Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst-Quenching Serum
1 fl. oz. for $48
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

If all thirsty skin needed was a drink of water, then this serum would be a top contender. But research has made it clear that it takes more than water to quench skin's "thirst." You need skin-repairing and cell-communicating ingredients to help reinforce its barrier and, if dryness is an issue, you need fatty acids and emollients to restore a smooth, supple, comfortable feel. That's not what you're getting in this overly fragranced serum.

The grape water is a source of antioxidants, but a high amount of pure grape extract or grape seed oil would've been much better. This does contain grape extract and a tiny amount of skin-repairing hyaluronic acid plus some good water-binding agents, but not enough to make a remarkable difference and not for this amount of money.

Ultimately, this serum (which has more of a thin lotion texture) is merely an OK option for normal to slightly dry skin. Truly dry, thirsty skin will be left wanting more—and no one's skin needs this much fragrance (see More Info for details).


  • Contains several sources of grape, all of which provide antioxidants.


  • Overly fragranced, and fragrance isn't skin care.
  • Does not contain the right mix of ingredients to leave thirsty, dry skin feeling refreshed.
  • Most of the state-of-the-art, anti-aging ingredients are present in tiny amounts.

More Info:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).


This high potency serum captures and continually diffuses water deep within the skin to restore its moisture balance and leave it feeling soft and supple.


Water, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dimethicone, Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Squalane, Potassium Sorbate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitan Oleate, Sodium Carboxymethyl Betaglucan, Citric Acid, Sorbitan Laurate, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Myristyl Malate Phosphonic Acid

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 new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Worst serum

I have been using this very pricy serum for about a month now and it is a worst serum ever. I felt very itchy after using this product as it contains fragrance. The worst part is.. I am not able to return or exchange this product because it is used. Don't waste your money.

Reviewed by
Waste of money

Though there is a bit of fuzz about Caudalie products on the market now I am completely agree with Paula - the serum doesn't help at all with what it promises it will. Waste of money in case you truly have a problem of dehydrated skin.

Reviewed by
Alena K.
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  It's too bad this didn't work for you.  Hopefully you are able to return or exchange it!  :(  Also, The Paula’s Choice Research Team no longer reviews products for Beautypedia, and while The Beautypedia Team is still a part of Paula’s Choice Skincare, what’s new—and you may not yet have known—is that now we have two teams working independently to bring you the best quality reviews, products, and  research-supported expert advice you know and love. One team is dedicated to Beautypedia and product reviews from other brands; the other is dedicated to Paula’s Choice skincare and its unique combination of expertly formulated products and advice on a wide range of beauty-related topics.

Very pleasant outcome for me

I have had a very good result with this product. I put it on after washing my face and neck. It feels so calming, smoothing and my skin feels very soft, using this. I take my time putting anything on my face, so it gets the chance to rest on my skin before I add a moisturizer. At night, I use it all by itself and find that sleeping with it on, after washing my face and neck, leaves me w/soft skin and a feeling that I've done something nice for my face. Wish it were more affordable. Very pricey $

Reviewed by
Disagree with Paula

I have been using this serum for about a month now, I received a sample size and I really liked it. I thought I'd check out Paula's review before purchasing a full size, as it is on the pricey side. I was really surprised. I enjoy this serum. My skin is normal to dry, and dry in winter. This stuff just absorbs so well. I wait about 10 minutes and then apply my eye cream (which is heavier than my all over face cream because my skin there is dehydrated) and it seems to sink in so much better

Reviewed by
Rachel M
Very great serum

I dont uderstand Paula's review because I am in love with this serum and during our hard winter (I live in Montreal Canada), this has been the only think calming my skin. Will try other product after reading this but this has been a skin saver for me

Reviewed by
Amazing Hydrating Serum

I am 44 years old and I have combination and very dehydrated skin especially in the winter I have tried many products including Guerlain Aquaserum $260 (good) La Mer Serum $260 good and makes skin look amazing but it's far too drying for winter and Cliniques Serum and many more including Clairins Hydraquench which I find both low quality in comparison to this one! I LOVE this serum!!! It is the best one I have tried and very hydrating. I am now going to try the Intense Moisture Rescue Cream for on top. Very happy with this product and it's a great price at $40 so much lower than the others I have tried and better results~!

Reviewed by
Snow White
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