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Tatcha and Drunk Elephant both came onto the skincare scene just a few years apart, 2009 and 2012 respectively. Since then, they have made HUGE names for themselves, and have earned some valuable shelf space in Sephora and the like, but are they worthy of making it into your skincare routine?

Come with us as we dive into their most coveted products for a tell-all comparison!

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About the brands

We can’t talk about either of these brands without talking about their founders. They were both launched by young women looking to reshape skincare to fit their personal needs.

Tatcha

As a Taiwanese-American, Tatcha’s founder, Vicky Tsai, looked to bring natural Japanese beauty ingredients to America. Should we thank her for opening our eyes to the K-beauty and J-beauty trends? I think so! Vicky partnered with a team of scientists, geisha, and cultural advisors to bring Tatcha to life. Every product is meticulously created in Tokyo balancing timeless Japanese skincare techniques with clinically-proven ingredients. The results are power-packed products with a proprietary combo called Hadasei-3™. Hadasei-3™ is developed through a process of twice-fermented rice, green tea, and algae, and delivers superfoods, amino acids, and AHAs to your skin.

Find the best Tatcha prices on Amazon

Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant was born out of necessity for its founder, Tiffany Masterson, who was suffering from combination-to-oily skin, breakouts, and rosacea. She realized the very products she was buying to heal her skin were actually the culprits! Tiffany identified 6 ingredients—she’s dubbed them the “suspicious 6”—that she will never use in her skincare again: essential oils, drying alcohol, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS. She’s used this as well as the science behind pH balancing to create all of Drunk Elephant’s products. Since its launch, organizations like Sephora and Allure have created their Clean product line distinction and Clean Best of Beauty Award seal. So we can pretty much thank Tiffany for being a catalyst in the clean beauty revolution!

Find the best Drunk Elephant prices on Amazon

Now that we’ve fangirled over these brands' origins, let's get into the product comparisons!

Tatcha vs Drunk Elephant Moisturizer

If you know anything about these two brands, then you already know that their most sought-after products are their moisturizers. Even the simplest of skincare routines *need* a moisturizer. Not only do they strengthen the skin barrier and lock in hydration, but they actually make all of your other products more effective. And as someone who invests in their skincare, you want every drop to go as far as it can in giving you youthful, radiant skin.

If you’ve been following along with our series of definitive guides to all of the top skincare brands, we’re going to approach this one a little differently. Today we’re going head-to-head-to-head with two of Tatcha’s most coveted moisturizers versus Drunk Elephant’s clear frontrunner. Let’s get into a comprehensive look at Tatcha’s The Dewy Skin Cream versus Drunk Elephant’s Protini Face Moisturizer, then we’ll put Drunk Elephant’s Protini Face Moisturizer against Tatcha’s The Water Cream.

Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream vs Drunk Elephant Protini

Let’s start with Tatcha’s OG moisturizer, The Dewy Skin Cream, versus Drunk Elephant’s fan favorite, the Protini Polypeptide Cream. Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream is known for its rich, yet non-greasy feel, incredible smell, and intense hydration. It’s key components include Japanese Purple Rice, Okinawa Algae Blend + Hyaluronic Acid, and Botanical Extracts. Combined they give The Dewy Skin Cream its antioxidant, skin brightening and moisture-locking abilities leaving your skin looking refreshed and glowing.

Find the best Dewy Skin Cream prices on Amazon

Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream is all about tackling foundational skin barrier health by improving the skin’s tone, texture, and firmness. Its star ingredients are their proprietary Signal Peptide Complex, Pygmy Waterlily Stem Cell Extract, Soybean Folic Acid Ferment Extract, and Acetyl Glutamine. Together these ingredients encourage healthy blood flow, collagen production, provide powerful antioxidants and quench dehydrated skin. Yes, please!

Find the best Protini Moisturizer prices on Amazon

It's important to note that as made clear by their roots, Drunk Elephant’s Protini Cream is completely clean and free from any potentially irritating ingredients. Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream does contain some fragrances that gives it its luxurious scent, as well as some alcohols that could be aggravating to some skin types. Both products, however, are cruelty-free. You’ll also notice that Tatcha’s Cream is much richer. This is a very close call, but if you’re looking for deep hydration, we’re denoting Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream as the best moisturizer for dry, dehydrated skin. If you’re looking for a lightweight moisturizer, keep reading as we compare Drunk Elephant’s Protini Cream to Tatcha’s The Water Cream.

