In 1993, the idea for Caudalie was born by its founder Mathilde Thomas and her husband Bertrand. Working on her family’s vineyard in Bordeaux France, Mathilde discovered a treasure with the assistance of world-renowned polyphenols specialist, Professor Joseph Vercauteren. The vine and grapes that Mathilde harvested on the vineyard had the potential to provide amazing benefits to the skin. Led by Professor Vercauteren, who serves as the Caudalie brand’s scientific advisor, Mathilde began extracting these superior benefits from the vines, advancing to create a patent for this process, and officially forming the Caudalie brand. In fact, Caudalie was the first brand to use grape seed extract in a cosmetic formulation. Caudalie has expanded since then and now offers a range of natural skin care products featuring extracts from the grape vine as key ingredients.
Caudalie offers a variety of skin care products, including cleansers, toners, facial mists, serums, masks, scrubs, moisturizers, night treatments, eye care, lip care, and even beauty supplements. In this section, we’ll discuss three of the most popular Caudalie products: Beauty Elixir, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, and Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet.
Inspired by the Youth Elixir of the Queen of Hungary in the 16th century, Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a multi-purpose mist that is said to set make-up, tone the skin, and reveal the skin’s natural radiance. Caudalie claims that all skin types can use this mist. However, there are several problematic ingredients used in the formulation of this product that can aggravate the skin. We’ll discuss these ingredients in the next section.
Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is a skin-tone evening serum that contains Caudalie’s patented Viniferine that is said to be 62 times more effective than vitamin C at boosting radiance and evening the complexion. Suitable for all skin types, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum works to reduce the appearance of dark spots, including pregnancy marks, acne marks, sun pigmentation and age-related dark spots, and prevents them from reappearing.
Specifically designed for sensitive skin, Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet is a gel-to-water formula that melts into the skin upon contact, leaving it soothed, moisturized, and strengthened. It is said to replenish the skin’s water reserves and strengthen the skin to reduce skin sensitivity.
The key formulation behind Caudalie skincare products starts with the grapevine. According to founder Mathilde Thomas, “The vine is an inexhaustible treasure of benefits and riches. The vine extracts that we use come from French Vineyards (Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy).” Caudalie uses grape seed polyphenols, grape water, vine resveratrol, and viniferine from grapevine sap throughout their line of skincare products.
While Caudalie skincare products provide your skin with beneficial extracts from the grape vine, it’s also important to note what the brand does not use in their products. Caudalie does not use any mineral oils, paraffin, synthetic dyes, parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, sodium laureth sulfate, or animal-derived ingredients. Below we’ll discuss the formulation details behind each of the key products mentioned above.
The Caudalie Beauty Elixir formula is actually pretty disappointing since it is packed with ingredients that can potentially harm the skin. First, the second highest concentration ingredient in this formula (after water) is alcohol (ethanol). A high concentration of alcohol is problematic for all skin types because this type of alcohol is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier, especially when used in high concentrations. Furthermore, Beauty Elixir is packed with volatile essential oils and fragrances, such as bitter orange flower oil, parfum (fragrance), peppermint oil, citral, citronellol, geraniol, limonene, linalool, and many more. These fragrance ingredients have the potential to cause allergic reactions and skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Vinoperfect Radiance Serum contains Viniferine (palmitoyl grapevine shoot extract) as the key ingredient. After being absorbed into the skin, Viniferine controls tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. Ultimately, this helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and prevent them from reoccurring. Other beneficial ingredients in Vinoperfect Radiance Serum include squalane, vitamin E, and bisabolol.
Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet features key ingredients such as grape fruit water, shea butter, and grape seed extract. Grape fruit water is filled with active ingredients, including soothing minerals and moisturizing sugars. It boosts the skin’s natural irrigation system, allowing water to be continuously distributed, which in turn, boosts your skin’s hydration levels. Shea butter is a rich fat extracted from nuts of the African shea tree. It works as an occlusive emollient, locking moisture into the skin so that it feels soft and moisturized. Grape seed extract contains potent polyphenols that help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Even though Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet is claimed to be designed for sensitive skin, it’s worth pointing out that this product does contain a blend of fragrances. It’s well known that fragrances, whether natural or synthetic, have the potential to irritate skin and cause sensitization.
Caudalie reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, with most products receiving either 4 or 5 star reviews. The negative Caudalie reviews point out that the products are heavily fragranced and many customers even experienced breakouts after use.
What are some alternatives to Caudalie?
It’s clear that Caudalie uses plenty of beneficial botanical extracts and oils in their skin care products, primarily those extracted from the grape vines of the French Vineyards. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many of their products are laden with fragrances, essential oils, and even drying alcohol. So what can you do if you want the benefits of grape extracts but don’t want to expose your skin to these harmful ingredients? We invite you to consider Formulyst Nourishing Oil.
An age-defying face oil made with 100% pure ingredients, Formulyst’s Nourishing Oil helps to preserve, restore, and hydrate while visibly refining your complexion. The formula is enriched with an abundance of omega-rich oils – including amaranth, olive, macadamia and avocado – which all help to restore and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier function. Nourishing Oil also features vitamin C-rich grape seed oil to smooth and even skin tone while protecting against free radicals.