Caudalie Grapes
The chic and laidback Mathilde Thomas – CEO of skincare brand Caudalie. Photo: Caudalie

There’s nothing like a good glass of wine to relish in when you’re in the mood for a treat. Not that I drink the fermented beverage (due to religious reasons), but I suppose having a tall ice cold glass of fresh grape juice or popping a frozen handful of grapes as alternatives does the trick when it comes to enjoying the fruit in various ways.

More than just a delicious treat from nature, the innocent grape that we pop into our mouths at party tables packs quite a punch in the antioxidant department, so it seems. The entire fruit – from its skin to its seeds – and even its vines – are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, potent antioxidants and useful plant-based chemicals that benefit the body to keep it in tip top shape – skin included.

And that’s why Mathilde Thomas – CEO of French grape-centric luxury beauty brand Caudalie (we heard Victoria Beckham is a fan of the brand’s best selling essential oil infused Beauty Elixir) – has tapped on the powers of the fruit to nourish, replenish, balance and protect the skin. In an interview with BAZAAR, the chic and laidback Thomas shares what makes the wondrous grape one of our skin’s most trusted BFF and how unearthing the power of grapes in a bid to reduce wastage from her family’s wine business in Bordeaux has led to the development of her skincare brand. Trust us, it’ll make you want to luxuriate with grape-infused serums and creams the next time you unwind in the evening with a glass of vino (or a handful of fresh grapes, in my case).

Caudalie Grapes
Mathilde Thomas looking positively radiant. Photo: Getty

Related article: Up Close and Personal With Jessica Gomes, CEO of Equal Beauty

On Caudalie’s beginnings…

I learnt about the power of grapes when… I met Professor Vercauteren in 1993, during the grape harvest season in my family’s vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte. He told me that grape seed is the most powerful anti-oxidant produced by nature, it is ten-thousand times more effective than vitamin E in fighting free radicals. Two years later, in 1995, having registered a patent for extracting and stabilising grape-seed Polyphenols, we created the Caudalie brand.

I understood the power of grape antioxidants when… professor Joseph Vercauteren of Pharmacy in Bordeaux in 1993 and he developed a medication based on grape seed polyphenols to strengthen the blood vessels, a medication you take orally. And back to 1990, there was a 60 minutes TV show explaining how drinking a glass of wine will make you look younger and live longer.

Caudalie Grapes
From left: Premier Cru La Creme, Premier Cru The Elixir, Premier Cru The Eye Cream, Vinosource Matifying Fluid, Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. Photo: Caudalie

Related article: What Do All The Organic Beauty Labels Mean?

On antioxidants…

Grape antoxidants… are better. There are hundreds of antioxidants found in the grape’s skin, seed and stalk. And, the multiple antioxidants work very well together.

Antioxidants work… differently when ingested and applied topically.

When you apply antioxidants topically, they will do several things, first they are going to strengthen blood vessels, microcirculation and give you a glow.

Second, they are going to protect you from ageing as they are going to stop all the free radicals (they are the ones to raise scars, turn food brown, and cause 4 out of 5 wrinkles, they will oxidize your skin and make you age).

Third, antioxidants are going to protect your natural hyaluronic acid that is present within your skin.

Immediate effects on the skin include… stopping oxidation and stop free radicals that are responsible for 4 out of 5 wrinkles

In the long run, antioxidants… allow you to look younger and live longer.

Eating fruits and vegetables can… boost the effects of antioxidants. Eat the skins of the fruits and seeds of the grapes. And drink a glass of wine during dinner.

Caudalie Grapes
From left: Beauty Elixir, Grape Water, Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, Vinosource SOS Serum. Photo: Caudalie

Related article: 6 Fun Ways To Up Your Beauty Game This Year

On Caudalie’s skincare…

Caudalie stands our because…
it is the only skincare brand to use organic grape water which increases hydration by 127% and decreases skin sensitivity by 61%. We exclusively use organic grape water in skincare product that you can’t find in the market.

Active ingredients include…

Resveratrol, which is an anti-ageing revolution that naturally intensifies the firmness and youthfulness of the skin.

Viniferine from grapevine sap is the most effective natural molecule against dark spots and creating a radiant complexion.

Grape-seed polyphenols are the most powerful anti-oxidant in the plant world and are amazing skin youth protectors.

And Vinolevure®, extracted from wine yeast during vinification, which possesses naturally fortifying and protective properties. It holds up water, retaining the skin’s moisture and reinforces the skin’s immune defences (Langerhans cells)

The future for Caudalie holds… Korean-inspired products to target Asian women as they want porcelain and translucent skin. The launch of a tinted lip balm is also in the works, while a new innovation – which will be a turning point for the brand – awaits.