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Interview

Meeting with Mathilde Thomas

Along with her husband, Mathilde Thomas has created Caudalie, one of the most successful skincare brands in the last few years.

The offices of Caudalie are nested in the very heart of New York City, a few blocks away from the Empire State Building. The space is designed with a rustic and refined look and is also luminous. It is where Mathilde Thomas – a woman I deeply admire – welcomes us. Young, beautiful, and dynamic, Mathilde also happens to be at the head of a tribe of three kids and a big enterprise. Along with her husband, she has created one of the most successful brands in the last few years. As of today, Caudalie counts more than 11,000 points of sale and 10 spas (which includes 1 spa located in the Plaza Hotel of New York City). It was a priority for me to introduce the readers of BWB to this brand.

The products offered by Caudalie are altogether ethical and efficient. Glamorous natural results guaranteed!

Clemence von Mueffling You have been a true visionary since the creation of Caudalie. You were a pioneer in high-end beauty skincare but also with the launch of your first spa in 1999. What has inspired and guided you?

Mathilde Thomas The inspiration comes from The Great Vine, which is a family estate. We believe that grape is the ultimate fruit. In 1993, during the grape harvesting season, we happened to meet Professor Vercauteren, a researcher from the University of Pharmacy in Bordeaux. He was conducting anti-aging research. He told us that the grape seeds that were discarded were real treasures. He discovered that grape seeds contain polyphenols and that they are 10,000 times more powerful than vitamin E. He worked on the molecule, and we have been using the patent he developed since then.

CvM Caudalie and the Cosm-Ethics. Tell us more about the many projects Caudalie is committed to

MT Our formulas contain:

  • 0% parabens, no phenoxyethanol, no phthalates, no sulfates, no coloring, no mineral oils … These constraints are difficult to work with.
  • For packaging, we use recyclable plastics.
  • When we can, we use plastic that comes from sugar cane.
  • We have just launched the Caudalie Foundation for Nature and Research.
  • We are still part of the “1% for the planet” program.
  • We have already planted 150,000 trees in Peru and 200,000 trees in Brazil.
  • We also partner with WWF to help with the protection of animals.
  • We sponsor Harvard Medical School through the Foundation.

CvM In 2006 you decided to remove parabens from all your products. How did that happen?

MT I grew up in the countryside. When I created Caudalie, it seemed obvious since day one that I couldn’t work with parabens. What we did in the beginning is that we chose to use tubes instead of jars, in order to use fewer preservatives. Then, we found a way to use preservatives that were EcoCert. It was a complex process to reformulate our 40 products!

You should avoid oxidants: they are responsible for 4 out of 5 wrinkles.

CvM You founded Caudalie with your husband but today you are also an Ambassador for your brand. Can you give some advice to our readers regarding beauty and well being routine?

MT You should avoid oxidants: they are responsible for 4 out of 5 wrinkles. You should also protect your skin from free radicals and from the sun. You should moisturize your skin every morning. Resveratrol and Viniferine are very good. Do not forget the eye contour where the skin is much thinner.

CvM What is your favorite cream to protect your skin on a long workday?

MT You will soon be able to discover our new line called Polyphenol C15*. You should first use the antioxidant serum and then apply the cream. It is a super moisturizer that also has an SPF 20: it is loaded with polyphenols and it will stop all free radicals. It is non comedogenic and oil free. It is great for 30 – 40 years olds. It has great anti-wrinkle results …  After 1 month of use, we measured a diminution of 30% of wrinkles. I also recommend to regularly spritz the Beauty Elixir spray on your face. It’s something one can keep handy on the desk at work. It is a blend of rosemary, mint, orange blossom and rose.

CvM What is the beauty product you always take along when you travel?

MT Without a doubt: Premier Cru … it took us 200 trials to make it right. After more than 8 years of development, it is an all-in-one: One and done … It’s my own Rolls Royce!

* in May 2014

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