Spend or Skip? Vintner's Daughter Serum
If every anti-aging product on the market really did what it claimed, we'd all look 18. And while there are many effective products that help make the most of our looks as we age (and I, for one, like the way I look better at 46 than I did at 18), there are also many that are nothing but snake oil. Thus, I've created this series, Spend or Skip?, in which I will apply my twenty=plus years as a beauty guinea pig to objectively road-test and review buzz-generating, anti-aging products that everyone's talking about. The mission: to help you decide whether to buy—or bypass—the latest fountain of youth.
If all the online buzz is to be believed, this plant-based serum may be the holy grail of skincare. Blogger accolades (from Millennials, mostly) include phrases like radiance-boosting, cystic-acne-curing, fine-line-plumping, dark-spot-fading. Many also contend it's such an effective all-in-one, they’ve tossed the rest of their regimen. (I assume/hope this excludes their cleanser and sunscreen.) So how well does it fare on a 40+ face? I intend to find out.
For those unfamiliar with this buzz-generating product, it was created by April Gargiulo, the daughter of an actual vintner (Gargiulo grew up on a vineyard in Northern California). And although she’s no longer in the wine-making business, Gargiulo has cited the meticulous process of creating fine wine as the guiding principal she used in developing this serum. Her motivation: To create something all-natural that would treat her own acne-prone, sensitive, blotchy, tired skin. She says, after trying dozens of other skincare products without ever achieving the results she really wanted, she took matters into her own hands.
Having never worked in the beauty industry before, her journey was not without hiccups. When Gargiulo set out to find a lab to create the product she envisioned, she found herself repeatedly turned away because labs wouldn’t or couldn’t help her bring the formula to fruition . (She did, fortunately, after much searching, find one willing to give it a try.)
The Vintner's Daughter Serum's formula is note-worthy largely because of how much Gargiulo packed into one product. (This is probably also why so many labs balked at her business; it's tricky to get multiple actives to work synergistically.) The serum boasts 22 active botanical ingredients with a wide range of properties, from free-radical-fighting/anti-oxidant grape seed oil to anti-inflammatory evening primrose oil to anti-microbial/acne-fighting sea buckthorn. There are also ingredients that brighten, firm, soothe and boost elasticity.
Dermatologists I trust who’ve taken a look at the ingredients say it's a good formula, in theory. But most also add that pure essential oils can be be irritating, so proceed with caution—and skepticism. (At $185/bottle, Vintner's Daughter Serum is not an inexpensive "experiment.") Thus, to help you make an informed decision, for the next few weeks, I will put away my other skincare products and subject my 46-year-old, combo, slightly sensitive, still-breaks-out-occasionally, sun damaged, growing-slack-around-the-jawline skin to Vintner's Daughter. I’ll post the first update in about a week. And yes, I will include pictures.
If you’ve tried Vintner’s Daughter, I’d love to hear about your experience. Email me at email@example.com—or tell us all in the Comments, below.