This New Face Product Is Like Gatorade For Your Skin

If there were ever a skin-care product worthy of an eye roll, it’s essence. For starters, figuring out what the hell one actually does isn’t so straightforward: Is it like a serum? Toner? Micellar water? In short, no, no, and… definitely no. In Korea, it’s part three (or is it four?) in the expansive 30-step routine, meant to hydrate your skin like a swig of Gatorade. Only recently, however, have I discovered the magical essence of… well, essences. All thanks to Caudalie.

First, let me just state that my daily regime is generally pretty simple. By the time I get home from work, pour myself a glass of wine, cook dinner, change into sweatpants, pour another glass, and binge-watch 13 Reasons Why, I can only muster up enough energy for a 2-step routine (wash and moisturize). As you can probably guess, my skin often looks dull and bleh , like something you’d expect from someone with a vitamin D deficiency. But now that hibernation season is over, it’s harder to blame that fact on the weather, and thus my hunt for a brightening elixir began. And I was surprised to find it in Caudalie’s new Vinoperfect Essence.

Not only does the clear, slightly viscous fluid smell like a citrusy slice of heaven, but it also feels incredibly indulgent on my skin — like splashing ice-cold, fruit-infused spa water on your face. That’s thanks to the soothing grape water and white peony extracts.

But, it’s not just another fancy water that feels good and doesn’t do anything. The essence boasts some heavy-duty ingredients to back up its brightening claims, too. Glycolic acid whisks away dead cells sitting on the surface, without me so much as looking at a face mask or scrubby cleanser. And, after using it twice a day for a week straight, something major happened: My face looked healthier — glowy, even — than it has in months, with a texture that actually looked like it was even.

In other words, this shit is like magic in a bottle. Who knows, maybe I’ll crack it open before my wine tonight.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence, $42, available at Caudalie and Sephora on May 15.

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