Suzie Abel: Grapes hidden beauty benefits
PUBLISHED: 12:02 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:29 05 September 2016
The word "vineyard" is synonymous with wine but these simple fields of grapes have many other wonderful benefits to offer, says Suzie Abel, Jarrold's beauty buyer
Strange, you may be thinking, that a beauty buyer is writing about vineyards and wine and, although I must confess that I do enjoy a glass or two, there is another very good reason why. There are many natural beauty products around with ingredients based on plants and flowers but few people have heard of the magic powers of the grapevine. It is an inexhaustible treasure of natural and effective ingredients, and for hundreds of years the women and winemakers who have worked with the plants have used the sap of the plant in its simplest form on their faces and hands to eliminate dark spots and add radiance to the skin.
Someone who grew up in this environment on the family estate in the heart of Bordeaux is Mathilde Thomas. She was fascinated by the plant and inspired to learn more about its powers. In 1993, during the annual wine harvest, an encounter with a professor from Montpellier University changed her life when she heard him say: “Do you know you are throwing away treasures?” He was a specialist in grape seed polyphenols – one of these magic ingredients which are also one of the most powerful anti-oxidants in the world. After working with him for two years, she decided to launch her own business, together with her husband Bertrand - and this is when Caudalie was born (a caudalie is a unit measuring the duration of the wine’s flavour on the palate – each second is a caudalie). The wine and grape extracts for their three signature patents, polyphenols, resveratrol (to lift and firm), and viniferine (dark spots and radiance), all come from vineyards in Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy.
They believe in a greener planet and more committed cosmetics, and the products are formulated for women who don’t want to choose between effectiveness and naturalness or glamour and ecology. I like Mathilde’s credo: “We should give back to the earth a little of what it gives us each day”, and I love and admire this brand for its authenticity and integrity. My particular favourites are the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum which really does work miracles, and their delicious fragrances – Fleur, Rose and The (Tea) des Vignes. Sante!