I've Had an Uneven Skin Tone for Years—This Cult-Loved Serum Corrected It


Welcome to Deep Reviewsyour one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. Every month, the Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations. To put it simply, stick with us, and buyer's remorse will be a thing of the past.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting Caudalie's Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum Vitamin C Alternative ($82).

I'm going to be honest. I've always been slightly lackadaisical in my approach to skincare. Well, that was until about five years ago—in my early 30s—when I saw huge changes in my skin tone and complexion. You see, in my early 20s, I was spoilt with compliments about how clear, bright, and glowing my skin was. Since I barely used any skincare products of note and my regimen consisted simply of cleansing and moisturizing, I boiled it down to genetics. My Latin American mother has amazingly smooth and radiant skin to this day. My Welsh father, however, passed along his rosacea cheeks. While I always had a nice olive glow, my cheeks flared red when triggered by specific factors. 

In my 20s, I thought I was invincible! I didn't pay much attention to my skin. I barely wore sunscreen. This is coming from someone who spent a large part of her 20s traveling outdoors for work and basically lived under the sun—without sunscreen. (Ugh, if only I could turn back time!) Fast-forward 10 years, and I have plenty of sunspots to show for it.

On top of this, I've had two babies in the past four years, which has been an absolute joy, but my skin has unquestionably taken a toll. I never knew just how much my skin would change after getting pregnant. Suddenly, I had pregnancy spots, or melasma—a common condition that causes skin hyperpigmentation (i.e. darkening). While it was mild and calmed slightly after pregnancy, I still have spots of slight discoloration. Add lack of sleep, stress, and a not-so-well-balanced, caffeine-heavy diet into the mix, and my skin has never looked so inflamed and uneven in tone and texture. Others couldn't notice the change that much (thank god for makeup), but when I looked in the mirror sans makeup, I hardly recognized myself.

On a mission to get my uneven skin back on track, I actively sought out skincare products that could reduce my dark spots, improve my overall skin tone, and get my glow back. Call it kismet, but that week at a fashion event, I received a gift bag that had a little miracle in a white pot staring right at me—Caudalie's Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum Vitamin C Alternative. I looked up the product immediately, and after reading countless positive reviews about the cult-loved serum, I tried it. I'm on my third bottle now and have never looked back. I'm still astounded at how much it has improved my skin's complexion. Below, I'll be taking you through the ins and outs of the serum and delving into what makes it so good. Let's get into it.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

This was my first time trying any Caudalie product, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I certainly wasn't holding my breath for any major kind of skin transformation, although all the positive commentary I'd heard about the serum online was certainly encouraging.

What came as an unbelievable surprise is the fact that my skin looked immediately brighter after the first application. The serum has a smooth and lightweight texture (not at all sticky or oily), but the first thing you'll notice is its unbelievably subtle and fresh scent. It has notes of citron blossom, orange leaves, watermelon, and crushed mint. As someone who is very sensitive to smells, I cannot rave enough about its exquisite scent!

For the past two months, I've applied two to three drops of the serum on clean skin every morning and evening. I then follow this with Caudalie's Premier Cru Skin Barrier Rich Moisturizer (my latest obsession) and Vinoperfect Brightening Eye Cream, which has been a real game changer since I never used eye cream in my 20s. I then layer on the sunscreen. Yes, I'm finally learning!


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Since using the serum, I've seen an incredible difference in my skin tone and complexion. My skin feels brighter and more even in tone and texture. I have less hyperpigmentation and blotchiness and fewer dry patches. Overall, my skin feels hydrated and smooth, and the serum has improved my skin's glow. What's been even more amazing to see is that, while my dark spots are still there, the serum has visibly reduced their appearance after I've used as little as one bottle. 


Let's take a closer look at the ingredients to see what has made this dark-spot serum a cult favorite. If you read any articles on how to get a more even skin tone, they'll say to incorporate vitamin C. The antioxidant can minimize the production of melanin, which causes skin darkening, and even out the skin tone. Dermatologists often recommended incorporating vitamin C in the form of a topical serum. One downside to vitamin C serums is how quickly they can turn and oxidize and, as a result, lose their effectiveness. Caudalie's Vinoperfect Radiance Serum's hero ingredient is viniferine—a natural extract from vine sap that has been proven to be 62 times more effective than vitamin C—which diminishes the appearance of dark spots for even-toned skin. 

Marisa Garshick, MD, is a leading board-certified dermatologist in New York and provides a wide variety of cosmetic and medical services, including treatments for acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and more. She explains, "The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum can be a good option for someone with dark spots, as it contains viniferine—a natural extract derived from vine sap [that] has been shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity, helping to reduce discoloration—and olive squalane to help even the skin tone while nourishing the skin. It is oil-free and can be used one to two times daily by all skin types, including those with sensitive skin."

So if you're battling any type of dark spots, age spots, dullness, or an uneven skin tone, I highly recommend incorporating the serum into your daily skincare regime. I guarantee you'll see a difference after one bottle.

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Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.