When it comes to beauty, smother me in snails, bee venom or the ol’ snake oil. Put the words “beauty product” and “buzz” in the same sentence and I’m there, offering up my emollient-weary complexion, radiant with expectation. I can only think of one exception –  the colostrum cream gifted to me by a kind hearted soul. I don’t care that it’s cool in Korea, your nipple juice ain’t touching this face.

Unsurprisingly, my charred sun worshipper’s skin was pinning its hopes on Vintner’s Daughter. I was totally sold on the buzz. Emily Ferber, to whom I defer in questions of beauty and irreverent journalism, is a fan. The hype was evangelical, proclaiming Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum as a “cult” serum, based on “two years of research… in pursuit for the ultimate ‘hero’ skin treatment”.

As someone who is still (fleetingly) under thirty, I’ve yet to embrace sciency-skincare. I am wary of acids, peptides, retinols and other actives (see previous rants). I’m also a big believer in preserving the skin’s natural acid mantle, which explains why I was prepared to fork out £175 on a 30ml of botanicals, essential oils and hocus pocus.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum Review

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum – Ingredients

Let’s start with the important bit;  the ingredients comprising what is supposedly  “the face oil to end all face oils”.

The ingredient list for Vintner’s Daughter is extensive and reassuringly comprehensible (all ingredients listed further down). There are no D&C Red 27 or triclosans. No dimethicone to demystify. Just 22 organic extracts that can all be found individually in any well stocked natural pharmacy.

The combination promises to soothe and transform skin with “anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, skin-firming phytoceramides, nourishing fatty acids and powerful antioxidants to target all primary signs of skin ageing”.

Pretty big claims for a serum where the main ingredient is the humble workhorse of cheap carrier oils, grapeseed oil. And whilst indeed, grapeseed oil is full of fatty acids, linoleic acid, oleic acid and Vitamin E, it’s not exactly earth shattering stuff.

Now for the bigger issue…

Natural isn’t always better, or indeed good. And Vintner’s Daughter contains two ingredients in quite high concentrations, namely bergamot peel oil and lemon peel oil, which are a red flag in skincare. Both these oils have photosensitive properties that can seriously damage your skin.

To be safe, these oils should be steam distilled thereby removing their phototoxic effect (Bergaptene/ Furanocoumarin Free). Otherwise, you may end up with damage, lesions and unwanted pigmentation. After much Googling, I’ve not been able to satisfy myself that the oils in Vintner’s Daughter are indeed Furanocoumarin free (it would drive up production costs significantly). So if the serum is something you decide to try, keep this in mind before you go galavanting around in the sun.

Vintner’s Daughter ingredient list is as follows;

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil; Corylus Avellana (Hazelnut) Oil; Citrus Aurantium var Bergamia(Bergamot) Peel Oil; Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil; Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Extract; Rose Damascena (Rose) Absolute; Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil; Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil; Rosa Rubignosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil; Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel; Lavandula x Intermedia (Lavender) Flower; Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf; Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf; Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Leaf; Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil); Citrus Aurantium var Amara (Neroil) Flower Oil; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit; Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) Root Oil; Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Oil; Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower; Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Oil.

Vintner’s Daughter Results

I’ve been using the product for over two months and have yet to see anything close to the promised “Instagram filter for your face” or anything approximating an improvement in my skin. In fact, when I started using the oil, I found that it broke me out – which products don’t generally tend to do.

Compared to my usual oils, Vintner’s Daughter is a pleasantly thin consistency. The general consensus is to use a few drops, but not one for half measures, whatever I’m using, it’s always a full pipette – leaving quite a lot of product sitting on the skin.

The scent is herbal with citrus undertones. Not one of my personal favourites. When applied, if you really focus, there is the lightest of numbing sensations.

Verdict – Overhyped & Overrated

I’m finding it difficult to pinpoint the magic of this product. Subjectively, it hasn’t delivered on any of the inducements that made me buy it. And don’t think I didn’t persevere. I really wanted to love it. Wanted it to love me. “Show me the love”, I chanted whilst furiously massaging my face in front of the mirror. But even combined with my foolproof facial massage, I didn’t find that my skin looked particularly radiant, in the way that it does with Pai Rosehip Oil or my personal favourite, the Herbivore Phoenix regenerating face oil. So it’s a no from me on Vintner’s Daughter which is now relegated to the lowly leg oil drawer along with Johnson’s Baby and a number of ancient pots of cold pressed coconut oil.

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