Beauty Dish

March 15, 2016

Molly and I mentioned this face serum in our first "Current Vibes" post. Called the Active Botanical Serum by Vintner's Daughter, I first heard about it from my bestie and natural skincare fanatic, Hannah. Like me and Molly, she has battled with her skin for years - constantly searching for products that will combat acne and breakouts without drying or irritating. Sounds so simple...but between me, Molly, and Hannah we have probably tried dozens upon dozens of products (both natural and otherwise) that don't deliver on promises. Not only is this trial and error expensive, it's also incredibly frustrating. So let's just say that when Hannah told me that she tried the Vintner's Daughter serum and it literally changed her skin overnight I perked up and started Googling as much about it as I could. There's a lot of write-ups out there that will do their part to convince you how great this oil is (ForbesgoopInto The Gloss, and my fave on Bare Beauty)...this is just my take on what my skin went through and what I love about it!


Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185): Let me guess, the first thing you’re thinking is, “$185 for oil? WTF.” And trust me – as someone living in San Fransisco and always on a budget I can sympathize with the cringe that comes when you look at the price tag. No, this stuff is not cheap so let’s not pretend that it is. But hold my hand here…I want to tell you that a) you get what you pay for, b) this stuff is liquid gold, c) a little goes a long way, and d) it is worth every penny. So now that we’ve had that pep talk I’ll try to explain why one ounce is nearly $200…

The founder and creator of Vintner’s Daughter, April Gargiulo, is also a winery owner (hence the name – a vintner is a wine maker or merchant). She started taking a closer look at her personal skincare when pregnant and learned that most all of the products she was using “contained high levels of ineffective, toxic fillers.” This might be a good time for me to mention that I’m not necessarily against products that contain smart science (re: chemicals) but when they don’t even deliver results and the chemicals can yield cumulative damage on our systems? That’s just wrong. Driven by her desire to bring toxin-free alternatives into her skin routine, April started researching what was available. She found was that many all-natural products often smelled good but didn’t deliver active/real results that could address the personal skin issues she was looking to improve(fine lines and wrinkles, acne, elasticity, and general radiance). So April did what many women wouldn’t – she threw herself into creating a “hero” product that was natural and effective.

April worked with natural skincare veterans and spent two years researching and formulating until Vintner’s Daughter produced Active Botanical Serum. Now we get to the price part…Vintner’s Daughter sources the world’s finest raw ingredients from conscious growers and “honors these ingredients through an exacting and time-honored formulation process.” Active Botanical Serum contains 22 of the world’s most active organic and wildcrafted botanicals –

You can read all about the ingredients (phytonutrients, phytoceramides, nourishing fatty-acids, powerful anti-oxidants, and a selection of targeted essential oils) but I’ve broken out the main benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory: won’t irritate or inflame skin
  • Fights signs of aging: wrinkles and fine lines elasticity
  • Firms and improves skin elasticity: the skin’s ability to stretch and then go back to normal once the need to stretch is gone. Elasticity is a fact of aging for most people.
  • Stimulates cellular turnover: our skin produces new skin cells which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then shed off the skin. This is what keeps dead cells from building up on the skins surface. As we age, our skin turnover rate slows.
  • Strengthens capillaries: capillaries are the dilated small vessels near the surface of the skin
  • Inhibits melanin production: melanin is the pigment produced when we expose our skin to UV radiation (sun). Can reduce in long-term discoloration and dark spots on the skin.
  • Protects against free-radical damage: Free radicals can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules and can cause damage when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.

In summary: The small particle size of Active Botanical Serum allows “active botanicals to deeply penetrate skin’s layers and because the skin fully recognizes the plant actives as the nutritive building blocks of its own structure, skin becomes more healthy, radiant and youthful.”


Here’s how I use the product…after washing face I put 4-6 drops (even though the directions say 6-8, I don’t need that much) in my palm, rub both palms together, and press the oil onto my face. Unlike some other oil serums I’ve tried, Vintner’s Daughter absorbs rather quickly and by the time I get in bed at night or am ready to put my makeup on in the morning, it has completely absorbed into my skin.

Here’s what I noticed when I first started using it…first of all, it smells incredible. Waking up in the morning after using it for the first time the night before I noticed that all of the small blemishes on my face were all but erased (redness gone, irritation gone). Woohoo! After a few days of using the serum day and night my skin started to breakout but not like it typically does. I got massive underground, cystic blemishes on my forehead and got about a dozen small, surface-ready whiteheads pop up also. I freaked out and asked the spa where I got the serum if this was normal and they assured me that because of the powerful, rich anti-oxidants my skin was riding itself of trapped toxins and. While this purging process wasn’t ideal, it lasted about 3 weeks and then my skin was absolutely perfect. Perfect! I have never ever said that in my life and typically always have one blemish or frustrating breakout I’m dealing with. But consistent use (and I’ve been using it now for six weeks) has only improved how my face looks and as someone who has felt the debilitating reality that is “problem skin” I’ve never been happier.

Truthfully, I would have paid the same amount for a product that wasn’t free of toxins and contained all the chemicals if it did the same thing to my skin. The fact that Vintner’s Daughter is able to deliver such incredible results and it’s natural is just amazing and what makes the $185 well worth it (in my personal opinion). Molly and I now call this our Unicorn Tears and we’ve been telling everyone about it who will listen. Now go forth…save your cash and buy some of your own. If you’re still hesitant, consider that you may spend $185 on a pair of jeans, shoes, dress, etc. and none of those purchases can probably be used twice a day and won’t change your life/skin in the way that this will. Mic drop.

*NOTE: Vintner’s Daughter is currently sold out of the serum on their site (they will be shipping again between March 22-27 and are offering free shipping if you order now and wait for the re-stock)!

    1. Hi There! April piping in from Vintner’s Daughter HQ. Vintner’s Daughter was designed to be a powerful multi-correctional face serum and one that doesn’t need many other steps to support it. Cleanse, tone (this is key) and then apply using push / press. voila – Instant glow face!

  1. I think I’m going to pull the trigger. My face has been acting so crazy for the last year and much like you, I always have one problem area I’m dealing with. I’ve run out of options. I miss my perfectly clear skin I experienced my senior year of high school and into college!

    26 and Not Counting

  2. Ps – le vert beauty sells it too – they are amazing and have the best customer service!

  3. This is literally my favorite beauty product ever. I am obsessed with mine 🙂

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