Sunday, May 13, 2018

REVIEW: Just Herbs Gotukola Indian Ginseng Rejuvenating Beauty Elixir Facial Serum (new packaging)

This has to be the longest product name ever! But does the product live up to the hype-r long name? (see what I did there?!) Bad puns aside, let's dive in!

In recent years, Just Herbs has emerged as a well-respected organic and wildcrafted skincare brand in India. Its Ayurvedic approach to skincare and a line-up of products that fulfil the requirements of modern-day skincare routines has made the brand quite popular. What I mean by modern-day skincare routines is that Indian consumers, in particular, have only now begun to think beyond the three-step CTM (cleansing, toning, moisturising) routine. There is so much more to a skincare routine than simply using one over-drying face wash, one astringent-heavy toner, and one super heavy cream!

Skincare needs have transcended these limitations and Just Herbs has recognised and more importantly, tapped into these needs by coming out with suitable products. This is why you will find in their line-up a cleansing milk for makeup removal, a ph-balanced hydrating face wash, cleansing grains or ubtan-like face cleansers, hydrating alcohol-free toners that also take away the remnants of makeup/cleanser if any, facial oil, face masks, gels, creams and a sun protective tinted moisturiser. 

But my introduction to this brand was a nifty 15 ml bottle of the Gotukola Indian Ginseng Rejuvenating Beauty Elixir Facial Serum. A few years ago, when Just Herbs had just come out with the aforementioned serum, I was intrigued. It was the first time an Indian brand had used the word 'serum' in one of its products. The texture was neither like a gel nor like a cream. The ingredients sounded impressive as they are revered highly in Ayurveda. It seemed like a recipe for success. I bought the product immediately, even though at the time, INR 985 was unheard of for a 15 ml skincare product in India.

If you are interested in reading about what I thought of this serum back then, go to this blog post of mine wherein I have reviewed it in detail. But this current blog post is about reviewing the serum in its new avatar. Since the time I had last reviewed it which was two years ago, the product has undergone newer packaging. Back in 2016, it had a dropper-style bottle, which is not problematic in itself except that the product consistency was so thick that the pipette would not dispense it effortlessly. It would often get stuck in the pipette, and towards the end of my use, there was a lot of product left in the pipette, which I was forced to throw away because it just wouldn't come out. I had mentioned this point in my review and I'm glad Just Herbs paid heed to it and changed the packaging. The bottle now has a pump-style packaging which is just what I had asked for. Thank you, Just Herbs. 😍

Ingredients-wise, I am seeing a few new ingredients. I don't remember seeing eucalyptus leaf extract, fumittory or colloidal oats on the product label of the bottle I had two years ago. Apart from that, the 15 ml bottle has a bigger sister now; you can now get it in a 30 ml bottle too. The price has also changed. Earlier, the 15 ml bottle was priced at INR 985; now, it's priced at INR 1125. The 30 ml bottle is priced at INR 1825.

So, how does this new serum compare to its predecessor? As mentioned before, I'm loving the pump-style bottle, especially because the product seems to have an even thicker consistency than before. If you watch the video I had uploaded in my previous review, you'd see the texture being a mix of runny and thick. The product seemed to be almost 'unblended'. But now, it has an even texture and consistency, similar to many lotion-like serums available from other brands. I don't mind the new texture as the product sinks into the skin just as effortlessly. A big thumbs up from me!

The previous formulation had a very pronounced 'sweet sugared bread' scent. The repackaged product has an overall scent that is sweet and herbal. I love it! Scent is such a subjective aspect and one that may or may not matter. However, I always like to include a note on product scent because I think it ultimately helps in making a decision whether to purchase a product or not. Having said that, the scent dissipates completely once the product is applied.

Price-wise, I'm bummed that it has increased even further but like I said before, I don't mind using expensive skincare as long as it performs so I don't mind the price that much. In the long run, my skin thanks me for the 'skinvestment'. Having said that, this serum is still more affordable than many skincare serums I purchase from overseas brands.

Now, the question that matters the most. Does this serum perform? Yes, it does! I can say this with confidence because when I was testing it, I did notice visible results. Whenever I test products like this, which are treatment products, I test them exclusively, meaning, I don't use any other skincare during the testing phase so that I can gauge the results clearly and do not mistake the results (whether positive or negative) with any other skincare product that I might be using at the time. The results I noted were: visibly brightened skin, a lit-from-within glow and diminished brown spots. Skin hydration was at its best when I was using the serum. In fact, this was the only product I was using for hydration and it didn't fail me. If hydration, brightening and subtle reduction in brown spots are your concerns, this serum is a good choice. 

The Just Herbs Elixir does not help with reducing acne, which is fair enough because the company does not claim this in the first place. But in my experience, dehydration is one of the major causes of acne so if acne is a concern for you, this serum will definitely help. You can supplement your acne regimen with this serum as it would work in tandem with your acne-reducing products.

Will I repurchase this? A resounding yes! I'm proud that an Indian skincare brand has a product that can compete with some highly-raved skincare products from overseas and more importantly, deliver on its claims. It is no wonder that this serum is a crowd favourite and the newer packaging has only made it better.

You can purchase your serum from the Just Herbs site, or even from I prefer buying it from the Just Herbs site because I'm assured of product freshness and also because I am entitled to free samples with purchase.