The French skin care line Caudalie has just released the Caudalie Divine Oil ($48/3.4 oz/ 100 ml.). This is a dry oil that can be used on hair, body and face, and is intended to moisturize. This is a blend (grape, hibiscus, sesame and argan) combined with Caudelie’s own anti-oxidant polyphenols.

According to the company, grape oil is particularly good for skin in the long term–“A priceless treasure from the vine, grape oil contains a high concentration of Omega 6 and vitamin E which gives it nourishing and regenerative properties.” I’ve been reading up on free radicals and antioxidants lately, and whew! To summarize, free radicals are not our friends.

This oil is being heavily promoted in Paris right now, many of the pharmacies have large poster-boards and prominent displays. That makes sense. Dry oils are particularly nice for summer, when more skin is showing and a pleasant, moisturized glow is the best accessory. For me, the best time to apply Caudalie Divine Oil is right after bathing or showering. Those who are out in the sun will find it very soothing. Also, I like to use it as a hand moisturizer–I find using a dry oil on my nails and cuticles keeps them moisturized and healthy. When I’m not wearing nail polish, the oil gives my nails a little glow.

If you haven’t used a dry oil before, you might find the concept of putting oil on your hands a little counterintuitive. Keep in mind that a dry oil is designed to absorb into skin quickly, emphasis on the word “dry.” It can actually feel much lighter and more pleasant than many hand cremes, which sometimes can feel a bit heavy or waxy. The oil leaves the skin with a pretty glow that looks like natural, healthy skin.

This dry oil feels very rich, and a light coating absorbs nicely in under five minutes. There is a pleasant fragrance, not unlike the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. I’m sure there are Caudalie and Nuxe fans that find subtle differences, but the similarity was there for me. The scent is far less strong that scented dry oils, such as those released periodically from Tom Ford.

Unlike the Nuxe dry oil, Caudalie has a spray top which is nice for doing hair and body. For the face, I spray a bit into my hands before touching on. Also, note that Caudalie has a generous 3.4 ounces per bottle while Nuxe’s is labeled as half as much product (Caudalie with 100 ml, and Nuxe at 50 ml).

U.S. buyers (particularly those outside of Manhattan) are likely to find Caudalie’s easier to obtain. It’s currently available on Caudalie’s website, and  now comes with a free Des Vignes fragrance with the code DIVINE.

Bottom line–highly useful, really delivers. Would love to see this is in an airline-friendly 1 ounce version for those heading off for distant beaches, or business travelers who want on-the-road luxury with an all-in-one skin and hair moisturizer.

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