Yuli Panacea Elixir and Metamorphic Elixir Review

Yuli ElixirYuli is a brand I’ve only recently discovered, and I love everything about it so far. From their founder’s story of developing the brand after suffering from terrible acne to the fact that most of their ingredients are grown on site, they represent everything I’m looking for in an eco-luxe brand. I’d heard wonderful things about their elixirs from a number of bloggers, so I invested in two of their three offerings to see if they lived up to their hype.

I’ll start this review by pointing out that in Yuli’s case, the word ‘elixir’ is used as a synonym for ‘toner’ or ‘mist.’ ‘Elixir’ (which, traditionally, is used to describe a magical or medicinal potion) is a confusing term in skincare because different brands use it to name completely different products. Just to give you a couple of different examples, Kypris uses ‘elixir’ to describe their oils and Julisis uses it for their treatment serums. This is one of those times where I wish the beauty industry was better regulated and there was greater consistency across brands to make things easier for customers.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here are my impressions:

Panacea Elixir: Recommended for normal to combination skin, this mist contains clarifying, balancing and hydrating ingredients like aloe, cucumber, watercress, rose and colloidal silver.

The product smells quite medicinal (think Chinese medicine), in my opinion, but I really don’t mind it. It feels cooling on the skin and it sinks in without leaving a film behind. Like all Yuli products, the quality of the packaging is outstanding, and the bottle (and its water resistant label) looks even better in real life than in pictures. Unlike The Jasmine Garden, its high-quality pump delivers an even mist every single time.

So will I repurchase it? Most likely. I really like having it in my routine. I love spritzing it just before I use their M.E. Skin Fuel Serum (which I adore), and I enjoy using it as a setting spray to finish off my skincare routine. Although quite light, it’s more hydrating than most other toners designed for combination skin. I’d say that this would suit all skin types.

Ingredients: D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia(lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat^, H. italicum/L. angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat*, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale(watercress) extract*, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver* Organic^^ Wildcrafted

Price and where to buy: US$36/AU$52 (50ml) I Am Natural Store

Metamorphic Elixir: Designed for ageing or dry skin, this contains ‘eternal rose complex,’ hyaluronic acid and carrot extract, along with a number of other anti-ageing actives. I’d expected it to have a similar consistency as an Asian essence, but it’s fairly light and just a tad more hydrating than Panacea Elixir.

The thing that I dislike about this product is its smell. It starts off by smelling (to my nose) like potpourri, and I don’t mind this part. As it settles down, it assumes a sticky, sickly-sweet smell that reminds me of molasses or maple syrup (mixed with potpourri). If you like either of these aromas, you’ll love this. Normally, I am not super sensitive to smells, but this triggers such an intense emotional response in me to wash it off that I’ve just discontinued using this product.

This formula contains both hyaluronic acid and glycerine to boost hydration. These, however, are at the bottom of the ingredient list, so I don’t know how effective they are. If you want an effective hyaluronic acid product where it’s one of the primary ingredients, I’d recommend something like Goldfaden MD’s Radical Difference (second ingredient) or Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence (middle ingredient) instead.

Ingredients: D-Aloe barbadensis, R. damascena (Rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (Helichrysum) hydrolat*, B. carterii (Frankincense) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia (Lavender) hydrolat*, Eternal Rose Complex* (R. damascena (Rose) hydrolat*, P. capitatum (Rose Geranium) hydrolat*, R canina (Rosehip) hydrolat*, R. damascena (Rose) flower petal powder*), C. myrrha (Myrrh) hydrolat*, D. carota (Carrot) hydrolat^^, L-sodium hyaluronate, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, P. graveolens (rose geranium) extract*, Colloidal silver* Organic^^ Wilcrafted

Price and where to buy: US$48/AU$69 (50ml) I Am Natural Store


  1. Janine
    October 23, 2016 / 2:10 am

    I’ve found for naming conventions it really is just how each brand decides to categorize. For myself personally the idea of elixirs does bring to mind a liquid/fluid tonic, like the elixir of life that was supposed to come from a mystical spring so the idea of elixirs as a mist makes more sense to me than being a face oil or treatment serum.

    For myself personally their Metamorphic Elixir is the one that has me hooked. Perhaps the products work differently on everyone’s skin but for me it smells like roses plus nectar. I actually e-mailed them before regarding hyaluronic acid concentration and they selected their concentration to be most advantageous for hydrating skin because formulas that contain too much can actually draw water out of skin and they measured for climate hydration and hydration in skin after cleansing across a clinical sample and did a standard deviation to arrive at their formula (copied, pasted from their email). For me it works, it isn’t as sticky or thick as products like Antonia Burrell which is like the Asian essence you mentioned but my skin seems to absorb everything better and yield better results.

    • askarjun
      October 23, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Good to hear it’s working for you. I do agree that the elixir of life brings to mind a liquid and this most certainly is one. It was not meant to be a criticism against Yuli, but just an observation on how its inconsistent use across the industry could confuse customers (especially those who are not all that into skincare).

      I am not convinced by Yuli’s explanation, TBH. Thanks for sharing it. Climate and skin types are variables, so what may be optimal for one sample may not be for another one, no? (It makes me ask questions like where/how the ‘climate hydration’ was measured, how many candidates were sampled, what their age groups/skin types were etc.?) Also, the other brands I mentioned are known for their scientific approach to green skincare, so is there an implication there that their research is somehow inferior to Yuli’s? Ultimately, for me, the proof is in the pudding. I don’t get the same hydration benefits from this product as I do from the other two. Obviously, everyone’s skin responds differently to skincare products. This blog is about my experience with products, unfortunately it didn’t work for me. xx

      • Linda
        October 24, 2016 / 8:23 am

        Oh that’s harsh. I think that’s why they do the standard deviation the original poster shared. The only other green brand I see in this review is Kypris and they don’t have a face mist? So I don’t think the original poster is questioning them, confused.

        • askarjun
          October 24, 2016 / 1:56 pm

          The other brands I mentioned in the review are Tata Harper and Goldfaden MD.

  2. Leese
    October 24, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Aw I personally like Metamorphic Elixir. But since you liked Panacea, I’m not surprised since they’re meant for different skin types. For me since I am in my 50s, I just needed more vavavoom which I found with Metamorphic.

    • askarjun
      October 24, 2016 / 3:33 pm

      Yeah, totally agree about this! Metamorphic has definitely more oomph compared to Panacea. 🙂 Glad to hear you like it!

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