Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser/Bamboo Booster Review

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a new product from Drunk Elephant; a cleansing balm that claims to melt away makeup, dirt, sunscreen and water resistant formulas. This is said to be gentle around the eyes. It starts out as a thick balm, turns to oil when warmed and massaged into the skin and emulsifies into a milk when water is added on rinsing. This can be used as a standalone cleanser or as the first step in a double cleanse routine. Slaai is sold with a little tube of Bamboo Booster, a physical exfoliant.

Directions state to apply a nickel-size amount to a dry face using dry fingers, massage over the face and eyes and rinse with warm water. An option in the morning is to mix the Bamboo Booster with the cleanser for gentle physical exfoliation.

Slaai Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin

I had been using The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser, which functions similarly (though Slaai has a nicer texture and more spreadability; I can use less than a nickel size for the face and neck) and wanted to grab Slaai as well for comparison as it seems more affordable than most of DE’s other products (I believe I read in DE’s Instagram comments that a jar should have about 110 uses; though Wayne Goss on YouTube says about 60 uses – of course it depends how much product is used at a time).

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. I have oily/combination skin that is prone to breakouts.

The Slaai Butter Cleanser has a heavy nutty and oil-like scent. The balm melts easily into an oil on the skin and spreads nicely. It removes eye makeup relatively well, with a bit of eyeliner left at the lower lash line, as above in the after photo. The foundation is removed well. After rinsing with my hands (no cloth) and patting dry, there is cleanser left on the skin, not really an oily layer like some of the liquid oil cleansers leave, but an almost waxy layer. Because of this, I had a hard time determining if my sunscreen was removed, so I applied sunscreen to half my face and used Slaai on my whole face. The side with the sunscreen felt heavier on my fingertips, so I don’t think it was all removed. Once rinsed, there is a haziness to my vision for a minute or two and my eyes feel irritated for about 15 minutes (kind of like the feeling when a breeze is blowing in my eyes and they get a bit teary). I need to use a second cleanser after using Slaai; I feel like serums and other treatments won’t absorb into the skin if this layer is left on. While I’ve only used this for a few days so far, I have gotten breakouts along my jawline; hard to say if Slaai is the cause, but the breakouts weren’t present before use.

If I use Slaai in the evening without using a second cleanser, in the morning I still feel the Slaai on my face, however, I wouldn’t say that my skin feels more moisturized. My nose feels dry. My skin looks nice in the mirror though and feels soft.

Slaai adds a nice protective layer after using a moisturizing lotion on dry hands, elbows or knees, or on the face in the shower as a mask to protect from heat and steam.

Slaai is sold with Bamboo Booster; DE has no plans to sell separately. Bamboo Booster is said to be a gentle exfoliant that removes dead, built up skin cells.

Ingredients: Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Charcoal Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Mannitol, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Potassium Sorbate

This is to be used once or twice a week in the morning mixed with Slaai – morning, I’m guessing, as the face is free from makeup and dirt – I wouldn’t use this at the same time I’m cleansing a face full of makeup and sunscreen. This has tiny black spheres of charcoal powder and fine white bamboo and cornstarch powder.

Bamboo Booster is relatively gentle (not as gentle as I thought it might be) and makes my skin feel smoother, though it is recommended not to use while on a retinol, so perhaps not for those with quite sensitive skin either. More gentle exfoliants would be something like the Daily Exfolipowder from Amarte or the Rice Polish from Tatcha.

While I love the melting texture and easy spreadability of the Slaai Butter Cleanser, it leaves behind a waxy layer, hazy vision and eye irritation and doesn’t quite remove all the waterproof eyeliner or silicone-based sunscreen. The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser works better, though doesn’t feel as nice on the skin. I also prefer a more gentle, powder-based physical exfoliant. I will not be repurchasing Slaai.

Thank you for reading.

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