12.19.2014
2
4
Premier Cru The Creme
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $158
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This moisturizer from Caudalie is supposed to create "unparalleled age-fighting power," yet if that’s true, Caudalie should own up to the fact that none of their other antiwrinkle products are as good and stop selling them. Of course, they won't do that, and consumers will continue to be puzzled by this brand's many repetitive options claiming to leave their face line-free. As it turns out, this product, whose name is similar to Lauder's Creme de la Mer, shouldn't be at the top of anyone's premier list of anti-aging moisturizers, or any moisturizer for that matter.

It's a fairly standard blend of water, thickeners, slip agent, and plant oils. Grape, olive, and sesame oils have antioxidant ability, but they show up in lots of other products sold at more realistic prices and with far better formulations. Several of the more enticing ingredients are present in amounts too small for skin to notice, including the peptides. For what Caudalie is charging, those ingredients should be front and center, not relegated to mere dustings.

At best, this is an overly fragranced moisturizer for normal to dry skin. It cannot, we repeat, cannot, fill wrinkles, lift skin, or reduce discolorations. Lots of other companies offer moisturizers whose formulas come a lot closer to achieving anti-aging results than this does. and with more elegant textures, too.

Claims

Caudalie's three signature patents: titrated Resveratrol and Viniferine from Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte grapevines, and grape-seed polyphenols combine to create unparalleled age-fighting power. This exclusive formula's rich texture leaves skin velvety-soft. It regenerates and redensifies skin, filling wrinkles, firming and lifting, and minimizing dark spots for an evenly luminous look.

Ingredients

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Apricot Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Grape Seed Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, PEG-20 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Trehalose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract, Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Carbomer, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ceramide 2, Silica Dimethyl Sylilate, Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta Glucan, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 20, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylate C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Coumarin

Brand Overview

Caudalie Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Good cleansers; an excellent scrub for dry skin; air-tight packaging; a good lip balm and moisturizing mask; one truly state-of-the-art moisturizer for dry skin (one is better than none).

Weaknesses: Expensive; mundane to irritating serums, moisturizers, and eye creams; limited sun protection options; no AHA or BHA products; no products to lighten skin discolorations; several products contain irritating plant extracts.

Let's pour ourselves a glass of wine before we begin this review. Okay, now that we are adequately prepared we can, in effect, review this line without smirking. Why wine? Because Caudalie is a skin-care line whose ambience is intended to evoke the importance and value of grapes for your skin. Are you ready for this? Caudalie is in fact a term used in wine tasting; it is an actual measurement used to indicate how long the taste of a wine stays on your palate: 1 caudalie = 1 second. So, if you can still taste the wine in your mouth 1 second after swallowing it, that's 1 caudalie; 2 seconds after swallowing, that's 2 caudalie, and so on. And, supposedly, the more caudalie the wine has the more elegant and superior it is.

What does any of that have to do with skin care? From Caudalie Paris's perspective, everything, because clearly they think the grape is the cornerstone for formulating any skin-care product. After reading their information you could easily assume that Welch's Grape Juice could be used as a toner. But of course that's not what Caudalie has in mind, because it's their formulas they want you to count on, not Welch's juice.

It turns out that grape extract, grape oil, and other parts of the grape do have mounting research proving that they do have benefit for skin when applied topically. Red grapes (stem, seed, pulp, and especially the skin) contain proanthocyanidin and resveratrol, naturally occurring compounds that are considered very potent antioxidants. There is also impressive research showing how helpful these compounds are for reducing the sun's damaging effects, and that topical application plays a role in wound healing. (Sources: Photochemistry and Photobiology, March-April 2008, pages 415–421; Journal of Medicinal Food, December 2007, pages 636–642, and June 2007, pages 337–344; and Free Radical Biology and Medicine, October 2002, pages 1089–1092).

The research is significant, but (excuse me while we take another sip of wine) what's ludicrous—and disappointing—about the Caudalie products is that most of them don't contain a significant amount of grape extract, and resveratrol (the most potent compound in the grape) is entirely absent. Without question, Caudalie could have formulated products that included a larger amount of grapes and their beneficial compounds—at least it would have given more resonance to their story that the grapes in their products offer long-lasting antioxidant protection to every cell.

Getting back to the research on grapes, what's important to keep in mind is that while grapes are a great source of antioxidant protection, there are also hundreds of other plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals with potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. No single ingredient has achieved the coveted status of "best" when it comes to skin (or health) care. Almost all antioxidants appear to have some benefit for skin, and while some are indeed more stable or more potent than others, there is still no reason to get wrapped up in any single ingredient, any more than your diet should have only one food group for adequate nutrition. Plus, skin needs more than one single antioxidant; thinking otherwise is like believing you can subsist on drinking wine or eating grapes and nothing else. For skin, cell-communicating ingredients, skin-identical ingredients, sun protection, and exfoliants are all fundamental to superior skin care, yet in Caudalie's narrow view, each comes up short.

Although almost all Caudalie products contain a small amount of grapes in one form or another, they don't offer much else for skin, and several of their products contain irritating plant extracts that not only hurt skin but also work against the beneficial compounds from the grapes. In addition, no antioxidant stands much chance of helping skin if you're not protecting your skin from sunlight.

As much as Caudalie would like you to believe that their botanical cocktails are the sought-after fountain of youth, for the most part, you'd be far better off spending your money on fresh grapes, grape juice, or a vintage bottle of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon!

For more information about Caudalie Paris, call (866) 826-1615 or visit www.caudalie.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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01.18.2015
Gave me contact dermatitis on first application

Very strong fragrance, smells exactly like a bottle of red wine, alcohol and all. On just one application I wanted to instantly wash my face, but it wasn't washed off fast enough before I had an extreme allergic reaction with lots of itching, soreness around my eyelids and contact dermatitis all over my face. Used a prescribed hydrocortisone to heal my face for several days. And this was after just one application of this cream.

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Roxanne F.
04.26.2013
Poor moisturizer

Nothing special and ridiculous price. Went on smoothly like any moisturizer. Would never buy it.

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BONNIE A.
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