Caudalie founder Mathilde Thomas reveals her cleansing secrets and post Christmas skin detoxing.
Can you tell us the ethos behind Caudalie?
I created Caudalie because I believe in beauty products that are not only effective but also natural and luxurious with beautiful textures and delicate scents.
Caudalie was founded in 1995, what have been some of the key changes in the past 20 years?
There have been so many! Opening 17 Caudalie Boutiques and 10 Vinotherapy Spas, has made Caudalie a global brand and it is continuing to grow. Being a pioneer and an authority on stabilized Resveratrol and this year taking that one step further by working with Harvard Medical School and Dr. David Sinclair.
What was the inspiration behind the brand?
Meeting Professor Vercauteren at my parent’s vineyard in Bordeaux, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte! It was 1993 and he was on a tour of the vineyards. When he saw us throwing away the parts of the grape that aren’t used as part of the wine making process, he revealed the amazing antioxidant powers of the grapevine and grape polyphenols. This sparked the idea and Caudalie was born. We still work very closely with Professor Vercauteren today.
Can you tell our readers what skincare innovations we can expect to see in 2016?
We are continuing to our work with Harvard Medical School and Dr David Sinclair. Caudalie was the first beauty brand to stabilize Resveratrol back in 2001 and this year we were delighted to announce that we filed a patent and were granted and an exclusive license to a new technology developed jointly by Caudalie scientists and Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University. Research by Dr Sinclair unveiled a surprising synergy between Resveratrol, a molecule produced in the stalk of grapevines and other fruits, and a complex of micro-hyaluronic acid. The combination he found leads to a 200% increase in the production of natural hyaluronic acid by activating the Has2 gene. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin and plays an important role in hydration and in preserving the biomechanical properties of the skin. A decrease in hyaluronic acid quantity and quality with age causes a decline in these properties, leading to drying and the appearance of wrinkles.
What is a typical day at work, if there is one?
This is very different depending on what city I am in; New York, Paris or Hong Kong! Currently in Hong Kong I arrive at the office at 8am, I like to get in early to go through my emails whilst it is quiet. From mid-morning I work with the Hong Kong team across all of the different departments from marketing and PR to artistic direction. In March we are opening a Caudalie House in Itaewon, in South Korea so often early afternoon is spent on conference calls to China and Korea. I always have lunch with my husband Bertrand, we have a Vietnamese vegetable and noodle soup with lots of herbs. The rest of the afternoon is then spent on conference calls to the Paris office, catching up with various teams and discussing product development.
Can you tell our readers what your cleansing routine is?
In the morning I use the Caudalie Foaming Cleanser as I like to wash my face with fresh water to awaken the skin.
In the evening I love to use the Caudalie Cleansing Oil and when travelling or when I’m short on time I use the Caudalie Micellar Water.
I use the Beauty Elixir as a toner and to refresh my skin.
Your parents run a famous Bordeaux winery, what made you decide beauty over Bordeaux?
I originally wanted to be a perfumer as I have always been passionate about fragrance, essential oils and plants, but that all changed after that chance meeting with Professor Vercauteren; the rest, as they say, is history.
Can you give our StyleNest readers any insight on any exciting projects or collaborations you might be working on?
We are currently working on a House of Caudalie in Itaewon in South Korea. It will have treatment rooms, a VIP suite, a café and a beauty barrel bar where customers can experience Caudalie products, instant mini facials and bespoke consultations all of which are complimentary.
Already I am being inspired by the textures and rituals in Hong Kong, so watch this space…
As a working mother, what do you do to relax and unwind?
I love to run and paddleboard, I am very fortunate to live by the sea in Hong Kong. Nothing relaxes me more than a facial and a foot massage and of course a glass of red wine.
When you are not busy working, what do you enjoy doing with the family?
We love to hike together. The children will also bring their scooters when I am going for a run, we love the outdoors.
What are your top three hero beauty products you couldn’t live without – Caudalie or other brands?
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Moisturiser SPF20
You always look so great. Do you have any beauty tips or secrets you can share with our readers?
Look after your skin, make sure you remove make-up before you go to bed, moisturise and protect your skin from the sun.
Take some time out for yourself, be a little selfish. Take time to do a weekly scrub/exfoliation and apply a face mask, your skin will immediately look revitalised. Try to have a balanced life!
You work with your husband, what’s the secret to remaining happy inside and outside the office?
We try to keep our work lives and personal as separate as we can. It’s not always easy to do but we have been doing it for the last 25 years so we manage it quite well now. We also have a mutual respect for each other’s expertise and we trust each other’s judgement.
What is the most common mistake women make with their skin?
Not cleansing properly and not removing their make up!
Are you enjoying your time in London at the moment? What are your favourite spots to eat/drink and shop?
I LOVE London! I love wandering around Covent Garden, grabbing a coffee at Monmouth Coffee, checking out the independent fashion boutiques and of course visiting the Caudalie Boutique.
What’s the best way to detox our skin post-Christmas?
I recommend a 3 day grape detox. Grapes are full of antioxidants so your skin will look clearer and radiant and of course you will lose weight as grapes are a natural diuretic so brilliant for eliminating water retention. Whilst you are doing this take the time to use the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask for 10 minutes for an instant hit followed by the Polyphenol Overnight Detox Oil for smoother skin. Saying that I believe in detoxing all year round and all I drink whist in the office during the day is the Caudalie Draining Tea.
What’s your motto?
Just do it, if you’re truly passionate about something, just go for it!