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DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

I've been using the Drunk Elephant TLC Serum for about a week now, and I wanted to know if anyone else has experience a lot of dryness and skin purging before you see results? I've only heard great things about this line and am hoping that things turn around for my skin if I stick it out for another week or two. Please let me know! 

Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

hi @StephMacDonald ! what works great for some people can cause problems for others, as all skin is different and can be sensitive to different things. i have a few questions for you:

1. how often are you using it, and had you used any sort of product with glycolic acid before ?

2. what is your skin type ?

3. where is the dryness and how do the blemishes look (are they red and angry, or are they whiteheads without much inflammation ?)

4. what is your skincare routine like when you're using the DE serum ?

Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

Hey @jemly,


Thanks for your quick reply! 


I've been using it every night for about a week - I skipped one night because I thought my skin might need a little break since it was pretty dry.


My skin type is Combination - I get minor (but consistent) acne, usually have an oily t-zone with some dryness here and there. One of my main concerns is blackheads on my nose and chin.


The dryness is kind of all over before I apply any moisturizer (right after I wash my face) - mostly on my cheeks and nose, and a bit on my forehead. Blemishes don't look too angry, I've only got one large one that is a bit inflamed right now. And I've got some bumps here and there that just look like whiteheads (but don't hurt or feel inflamed).


Right now, this is my nightly skincare regime:


1) Cleanse with Philosophy Purity Cleanser

2) Tone with Thayers Natural Witch Hazel

3) DE TLC Serum

4) Glossier Priming Moisturizer with a drop of DE Marula Oil 


Thanks again! 


Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

alright, so i have a few of thoughts. 'purging' is in large part a myth--no one should break out in large angry zits when trying a new product and think that means the product is working. but you say that it's mostly whiteheads, which is the way a "purge" *can* actually exist. so, i would continue use, but with some adjustments. don't use it every night (you can eventually, once you're sure your skin likes the ingredients, and once your skin is used to it, but this should be months, if not a year, away). use 2-3 times a week with at least 2 days in between, and eventually work up to every-other-night IF you notice your skin getting better. currently wait a few days (or a week) before going in again. massage your face with the oil to soothe it in the meantime 🙂


the flakiness mixed with the breakout suggests to me that both your skin is dehydrated and that your skin's pH is out of whack. the products you're using may be a bit harsh. witch hazel--i know some people swear by it and have done for ages--is actually rather harsh, and used in conjunction with the nightly use of the TLC serum is making your skin scream a bit. reconsider getting a more soothing toner (think of the glycolic and salicylic acid content of the serum to be the modern day antiseptic equivalent to the more old fashioned ingredient of witch hazel -- i don't think it should be necessary to use both, and acids are, generally speaking, superior ingredients) ((as long as you know your skin likes them, of course)). if you are particularly attached to the witch hazel though, try using it on alternating nights of the serum, at the least. see what happens.


try using a daytime (and alternating nighttime) serum for hydration to counteract the hardcoreness of your nighttime treatment. my favorite currently is the CLINIQUE moisture surge supercharged concentrate. use it before applying the moisturizer 🙂

Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

Great, thanks so much! 

RE: Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

StephMacDonald - Drunk Elephant is an excellent skincare line, all of their products are good for skin. The TLC serum can be drying if your skin is not used to that kind of exfoliation, maybe try every other night. IMO your cleanser and the witch hazel are probably causing your skin issues, those products are both full of ingredients that are not skin friendly, try switching to one of the drunk elephant cleaning bars (only bar cleansers recommended for skin) and ditching the witch hazel for a few weeks and see how your skin looks.

Re: RE: Re: DE TLC Serum - Skin Purge?

Thanks for your help! 

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