how to drink 
like a wino,
but not look
like one

We turned to Caudalie co-founder Mathilde Thomas to educate us on how to avoid the puffy side effects of drinking wine.

Written by JAYME CYK


When your family runs a vineyard and you operate a skin care line, it’s important to have some remedies for the havoc wine can wreak on the skin after one too many glasses. Fortunately for Caudalie co-founder Mathilde Thomas, she has expertise in both arenas.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, which has been in Thomas’ family for 27 years, was the starting point for the creation of Caudalie. So how does she combat the dreaded puffy “wine face”? Here, Thomas lends her skincare and sommelier prowess to The Violet Files and advises on how to drink like a wino, but not look like one.


Not everyone has the ability to down a few glasses of wine and come up looking her best self the next morning. Sadly, puffiness (especially under the eyes) is sometimes inevitable, but there are ways to reverse the swelling. “To counter puffiness, drink green tea or hot water with freshly squeezed lemon and apply Caudalie’s Vine[Activ] Overnight Oil before bed,” says Thomas. “It contains carrot essential oil to detoxify the skin overnight. I also put my eye cream in the fridge for a more cooling effect and massage it under my eyes with a cold teaspoon that I keep in the freezer.”

When it comes to the type of wine to drink without the morning-after ramifications, Thomas highly recommends red. “The varietal doesn’t matter, but young wine is best because resveratrol diminishes in the bottle with time,” she adds. “Pinot, merlot, cab are all great—choose your favorite and voilà!”


When not in Bordeaux with her family, Thomas enjoys her family’s wine once a week. But when visiting the vineyard, a glass at most meals is bound to happen. “When I’m staying at the vineyard with my parents, we always have a glass of wine at lunch and at dinner with our meal,” she says. “We also enjoy blind tasting and we try to guess what we are drinking. It’s a very difficult game, but we learn a lot from it.”


The wine at Château Smith Haut Lafitte is organic, meaning it contains fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This in turn creates healthier grapes, which is why organic wines are the best choice for your skin.  


Because red wine is rich in resveratrol, polyphenols, and flavonoids, it will help strengthen your blood vessels, increase microcirculation, and protect from oxidation that ages your skin. Thomas notes that young red wine is key. One bottle of young (less than seven years old) Smith Haut Lafitte contains approximately four miligrams of pure resveratrol. “I prefer red wine as it’s loaded with resveratrol (a hero ingredient of ours) and doesn’t have as much sugar, so it’s not as harmful to your skin,” she notes, “but the key is to drink only one glass!”