Review Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum

It’s the question on everyone’s lips atm: is Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum worth $185?

I know, I know, worth is subjective. You may not hesitate to splurge 1K on a designer bag while your BFF thinks you’re crazy. That’s cool. Your money. Your call.

Same with skincare. Kind of.

I’m all for splurging on luxury skincare products if you can afford them BUT only if they contain actives that really work and give you the most beautiful skin ever. Otherwise, you may pay $5 but you still got ripped off.

So, is Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum really the “facial oil to end all facial oils” (that’s how In The Gloss called it) or is it all hype?

Let’s see what’s inside:

About The Brand: Vintner’s Daughter

Vintner’s Daughter was founded by winery owner April Gargiulo. Dissatisfied with her own skincare routine and inspired by her background in the wine industry, April decided to create a serum made entirely from natural ingredients and sourced from raw materials that meets excellent quality standards. Craftsmanship is at the art of the brand. But is effectiveness too?

Key Ingredients In Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum: What Makes It Work?


Grape seed oil is derived from the seeds of grape. It’s much thinner and less greasy than most oils, which is why it makes a great base for natural beauty products.

Grape seed oil is loaded with antioxidants. They’re called procyanidis and help neutralise the free radicals that cause wrinkles, dark spots and sagging. 

There’s also some research that shows that grape seed oil provides some protection against UVB rays (P.S. This doesn’t mean it’s a substitute for sunscreen!).


Hazelnut oil isn’t an oil you see often in skincare. That’s a shame because it’s loaded with oleic acid (it contains a whooping 85%!), a super moisturising substance.

Oleic acid makes even dry skin soft and smooth for hours. Plus, it helps other ingredients penetrate your skin, so they work better and faster, too.

P.S. Oleic acid may also cause breakouts. If you have oily skin, this may not be the best oil for you.

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You know what they say, “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.” Wait, what?! That’s apple? Oh well, I’ll keep eating my fair share of avos cos they taste better. 🙂

Plus, avocados are awesome for the skin. Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids that moisturise skin and antioxidants like vitamin E that fight free radicals damage and protects skin from UV damage.

In a nutshell, it makes your skin soft and smooth and keeps wrinkles away.

Related: How Do Antioxidants Work?


Rosehip oil is my fave oil for skin. It’s derived from the hips of roses, i.e. the radish-like balls roses leave behind after they blossom.

Rosehip oil has a whooping 64-87% linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is a super moisturizing fatty acid. It works by strengthening your skin’s protective barrier, so that moisture stays into your skin and moisturises it.

Talking about linoleic acid, do you know that those who suffer from acne have less of it in their skin? Studies show that if you add it back in, you can make mini pimples disappear.

There’s more. Rosehip oil is a natural source of vitamin A, the only thing that can really reduce wrinkles. Vitamin A fights wrinkles on three fronts: it boosts collagen production, destroys free radicals and speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process. All things that make it look younger.

Related: Why Rosehip Oil Is My Go-To For Any Skincare Woe


If you’ve ready this far, you’re probably thinking that Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum is indeed worth the hype. Not so fast.

A few essential oils sneaked their way inside and they could cause some serious trouble to your skin. Usually, these citrus essential oils are just sprinkled in to make the product smell good.

But in Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, bergamot oil is the THIRD ingredient. The brand says that bergamot, together with the other citrus offender, lemon oil, can fade away dark spots. Science doesn’t agree. I couldn’t find any studies supporting this claim.

What we know, instead, is that citrus oils are irritating for the skin. Even if they don’t give you a rash, they can inflame the deeper layer of the skin, a process that eventually leads to wrinkles.

I know it sucks. I love the smell of anything citrus. And if there’s only a drop of lemon or bergamot essential oil, I’d still go ahead and use it. But this serum has way, way too much.

P.S. While we’re on the subject, lavender oil can be irritating, too. I know it’s not a citrus oil, but I had to mention it.

Related: 7 Natural Ingredients That Can Irritate Sensitive Skin

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Extract: Derived from the marigold plant, it has antioxidants that help slow down premature aging.
  • Rose Damascena (Rose) Absolute: It has antioxidant properties that fight premature aging but its fragrant components can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil: It has antioxidant properties that slow down primate aging. But its fragrant components can be irritating.
  • Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil: A moisturising oils with powerful soothing properties that calm down redness and irritation.
  • Lavandula x Intermedia (Lavender) Flower: It has antimicriobial properties and makes the serum smell good, but it can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf: A powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals that cause premature aging.
  • Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf: It has astringent and antibacterial properties.
  • Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Leaf: I don’t know why this is here, it has no beneficial effect for the skin. It literally does nothing for it.
  • Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil: It makes the oil smell good, but can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract: It’s an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It fights wrinkles and can soothe irritation. But its fragrant components can do the opposite and cause irritations in people who are allergic to rosemary.
  • Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit: Moisturising, it makes skin softer and smoother. It has antioxidant properties that fight wrinkles too.
  • Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) Root Oil: It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations.
  • Cypressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Oil: It makes the oil smell good – but it can also cause irritations.
  • Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower: It makes the oil smell good, but it can also irritate sensitive skin.
  • Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Oil: It moisturises skin, making it softer and smoother.


