Skin Care and Wine: Why French Brand Caudalie Is One of My Longtime Faves

Skin Care and Wine: Why French Brand Caudalie Is One of My Longtime Faves

Imagine it’s a Friday night after a long workweek, and you’re looking forward to a relaxing evening at home. You break out your face mask of choice, pour yourself a nice glass of red, light a scented candle, and settle down on the couch with a book or maybe turn on a movie. What could beat a night of wining and masking? If you’re anything like me, not much.

Sure, the red wine adds a nice touch, but did you know the grapes used to make it contain potent antioxidants that are beneficial to your health—including your skin? This is the concept behind French skin care brand Caudalie. If you’re not familiar with its products, prepare to break open your beauty horizons. Destination: Bordeaux, France. And get ready to indulge in some gorgeous textures and scents along the way!

 

Where Wine Meets Skin Care

The brand’s story begins at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a winery estate which belongs to co-founder Mathilde Thomas’ parents. This is where, in the 1990s, Thomas and her husband, Bertrand, met professor Joseph Vercauteren, from whom they learned that grape seed polyphenols are extremely powerful antioxidants (basically anti-aging superstars). The young couple was inspired to create skin care products that harnessed the benefits of the precious ingredient.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Château Smith Haut Lafitte (@smithhautlafitte) on

 

They launched their first items in 1995, and the rest is history: 25 years of cult products, boutiques, spas, ingredient patents, and innovations later, Caudalie is an immensely popular brand in French pharmacies, but also around the world. It has boutiques everywhere from São Paulo to Shanghai, and is still independent and family-owned. And if you think the brand’s story is lovely, wait until you try its products!

On a more personal note, Caudalie is a longtime favorite brand of mine. As a beauty writer, I’ve tried many, many products through the years, and it’s rare that I find a brand whose launches hit a home run for me this often. The formulas strike a perfect balance of efficacy and sensory pleasure, which is exactly what I look for in skin care. Not only does a lot of attention and care go into creating the products, but their decadent textures and beautiful scents are just what’s needed to turn my morning or evening routine (or sometimes, an afternoon skin care session!) into a true moment of self-care—no actual wine required.

My boyfriend has even joined me on the Caudalie train. Whereas I’m more of a Vinoperfect (which focuses on brightening) or Premier Cru (skin energizing and anti-aging) kind of gal, he swears by the Vinopure line, which is designed for oily and combination skin, featuring natural salicylic acid and those famous grape seed polyphenols.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

 

And in case you were wondering, “caudalie” is a French term used to measure how long a wine’s flavors linger in your mouth after you’ve taken a sip. A fitting name for a brand that originated in Bordeaux and is all about vine-derived ingredients!

Alright, enough gushing. On to some product picks!

 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

The Beauty Elixir is a skin-toning, antioxidant-rich, radiance-boosting, face-refreshing, mood-improving gem of a mist inspired by the Youth Elixir of the Queen of Hungary in the 16th century. This cult favorite can be used in lieu of a toner, to set your makeup, or simply to lift your spirits, and is beloved by many a celeb (Liv Tyler, Blake Lively, and Karlie Kloss, to name just a few) and skin care aficionado.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

 

Keep your eyes peeled for limited edition bottles every once in a while. It’s also available in a travel size, which you’ll find in my cosmetics bag whenever I board a long flight.

 

Caudalie Premier Cru The Serum

Premier Cru The Serum was launched in 2018 following a five-year partnership with Harvard Medical School and genetics professor Dr. David Sinclair. He helped the brand develop its patented Vinergy complex, a blend of vine-sourced resveratrol and betaine that helps restore your cellular energy metabolism, which slows with age. This, in turn, helps boost collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production in the skin.

caudalie
Illustration by the author

 

It also contains polyphenols and viniferine, a Caudalie-specific ingredient derived from grapevine sap that helps with brightening. This luxurious serum is meant to cover all your anti-aging bases, and is an absolute joy to use, as is the rest of the Premier Cru lineup, which includes The Eye Cream, The Cream, The Rich Cream, and The Precious Oil.

 

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

The Micellar Cleansing Water is great for removing makeup and contains organic grape water and chamomile for moisturizing and soothing properties. I just finished my bottle and found it extremely practical thanks to its pump dispenser. The product is said to be safe for use on sensitive skin; I personally enjoyed its fresh scent, but you may want to steer clear of it if you prefer products that contain zero fragrance.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence

The Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence was one of the first essences I heard about to be launched by a Western brand a few years back. And given my newfound interest in Korean and Japanese beauty at the time, I had to have it. To say I was pleased with it would be an understatement. Its beautifully lightweight formula includes white peony and glycolic acid, and boasts brightening and softening effects, prepping your skin for your serum and moisturizer steps. When I really want to amp up my glow, I add this product back into my routine. (Which reminds me: I have an extra bottle stashed!)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

 

Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is from the same collection and is a top seller in French pharmacies. Its secret: the aforementioned viniferine, which is touted as being no less than 62 times more effective than vitamin C when it comes to boosting your skin’s radiance and evening out your skin tone. It also contains olive squalane for extra moisturizing action.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caudalie (@caudalie) on

 

Unsurprisingly, I am also a fan of the other products in this line, including the Instant Brightening Moisturizer, which was launched recently, the Brightening Hand Cream, and the Brightening Glycolic Night Cream, which has an incredible balm-like texture that goes on like butter.

 

caudalie
Illustration by the author

 

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

This site is using software to reduce spam. Learn how our comment data is processed. Privacy Policy

%d bloggers like this: