I am a very open-minded person. I have a gay best friend, I worship Stevie Wonder and I’m all for women’s lib (although burning bras seems such a waste don’t you think?). However, I must admit that I have been prejudiced. I am ashamed to say that I have been ignorant. I have been closed-minded and utterly elitist. But no more. I have seen the light, as they say, and I am a changed woman. The proverbial light I speak of, is that I no longer hate oil.
Yes, oil is now my friend. Oil and I now get on like a house on fire (no flammability-related pun intended), and it is all down to Caudalie Divine Oil.
Having had a painful history with my own body oil (yes, I know that sounds slightly disgusting!), compounded by acne, fringe-stuck-on-forehead syndrome and those horrible moments when you’re a little warm and realise that you’ve got a clammy moustache; my bigoted hatred of the stuff is slightly understandable. Who in their right mind would ever add oil to already oily skin or hair?
What I didn’t realise however, is that oil plus oil doesn’t equal a slimy swamp, but rather oil plus oil dissolves oil. Think back to your chemistry classes – like dissolves like. Or to put it slightly more technically,
“The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition – other oils. By using the right oils, you can [moisturise and] cleanse your pores naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit” (acne.org).
And this is where Caudalie comes in. Caudalie is pretty much as natural and yet scientifically researched as they get. The products are packed with active natural ingredients and powerful antioxidants. But what really grabbed my attention is what they don’t contain:
- mineral oils
- paraffin (isn’t that the stuff in candles?)
- synthetic artificial colourings
- genetically modified organisms
- animal-derived raw materials.
Personally, if I can’t pronounce most of the ingredients in my food, I tend to avoid them – the same goes for my skin. Anyway, enough waffling, what about the actual product I hear you ask? In a word – heavenly. And I don’t use that word lightly.
The texture is moisturising but light. Light enough in fact to put my clothes straight on after applying to the body – none of that brushing my teeth naked while waiting for the product to sink in malarky. Nevertheless, dry skin will feel its benefits too. Our graphic designer Laura (who stole the bottle when I wasn’t looking) has been using it to nourish her dry elbows and knees, and despite its weightlessness has found it extremely moisturising. In fact, our copywriter (and oil addict) Lizzie advises that it’s the ideal oil for beginners as it is lighter than most other dry oils, but just as moisturising.
It is also a saviour for dry locks. The ends of my hair are in pretty dire straits due to bleaching. Hair masks are wonderful things, but what about those in-between days? So, I’ve been using the oil as a ‘must try not to look like Worzel Gummidge’ interim product – and the results are rather luscious. I applied a small amount to the ends when wet- et voila! I can actually run my fingers through my hair without them getting stuck on a knot mid-way through.
So, to round up: you can use this oil as a cleanser, a face moisturiser, a body moisturiser, a hair mask, a split-ends treatment and a bath oil. A pretty exhaustive list don’t you think? But wait! Divine Oil is actually formulated to be a part moisturiser/part fragrance hybrid.
The aroma is quite simply, summer in a bottle. It is sensual but light and fresh. There is definitely a splash of orange and vanilla in there, alongside a floral and slightly woody undertone. Although, it’s the shea butter that had me at hello – as Laura cooed (yes, the same Laura who pilfered my bottle earlier) ‘It smells of summer and beaches’, but obviously without the fishy/salty pungency. Not that I’m surprised, after all, master perfumer Jacques Cavalier was involved in the olfactory side of things.
And it does last. I drive to the train station in a smoggy smelling dust bucket (I really should get the exhaust sorted out!), I catch possibly the busiest and hottest train available outside of London rush hour, followed by a run to the bus stop, whereafter I spend the rest of my journey squeezed next to slightly large, sweaty men. My point being, that even before 9am, I’m exposed to and absorb an array of pretty strong and unpleasant odours. However, by midday, I am still catching pleasant wafts of French Riviera-esque fragrance. Yes, I smell chic and I smell expensive.
But, do you know what makes this product a no-brainer for me? The fact that for every bottle of this multi-tasking miracle bought, one tree will be planted in the Andean Amazon in Peru. Caudalie plan to have planted an entire forest by the end of 2012 – pretty inspiring if you ask me.
“I formulate my products for all women who don’t want to chose between effectiveness and naturalness, between glamour and ecology’, explains Caudalie co-founder Mathilde Thomas. Mathilde’s philosophy obviously works – have you seen her skin? Divine.