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The Drunk Mag

The Drunk Mag

Quiz: Test Your Skincare Knowledge

By Drunk Elephant

Quiz: Test Your Skincare Knowledge

You may know a few things like the back of your hand. But how well do you know the actual back of your hand? Or the front of your hand? Or the rest of your skin, for that matter? As you know, Drunk Elephant is all about evidence-based science, so without further ado, let’s find out just how much of a skincare nerd you really are. Pencils ready?

Illustration of 'D + E = the Drunk Elephant logo'
Illustration of a question mark
1. Skin isn’t clean unless it’s squeaky clean.


a. Yes. It is a sign that you have removed all dirt and grime.

b. Nooooooooo!

Answer: So much B.

Squeaky clean is definitively not a good thing. If your skin is squeaking, it means you have removed not only all of the dirt and grime, but also all of the beneficial protective substances (like lipids) that keep your skin barrier intact and feeling good (soft, smooth). Once you try a gentler cleanser that leaves those protective substances in place, it may feel unusual to you if you’re used to stripping your skin barrier—but trust us when we say that it’s OK (ideal, even!) if your skin feels soft and even lightly moisturized after cleansing.

2. True or false: Retinol must be used at night.

False! Retinol does not break down in sunlight in the same way as its prescription cousin, retinoids, and retinol does not make your skin more sensitive to sunlight—that is a myth with no good research to back it up. In fact, when used during the day under a broad-spectrum sunscreen, retinol actually enhances skin’s defenses against UV-generated free radicals. And if you use it with vitamin C during the day, the two ingredients boost each other’s effectiveness. But don’t forget your Umbra Sheer or Umbra Tinte on top!

Retinol does not break down in sunlight in the same way as its prescription cousin, retinoids, and retinol does not make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

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3. True or false: It’s possible to shrink pore size.

We are so sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but as much as we want this to be true, it’s plainly false. You can, however, shrink the appearance of enlarged pores by clearing them out with regular AHA/BHA exfoliation. A good starting place is our nightly T.L.C. Framboos serum; when you’re ready, you can step up to a weekly deep cleaning with our heavy hitter, Babyfacial, whose potent AHA/BHA blend will knock your cells off.

4. Where do age spots come from?

a. They appear naturally as you get older.
b. They are a result of sun damage.
c. They’re karma for all the bad things you’ve done in life.

Answer: B! Also known as sun spots or hyperpigmentation, these little guys do pop up later in life, usually, but they are a result of sun exposure (hence the aka). So make sure you always remember to end your a.m. routine with a layer of Umbra Sheer or Umbra Tinte—even on cloudy days. And rainy ones. Yes, really.

Illustration of a DNA strand
5. What does noncomedogenic mean?

a. It’s not funny.
b. It won’t clog your pores.
c. It uses “clean” ingredients.

Answer: B. But again, this is a little bit of a trick question (sorry) because the whole concept of “noncomedogenic” is flawed: It’s based on experiments in which substances were applied to rabbit ears and left on for weeks. We’re willing to wager that’s hardly comparable to your normal skincare routine.

Skin is naturally acidic, with a pH of around 5.5, which is critical to maintaining the health and stability of the skin barrier.

6. True or false: You can get sun damage while sitting in front of a closed window.

Answer: True. Sadly, UVA rays can get through window glass, and minutes in the sun add up. Make sure you’re using a broad-spectrum SPF to prevent sun damage that can show up later.

Illustration of an angle and tic tac toe board
7. What exactly is pH?

a. A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a given substance
b. A crucial component of skin health
c. An abbreviation for “power of hydrogen”
d. All of the above

Yep, D. And here’s why: Skin is naturally acidic, with a pH of around 5.5, which is critical to maintaining the health and stability of the skin barrier. In order to maintain that stability and keep your skin from going haywire, you want all of your skincare products to be acidic also. (All Drunk Elephant skincare products are acidic.) 

8. What’s the difference between your skin barrier and your skin’s acid mantle?

OK, sorry, we did it again. This is a trick question because they’re the same thing! And whatever you call it, this is the acidic outermost layer of the skin that keeps lipids and hydration levels in the skin while keeping bacteria and harmful substances out. When your acid mantle/skin barrier is strong and healthy, your skin is strong and healthy.

Illustration of hearts and 'DE'
Your score

1-3 correct: Not everyone can be top of the class. It’s perfectly fine to be a skincare newb. There’s nowhere to go but up! Give us a follow on IG to get your daily dose of skincare knowledge.

4-7 correct: OK, we’re impressed. You’ve been paying attention! You must have amazing skin. Have you posted your #barewithus selfie yet?

8 correct: Do you want a job here? Jk, jk, but well done! Your acid mantle appreciates it.

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