vintners daughter active botanical serum This $$$ Serum Is The Best Thing to Come Off a Vineyard Since Wine
The concept of a beauty product that “does it all” doesn’t really do it for me, especially when it comes to skin care. I want to mix and match; I want to layer serums under moisturizers under oils; I want to customize my routine every morning and every night. So I don’t usually gravitate toward products that claim to have this many or that many uses. I’ll take a hard pass in favor of putting ten different things on my face and hoping the combination won’t make my skin fall off.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185) professes to be a “multi-correctional infusion”—so no, not usually in my wheelhouse. It was really the company’s name that caught my eye, because I’m totally on board with anything derived from a grape. (Well, anything except raisins. Whose idea was it to take a perfectly good fruit and make it awful?) It also smells truly wonderful, which is something I quickly discovered when I first unscrewed the top to see if it looked anything like wine. It doesn’t, FYI.

More impressive still, every single last one of the ingredients here is easily recognized as something that grows naturally on this earth. Grape seed oil, hazelnut oil, bergamot peel oil, avocado oil, marigold oil, rose absolute, carrot seed oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil, lemon peel, lavender flower, alfalfa leaf, nettle leaf, dandelion leaf, frankincense oil, neroli flower oil, rosemary leaf extract, sea buckthorn oil, turmeric root oil, cypress leaf oil, jasmine oil, and tamanu oil—there are a lot of them, and they are all most definitely of this planet, not made exclusively in a lab.

I have outrageously sensitive skin, and essential oils can actually be really irritating for me, which is why I went into the twice-daily application of this very expensive serum with some apprehension. I escaped the first evening unscathed, which was a relief, and the next morning, too—and all of the several days of use to follow. Even with all the, um, stuff that’s in there, none of it interacted badly with my skin.

In fact! Within two weeks of use, my skin actually seemed less easily provoked by different products or dirty looks, and some scarred ghosts of breakouts past had lightened up significantly. Results. I guess I’ll only be able to validate the juice’s other claims—firmer skin, improved cellular turnover, more elasticity, stronger capillaries, wrinkle prevention, protection against free-radical damage—in a few years, when my twenties start catching up with me.

That is, if I can afford to keep using this serum for that long. Good skin rarely comes cheap … or at least that’s what I tell myself to justify my egregious spending habits.

MORE: The 8 Best Under-$20 Moisturizers Our Editors Buy in Bulk



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