Does Drunk Elephant’s AHA-Infused Body Lotion Live Up to the Hype?

A black and white photo of a woman applying lotion
Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Nearly everything the cult-favorite skincare brand Drunk Elephant comes up with becomes the stuff of legend: its T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, and C-Firma Vitamin C Serum have all taken their places in the best-performing (and bestselling) beauty canon. Last month, Drunk Elephant released its latest T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion, a hydrating product charged with 10 percent alpha hydroxy acids, which gently exfoliate and resurface dull, dry skin. The product is already sold out on Drunk Elephant’s website—but is it worth the hype? Four W editors tried it to find out.

Andrea Whittle, Features Editor

On a scale of one (rarely use it) to 10 (slathering it on) where does your body lotion usage fall?

I’d say I’m at an 8—I try to moisturize my whole body after every shower, but I’ll occasionally skip it if I’m feeling lazy or I’m in a rush. Lately, I’ve been loving Nécessaire’s new Body Serum, but I’m also perfectly content with a tub of Vanicream or a tube of Eucerin. My holy grail is Susanne Kaufmann’s truly incredible body butter, which I got as a gift once, but it costs $80 a jar and I’m not a billionaire.

What is your perception of the Drunk Elephant brand?

Their Vitamin C day serum is genuinely excellent, and I love their little bar soap face cleanser set for travel. I’m also into the friendly, all-natural vibe they give off.

Discuss your experience using the Drunk Elephant TLC body lotion.

The lotion feels light, cool, and refreshing upon application, and it absorbs quickly—my skin was instantly silky and soft. When I first used it, I had a few mosquito bites on my ankle that were still healing, and I did notice that the lotion stung on broken skin. Nothing crazy painful, but something to be aware of if you have any shaving nicks or scratches. I guess that sensation was a testament to the concentration of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric alpha hydroxy acids in the formula—a whopping 10 percent, which seems pretty advanced for a $25 body lotion. I’m always a fan of unscented moisturizers, so that aspect was a plus for me.

Did you experience a noticeable difference in terms of softness in your skin?

I did! I felt like it made the dry patches on my shins disappear, and it evened out the occasionally splotchy tone around my knees. It definitely felt more like proper “skincare” than any other body lotions I’ve tried, and at this price point, it feels like a reasonable thing to stock up on. I’ll probably stick to something a little bit richer during the harshest winter months—mostly because I wonder if all that exfoliation would be a good thing when my skin is in a more sensitized state—but this is a really nice option for the rest of the year.

Chanel Parks, Social Media Director

Using the same 1-10 scale, where does your body lotion usage fall?

I can confidently say I’m at a 10 on that scale. I use body lotion every single day like my life depends on it. After I shower at night (yes, I’m a bathe-before-bed kind of gal) I make a point to not only apply lotion, but to gently massage my muscles while I’m at it, to relieve tension from the day. Then, I check that there’s no patch of skin left untouched. This ritual was instilled in me during childhood, when it was understood that having ashy skin is just not it.

What are your favorite lotions to use?

I have a few go-to hydrators in my rotation, including the simple yet effective Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with oatmeal, or more luxurious splurges from Avène’s TriXéra line (especially the Nutri-Fluid Balm).

What is your perception of the Drunk Elephant brand?

To be honest, I’m a little skeptical of the brand. I remember when they first came out and I thought their first set of products were nice. As time went on, though, I feel like the hype surrounding the brand was a little over the top.

Discuss your experience using the Drunk Elephant TLC body lotion.

I’m not one to mess around with acids like the alpha hydroxy acids in this product, so I made sure to follow the directions. The instructions suggest applying the formula every other day for the first week and to wear sunscreen, which I do anyway. I like that the body lotion is fragrance-free and it dries pretty quickly after skin contact, so I didn’t have to work to rub it in. I had a few nicks on my hand (don’t ask) so the acid stung those spots a little bit, but other than that, I didn’t feel much of a tingling sensation.

One day after use, my skin was soft, but felt a little bit different than usual—not dry, but not super moisturized either—which I attribute to the lotion’s exfoliating properties.

Would you use this body lotion again?

I think this lotion is okay! I wouldn’t use it in place of my usual suspects, but it wasn’t bad to have on hand. My skin was soft, but I also think since I moisturize every day my skin maintains a suppleness. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather use an exfoliant in the shower, not while I’m moisturizing. So, would I buy it again? No. But I don’t like to waste product so I’ll use it all up.

Maryam Lieberman, Beauty Contributor

What’s your body lotion usage like?

I am in the 9 to 10 range when it comes to body lotion usage. In the morning, I go lighter with body moisturizers, but at night I make sure I’m well-slathered before bed. I go between using Odacité, Weleda Skin Food, and Lubriderm on my body. I often like to combine body oils at night to pair with the moisturizers, too. (For me personally, oils absorb better on my body that way.) I often use Tata Harper’s Revitalizing Body Oil, OSEA Undaria Algae Oil. And during the extreme temperatures of summer and winter, I just add a tablespoon of pure, organic sesame oil into whatever lotion I am using and it works incredibly well. Really!

Have you used Drunk Elephant products before?

Their Lala Retro Whipped Cream won me over a while back—it’s one of the best face creams I’ve ever used.

Discuss your experience using the Drunk Elephant TLC body lotion.

It glided on very nicely, with no stickiness—additionally, the shape of the bottle was easy to squeeze with one hand and apply with the other. I used it at night before bed without any oils, and nothing else in the morning. When I woke up, it left my skin noticeably softer. When I touched my legs, they felt smooth, like I had just applied a soft baby powder. I was thoroughly impressed.

Do you think the addition of AHA in the formulation made a difference compared to other body lotions?

I think the AHA component played a part in the softness factor. It had t,o because the smoothness was instant the next day, and there wasn’t a heavy residue.

Will you use this product again?

I would absolutely use this lotion again. I still like to use and combine body oils, but I will alternate.

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

How often do you use body lotion?

I am a recent body lotion convert/enthusiast. I rarely used the stuff growing up. But once the pandemic hit and my acne breakouts went haywire, I went on a fairly strong Retinoid—and began a new, bare-bones skincare regimen at the behest of my dermatologist. Gone are the days of experimenting with fun new serums, masks, acids, and moisturizers with kooky ingredients lists—in their place are gentle, oil-free drugstore products. I’m now fulfilling my desire to test out the latest beauty by turning to body treatments like scrubs and lotions. These days, I use body lotion every other night.

What is your perception of the Drunk Elephant brand?

The pastel packaging is beyond cute, always. I love the Protini Polypeptide Cream and the B-Hydra Intensive Serum—they’re two of my favorite products ever.

Discuss your experience using the Drunk Elephant TLC body lotion.

I really enjoyed using Drunk Elephant’s body lotion—more so than any other lotion I’ve used in my body lotion exploration thus far. It was light and creamy, never sticky or gloopy, and didn’t give me that funny chafing feeling against my pants when I pulled them onto my legs. I would compare the consistency to something like a CeraVe face lotion. I noticed a serious difference in my skin’s softness, even days after application. And I honestly prefer a body lotion with light-to-no scent.

Would you use this body lotion again?

Definitely, and I’m still using it to this day.