Yay! Botanica Bazaar is tickled to have been hand picked by the founder of VINTNERS DAUGHTER, APRIL GARGIULO, to help launch her highly anticipated new product, ACTIVE BOTANICAL ESSENCE.
We fell in love with April's story from the beginning. As we share with her a love for Earth's alchemy and the idea of creating a product, remedy, or scent, from nature.
April's first product Active Botanical Serum, is a winner because it produces results. 95% of those whom have used it, whether it be acne, discoloration, dullness, loss of elasticity, or rosacea, have found skin success.
Using ideas and techniques new to traditional formulators, April created a nutrient packed oil based molecule that could penetrate deeply, and ultimately be a skin game changer.
The ingredients in the highly anticipated ACTIVE BOTANICAL ESSENCE have even more power to their punch, due to the 5 week extraction process they use. Essence is also delivered in a water-soluble base, making the Essence the Ying to the Serums Yang.
You've heard of slow food? Well, welcome to slow beauty :)
Bethany and I spent time talking with APRIL and we geeked out on her bottomless pit of knowledge. We knew our interview with her had to dig deep to really shed light on her accomplishment in creating such a well thought out, carefully concocted formula. We feel information is the best form of currency, especially when it comes to skincare, and know you will enjoy this discussion with April as much as we did.
How daunting was it when you first set out to formulate your first product? Did it take the initial joy out of the process?
The process was so iterative and exciting. I loved every minute of it. I was working with an incredible team, so I was learning a lot as it went along which was very inspiring. The part that wasn’t very fun was trying to get a lab to produce it for me. I was turned away from so many labs because no one wanted to make such a time and labor-intensive product. To give you an idea, every bottle of Active Botanical Serum takes 3 weeks to produce and months to source and test. Most products are made in hours.
How quickly did you learn that you had to bring in a whole new way of distilling each ingredient to make this dream product work?
One of our incredible formulators opened my eyes to this. I began researching a lot and reading old textbooks that provided even more insight into how different and important our formulation methods were to my ultimate goal of creating transformational skincare.
Was it your first instinct to use methods used in winemaking or did you come back to that method as a process of elimination? Did you work with your wine team in creating this new process or did you train your formulation team, based in your wine knowledge?
As a result of growing up in a winemaking family, I have a deep respect and honor for plants and what they can become when treated with patience and reverence. Even at the beginning when I was told by industry big wigs to use “cheaper, faster” extracts, I held tight to the knowledge that whole plants were better and would create skincare that has transformational effects on the skin. I would never have had such resolve in the face of so much push back, had I not grown up in a winemaking family. I am forever grateful.
Can you briefly explain your distilling/extracting process compared the process of a more traditional formulation, as well as the time it takes to do it this way?
We begin with the world’s most nutrient dense whole plants and take them through a 3-week long temperature controlled infusion process to gently extract their full spectrum of nutrition. Because of this old-world, resource-intensive process, every drop of our formulas delivers over 60 of the most skin-benefitting nutrients and in the most optimal ratios. Your skin is fed profoundly and as a result is able to more efficiently and effectively repair itself, renew itself and balance itself. That is a big difference between more traditional skincare and us, which is made from extracts and/or synthetics. Your skin recognizes our formulas and can put them to work immediately. Even better, your skin will never grow tired of our optimal nutrition. It will continue to become stronger, more balanced and healthier with every application.
How was it different when you started your second product, it sounds like there was also a learning curve as you really stepped it up with some of the new ingredients?
Active Treatment Essence has been in development for 4 years. It is my dream product and completes Active Botanical Serum in such a profound way. I cannot imagine life without it now. I didn’t follow any traditional skincare playbook rules when creating it. My guideposts were how to complete the mission to feed skin fully that we began with Active Botanical Serum. Essence does this and so much more. It offers multi-level hydration, brightening, renewal, strengthening, and protecting with more collagen production in a single step. When used one after the other, Active Treatment Essence and Active Botanical Serum, create the foundation for your most balanced, radiant and healthy skin. All of this in two very simple, yet powerful steps.
You talk about using 2 different delivery systems to nourish the skin, oil, and water based and using ingredients that communicate with the skin. Where did your education in the skin care arena come?
I have been learning about skincare for decades, mostly because I always struggled with my skin. When I began to study plants and how they communicate with the skin, I learned about how best to capture their activity and benefits for the skin. Understanding which nutrients are water-soluble and which are oil-soluble was a big part of this.
With vitamins such as the B family, C and Amino Acids now being so synonyms with skin care, how did you learn about which ones the skin needs and the best way to deliver them?
I begin with the knowledge that naturals will always communicate with the skin better and for the longer term. So, what I then do is to research what nutrients and in what combinations work best for the skin. And then I go search for that in the plant world.
When we spoke you were really excited to share with us all about the Naturally Stabilized Vitamin C, which was so fascinating. Can you explain what that means to the customer?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that drives so much transformation in the skin. It was a part of the formula for Active Treatment Essence that we really waited for the technology to catch up to our vision, and gratefully it did. We are now able to take advantage of a new extraction method that not only extracts the vitamin c from the fruit, but also the natural stabilizing components of the fruit. It offers incredible brightening and collagen production.
The ESSENCE has a unique scent and as you mentioned the scent in your products is a reflection of the ingredients. You use Pre and Pro Biotic as well as a fermentation process; can you explain how the Biotic's and the Fermentation differ and how the Fermentation process benefits the skin?
We begin Active Treatment Essence with our infusion process, which is an extraction of 13 of the world’s most nutrient dense whole plants. We then take a portion of this infusion (we call it our PhytoRadiance Infusion) and spend two weeks fermenting it. This fermentation process drives critical performance including making the nutrients more bioavailable, deeper penetration into the skin, and also brings about strengthening and protecting pre and probiotics. If there was a secret sauce in Active Treatment Essence, this would be it. That is why we would never cover up or hide the tangy, kombucha-like scent. We celebrate the power of nature!
You used the term HYDRATION MATRIX to explain what gives you the overall glow you get with using the ESSENCE, can you break down how the Matrix works?
The hydration matrix is a miracle. As Active Treatment Essence dries on your skin, the matrix forms. It acts like a shield that not only maintains hydration in the skin but also captures more hydration from the atmosphere. It makes your skin feel so soft, smooth and hydrated. It also has a blurring effect that brings incredible luminescence to the skin. I love showing people on the back of one hand so they can compare to the other hand. Seeing and feeling are believing!
Both of your products use only ACTIVE ingredients, no carriers or fillers. Can you explain how this is possible and what that means?
It means that every one of our ingredients is present to nourish, correct, repair and benefit your skin. Why else would you put it on your skin?