5 Questions for…Mathilde Thomas, Caudalie Co-Founder

Caudalie is one of the most beloved brands in France for good reason! With products that are as gentle as they are effective, as rooted in science as they are in the vineyards of France, with a founder as passionate as she is savvy, what is not to love? We are thrilled to not only be hosting a sale of the brand’s incredible skincare products on Gilt.com, but to also have had the opportunity to speak to Mathilde Thomas, who co-founded the brand along with her husband Bertand. Read on and then shop the Caudalie event on Gilt.com on May 29, starting at noon ET.

Q: How much of the inspiration for your Caudalie products comes from your family vineyards?
The core inspiration of the brand will always be the vineyard and the incredible beauty and resources it produces. As we continually study the vine and grapes, Dr. Joseph Vercauteren (Professor of Pharmacology at the Montpellier University School of Pharmacy) and I are focusing more and more on utilizing new methods of tapping into these resources and how to study their efficacy and results. What has been amazing is that through the years, personal anecdotes from the vineyard have turned into Caudalie breakthrough patents. For example, we discovered our brightening, anti-dark spot patent – Viniferine – after hearing stories that women in the vineyard used to rub vine sap on their skin to get rid of freckles. After studying the vine sap, we discovered it contained a molecule that acted as a powerful melanin regulator. Another example is our Organic Grape Water. My parents had started using an osmosis machine to concentrate their wines and the liquid that remain was pure grape water. We studied it and discovered that the sugars, polysaccharides and minerals found in the water make it extremely hydrating and very soothing, thus the Organic Grape Water created. The evolution of the brand will always connect back to the vineyard.


Q: How do you balance combining modern technology with natural ingredients?
We like to say that Caudalie is 1/3 science, 1/3 grape and 1/3 glamour. One of the most beautiful parts about this brand is the fact that there is a balance between the nature and the technology. While the initial inspiration comes from the vine, I am continually inspired by the breakthroughs that Dr. Joseph Vercauteren – who I’ve been working with since the start of the brand – shares with me, along with new methodologies and studies that the top dermatologists have to share. I am focused on working closely with dermatologists to utilize the newest methodology – including research using human genes – to study the effects of our formulas on the skin. This also applies to my spas around the world. While we have our signature protocols that include only manual massage, I’ve also started to bring in state of the art technology – oxygen machines, micro-current and LED light, to ensure we are able to offer women visible results.

Q: Spas are so much a part of the Caudalie brand. How do you see women incorporating that experience into their routines? How do you see them incorporating that experience into their home routine?
A key aspect of the Caudalie Vinotherapie experience is a comprehensive treatment approach. For example, Caudalie is known for our incredible slimming treatments, which feature scrubs, oils, massage and draining teas. Maintenance is important to maximizing the effects of any treatment and I have created products that allow women to keep up their regimens at home – like our Spa in a Bag. The bag includes a Crushed Cabernet Scrub, Contouring Concentrate and Draining Herbal Teas so that women can take a holistic approach to their spa activity whether at the spa or at home!

Q: Caudalie products are free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil, artificial colorings or sodium laureth sulfate. Why is that important to you?
I believe in effective skincare that improves the skin in formulas that are highly natural. There are incredible natural resources available that have remarkable results, it is my goal to always use a maximum of natural ingredients in my formula. A “green” conscience is part of the intrinsic values that comes with a brand that was born amidst the vines. I removed the list of ingredients above back in 2005 and have steadily worked to steadily develop Caudalie’s “green” efforts – including everything from what ingredients are used in the formulas to the type of recycled paper we use in our packaging.

Q: What’s been the most rewarding moment of having Caudalie? Where do you see the brand going next?
The moments that have been most significant and rewarding to me are when I receive letters and feedback from women who tell me that my products have changed their lives, solved their skincare problems and boosted their confidence. I personally see the feedback that comes through from clients and it changes my life when I hear from women that a product has helped them get rid of dark spots and they feel better about themselves – it’s amazing.

There is also something so wonderful about when a product that is close to my heart is launched and becomes a big success. For example, when we first launched our Vinexpert collection, we were pioneers of Resveratrol and people weren’t aware of it’s amazing firming and lifting power. Once we launched our line, it became at top anti-ageing brand in France and the success was an incredible experience.

Finally, I’m so thrilled that through Caudalie we’ve created over 500 jobs around the world, employing teams of people that we think are truly talented. It’s extremely rewarding to work with these people day in and day out and a significant part of our how define our success as a brand.

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