In my perfect world, all that glitters would not be gold — rather, it would be reasonably priced. I love an occasional splurge, but I also enjoy paying my rent in full. So, when my spending needed some work, my $50 bottle of Vinopure Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Serum from the French skincare company Caudalie was the first to go. Cut to me, 90 days Caudalie-free due to exorbitant NYC living costs, and my complexion was slick with oil, lackluster, and full of enlarged pores. Enough was enough — I reconfigured my budget and went straight to Sephora's black and white-striped aisles to get my Caudalie Vinopure fix ASAP.
As soon as I got home with my begrudgingly purchased serum my skincare products threw a "welcome back!" party for that sophisticated olive green bottle, and its chilled, gooey salicylic acid-based contents reacquainted with my acne-ridden countenance. It's vegan, 97% natural, non-comedogenic, and was crafted with combination skin (or possibly just my face) in mind. After about a month of twice daily application, my pores tightened up without fail, and an even glow was restored to my visage. Needless to say, Caudalie cracked the code for expensive yet annoyingly effective skincare and I’m here to tell you how the brand does it.
Imagine the Powerpuff Girls, but instead of sugar, spice, and everything nice, it’s salicylic acid, polyphenols, and niacinamide.
The Formula and Application
Caudalie first looks to the vine for its results-driven recipes, not the lab. Co-founder Mathilde Thomas-Cathiard’s family owns the Château Smith Haut Lafitte, which supplies the brand with the antioxidant-rich grape seeds that go into its effective products. The Vinopure serum, often called the Skin Perfecting Serum, features the popular acne-busting ingredient salicylic acid sourced from medicinal wintergreen, and extracts its hard-working polyphenols directly from grapes. Put those two together, throw in a dash of niacinamide, and you’ve got an effective, zit-zapping trio. (Imagine the Powerpuff Girls, but instead of sugar, spice, and everything nice, it’s salicylic acid, polyphenols, and niacinamide.)
So how do you use it? Per Caudalie’s site, it’s best to apply morning and night to a “clean dry face.” Steer clear of the under eye, and make sure the serum absorbs into the skin before continuing with your routine. And, of course, if you experience dryness or irritation, limit your use to once a day (or just re-gift it to me). I'm continually shocked by how my skin puckers and tightens the second it starts to seep in, specifically around my biggest problem area: my cheeks.
It makes my pores look like they belong on a 22 year old, not 32. I highly recommend it for that purpose.
mary, Caudalie reviewer
In the world of serums, $50 is not necessarily offensive. After a stroll through Sephora's skincare section or a scroll through, let's say, Violet Grey's site, one can find bottles retailing for hundreds of dollars. According to the Shopping team's knowledgable beauty and wellness writer Karina Hoshikawa, "[The price] is kind of a lot if you think about a single product, but serums, in general, tend to be more expensive than a cleanser or moisturizer because the ingredients are more concentrated." At the end of my questioning, Hoshikawa agreed that $50 for a single ounce of serum is an investment but lands itself at "the lower end of pricey." I agree.
Caudalie’s serum is a drill sergeant, life coach, and reliable bestie for my face — and the product is proof that the magic doesn't happen over night. After about a month of yelling at my pores to tighten up, preaching to my oil glands about the beauty of chilling out, and stabilizing my epidermis’ overall mood, the Skin Perfecting Serum lets my face live its best life. So, those $50 bi-monthly purchases will continue to present themselves on my bank statements — but trust, my skin will be looking like a million bucks.
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