It is an oil, so the texture is kinda what you’d expect from an oil. It’s thick and takes a couple of minutes to sink in. But it’s also silky and a pleasure to use. You can tell that Vintner’s Daughter pays close attention to every detail – and, at this price point, it should.


Floral with a hint of citrus. It smells divine, no doubt about that. If like me, you love anything with a hint of citrus, you’ll fall in love with this too – as long as your skin isn’t sensitive. The problem with beautiful fragrances like this is that they can irritate sensitive skin.

Here’s what no one tells you: natural plants and oils are made up of lots of different chemicals. Some of these chemicals are moisturising. Others have antioxidant properties that fight premature aging. Some have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations. And, in the same plant, you’ll also have a few chemicals that are irritating.

There’s a reason why plants smell good – that beautiful scent is deadly to many predators. For most humans, those predator-killing chemicals are totally innocuous. But, if you have sensitive, they may irritate your skin or trigger an allergic reaction. This is why I prefer fragrance-free products.

How To Use It

It’s an oil and oils are always the last step of your skincare routine at night. You could use them during the day, there’s no law that says you can’t. But they usually don’t layer well under sunscreen and can be too greasy for daytime.


The oil is housed in a sleek black bottle with a dropper applicator. I like the dropper because it allows you to dispense only the amount of product you need, so that none gets wasted, and makes application easier. It’s also gorgeous. Most importantly, the dark packaging keeps the oil inside safe from the UV light that could spoil them faster.

vintner's daughter active botanical serum review

Performance & Personal Opinion

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum has a light oily feel (duh!). It absorbs quickly into my slight dry skin, leaving just a sheen behind. I kinda dig it, but it may be too much for oilier skin types.

It does a great job at hydrating skin. It plumps it up, so fine lines look smaller, and makes it silky soft to the touch. It also strengthens your skin’s protective barrier, helping it withstand attacks from cold weather, pollutants, and anything else that tries to harm it.

I don’t have any dark spots, but even if it did, I doubt it’d lighten them. As I mentioned above, the science isn’t there. Plus, there are better ways to fade away dark spots.

This oil didn’t make me breakout, but then my skin isn’t acne-prone. If yours is, stay away – just in case.

Related: The Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: Which Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone?

What I Like About Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

  • Silky texture.
  • Smells divine.
  • Very moisturising, makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Beautiful packaging.

What I DON’T Like Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

  • It’s loaded with irritating oils.

Who Should Use This?

I honestly don’t recommend this. It’s best suitable for dry skin, but you can find plenty of less potentially irritating oils at a fraction of the cost.

I don’t recommend it to anyone, but it’s ESPECIALLY NOT for:

  • Oily, acne-prone skin
  • Sensitive skin

Does Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

Our potent concentration delivers optimal ratios of healing phytonutrients, balancing minerals, free-radical fighting antioxidants, strengthening phytoceramides, nourishing fatty acids, and brightening vitamins to renew, repair, protect, and tone the skin.  It does contain all these goodies. But some of the oils in here can also be irritating and cause breakouts.
Added to this infusion is a targeted group of cold-pressed botanical oils and essential oils of the highest-grade to further amplify the performance of Active Botanical Serum. This may be true, but amplify how?

Is Vintner’s Daughter Cruelty-Free?

Yes, they don’t test on animals and don’t outsource the process either. Plus, they’re vegan too.

Price & Availability

$185.00/£175.00 at Cult Beauty

Do You Need It?

No. On paper, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum has a lot going for it. It’s loaded with nourishing oils that moisturise your skin and keeps wrinkles away too. But the high concentration of bergamot oil is a dealbreaker for me. It can give you an irritation and won’t even fade your dark spots. What the heck is it here for?!

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Serum ($75.00): It features a bunch of moisturising natural oils and antioxidants to fight premature aging and keep skin soft and supple for longer. Available at Credo Beauty.
  • MaeLove Love 31 ($74.95): It’s loaded with natural moisturising oils that make skin softer and smoother. But it also has a few drops of irritating fragrant oils. Not as much as Vintner’s Daughter, but if you have sensitive skin, this isn’t for you. Available at MaeLove.


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.