Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review 2020


Vitamin C is a fantastic ingredient for fading wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

The problem, however, is finding a vitamin C serum that actually works.

Fortunately, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum offers a high quality vitamin C product from a reputable skincare brand.

ⓘ In this post, I’ll provide a complete review of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum to find out if it’s worth your money!

Related: Best Vitamin C Serums for Hyperpigmentation

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C-Firma Review

Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum is a SkinCeuticals-inspired brighening formula featuring 15% L-ascorbic acid, skin boosters, and the brand’s signature virgin marula oil.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review
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Key Features

  • 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • 1% Vitamin E & 0.5% Ferulic Acid
  • Skin Boosters (So Many!! ?)
  • Certified Clean at Sephora
  • Rich & Thick Consistency
  • Pop-Up Dispenser Cap


  • Tried & True C E Ferulic Formula
  • Stellar Reviews (100K+ Loves! ?)
  • Best of Clean Beauty (No “Suspicious 6” & Certified Clean at Sephora)
  • Opaque Bottle Design Limits Oxidation


  • Serum Does Feel A Bit Heavy
  • Very Expensive (But Less $ Than SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic)


Packed with effective ingredients, the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum puts a new twist on the tried-and-true formula of 15% Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E, and 0.5% Ferulic Acid (popularized by SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic).

Vitamin C helps improve the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and fine lines, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid enhance the overall stability and effectiveness of this formula.

Drunk Elephant also added:

  • Pumpkin Ferment and Pomegranate Extract: exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Chronocyclin: mimics antioxidant benefits of vitamin D
  • Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: delivers intense hydration
  • Virgin Marula Oil: provides antioxidants and omega 6 and 9 fatty acids

Reviews of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum are quite positive. Many people reported signs of brighter skin, increased firmness, and more even skin tone. As always, your mileage may vary (YMMV).

While a bit expensive, C-Firma is an excellent vitamin C serum for those looking to brighten dark spots, fade acne scars, and keep skin firm and more youthful.

What is Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum?

Best Vitamin C Serums for Hyperpigmentation in 2019
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The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum is one of the most popular vitamin C serums and an Allure Best of Beauty 2018 award winner.

Vitamin C helps brighten skin complexion and correct uneven skin tone. It’s an excellent option for mild cases of age spots, wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

Drunk Elephant builds upon a tried-and-true formula of:

  • 15% Vitamin C: using L-Ascorbic Acid (the most potent form of Vitamin C)
  • 1% Vitamin E: an antioxidant that works synergistically with Vitamin C, and
  • 0.5% Ferulic Acid: helps stabilize Vitamin C and E, thereby extending shelf life

Popularized by the cult favorite SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, this trio of ingredients works extremely well together. It helps fade dark spots and smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. 

Studies show that C E Ferulic also protects our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which helps prevent free radical damage and skin cancer.

In addition, Drunk Elephant has tossed in a basket of fruit enzymes and plant-based antioxidants. 

Pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract helps dissolve dead skin cells and improve skin texture.

Chronocyclin mimics the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D for more youthful skin while sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer provides deep hydration.

Virgin marula oil, the company’s signature ingredient, rounds out the serum with antioxidants and omega 6 and 9 fatty acids.

The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum has a pH of 3.3-3.5 which allows vitamin C to penetrate the skin barrier without over irritating sensitive skin.

The serum also has a unique reservoir effect that allows it to stay active for up to 72 hours.

What Makes Drunk Elephant Different?

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With so many brands, what makes Drunk Elephant unique?

Clean Clinical Philosophy

Drunk Elephant was founded on the principle of clean ingredients that deliver clinical results.

Tiffany Masterson, founder of Drunk Elephant, decided to exclude potentially irritating ingredients, or “the Suspicious 6“.

These include essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrances, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). 

As a result, the C-Firma Day Serum is very gentle and non-irritating. It is suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Effective pH Levels

Drunk Elephant focuses on formulating their products at effective pH levels.

For example, the C-Firma Day Serum has a pH of 3.3-3.5. Clinical studies show that a pH of 3.5 or lower is required for vitamin C to properly penetrate your skin.

Attention to Packaging

Packaging is often overlooked in skincare products. Yet it’s crucial for vitamin C serums as this ingredient can easily oxidize (spoil).

Drunk Elephant uses an opaque bottle with a rather interesting twist open pop-up pump. 

