Low-end French drugstore brand Caudalie – straight from Red’s beauty counter

Low-end French drugstore brand Caudalie – straight from Red’s beauty counter

Low-end French drugstore brand Caudalie – straight from Red’s beauty counter

When life gives you grapes, make beauty products. That’s what Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie did after discovering that the fruit, seeds and juice of the vines of her parents’ vineyard in Bordeaux were a source of powerful polyphenols that could be used to both protect and preserve the skin.

When I met Mathilde and her co-founder husband Bertrand some 20 years ago, they had developed a range of capsules that already had a cult following in French pharmacies. The reason I fell for Caudalie is because of the impeccable science behind the brand – Mathilde has worked with experts from the University of Bordeaux to Harvard – and because the products do what they say on the tin. I also love the sensory textures that make everything a joy to use.

Caudalie is not only a firm favorite of mine; everyone on our team has a go-to product from the brand in their bathroom. So we decided to share these favorites with our readers (that’s you), and throw in some other French drugstore heroes while we’re at it.

From its best-in-class facial skincare, its luxurious – and delightfully smelling – body range, or its game-changing hand cream, here are our picks from Caudalie’s cult range.

Eve Cameron, Beauty Director

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting, £48

Every time I rediscover this serum, I fall in love with it all over again. The active ingredient complex from wine juice inhibits the overproduction of melanin that leads to hyperpigmentation and helps fade existing dark spots. Use it for just a couple of weeks and you’ll notice your skin looking brighter (and feeling more hydrated) overall. I use it under my sunscreen in the morning.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream, £12

I wish I had protected my hands from the sun as carefully as my face. While this hand cream is not a miracle worker, it definitely helps to fade sun spots and slow down the development of new ones, along with making the skin on my hands look quite plumper and fresher in general.

Charley Williams-Howitt, Acting Beauty Editor

Caudalie Beauty Elixir, £32

Offering so much more than just cooling my skin with a refreshing, slightly minty veil, this cult spray is enriched with plant extracts that help keep skin plump. I regularly lose for soothing, firming and brightening results on the go – and so does my makeup. There is a 30ml mini available if you want to try it before committing to the larger size.

Caudalie Thé des Vignes Hyaluronic Nourishing Body Lotion, £17

There’s nothing more satisfying than slathering on a rich, fragrant body lotion, which is why this is one of my bathroom staples. Skin is given a lovely kick of ginger to wake up tired limbs, and is left hydrated with a healthy glow. The escape of Caudalie’s signature musky Thé des Vignes fragrance is also an added delight.

Fleur Fruzza, beauty editor

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator, £20

I love physical exfoliating scrubs for the unmistakable clean feeling they give, but it can be hard to find an eco-friendly one that deep cleans without being harsh on the skin. This is why I love Caudalie’s Deep Cleansing Exfoliator. The volcanic sand microbeads work with hydrating grape water to gently, thoroughly remove dead skin, leaving my face feeling ultra fresh.

Caudalie Vinotherapist Hand & Nail Repairing Cream, £10.50

A combination of eczema, overwashing and using harsh sanitizers has left my hands in a perpetual state of dryness, which in turn has made me a hand cream obsessive. My current favorite is Caudalie’s hand and nail cream – it’s rich (velvety without being greasy) and, thanks to avocado and olive oil, extremely nourishing.

Phoebe Lee, beauty writer

Caudalie Very High Protection SPF50+, £19

It’s easy to wear SPF every day when it looks and feels like Caudalies. The texture is more milky water than cream, which absorbs so easily that I forget I have it on. It also behaves well under makeup, with no pilling in sight.

Caudalie Soleil des Vignes Shower Gel, £9

My latest happy find is this £9 shower gel, which comes in a rainbow of colors and scents. It’s Soleil des Vignes that has my heart in the warmer months – one sniff and, well, I’m truly transported to sunnier climes. It cleanses without making my skin feel tight, and I can smell the coconut and jasmine hours later.

Four more French pharmacy gems to know…

Nuxe Honey Lip Balm, £8

Unlike many balms that either don’t provide nourishment or disappear far too quickly, this one does a real job – even on the driest lips. Quite simply the best lip balm ever! – Eve Cameron

Embroylisse Lait-Crème Concentrate Moisturizer £15

Light and milky this leaves my skin soft to the touch but absorbs quickly making it a brilliant primer for make up – Charley Williams-Howitt

Klorane Ultra-Gentle Dry Shampoo, £10.50

Formulated for fussy, sensitive scalps, it’s the gentle, ultra-fine formula that makes this dry shampoo so amazing. The powdery mist dries up excess oil without feeling heavy and gives hair on day two a little extra life – Phoebe Lee


Uriage Eau Thermale Age Protect Multi-Action Detox Night Cream, £31.40

Packed with retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and thermal water, this comprehensive, affordable night cream gives my complexion a new level of hydration and glow – Fleur Fruzza

For more beauty inspiration from Red’s experts, see the products they couldn’t live without this summer.

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