This is (undoubtedly) one of the most beautiful things I have put on my face, ever. And likely will remain as such for years to come. This review has been a long time coming. I wanted to make sure it was as thorough as possible. The reasons? This is the single most expensive skincare product that I own. Not only that, it's the most expensive skincare product that I did not have to pay for. April was incredibly generous and sent this to me, and didn't ask for anything in return. I'm writing this review so that I can make some meager attempt to repay her for her kindness.
I have exceeded the 'love' threshold with this product. This is a product that has now reached the uppermost vectors of adoration - alongside goodies like May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon, Indie Lee's Brightening Cleanser, and Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid. This has now become a non-negotiable. I know that you have all read countless praises about this, and they're all true. To put it simply, this is skincare on a brand new level of high performance green beauty. If there was ever reason to doubt that natural skincare is effective, let this be the proof that it truly can work.
It took me a while to come to all of the conclusions that I have. I wanted to make sure that I gave this a fair trial before I even began to form an opinion. I've been using this consistently for about four months now. The first time I used this, I got weak in the knees. I instantly felt calmer. That doesn't always make for an effective product when applied to the skin, so I pushed forward.
Every single time I use this, I fall back in love. The magic is there, every single time. Active Botanical Serum is an example of skincare and self-care running at perfect parallels. My soul is nourished when I use this, and my skin reflects that. This product is not only exceptional in results, but also in formula. I would definitely recommend spending some time on their website, because it explains every factor surrounding the creation of this serum. It's not just lavender extract and jojoba oil. They use wholesome ingredients so that your skin can benefit from all the nutrients these nourishing plants and herbs have to offer.
About: Active Botanical Serum is a 100% active face oil, strategically formulated to have the multi-correctional activity and penetration of a super-powered serum. Made from the world’s most nutrient rich botanicals and essential oils, it is a skincare game changer that restores skin’s balance, texture and natural radiance. Vintner’s Daughter uniquely combines anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, skin firming phytoceramides, nourishing fatty-acids and powerful anti-oxidants to help restore skin balance and natural radiance. Sourced from the finest producers and growers in the world, Active Botanical Serum helps to stimulate cellular turnover, maintain skin elasticity, strengthen capillaries, inhibit melanin production,deliver oxygen to cells and protect against free-radical damage. It means that your skin is receiving the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to heal itself and become more clear, even-toned, firm and radiant. Don’t be surprised if people stop you on the street to ask what you are using. What does all of this mean? The formula’s small particle size is a critical factor to its high performance because it allows the active botanicals to deeply penetrate skin layers. Because skin fully recognizes these plant actives as the nutritive building blocks of its own structure (rather than foreign substances), skin becomes more healthy and radiant. Nourish skin at the highest level with this active oil serum. 22 targeted organic oils work synergistically for healthy, radiant, youthful skin. Fights wrinkles with powerful antioxidants and firming phytoceramides. Stimulates cell turnover and inhibits melanin production for brightness. Strengthens capillaries and calms redness with phytonutrients. Nourishes with essential fatty acids.
It is an oil-serum, and I really do think it functions better as a serum. I've gotten much better results from pressing this into damp skin and following it with an oil or balm, than I have with applying it over a water based serum. It penetrates better on clean skin.
Active Botanical Serum holds the title for, "glow that I've never had before." The kind of radiance and vibrancy that reveals itself is unlike any that I've ever seen. It's not glossy, greasy, or slick the way many other oils can be. It's satiny, soft, and captivating. It is the ultimate definition of "glow from within."
Obviously we use products for more than just glow, and that's where VD continues to shine. My skin is calmer, more tranquil, and incredibly softened after I use it. Any inflammation or overactivity in my skin is quickly extinguished.
I find that I reach for this when my skin has been overworked - stress, extreme fluctuation in temperatures (think hot sun into air conditioning), irritation from a product reaction, or overall dullness. Due to my hectic NYC lifestyle, most of those factors are always present.
The nice thing about the serum-like qualities of this product means that it's a fairly universal product. It's rich in grape seed oil, which has harmonizing properties. That essentially translates to skin that is balanced. You won't feel slicked down if you have oily skin, but drier skins may definitely notice that there's not as much moisture as traditional oils. I personally need to follow this serum with an oil or balm, but some of you may not.
The scent can only be classified as: divine. It's everything you could hope it would smell like, and more. It's earthy, enveloping, herbal, bitter-floral, and head-clearing. I personally pick up most on the carrot, rose, and an earthy-dirty quality. Everyone's description will be different, but the main thing to remember is that it smells like it is completely plant derived. Nothing synthetic in the slightest. The scent is important because it's part of the experience.
Ingredients: 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.
The ultimate ritual - as inspired by my dear friend Caroline of Skin Obsessor - is a thorough balm or oil cleanse, a dousing of Biologique Recherché Lotion P50 1970, a generous mist of whatever you're currently in love with, and five to seven drops of Active Botanical Serum pressed and pushed into the face and neck. After it has soaked in for a good twenty minutes, I love to follow it with May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon or any other gorgeous oil/balm that you have. The result is skin that glows in a way you've never seen before. The goal is achieved: calm, nourished, tranquil, and radiant skin.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't think I can find words to accurately describe how beautiful this is on the skin. I don't want to be without this now. As I mentioned, this has reached the level of non-negotiable. The second this bottle gets near to its end, I'll have my credit card out and ready to go. It is worth noting, though, that a bottle will last you quite a while - even with consistent use. 5-7 drops every single time is not a ton of product, and the texture allows for it to absorb evenly and fairly quickly.
I feel like I'm getting $185 worth of product with this serum - both with the results I see, and the grounding experience that is to be had. It's such a wholesome product that delivers, and makes your skincare ritual that much better.
*Limitless thank you's to April Gargiulo and Vintner's Daughter for sending this to me. My gratitude cannot be expressed in words.