Grapes in My Bath: The Caudalie Experiment
Raise your hand if you have temperamental skin. You can’t see me, but I’m raising both of my hands and screaming, “Moi! Moi!” Acne. Oil. Dryness. Red blotches. Pores galore. For whatever reason, my skin has been fussy since my teenage years with frequent acne breakouts that I further worsened with daily gobbly goops of Cover Girl foundation. At sixteen, I always felt like a giant, walking zit.
Not much has changed. Although recently, I’d discovered ways to manage the issue through diet and a gentle cleansing regimen. Avocados, berries, kale, baby spinach became mainstays in my nutrition, as well as a sugar reduction. I ditched the fancy face wash and kept to simply washing with Cetaphil and moisturizing with pure coconut oil. My friends, these were the glory days. I don’t mind saying that my face looked naturally incredible. The coconut oil made it glow, and for the first time in my life, I felt radiant. Pregnancy furthered that phenomena. My complexion was flawless, so much that I only wore makeup twice during those 38 weeks. I repeat, twice.
Then childbirth happened.
Pregnancy is beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s not the problem. The issue is the stuff nobody really talks about AFTER the bump. It would appear that when the body creates a small human and then delivers said human, the system implodes. Well, it did for me at least. Aside from my already thin hair falling out in clumps, the newfound sagging of various body parts, and… oh yes, this one’s good… gallbladder disease, the kicker was the triumphant return of hideous acne in full force.
Most of these issues had a solution. I said, “au revoir” to my gallbladder with surgery and then invested in pricey garments that I’m sure would meet the approval of NASA, they defy gravity that well. The one stubborn problem that wouldn’t go away? My face. The old regimen of a soft cleanser and coconut oil stopped working. In fact, the coconut oil started causing more breakouts. During a time where hormones are already up, down, and sideways, I did not feel remotely confident in my skin. Nothing helped.
Just as I was beginning to shop for makeup to once again mask the problem, a little angel appeared in the form of a Sephora email advertisement, reminding me that I had a million rewards points to burn. As luck happens, Sephora was offering a skincare sample kit from the esteemed French line, Caudalie. The pricey brand is often lauded for its ability to nourish and beautify the skin with grape-derived ingredients. Included were travel sizes of the Instant Foaming Cleanser, Moisturizing Sorbet, Radiance Serum, Eye Lifting Balm, and the Instant Detox Mask. I cashed the rewards points, an amount of which reminded me of why I’m poor, and decided I’d experiment with the samples to determine if Caudalie deserves its auspicious reputation.
Thinking the attempt at using different products on my face would exacerbate skin irritation, I had low expectations. I was already shopping for stylish bags to wear over my head. However, within just a week or two, my skin started to clear and glow again. Hip, hip, hooray! Three months of regular use as instructed, and the acne is gone. Kaputz. Finito. The samples are tiny, but currently, I’ve only run out of the moisturizing sorbet. The others are halfway through. You don’t need much product per application, and a little packs a huge punch. Everything is light and gentle, without that greasy, heavy feeling many skincare products leave. After the daily regimen, my face feels soft and supple.
The official verdict? I’m obsessed. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because I’ve finally regained some confidence. Bad, because Caudalie doesn’t accommodate a humble budget if you’re outside of France. The serum is upwards of $60-$75 depending on where you shop. Though, if you’re lucky and in France, I’m told the brand is generally more affordable at pharmacies. Worry not, if you use as instructed, the products will last a long time. However for the next French trip, I’m bringing an empty suitcase and stocking-up!
Investing in a some self-care is always a good way to feel *grape* about yourself, right?
À la prochaine!