If there’s one beauty product we splurge on and cherish till its very last drop, it’s Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum. Crafted by April Gargiulo and her team of “natural skincare veterans”, the elixir took two years from thought to table, and has garnered praise, love and obsession by the conscious beauty community the world over.
So why did April decide to formulate her own miracle, magical mixture? Like most of our featured brand founders, she decided to do it her way. After getting pregnant for the first time — and battling problematic skin her whole life — she looked to the all-natural way…and came up short on the shelves.
Having grown up a wine merchant’s daughter — which Vintner’s Daughter literally translates to — April proceeded to synergise her own multitasking blend. Wanting to develop a product that could address all of her skin concerns, she paired compounds and established an ‘enfleurage’ extraction method similar to that of the maceration process in winemaking. Along the way, April discovered every botanical under the sun, from marigold to cypress to tamanu, and struck gold.
Vintner’s Daughter embodies a minimalist skincare regime inside out, with one — and only one — product to beautify and restore skin to its original baby smooth, baby soft and healthy state. Rave reviews talk about the serum’s powers in minimising pores, battling rosacea, and enabling customers to do away with makeup altogether. Some say they can even see a difference overnight.
Much has been said about the serum’s US$185 price tag. But if you know your way around a beauty cabinet, you’ll know that this category is the one to splurge on. And it’s worth every cent. Taking up to three weeks just to produce one batch, April says that each and every ingredient used is essential — and at the most optimal percentages too. If an ingredient harvested from its whole plant (not extracts) doesn’t meet April’s standards, production is paused.
But as much as her serum can achieve, April recognises that products can only do so much — the rest is dependent on our genes and lifestyle. With conscious living in mind, she follows a dairy-free, gluten-free and entirely organic diet. But there’s always room to tipple.
“We uniquely begin with whole plants, chosen because they are among the most nutrient-dense in the world.”
April suggests that her Active Botanical Serum helps to simplify beauty routines. Just cleanse, tone and apply the serum
Your Active Botanical Serum is made of 22 different ingredients. How do you ensure that each one is of the highest quality — good enough to be used in each batch made?
Great question. The quality of ingredients and sourcing are paramount to Vintner’s Daughter. Coming from a background in fine winemaking, I understand how critical every step is to the end product. Whether you are making collectable cabernet or high-performance skincare, shortcuts do not yield the finest quality.
To accomplish this, we source from the most conscious growers and producers in the world. We take it a step further: once the ingredient is in our lab, we test it to confirm it’s of the very finest quality and the safest. We also test several times throughout the formulation process to make sure we are on track.
There have been times when we have had to live with being sold out because an ingredient didn’t live up to our standards. We lovingly refer to this as the speed of quality.
How did you come to know that the final 22 were the perfect combination?
When I saw my acne-prone, scarred, unbalanced skin become healthy, radiant and clear. When Active Botanical Serum went out in the world and we started to receive testimonials from women of all ages, skin colours and issues, I knew it was not only my personal miracle; it was a total skincare game changer.
The serum blends 22 natural, wildcrafted ingredients from conscious growers worldwide
“There have been times when we have had to live with being sold out because an ingredient didn’t live up to our standards. We lovingly refer to this as the speed of quality.”
Tell us more about the ‘enfleurage’ technique used to merge the oils together.
We uniquely begin with whole plants, chosen because they are among the most nutrient-dense in the world. Through this time-consuming and costly formulation practice, we are able to extract the full spectrum of activity from these powerful plants. That means that there are over 60 different minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fatty acids and omegas in our formula; all in the most optimal rations. This cannot be achieved through standard formulation practices.
When fusing so many different ingredients together, how do they penetrate the skin?
This is such an important question because it wouldn’t matter how filled with actives your product was if it didn’t have a great delivery system. The Active Botanical Serum was formulated to have a low molecular weight, which means that it has a small particle size and can immediately penetrate the dermal layers. Even though it is oil-based, it absorbs in the skin quickly.
What is the best way to use the Active Botanical Serum in a humid and sunny country such as Singapore?
Because the Active Botanical Serum delivers such complete nutrition to the skin, you can keep a relatively simple routine around it. Cleanse, tone (this is key) and apply the serum. You may not even need moisturiser after.
What are some skin loving ingredients we should value?
Active Botanical Serum has every skin-beautifying nutrient that is oil soluble. There are several water soluble actives that are important to skin as well. The two biggest are vitamin C and hyaluronic.
With vitamin C, you want to look for a powdered formulation that does not oxidise upon opening. With hyaluronic, you want to look for a formulation that contains both large and small hyaluronic molecules.
“There are several water soluble actives that are important to skin. The two biggest are vitamin C and hyaluronic.”
“The Active Botanical Serum was formulated to have a low molecular weight, which means that it has a small particle size and can immediately penetrate the dermal layers,” says April
Tell us about Vintner’s Daughter’s charitable work.
We joyfully donate two per cent of every bottle sold to charities benefiting women and children around the world. Our mission is to change women’s lives, and charitable giving is one aspect of that.
Finally, what does the idea of conscious living mean to you?
This is quite simple for me, but not always easy. I try to live by the Buddhist principles of right action, right speech, right thought.
Images courtesy of Vintner’s Daughter