Resveratrol, The Antioxidant You Need To Know About

If a plant is living to almost 150 years, I’d say it's doing something worth incorporating into your skincare routine.
Publish date:
July 21, 2014
anti-aging, caudalie, antioxidants, facial, glycation, resveratrol, skincare

Buzzworthy ingredients are not always as well backed up as resveratrol seems to be. I have been casually researching resveratrol for a few months now, and its health claims reach far and cover many ailments.

A phenomenon known as The French Paradox was coined when researchers wanted to know why the French in general had a lower instance of heart disease and clogged arteries despite their copious consumption of fat, tobacco, and alcohol--which obviously includes red wine, a source of resveratrol, an antioxidant.

There are other products on the market containing resveratrol, but Caudalie was the first to take the science and apply it to skincare. The line is founded on the remarkable anti-aging promise of resveratrol (in topical form) and its initial source: grapes intended for winemaking.

I visited Caudalie's New York spa, the only US location, to experience its wine-centric services. The spa is located at the Plaza Hotel, which is a Beauty Betty's dream come true--I felt like I had made it. I have had many different facials at all price ranges, so I was well equipped to review just what makes a visit to this little sanctuary worthwhile.

The facial I received from my delightful and talented treatment specialist, Daphne, was called the Vinexpert facial. Its primary purpose is to harness the anti-aging, firming, and protective properties of resveratrol and put them into your visage!

The facial had all of the steps we know well (cleanse, exfoliate, massage, and mask), and was in a lovely treatment room with the darn near warmest bed ever. But instead of leaving with baby-soft skin riddled with holes where congestion used to be, my face felt more bouncy, like memory foam. A bonus steps was a firming device massage after the mask. It felt really great and I thought my cheekbones looked more defined, and I wanna buy my own!

Afterward, I spoke with Regine, the spa's treatment manager, in Caudalie's appropriately named French Paradox Lounge, to taste wine, eat almonds and grapes, and talk about how resveratrol-based products work.

Caudalie began as a researching partnership between an anti-aging scholar and Mathilde Thomas, the daughter of a winemaking family. Thomas is now a respected innovator, and Caudalie not only isolated resveratrol for skincare use, but is constantly developing ways to keep this antioxidant powerhouse stable in the bottle. We both agreed that too often consumers do not realize that antioxidants can actually oxidize if not properly stabilized in cosmetic formulations and using an oxidized product can irritate the skin.

This is why people like myself and Wendy mix up our DIY vitamin C serum on a weekly basis, and why products formulated with stabilized antioxidants, like vitamin C, resveratrol, and other polyphenols, are on the more pricey side. These formulas have undergone specific processes to not only stabilize the active ingredients, but to increase their efficacy.

Regine told me that Caudalie’s resveratrol is different from most because it is obtained from the vine of the grape plant, which can grow for up to 100 years. This derivation contains resveratrol olyel, which contains more vitamin E than other sources of resveratrol, as well as more vitamin C. Anyone who knows their shit about antioxidants knows that you need vitamin E to make vitamin C work optimally, so I really trusted the knowledge that was being laid out before me.

Resveratrol olyel also helps slow a wrinkle-causing process called glycation, where sugar in the skin interferes with collagen production and causes deep lines and wrinkles. For preventing collagen loss, supplementing your skin with polyphenols is essential, and resveratrol is the current queen of the category.

The line in the Caudalie family with the highest concentration of resveratrol is the Premier Cru series (just like a premier cru would be in wine terminology). These products are good to choose if you are experiencing wrinkles or melasma.

The best line for someone like me, late 20s and just looking for prevention and maintenance, is Caudalie's Polyphenol C15 line, of which I actually own the Anti-Wrinkle protect fluid. It is lightweight, has sunscreen, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid, which is deeply moisturizing, so this ticks all of my boxes.

Resveratrol does for our skin exactly what it does for the plants that manufacture it naturally: it refracts sunlight to protect and stimulates growth, in our case collagen and elastin. This compound is also a plant’s defense against bacteria and fungi, which helps grapes to be one of the longest living plants. If a plant is living to almost 150 years, I’d say it's doing something worth incorporating into your skincare routine.

Any of you use an antioxidant-packed product in your skincare routine?