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Drunk Elephant Unveils New Protini Serum

The brand's new Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum is a line extension from its popular Protini moisturizer.

After the huge success of its Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer, Drunk Elephant is betting that lightning will strike twice.

On April 1, Drunk Elephant will launch its Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum, a line extension to its bestselling hero moisturizer. The product will be available at Sephora and the brand’s website for $82. Industry sources estimate it to follow the moisturizer’s lead as a top seller, and anticipate retail sales could reach $21 million annually.

“We’ve had huge success with Protini, and I think this is a very natural evolution when you have products that the customers are receptive to,” Tiffany Masterson, founder of Drunk Elephant, told WWD.

Masterson said the product is pretty universal in its appeal, given the one-two punch the serum provides to users. The lactic acid is meant to exfoliate, while the peptides and plant-based growth factors in the serum jumpstart renewal and collagen production. “We’re really about all skin, all ages,” Masterson said. “We have people in their eighties using it with great results, and it’s kind of a household brand more than it is just for one person in the household.”

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The product, Masterson said, functions as a multiuse treatment thanks to its exfoliating and plumping properties. “It contains more signal peptides at a much greater concentration than the original cream, so it’s a very complimentary ingredient. But then it contains lactic acid, which is a gentler form of AHA than glycolic [acid], which you know, is in our TLC [serum],” she said.

As with any Drunk Elephant product, the serum boasts functional levels of active ingredients — such as its Protini peptide blend, and 10 percent lactic acid — while leaving out essential oils, silicones and fragrances. It is cruelty-free and vegan, and is housed in recyclable packaging.

Unlike the other exfoliating serum in Drunk Elephant’s lineup, Protini can be used during the day and at night. Masterson said it can also be combined with the brand’s C-Firma Day Serum or mixed with any Drunk Elephant moisturizer. To that end, Drunk Elephant will also be releasing new product protocols listed on its website (dubbed “smoothies”) that incorporate the serum.

Masterson said the choice to use lactic acid came from social listening, as customers had been asking for a product with the ingredient.

“Lactic acid has been found to increase ceramides in the acid mantle, and you know, we’re all about the acid mantle,” Masterson said. The serum was formulated to reach a pH level of 3.3.

Social marketing and education are key pieces of the launch. “We’ve always really lived in digital first, the connection with our consumer and our community that we’ve built, and we speak to them regularly, we hear from them. Education on our products and on our ingredients is always, and has always been, so important to us because our formulations are so active,” Masterson said.

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