Mad Hippie vs Drunk Elephant (The Definitive Guide)

By Calum Torrington

3 January 2023

Famed for their nourishing skincare products packed with efficacious actives and natural botanicals, both Mad Hippie and Drunk Elephant are more than worthy of occupying some shelf space in your bathroom.

Come with us as we compare their best-sellers side-by-side to help you decide which is best for you and your skincare routine. Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Mad Hippie vs Drunk Elephant Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for its benefits both on the inside and the outside. Since our bodies can’t send all the Vitamin C we consume internally to our skin, we rely on topical Vitamin C to obtain the maximum skincare benefits of brightening, improving texture, and reducing wrinkles.

There are thousands of topical Vitamin C products on the market, but today we are comparing two from popular, cruelty-free brands. Let’s chat about the differences between Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum and the Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Firma Fresh Day Serum.

Comparison

First and foremost, it's worth establishing the fact that these two products contain different forms of Vitamin C.

Mad Hippie contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is the most stable form of vitamin C (meaning it does not oxidise). Drunk Elephant’s Vitamin C Serum instead uses L-Ascorbic Acid, which is a relatively unstable, 'active', naturally-derived form of vitamin C found in human skin.

In order to mitigate the downsides of L-Ascorbic Acid being unstable (such as poor penetration and potency), it needs to be kept in a solution with a pH below 3.5. The lower the pH, the better the stability. Drunk Elephant's Serum has a pH of 2.5, so it *should* remain stable without the need to refrigerate.

When comparing two skincare options, it’s important to consider your skin type and your specific concerns/needs. The use of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate in Mad Hippie's Vitamin C serum is touted as a major plus for those with easily-irritated skin due to its relative stability. Meanwhile, the L-Ascorbic Acid in Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Fresh Day Serum is hailed for its potency, playing a major role in anti-aging, skin firmness, overall repair and brightening results for those with less sensitive skin.

We’ve established the differences between the two serums over their most important active ingredient, Vitamin C. But what else do these serums offer, and what else is different?

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum and Drunk Elephant’s Vitamin C Firma Fresh Day Serum *both* contain Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E, which are thought to help stabilize vitamin C while also increasing its photoprotection (i.e. minimizing sun damage).

When comparing prices, Drunk Elephant’s Vitamin C Serum is a whopping $78 compared to Mad Hippie’s much more modest price tag of $34.99. For environmentally-conscious people, Mad Hippie’s product’s packaging is mostly recycled, including the bottle, the dropper, and the box it comes in. Both brands are cruelty-free, which we love.

Neither of these products contain synthetic fragrances, but Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum does contain naturally derived extracts of Chamomile, Clary Sage, and Konjac Root, which may give the product a distinct - but not unpleasant - scent.

And to reiterate the point we made earlier: Drunk Elephant’s Serum does contain the more potent form of Vitamin C, however, Mad Hippie’s form may be most beneficial for sensitive skin types that still want to enjoy topical Vitamin C without irritation.

At the end of the day, both brands are highly reputable and provide more or less the same end result. Our recommendation would be to choose between the two based on your skin's sensitivity. If you're not sure, err on the side of caution by opting for Mad Hippie's.

Vitamin C Serum by Mad Hippie; brightens, tightens, and smooths.

Vitamin C Serum by Mad Hippie

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Tighten, brighten, and smooth.

What makes it special? Mad Hippie's award-winning serum is a harmonious blend of antioxidants that sinks beautifully into skin to leave it soft & glowing. Utilizing Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, an advanced and stable form of vitamin C, this serum works wonders on aging, sun damaged and acne-prone skin.

Which skin types? All skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

C-Firma Fresh Day Serum by Drunk Elephant, a super-potent 15% vitamin C day serum.

C-Firma Fresh Day Serum by Drunk Elephant

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A super-potent 15% vitamin C day serum.

What makes it special? C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum is designed to be mixed by you before its first use, which maximizes the potency of its delicate (but powerful) ingredients while keeping the formula fresh. This revolutionary vitamin C serum is packed with a powerful antioxidant complex of 15% l-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, and 1% vitamin E to reveal a brighter, firmer, and more even-looking complexion. The result is a noticeably diminished appearance of signs of aging and photodamage—replaced by incredible radiance and luminosity.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

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