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I Bought the Cult-Favorite (and Expensive) Vintner’s Daughter Serum. Two Years Later, Here’s My Review
Katherine Gillen
  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Scent: 20/20
  • Total: 94/100

When I hit my mid-20s, I somehow tricked myself into thinking that meant my skin would be in its prime. I was too old for acne yet too young for wrinkles. That was a lie.

It was more like: annoying pimples, oily yet flaky skin and general dullness. I was impatient to find a fix. So I shelled out $185 for the much-lauded Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.

At the time, I would fully admit that it was more than I felt comfortable spending on most things, let alone a single skincare product. But after reading glowing reviews, then hearing from a close friend that it was a miracle in a bottle, I wanted to give it a try. Now, two years later, I’m still glad I did—I’ve since repurchased the serum twice. Here’s why.

It’s made of high-quality ingredients.

The serum is made from a laundry list of 22 essential oils sourced from small, conscious farms around the world. According to the brand, they’re extracted from whole botanicals in a traditional, weeks-long process, inspired by fine winemaking, to achieve maximum nutrient potential. Each ingredient, from blemish-fighting anti-inflammatories to skin brighteners, hydrating oils and antioxidants, performs multiple functions and is meant for all skin types and ages. Read: It will (purportedly) solve every complexion woe, from pimples to wrinkles.

TBH, that sounds like a bunch of hooey at first glance. But the Vintner’s Daughter website breaks down exactly why each ingredient is in the mix, from anti-inflammatory evening primrose oil to brightening turmeric oil. 

For the record, I’d still encourage any skincare fanatic to do their own research first. Most experts agree that essential oils have the potential to be irritating, especially in their undiluted form. Although the essential oils in Vintner’s Daughter serum are diluted in plenty of nourishing carrier oils, everyone’s skin reacts differently.

It smells good and looks fancy.

I won’t lie: The Vintner’s Daughter branding is enticing enough on its own. The deep amber oil-serum is housed in a dark, minimalist dropper bottle and smells intensely floral but not in a grandmotherly way. It looks, smells and feels expensive, and I’m more than willing to admit this was part of the original draw. If I’m shelling out the big bucks, I might as well be able to display it in my bathroom, right?

It does what it claims.

I remember what I thought two years ago when I first bought the serum: It seemed too thick and oily for my greasy skin. Worrying I had possibly just spent $185 to clog my pores, I followed the bottle’s instructions: I cleansed and toned my face, then massaged a few drops into my skin, let it absorb and wondered whether I’d wake up with a massive zit or the face of a poreless angel.

In the morning, my skin wasn’t broken out (a good sign). More than that, it looked…bouncy? There were definitely fewer dry patches. Feeling hopeful, I reapplied, and again that night…and almost every night for the last two years. My complexion is more balanced, and while I still get the occasional zit or dry spot, the Vintner’s Daughter serum keeps things in order.

Does that mean this product was made for every person or skin type? Not necessarily. What works for me might not work for you, and like I said, do your research!

It makes me feel good.

Admittedly, I wanted to hate the serum, if only to spare my wallet. But dammit, it makes me feel good each time I use it. I relish the ritual of dispensing two or three drops into my palm, warming the serum in my hands and patting it gently into my skin before bed. I also used it leading up to my wedding, and each whiff reminds me of that day.

Is $185 a lot for a face serum? Undoubtedly. Will I buy it again? I think we know the answer to that.

Buy it ($185)

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