We love a product that promises to not only fight existing signs of ageing, but protect against further damage too. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum claims to do just this, but before we open our purses and fork out £150 for 30ml *sharp intake of breath* we need to know this product is worth our pennies. Bring on the science!

The Claims

Using a blend of 22 botanicals and essential oils, this serum claims to nourish the skin AND fight ageing by stimulating cell turnover, maintaining elasticity and preventing free radical damage, all while inhibiting melanin production. With so many ingredients to investigate, we’d best get cracking and see if the claims are fulfilled!

The Science behind the Bottle

Antioxidants

When a product claims to fight further skin damage, we want to see anti-oxidants in the ingredients list. Free radicals are reactive atoms in the environment that can damage the proteins and DNA in our skin cells, leading to accelerated ageing. Anti-oxidants mop these pesky atoms up and so prevent this damage. Grape seed oil (Vitis vinifera) contains molecules called proanthocyanidins, which have been shown to be excellent anti-oxidants. Nettle seed oil, avocado oil and turmeric oil also contain lots of anti-oxidant compounds too, so we’re certainly satisfied that this serum will deliver on its free-radical-fighting claim!

Fighting wrinkles

Our skin gets its strength and stretchiness from collagen and elastin proteins woven in a matrix between our skin cells. As we get older, these proteins are gradually broken down and our skin loses its ability to bounce back, causing wrinkles to eventually appear. Several of the ingredients in this product, such as grape seed oil, jasmine flower extract and marigold oil have been linked to accelerated healing through increased collagen production but we’re not sure this alone is enough to have a significant anti-ageing effect, especially as some of the research was done on rats rather than people! The vitamin A content of carrot seed oil leaves us hopeful though. Topically applied vitamin A is converted into retinoid metabolites, which have been shown to increase skin cell turnover, promote collagen production in the skin and reduce its degradation. Although this sounds promising, we can’t be sure of the concentration of vitamin A found in the carrot seed oil leaves, so we’re not certain it would be able to fulfil the claims.

Nourish the skin

Lots of the extracts in this product are high in fatty acids, which Vintner’s Daughter claims are capable of nourishing and strengthening skin’s elasticity. Sea buckthorn fruit extract has a particularly large fatty acid content, including omegas 3, 6, and 7. While fatty acids are known to improve the skin’s natural barrier to water, making it easier for skin to stay hydrated.

Tackling pigmentation 

Of all the product claims, we’re most dubious about this one! Vintner’s Daughter claims that bergamot oil; lemon peel oil and carrot seed oil target the production of melanin in the skin to reduce bothersome hyperpigmentation. Google brings up lots of anecdotal articles that vouch for these ingredients but sadly we couldn’t find any hard evidence to support them. In fact, scientists are actually investigating whether compounds found in these oils, such as hesperetin, reduce pigmentation or actually increase it! However, the vitamin C in nettle leaf extract and vitamin E in avocado oil do have sciencey studies behind them to suggest they could fight pigmentation – perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for this claim, but again were can’t be sure of the concentration of these vitamins within the botanical extracts. We’re just not completely sold yet.

The Verdict

For such an expensive product, we can’t help feeling a little bit underwhelmed. The amount of ingredients with anti-oxidant activity should fight off free radicals as promised but when it comes to the rest of the claims, we’re not sure they stand up to scientific scrutiny. It’s easy to think that this all-natural serum will suit all skin-types, but it is worth bearing in mind that some oils, such as lavender oil in this product, can aggravate sensitive skin. Vogue’s beauty team deemed it ‘worth the investment’ but there are many other facial oils out there promising similar results that seem to be better value for money – we’re inclined to try those first!

Click here to find Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.

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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.