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Caudalie Divine Oil Delivers You From Dryness (And Numerous Skin Care Evils)

Typically, I would strongly advise beauty companies to refrain from using words like “heavenly,” “divine,” “celestial,” and “idyllic” when naming their latest products — after all, relying on such hyperbolic terms automatically raises customers’ expectations so that, anything short of perfection will feel like a let-down of burst balloon, spilled milk, and melted ice cream cone proportions. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophesy in reverse, akin to naming your kid Angel, Jesus, Destiny, Justice, and Honor (seriously, I can’t count how many Angels I know who wound up in jail!). That being said, the Caudalie Divine Oil ($48 at US.Caudalie.com and Sephora.com) earned its sacred moniker, making it one of the expectation-surpassing exceptions to the rule. The multi-purpose oil can be used to hydrate strands, soften skin, moisturize cuticles, tame fly-aways and smooth split ends, and to conduct full body massages.

An impressive 60% of the golden-colored oil’s composition can be attributed to four fine plant oils: omega 6-rich grape oil extracted from the fruits harvested in the Château Smith Haut-Lafitte vineyard in Bordeaux, France; extra virgin argan oil produced by cooperatives of Berber women in South Morocco; extra virgin hibiscus oil obtained by cold-pressing seeds from hibiscus flowers grown in India; and sesame oil. Because of these oils’ low molecular weight, the Caudalie Divine Oil never feels heavy or easily — in fact, part of the reason why it’s so delightful is that it’s easily absorbed by skin. In terms of performance, the argan oil’s high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid work to enhance the skin’s hydrophilic abilities, allowing water to be both absorbed and retained therein; the the hibiscus oil strengthens the natural skin barrier and works to exfoliate dead skin and give skin a youthful glow thanks to its concentration of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs); the sesame oil moisturizes, conditions, and protects skin from free radicals thanks to its vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin B content; and the grape oil’s omega 6 content helps to restore skin’s to its optimal moisture balance and curb excess oiliness. Other vital ingredients in the formula include fair trade shea butter, which hydrates and softens the skin; Caudalie’s patented grape polyphenol technology, stable antioxidants that are more than a hundred times more effective than vitamin E in protecting skin from the free radicals that lead to visible aging signs; and Ecocert-certified coconut extracts that work as emollients and give the oil its weightless feel.

Because both sesame oil and argan oil mimic the skin’s natural sebum, they easily penetrate the epidermis, which is why the Caudalie Huile Divine is so rapidly absorbed, never leaving skin feeling balmy or greasy. Ideally, you want to apply it to your skin after a nice warm shower, when your skin is hydrated, your pores are open, and therefore its absorption qualities are enhanced.

Now the same principles that make the Caudalie Divine Oil so efficient for skin also make it ideal for hydrating and smoothing hair, though I’ll admit I personally prefer it as part of my skin care routine because of its weightlessness, its delicious aroma, and the sensuality of the overall experience, of gently massaging the golden substance all over the body.

Packaged in a sleek clear tube with an embossed grape bunch detail, the Caudalie Divine Oil features a spritzer application that allows you to dispense a small amount and then massage along the desired area. And, since it smells so delightful, you can even use it as a fragrance of sorts, either by applying to pulse points and massaging into those target areas or by covering your whole body with it and simply allowing the scent to waft in the air. Developed by perfumer Jacques Cavallier, the Divine Oil’s scent combines Moroccan rose and Bulgarian rose notes, the former dewy and refined while the latter boasts an earthy, dusky, gravel-y aroma, with touches of zesty grapefruit, spicy pink pepper, and warm base notes of vanilla, cedar, and white musk. Together, the result is a fragrant oil that’s earthy but demure, powdery without being overly fragile, velvety without being exceedingly rich and creamy, floral without being predictable.

Simply put: this stuff is gloriously, incredibly, undoubtedly divine.

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