I am predisposed to be suspicious of anything called an 'elixir,' especially when it is made with "The Masters' Secret," is the most "coveted skin rejuvenating formula on earth" and comes with a price tag of $300.

Vinita Rejuventating Elixir was launched in the US a few weeks ago. The cost is presumably justified by the 'bhasma' of gold, diamond and pearl (in fact, mother of pearl). The Wikipedia entry on bhasma is completely incomprehensible. It seems that it is an ancient Indian process used in ayurvedic medicine for purifying gems or metals. Although I found another reference that said it is the sacred ash from the fire of a yogi. A third source says it destroys all sins.

Bhasma alone, however, is not The Master's Secret. According to Vinita, the secret to eternal youth was discovered in the Himalayan mountains 5,000 years ago and involves mixing up bhasma with potent herbs. And who knew that 5,000 years ago there was silicone and acetyl hexapeptide 8 (synthetic peptide that is sold under the name of Argireline).

I must admit that Vinita Rejuvenating Elixir does contain some interesting, if odd, botanicals. Alteromonas ferment is a marine bacteria that is purported (with little proof) to have water-binding properties that are beneficial for skin. Chrysanthellum indicum is golden chamomile and does have well-documented evidence of antioxidant flavenoids.

Certainly unknown to The Master, but nevertheless interesting is Dipalmitoyl Hydroxypropyline, a recently discovered lipoaminoacid. It is made by grafting a fatty acid onto an amino acid, and it is supposed to help skin retain moisture.

I like the inclusion of amla (phyllanthus emblica), the key ingredient in Tracie Martyn's lovely Amla cleanser and an anti-inflammatory. This undoubtedly was in The Master's repertoire since it is a stalwart of ayuvedic medicine, as is holy basil (ocimum santum).

Ingredients in Vinita Rejuventating Elixir:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl Hexapeptide 8, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxypropyline, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Withania Somnifera Flower Extract, Phyllanthus Niruri Extract, Centella Asiatica, Asparagus Officinalis Root Extract, Crocus Sativis Flower Extract, Rubia Cordifolia Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Diamond Powder, Mother of Pearl Extract, Silver, Gold, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Xantan Gum, Trisodium EDTA, Carbomer, Bisabolol, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Anise Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha Methyl Ionone.