It is both functional and aesthetic as it keeps out air, light, and heat. This protects the vitamin C from premature oxidation and ensures its effectiveness.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Ingredients

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Review
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The key ingredients in Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum include:

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Vitamin E
  3. Ferulic Acid
  4. Pumpkin Ferment and Pomegranate Extract
  5. Chronocyclin
  6. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer
  7. Virgin Marula Oil

You can find the full ingredient list here.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is clinically proven to brighten skin complexion by inhibiting melanin synthesis. This helps reverse signs of hyperpigmentation such as melasma, age spots, and acne marks.

Melanin is an important pigment that determines our skin color and protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

Vitamin C also promotes collagen formation. It influences gene expression (i.e. DNA) and provides essential inputs for collagen production. This helps improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as atrophic (pitted) acne scars.

Finally, vitamin C protects our skin from the sun’s UV rays. It has antioxidant properties that prevent UV-induced free radical damage. UV rays are known causes of sunburn, dark spots, and skin cancer.

The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum uses L-ascorbic acid. This pure form of vitamin C is the most potent type for skincare.


2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects skin from pollution and environmental stressors. 

It works synergistically with Vitamin C to protect the body from free radical damage and premature signs of aging.

In addition, studies show that vitamin C can “recycle” oxidized vitamin E to boost its antioxidant power. This means vitamin C and vitamin E are best used together for optimal results.

3. Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid can help stabilize vitamin C and vitamin E. This slows down the rate of oxidation and ensures a longer shelf life.

4. Pumpkin Ferment and Pomegranate Extract

Pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract helps dissolve and exfoliate dead skin cells. This results in smoother, softer, and more even looking skin.

5. Chronocyclin

Chronocyclin is a chronopeptide that mimics the benefits of vitamin D. It provides deep hydration and promotes younger looking skin.

6. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer

Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is a modified form of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in our skin. It increases hydration by attracting and retaining water in the deeper levels of the skin.

7. Virgin Marula Oil

Drunk Elephant’s signature ingredient is virgin marula oil. This provides additional antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9. 

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Reviews

Woman Applying Scar Cream
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“Faded marks and firmer skin…”

I don’t write reviews but this product was recommended to me by my dermatologist and it’s a winner. I went to Sephora and purchased my first bottle three months ago. My skin is visibly improved, marks faded and skin firmer. I am on a tight budget and could not justify purchasing the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, which was for sale at the dermatologist’s office. She told me confidentially that she herself uses DE and it was a solid option for a lot less money. That sold me. I am now back online to buy my second bottle. It’s been three months and I still haven’t run out if that tells you anything. I use one pump every morning…

Sephora Reviewer

“Helped lighten acne scars and even out discoloration…”

“I wanted to try C-Firma initially to even out some discoloration in my skin tone, as I have redness around my nose, chin from breakouts and my forehead is a few shades darker from skin damage. I incorporate 1 pump of C-Firma with Protini for my morning regime. After about 1 week I started noticing the colour on my face began to be more balanced, especially the chin area where I recently had several painful, cystic acne scarring. It’s helped lighten the scarring and paired with Framboise serum at night, really transformed my skin and cleared up many self-conscious blemishes. You need a very small amount in application, as too much (2 pumps or more), I do begin to notice a slight rusty odor later in the day. The color is supposed to be a clear golden color which some find a turnoff, but it doesn’t bother me. A little goes a long way. I expect the full size bottle will last me for many more months, the only drawback is the packaging does not allow you to see how much is left but I love the vibrant, modern twist and seal cap to keep light from spoiling the volatile vitamin C ingredient.”

Joyce T.

“Saved my pitted acne scars and discoloration”

This has been the one product that has saved my pitted acne scars and discoloration. I have been using this for a month now and my facialist was so amazed when she saw me 2 weeks after I started using this product. Skin now has great tone and this is helping fade any hyperpigmentation and lessening the depths of any pitted scars. Expensive but a beautiful formulation. I find I need nothing else!”

MakeupAlley Reviewer.

How to Use Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

This serum has a 12-month shelf life and is best used within 6 months of opening. 

Storing the bottle in a cool, dark space (like your fridge) will slow down vitamin C oxidation. 

When you buy this product, check the color of the serum first – it should be golden clear to warm amber. Anything that is dark orange to brown has most likely oxidized too much.

Pro Tip: if you email the company at [email protected] and include your serum’s batch number (on the bottom), they can check the exact expiration date for you.

My Verdict on Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

We hope you enjoyed our in-depth Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum review. 

This is a great addition to your skincare routine that helps brighten dark spots, fade acne scars, and protect skin from UV damage.

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