Inspired by the breathtaking landscapes of California’s Napa Valley and her family’s legacy in the winemaking industry, April Gargiulo, the founder of Vintner’s Daughter, has brought her passion for exceptional quality and craftsmanship to the realm of skincare. And to mark a decade, the brand has launched its highly anticipated Active Renewal Cleanser to complement the simplistic essence and serum line to mark a decade. Frustrated with the subpar synthetic ingredients and inactive components in “luxury” skincare products, Gargiulo was driven to establish a performance-driven skincare line that was effective and leveraged the finest time-honored techniques and ingredients.
Gargiulo’s upbringing in the vineyard-filled hills and her family’s tradition of winemaking inspired her to strive for the same level of craftsmanship and quality in the world of skincare. After experiencing lifelong struggles with cystic acne and hyperpigmentation, April did a deep dive into her “luxury” skincare products. What she found were synthetic ingredients. From there, she developed the brand’s signature Phyto Radiance Infusion™, which employs weeks-long infusion practices to extract vital energy and nutrition from each ingredient. The resulting nourishing formulas include Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Treatment Essence and Active Botanical Serum.
The newest edition to the collection, the Active Renewal Cleanser, is a 2-in-1 cleansing solution that melds the water-soluble and oil-soluble versions of Vintner’s Daughter’s proprietary Phyto Radiance Infusion™ technology. The infusion is produced from nutrient-dense, whole plants that trigger the skin’s innate healing and brightening abilities, rendering it pH-balanced and radiant. The gentle and non-stripping cleanser removes stubborn makeup and daily build-up while minimizing the appearance of pores. As the first step in Vintner’s Daughter’s minimalist skincare regimen, the cleanser seamlessly pairs with the Active Botanical Serum & Active Treatment Essence.
Vintner’s Daughter champions a “better and fewer” philosophy to produce better products for customers, their skin, and the environment. The brand’s unwavering commitment to crafting the best of the best is a rarity in the beauty industry, where profitability often takes precedence over efficacy. The Active Renewal Cleanser embodies the brand’s passion for creating a simple, efficacious routine that rejuvenates.
ESSENCE caught up with Vintner’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo on the brand’s story, what separates her cleanser from others on the market, and what’s next for the cult-favorite skincare brand.
Tell me about yourself and how Vintner’s Daughter was founded.
It may come as a surprise, but I don’t come from the world of beauty; I come from the world of fine winemaking in Napa Valley. My family still makes wine there today. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have spent so much time in a community that places such a high value on craftsmanship and quality. Like many first-time moms, when I was pregnant, I started looking at the ingredients in many of the “luxury” products I used. I was shocked to find that many were made from .01% active ingredients and low-quality synthetic fillers that were, in many cases, harmful.
Coming from where I was coming from, none of that sat right with me. I come from Napa Valley, a community dedicated to making the finest wines in the world through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Shortcuts are not allowed, and practically every grain of dirt is considered for its quality. To make the finest of anything, whether a meal or skin care, you must begin with the highest quality raw materials. The example I like to use is the difference between a meal replacement bar made in a lab from synthetic ingredients and a beautifully prepared meal made from the freshest, local, and organic ingredients.
We know which choice is better for our bodies, our environment, and our communities. The same can be said for skincare made from the highest quality natural ingredients versus extracts and synthetics. This is what led me to create Vintner’s Daughter. I wanted to build a true performance-driven, nutritional skincare company that made products from the finest ingredients in the world, using time-honored techniques to bring about profound and lasting balance and health in the skin.
You have the serum and the essence under Vintner’s Daughter’s name. Why did you feel a cleanser was the next addition that was needed?
We have an incredibly engaged and passionate community and often ask what products they want to see next. The cleanser is always one of the first products mentioned. We knew that applying our Phyto Radiance Infusion technology to the category could create something extraordinary with unprecedented performance and quality. Creating a cleanser with the Vintner’s Daughter standards felt like something my community had wanted for years and felt natural to be the next product offering.
Can you talk about the formulation and why your chosen ingredients were essential?
We began working on Active Renewal Cleanser almost four years ago, so finally, introducing this masterful product to the world is a moment of absolute joy for me. When it came time to formulate this cleanser, I knew that by combining water-soluble and oil-soluble versions of our proprietary Phyto Radiance Infusion technology, we could create a 2-in-1 cleanse – the results of a double cleanse in one step.
The infusion begins with the world’s most nutrient-rich whole plants, including micro-circulatory starters like nettle, butcher’s broom, and frankincense. Their ability to spark the skin’s innate healing and brightening powers is why “renewal” is in the name. The formula leaves the skin brighter and more PH-balanced while removing makeup, sunscreen, and daily build-up so that pores look less visible. The Active Renewal Cleanser is the first step in our luxury minimalist skincare routine.
What separates your cleanser from the rest of the cleansers on the market?
When most of us think of cleansers, we think of super-foaming cleansers that leave your skin feeling dry and stripped of natural oils. I wanted to create a formula that makes your skin feel fresh, clean, and hydrated. After using Active Renewal Cleanser, your skin will not only feel perfectly balanced and clean, but it will also feel more alive, healthy, and plump.
The advanced, gently foaming cream formula combines an innovative two-step cleanse into one and visibly brightens, balances, and energizes skin while thoroughly removing makeup, sunscreen, and daily build-up so that pores look less visible. Instead of cleansing feeling like a chore, it will become something you look forward to! When combined with Active Treatment Essence and Active Botanical Serum, it is the ultimate fewer, better self-care ritual because, in three steps, your skin receives everything it needs to be it’s absolute best.
Where should the cleanser fit into your everyday routine?
Active Renewal Cleanser was created to complete your daily skincare routine and works harmoniously with our Active Botanical Serum & Active Treatment Essence. The cleanser can also be paired with other products in your lineup, as it is formulated to work for all skin types. Dispense 2-3 pumps of cleanser into wet hands. Rub hands together to activate and apply to a dry face. Massage in a circular motion to create a gentle foaming action for 30-60 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. For the best results, the cleanser should be used twice daily – morning and evening. Follow with Active Treatment Essence and then Active Botanical Serum for a beautifully simple and effective routine.
What experience are you hoping customers take away from Vintner’s Daughter’s products?
An appreciation for our “better and fewer” philosophy that focuses on formulating products that are better for our customer, their skin, and our world. The Vintner’s Daughter’s slow and steady approach to creating the best of something is virtually unheard of in the crowded beauty space, where financial gain is prioritized over the efficacy and skin health. Brands churn out new products several times a year. Why use a 10-step skincare routine when our paired back routine can do the job better and with less waste? In an age dictated by a never-ending stream of new and next, our focus and mission are to create your last skincare product rather than your next one. We make the products you marry for life.
What’s next for the brand?
For a product to wear a Vintner’s Daughter label, it must be game-changing, category-defining, and deliver multi-beneficial results. These are very high standards that take years to achieve. Of course, creating product after product increases your sales, but we are driven by integrity and skin health. This is not to say we will never release a new product. I hope we will, and when we do, our customers will know that it offers something that no other product does.
The Active Renewal Cleanser is an advanced 2-in-1 solution that invigorates your complexion, revealing a brighter, more balanced, and energized appearance. Effortlessly removing makeup, sunscreen, and daily impurities, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.Available at Vintner's Daughter