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.
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
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.