My eyes, with their fine lines and bags when I’m under-slept, were surely the perfect test-site for Mukti’s Rosehip Eye Gel. And because they look exactly the same as before I started the trial, I have to reject this product (which I just hate to do). The website says that the gel will “assist to soothe puffy, tired eyes and firm and tone the skin around the delicate eye area” and tells visitors that it’s “never too early to start using an eye gel as the eye area is one of the first places to show the signs of aging.” The latter point sums up the gel’s virtue far better than the opening promises. My eyes were neither firmed nor toned by the gel, which, given the quality of (most of) the ingredients, has me flummoxed, especially because Mukti claims all products are “extremely concentrated.” But they were no worse for wear, so like Mukti says, this could be good for precocious 18-year-olds looking to get a jump on skincare, and likewise, with all the nutritious (if not slightly impotent) ingredients, good beneath eye makeup, as well. So, athough I’m rejecting it, I’ll describe it, just in case it’s right for you.

Aloe vera is the first ingredient and like other aloe preparations I’ve tried, the gel moisturizes thoroughly and absorbs completely. And, aloe is a great base: it penetrates all seven layers of skin and thus enhances your skin’s ability to absorb the preparation’s remaining nutrients.

Namesake rosehip oil is the second ingredient, and apparently it’s a multitasking champion that diminishes scars, soothes dermatitis, cures acne, repairs sun damage and revives sagging skin (which is what my lower lids need, and yet didn’t get… again, I am flummoxed and wondering if percentages should be listed for more than just sunscreens).

Some say rosehip oil owes its potency to its vitamin content, which includes C, E, and A. The vitamin A in rosehip oil is a trans-retinoic acid called Tretinoin, and is the form used in prescription treatments, including Retin-A (acne) and Renova (wrinkles). Because the vitamin A in rosehip oil is in its natural state – floating with co-workers vitamins C and E in the ocean of EFAs that makes up about 80% of the oil – it doesn’t irritate the way synthetically derived vitamin A will. But others say that the A in rosehip oil is so friendly simply because its concentration is so low relative to all the essential fatty acids (EFAs), and that the real nutritional value is in the EFA content, which includes oleic, linoleic, linolenic and palmitic fatty acids. Regardless of how it works, it seems universally agreed that rosehip oil is great for your skin. Those praises sung, more than one article said it takes at least three months to see results and, per above, one month on things are same-old, same-old.

The gel also has calendula, which has antiseptic and healing properties, and is rich in important compounds including carotenoids, flavonoids, tannins and saponins; and has delicious coconut and macadamia nut oils.

One of the dubious ingredients I parenthetically alluded to is grapefruit seed extract, which is as widely adored as it is despised. Proponents (and many a blogger is busy spreading the good word about “GSE”) say that it detoxifies, is anti-inflammatory, and praise its high doses of vitamin C and flavonoids, including quercetin, naringin and apigenin, all of which are believed to be anti-cancer.

Equally web-savvy are GSE detractors, who argue that the process by which the goodness is extracted contaminates the end product. The extraction involves catalytic conversion, with hydrochloric acid as one of the catalysts, and the biggest contaminant is benzalkonium chloride, a known immune system toxin, skin toxin, and possible cancer risk. At its simplest, extraction involves steeping the ingredient – a vanilla bean, say – in a solvent such as water, alcohol or glycerin. GSE is, however, the last ingredient, so hopefully whatever damage it may do is as negligible as the gel’s “toning” powers (unless, of course, it’s so toxic that it thwarted the miracle that should have been this aloe-based, rosehip preparation).

Finally, they’re not bad, but I do wonder if the glycerin, scleroltium gum and cetearyl glucoside (decent moisturizers and stabilizers, but not terribly corrective) take up anti-aging bandwidth.

Though this Mukti product talks big and doesn’t deliver, I am compelled to give it some credit (off the record – this is a rejection after all). It absorbs beautifully and thus is great beneath sunblock and eye makeup. Often, my serums pill when I apply sunblock, but not so with Mukti. Likewise, I feel forced to choose between eyeliner and eye treatments, but with Mukti my liner stayed put, as did my shimmer shadow. And again, my skin was no worse off – neither irritated nor crepey, just comfortably the same. If you’re happy with your skin and looking for a little extra nutrition (and have 40 bucks just lying around), the ingredients suggest that it might be a good maintenance option. Likewise, it could be a decent training treatment for the teenager in your life.

Returning to rejection: I definitely do not recommend this for people with dry skin, insomniacs or those looking for advanced repair work, and I am displeased by the empty claims. Also, it’s pricey: About $40 for 15ml and no truly exceptional ingredients. But in spite of this disappointment, I’m intrigued by the company (I’m sucker for organics) and will likely try other products.

Ingredients: Certified Organic Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice; Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (Rosa Canina); Certified Organic Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Extract; Glycerin (Vegetarian); Vitamin E (Tocopherol); Scleroltium Gum; Certified Organic Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii); Certified Organic Macadamia (Macadamia Ternifolia) Oil; Certified Organic Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil; Cetearyl Glucoside (Vegetarian); Certified Organic Roman Chamomile Oil (Anthemis Nobilis); Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Grandis) Extract