Caudalie’s founder, Mathilde Thomas, on anti-ageing products, the revamped Resveratrol range, and more

Caudalie’s founder, Mathilde Thomas, on anti-ageing products, the revamped Resveratrol range, and more

Act your age

Text: Emily Heng

Plenty has been said on the subject of skin-ageing. Rumour has it that one should commence preventative treatments such as Botox by 25; swap to thicker, richer formulas by 30; and engage in extreme procedures of a questionable nature (we're talking nightingale feces) by the big four-oh. Everyone has an opinion with regard to the inevitable act of ageing, it seems — but is there any truth to their words? In the age of #fakenews, it's best to hand the mic over to the professionals to set the record straight.

In this case, it's French skincare luminary, Mathilde Thomas. You might recognise her as the founder of Caudalie: the beauty label revered for their clean, natural, and efficacious products. From when you should begin curating an anti-ageing routine to the true efficacy of popular collagen-boosting ingredients, here's all your burning questions, answered.

First things first: what are your thoughts on the term "anti-ageing?"
Ageing is inevitable. At Caudalie, however, we have been working for the past 8 years with Dr. David Sinclair from Harvard Medical School — a leading world authority on genetics and longevity — and he wrote a book called Lifespan where he explains that ageing is a disease and a disease is treatable. He demonstrates how we can slow down or even reverse ageing. His recent experience in his own lab of Harvard Genetics suggests that in the near future, we may not just be able to feel younger but actually to become younger.

So, are there different kinds of ageing?

Yes! There's:

  • Intrinsic ageing, which is responsible for about 20% of the skin's sign of ageing which you cannot do much about.
  • Extrinsic ageing, that is caused by the exposure of UV radiation, environmental stresses, smoking, diet and etc. that you can control, which is why I created, 25 years ago, a skincare line based on antioxidants because antioxidants can stop 100% of oxidation by free radicals.

Is there a right age or time for people to start using these preventative products?
You should start early on by using a good moisturiser. I recommend the Resveratrol-Lift Firming Night Cream and Resveratrol-Lift Firming Cashmere Cream that contains powerful antioxidants. I would say from the age of 18, and you should wear an SPF50 as soon as you go under the sun.

Speaking of, what made you decide to revamp Caudalie's Resveratrol line?

We stumbled into a discovery with Dr. Sinclair. He tested — along with our Lab of Natural Formulation — an old patent we had co-patented together with Harvard Medical School in 2015 of resveratrol and hyaluronic acid. Here's what we found: together, at a certain concentration (at the concentration of our Resveratrol Lift Serum), this duo is two-times more effective than the gold standard anti-ageing molecule called retinol. It was two-times more effective in boosting your own collagen.

So, Dr. Sinclair thought that it could go further, and this is how we found this collagen-boosting extract from Mahogany Bark. That was the beginning of a new patent with Harvard that is pending right now, the beginning of revamping the entire Resveratrol Lift line for it to be not only more effective, but with formula that are cleaner, no PEGs, no silicones, more natural and with recycled packaging.

Interesting! Which is your personal favourite product from the Resveratrol line?
It is the Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Serum, because it contains the highest concentration of our patent with Harvard and I see a result immediately on my skin. Plus, I love the look of the new packaging!

Personally, what do you do to maintain a youthful-looking complexion?
I try to follow Dr. David Sinclair's great advice, such as intermittent fasting, cold exposure, exercising with the right intensity, eating less meat, and of course I use very good skincare with very powerful antioxidants and SPF when I am exposed to the sun. I also take a glass of wine, loaded with antioxidants, at night.

Lastly, what does ageing gracefully mean to you?
My key to beauty is the same for many years: "the pleasure principle". That means you should treat yourself well! To me aging gracefully means that if you treat yourself good and that you have a healthy life. Ageing gracefully is the work of a lifetime. It is important to have a balanced life, you need to have a great family life, love life, career. You need to take time for yourself. If you have all that balanced, it will help, and it will show. You have to embrace your age, you're wiser as you get older and you know yourself better to develop a better, more suited personal style. Eat right, stay in great shape, use good skincare and enhance your beauty with a little bit of makeup. But not too much!