The Dewy Skin Cream by Tatcha, a rich, moisturizing cream with plumping hydration.

The Dewy Skin Cream by Tatcha

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A rich, moisturizing cream with plumping hydration.

What makes it special? Glamour’s 2020 Beauty Award Winner brings the best of J-Beauty in this rich, deep moisturizer. Including Japanese Purple Rice, Okinawa Algae Blend and Hyaluronic Acid to give you youthful, replenished skin. Surveys show that after 2 weeks of use, 100% of users experienced an improvement in radiance, plumpness, and texture!

Find the best price on Amazon

Protini Polypeptide Cream by Drunk Elephant, a protein moisturizer for immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.

Protini Polypeptide Cream by Drunk Elephant

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A protein moisturizer for immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.

What makes it special? This 2019 Byrdie Beauty Skincare Award, Harper’s Bazaar Anti-Aging Award, and Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty Awards winner is the ultimate clean moisturizer packed with proprietary technology like Signal Peptide Complex, and perfectly pH balanced to restore your skin’s barrier and reverse signs of aging. Clinical results show that after regular use, 100% of consumers reported that their skin felt replenished and nourished.

Find the best price on Amazon

Tatcha Water Cream vs Drunk Elephant Protini

This definitive guide to the best moisturizer wouldn’t be complete without comparing Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream to Tatcha’s The Water Cream. The Water Cream is Tatcha’s lightweight moisturizer which compares more closely to the texture and feel of Drunk Elephant’s Cream. They’re both great for morning use to go on smoothly under your SPF and make up.

We’ve already done a deep dive into Protini Polypeptide’s ingredients, so let’s take a look at The Water Cream. Sticking to their foundation in J-Beauty, Tatcha’s Water Cream includes Japanese Wild Rose, Japanese Leopard Lily, and Hadasei-3 Complex. This formula provides healing antioxidants, oil control, soothes inflammation and promotes cell turnover to keep your skin looking its freshest. It even contains some Titanium Dioxide which acts as a sunscreen—though it won’t take the place of an actual sunscreen, additional protection is always a bonus! To really leave your skin glowing, they’ve added in 23-karat gold—talk about luxury down to every detail!

Like The Dewy Skin Cream, The Water Cream also contains some fragrances unlike Drunk Elephant’s moisturizer which is completely “clean.” Tatcha’s products still make it into Sephora’s “Clean” distinction and many users with sensitive skin haven’t reported any problems, but you should always patch test if you’re concerned.

This was another close race, but unless your skin is hyper-sensitive to fragrances and small amounts of alcohol, our vote is with Tatcha’s The Water Cream as the best lightweight moisturizer! How can you say no to 23-karat gold?

The Water Cream by Tatcha, a lightweight, clarifying water cream.

The Water Cream by Tatcha

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight, clarifying water cream.

What makes it special? Blending the lines of timeless J-Beauty recipes, luxury, and clinical results, this lightweight moisturizer, infused with a touch of 23-karat gold, is a crowd-pleaser. Packed with Japanese Wild Rose, Japanese Leopard Lily, and Hadasei-3 Complex this hydrator works overtime to provide results. User’s report balanced, radiant, luminous skin after just 4 weeks of use. Once more, 85% reported their skin’s clarity improved and their pores appeared smaller.

Find the best price on Amazon

Protini Polypeptide Cream by Drunk Elephant, a protein moisturizer for immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.

Protini Polypeptide Cream by Drunk Elephant

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A protein moisturizer for immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness.

What makes it special? This 2019 Byrdie Beauty Skincare Award, Harper’s Bazaar Anti-Aging Award, and Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty Awards winner is the ultimate clean moisturizer packed with proprietary technology like Signal Peptide Complex, and perfectly pH balanced to restore your skin’s barrier and reverse signs of aging. Clinical results show that after regular use, 100% of consumers reported that their skin felt replenished and nourished.

Find the best price on Amazon

Work in progress

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