thick cream-like formula sat on my skin, I experienced no sign of discomfort whatsoever.
When I rinsed it off, my skin was glowing. It felt soft and smooth, and my usually garish pores looked virtually non-existent. Plus, while a strong acid treatment would usually have me fighting off angry breakouts in the days afterwards, no such thing happened. My skin just continued to ooze health and radiance. I tried it again after a week passed and then the next week and the one after that, too. It is now a firm favourite in my Sunday night skincare routine.
While it’s certainly not the product for people suffering with active acne or other inflammatory conditions, if your skin is in need of a pick-me-up, then I highly recommend giving T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial a go. Those aren’t words I ever thought I would say. It turns out, in this case, this Insta-famous product is seriously deserving of its hype.
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