This thick, creamy daytime moisturizer with sunscreen now sports a higher SPF rating (it used to have a lowly SPF 10) provides reliable UVA protection via stabilized avobenzone. Combined, the active ingredients ensure broad-spectrum protection though this costs so much you may not apply it liberally. Liberal application is critical to achieve the amount of sun protection stated on the label, so think twice about buying this if the price will make you less likely to slather it on.
The cream has a pink tint that’s imbued with a subtle shimmer, so this can add a subtle radiant, color-boosting glow to all skin tones. The formula is best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts but in terms of anti-aging, the sunscreen is its best attribute. Otherwise, you’re getting an antioxidant boost from grape and its derivatives, but these cannot fill wrinkles from the inside as Caudalie mentions the claims. Dermal fillers injected into wrinkles can have that effect, but not skin care nor any part of the grape plant.
The reason this earned an average rating is due to the fragrance and fragrance ingredients it contains. Because some will find the sunscreen actives sensitizing on their own, it simply doesn’t make sense to add other potentially sensitizing ingredients to the mix.
Several antioxidants are included, but Caudalie added larger amounts of fragrance and mica (for shine) than it did these essential ingredients. This issue, along with the less-than-desirable SPF number, is enough to make the “comprehensive anti-ageing cream” claim bogus.
One more detriment is the inclusion of several fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. Although they’re not present in large amounts, your skin is always better off without them. Please see our list of Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen for better options.
This SPF 15 velvety sheer pink cream nourishes, illuminates and protects while combatting wrinkles and lack of firmness. Skin is visibly younger, firm and smooth, and wrinkles are filled from the inside. Instant healthy glow effect.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 3.996%, Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 8%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycol Palmitate, Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipentaerythrityl Pentaisononanoate, Panthenol, Silica, Cetearyl Glucoside, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Propyl Grapevine Shoot Extract Olivate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Maltodextrin, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Oil, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Citrate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Ci 77019 (Mica), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Sodium Phytate, Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sodium Carboxymethyl Betaglucan, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, BHT, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate.
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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