Pros: Top quality, good moisturizing properties, pleasant fragrance
Cons: Expensive, can be somewhat hard to find
This product seems to comfort me. I felt the need from the beginning to keep this product with me at all times during the winter when I needed it most. It's still in my purse, and we are in the middle of summer! It is a thick, rich cream with a soothing fragrance. You've heard of "comfort foods" - I would consider this a "comfort hand cream."
How I Discovered L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream:
My mother purchased this at a local mall, at a small boutique-type of store that carries just a few L'Occitane products. She had heard that this hand cream was wonderful, so she went to the store to buy it. When she got there, she was put on a waiting list for this product. "It's our most popular product and it always sell out. We will call you when it comes in."
Eventually she got this cream. She used it a few times and actually hated it (too heavy for her, in her opinion)! She wanted to throw it out (a $20 tube of hand cream!), but I happened to be visiting that day and I told her I would take it and try it. I had heard of L'Occitane's candles, but hadn't heard of any of their other products.
I have seen L'Occitane products sold on QVC. Since my mother bought this hand cream, an actual L'Occitane store has popped up in the same mall she got the cream from last year. I was informed there that this "Shea Butter Hand Cream" is one of their best-selling products. It is also listed on their website as a bestseller.
I have to admit it; I have a hard time understanding a lot of L'Occitane's products. They have some strange things..well, strange to me anyway..I'm not sure if this is because they are a French company or if it's because I'm behind the times! Before visiting this store, I had never heard of a verbena leaf, or many of the ingredients in some of their other products!
Also, when visiting L'Occitane either in person or online, keep in mind that all of their products are high quality and are priced accordingly. I now have their Verbena Leaf body lotion (I'm a body lotion and body cream junkie), the Shea Butter Hand Cream, and a big bottle of Lavender laundry water. That's it..I actually feel like I need to be rich to splurge on a lot of their products.
L'Occitane is headquartered in France. Their website is www.loccitane.com. They have an American office in New York, which is where my second tube of Shea Butter Hand Cream was shipped from.
At times, you will be able to get a free gift by buying online. I received a generous pack of trial size Verbena Leaf products for being a first-time customer: a small bottle of body lotion, a soap cake, a small bottle of shower gel and a sample of fragrance. Because I did not receive this trial pack with my order, I emailed them and brought this to their attention. They Fed Ex'd the pack to me the NEXT DAY, along with the trial pack they are currently offering on their website for first-time customers: three trial size products from their Milk collection. You can find this offer at www.loccitane.com/usa/whatsnew/index.html
Ingredients And Other Product Details:
Water, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyacrylamide, Linseed Extract, Honey Extract, Phenosyethanol, Ceteareth-33, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Soybean Sterol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, SD Alcohol 39-C, Chlorphenesin, Sweet Almond Extract, Althea Officinalis Extract, Laureth-7, Methylparaben, Ylang Ylang Oil, Orange Oil, Lemon Oil, Jasmine Oil, Fragrance, Rosemary Extract, Soybean Oil, Xantham Gum.
This product contains 20% Shea Butter, as stated on the box and the label. L'Occitane says this about Shea Butter on the product box: "Shea butter is extracted from the fruit of a South Sahelian African tree. Numerous studies have confirmed the protective and softening properties of this vegetal balm."
L'Occitane states on the box that this product is for "dry skin." I would definitely agree with this.
This product comes in a brown, light cardboard box. The tube itself is a shiny, silver, metal tube that measures 6" in length, including the cap. The cap is navy blue plastic. The label covering the tube is made from brown paper and is 2" in length. It contains a small amount of information on the product in both English and French, as well as the name of the product.
You will get 5.2 ounces in each tube. This is enough to last you quite a long time; approximately 6 months if you apply it once or twice a day, using a pea-sized amount each time.
The fragrance of this product is light. I would describe its fragrance as slightly floral..but there is another fragrance in the mix that I just don't recognize. The fragrance does not last long on your hands.
My Experience With This Product:
As stated before, I am a hand and body cream and lotion addict. I live in Ohio, where the winters are pretty brutal. I always apply another hand cream (Philosophy's "Time On Your Hands") before leaving for work. By the time I get to work, I need more hand cream due to the cold, snow, sleet, wind, and the drying heat in the car. I use this cream as soon as I come in from the elements.
I would not say that this product is a "treatment" or "maintenance" product like the Philosophy "Time On Your Hands" hand cream. This is a good old-fashioned, moisturizing, thick, rich hand cream.
It can be hard to get all of this product out of the tube, because the metal tube is not very flexible. I recommend a "tube key" (available at Crabtree & Evelyn stores for $3.50) which is a small, simple, metal "key" type of device that you attach to the bottom of the tube, rolling it up, thus squeezing hand cream that is remaining in the tube to the top.
How To Use This Product:
You will not need to apply this product more than once or twice a day in order to have soft hands all day. A little goes a long way; apply more than a pea-sized dollop, and you will have too much! Rub this product into your hands thoroughly. It also works well on elbows. This cream does not take long to absorb into your skin; you will have softer, younger looking hands immediately. The moisturizing properties last very well through several hand washings.
If you have a L'Occitane store near you or would like to shop online, I recommend this product if you have dry hands. It's a luxurious product that is well worth the money!