The latest small-batch, high-quality liquid gold to emerge from Napa Valley is not a Chardonnay, but a facial serum. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum for Face, a multi-correctional oil meant for all skin types, is the brainchild of April Gargiulo, who first learned the lesson that purity of ingredients equals quality on her family’s farm, Gargiulo Vineyards. Growing up prone to acne, she set herself the mission early on to investigate which lotions and creams actually performed as their manufacturers claim, but it was not until she was pregnant with her first daughter and casting about for more natural skin care that she realized she could blend her own ideal formula. “The driving force behind the serum is the activity level,” Gargiulo says. “I wanted something that offers results.” Specifically, she wanted it to nourish, hydrate, repair, calm, and protect the skin. A tall order for 30 mL of serum, but Gargiulo researched the science behind botanicals to make it so.
Using grape-seed oil as her base—“Having been in the wine industry for so many years, I knew it was incredible for the skin, and I knew I could easily obtain high-quality product,” she says—Gargiulo then sought the most active herbal ingredients to benefit the skin. While other skin-care products contain some of these same botanicals, most do not have concentrations high enough to reap their benefits. Vintner’s Daughter’s serum contains only high concentrations of its 22 active ingredients, blended to work synergistically. For instance, Gargiulo included frankincense and cypress, which create a warming sensation and bring blood cells to the surface, so that the skin absorbs the oil faster. The dandelion greens and alfalfa help promote healing and cell regeneration; she says, “It’s like giving the skin a green juice. They work like Band-Aids for your cellular structure by strengthening collagen.” She also infused the oil with lemon peel and avocado, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties and lighten sun spots. “As I get older I need something to fight dryness,” Gargiulo adds, so she included tamanu oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Being in the wine industry informed the creation process for her; she knew how to locate conscientious, organic growers who deliver the very best product. The botanical serum will be the first of several items in the line. A toner and a shimmering body lotion are in development for release in 2015. ($185). (www.vintnersdaughter.com)