Interview: Tiffany Masterson of Drunk Elephant talks skincare and brand philosophy

We talked to Tiffany Masterson as she shares more about Drunk Elephant and how the clean beauty powerhouse reinvents skincare.
Reading time 4 minutes

Founded by Tiffany Masterson in 2012, Drunk Elephant went from a niche brand to a clean beauty cult that changes the way we think about our skincare.

"I think we’ve all been taught about skin and skincare backwards," says Tiffany who believes that skin is skin, and every skin has the same needs of nutrients, "We should listen to our skin -what it needs might change day to day." 

Hence, Drunk Elephant drops the idea of skin type, and instead, brings attention to the balance of the skin’s pH level and the biocompatibility of the products we give to our skin.

"What we leave out of our product is just as important as what we put into them." Drunk Elephant also coins the "Suspicious 6" to avoid in our skincare routine, which is believed to contribute to almost every skin problems.

Here, Tiffany Masterson shares more about Drunk Elephant, the "Suspicious 6", and her philosophy of clean skincare:

Tell us the definition of “biocompatible skincare” in Drunk Elephant’s dictionary.

Drunk Elephant is clean, but in our opinion, “clean” is not nearly enough when it comes to caring for skin and hair. We are committed to using only ingredients that either directly benefit the health of the skin or support the integrity of our formulations. We never take into account whether something is synthetic or natural, instead, choosing ingredients based on biocompatibility. 

That’s why we focus on healthy pH levels, formulations the skin recognizes, small molecular structure that’s easily absorbed, and effective active ingredients that also support and maintain the skin’s acid mantle. 

You will never find what we call the Suspicious 6 (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, SLS) in our line. We believe that these six ubiquitous ingredients are at the root of almost every skin issue, and when they’re removed entirely from your routine – that is, when you take a “Drunk break” – skin can reset and return to its healthiest, most balanced state. 


"All skin needs the same vitamins, actives and nutrients, so forget about skin types."



Do you have any insider's beauty advice to share with us? 

Our skin is smarter than we are, and it will function at a high level if we let it. All skin needs the same vitamins, actives and nutrients, so forget about skin “types”. As long as you avoid the Suspicious 6, your skin will understand. It will thrive and stay balanced. 

Listen to your skin – what it needs might change from day-to-day. All Drunk Elephant products can be mixed to create customized skincare smoothies that you can adjust based on different weather conditions and what your skin needs.


For someone who is new to the brand, what’s on your recommendation list? 

I always recommend people to start with The Littles set. A menu that allows them to try out our hero products while adopting the philosophy of avoiding the “Suspicious 6”. It has all of the products one needs to implement the perfect routine. 


Could you give a glimpse of Drunk Elephant’s future project/direction?

I’m working on new formulas that I’m so excited about but can’t share yet. We’re also working on bringing Drunk Elephant to new international markets, making our product packaging more sustainable and launching an anti-bullying initiative that’s very near to my heart. We can’t wait to share what’s next.


Drunk Elephant's skincare, bodycare and haircare lines are now available on



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