The benefits of grapevine-based skincare—known as vinotherapie—prove when science and nature come together, the results are staggering

Caudalie cofounder Mathilde Thomas

Caudalie cofounder Mathilde Thomas and the brand's Divine Oil and Premier Cru Cream

Some women want results, no matter the formulation. Others are focused on purely natural ingredients. For those wanting the best of nature (with a little help from science!) as well as punch-packing effects, vinotherapie—anti-aging-focused skincare derived from grape seeds and grape vines—is a go-to solution. Leading the charge on scientific research in this arena is the husband-and-wife team behind French luxury skincare brand, Caudalie, the groundbreaking vinotherapie company founded in 1995 that sources its products’ ingredients directly from their vineyard in Bordeaux.

“Grape seeds have a natural ability in the shell of the seed to protect themselves against free radicals,” says Caudalie cofounder Mathilde Thomas. “And this natural power can be leveraged for skincare purposes. Similarly, the vine stalks, which are capable of living up to 100 years, are able to self-protect, and we are able to translate that ability into patented ingredients that help firm and rebuild the skin.”

The line focuses on products aimed to hydrate, brighten, correct, plump and firm, but wrinkles are the No. 1 concern for women, says Thomas. They want a quick fix from a product that can do it all. “This has made our Premier Cru Cream our most popular product as it contains all three of the brand’s patents, so it lifts and firms, protects against free radicals and fights dark spots.” Thomas swears by it—and spent seven years developing it. “It’s ideal for me because I travel a lot and it offers so many wonderful benefits in one bottle. I find the scent incredibly soothing—a blend of rose and cedar, which is always calming to me after a long day of travel.” For summer, she also recommends the new Divine Oil, a lightly—and heavenly—scented dry oil, perfect for nourishing arms and legs for hours on end, even during the summer months.

The field of vinotherapie is continually advancing and expanding, due to the constant research the Caudalie team (led by Dr. Joseph Vercauteren, an expert in grape and grapevine polyphenols) is conducting. “One of my favorite discoveries was when we heard about women in the vineyards using vine sap to brighten skin and rid the complexion of freckles.  When we studied the sap, we found it has a natural ability as a melanin regulator.”

“The main piece of advice I give to women is to focus on prevention,” says Thomas. “Women in their 20s should start using anti-aging products to preserve their skin and protect against future wrinkles. That said, it’s also never too late to start taking care of your skin and if you want lasting, long-term results, it requires a lasting regimen of care for your skin.”