Caudalie was born in 1993 when Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas had a chance encounter with Dr Vercauteren, professor at the University of Pharmacy, Bordeaux, and leading expert on grape and grapevine polyphenols.
At the vineyards of the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux, the professor noticed the leftover skins and seeds of the grapes from the harvest and explained to the couple that the polyphenols in the grape and grapevines had extraordinary anti-oxidant power.
Two years later, Caudalie launched its first three products in European pharmacies and in 1994 established an exclusive worldwide patent for extracting and stabilising grape-seed polyphenols (OPC). These polyphenols are a great anti-ageing shield for skin.
In 1996, Caudalie set up its own research team, which works under the brand's philosophy to join the benefits of science and nature with the greatest respect for skin and the environment.
Caudalie products are free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil, artificial colourings and sodium laureth sulfate. No ingredients of animal origin are used, products are not tested on animals and a maximum of natural active ingredients can be found in all products. The range includes cleansers, moisturisers, body lotions and shower gels.
In 1999, Caudalie launched the Vinotherapie Spa in the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard and has gone on to create three other Vinotherapie Spas. One is in an 18th-century Franciscan Monastery in Italy, a second in a hotel designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry in the Rioja region of Spain and the third opens soon at The Plaza in New York.
The fans: Kylie Minogue and Gwyneth Paltrow.
If you buy just one product: Caudalie's Beauty Elixir (€32) was inspired by the "elixir of youth" used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary. It has toning, revitalising, soothing and astringent properties. A top make-up artist tip is to use the spray to set your make-up. Spritz it on after applying your foundation and before applying your powder to help your foundation last all day.
The price: Caudalie products start at €4.
Where to get it: Space NK in Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre.
More info: www.caudalie.com/uk