According to the woman working the counter at my local L’Occitane store, the Shea Butter Hand Cream has been the company’s best seller for several years now. It comes in a metal tube, something like an old-fashioned tube of toothpaste, and is thicker than most OTC hand creams. The shea butter, honey and sweet almost extract are very pleasing to the touch. Applying this is almost akin to giving oneself a pampering hand massage. Scents of jasmine and ylang-ylang are subtle (ylang-ylang can be very overpowering if not only minimally added to the ingredients).
What’s Great: This is the L’Occitane best seller for a reason. It’s incredibly effective at softening hands, and easily packed into a purse. It’s not too “foo-foo.” Some more heavy, feminine scented creams’ smells can fill up the room, but L’Occitane’s Shea Butter products never do. The skin softening effects of this hand cream are impressive.
What’s Not: Like all L’Occitane body products, this is expensive. Unlike a soap, though, there is a feeling that some of the cream is wasted. The tube is hard to squeeze every last bit out of, and it can get annoying curl up the tube as the hand cream is used. Also, if the cap comes off, it’s lost; there is no tab that attaches the cap to the tube of hand cream. This is mostly relevant to people who like to carry the smaller tube in their purses or bags.
What Else: Don’t use this cream anywhere except hands. It’s too thick for faces, and too expensive to waste on arms and legs. People with sensitive skin can request a sample of it (this pertains to many L’Occitane products) to ensure no adverse reaction before purchase.
Bottom Line: L’Occitane is a wonderful luxury brand. The L’Occitane stores are great at setting the mood; who hasn’t felt like they’re at a remove from the drudgery of everyday life when stepping into a L’Occitane shop? Their lavender products really are evocative of Provence, and the luxury hair, body and bath products are good at hitting the spot when we want to spoil ourselves with a high-end home spa treatment. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creqm is a good starting point for someone just dipping their toes in the water of this high-end bath and body product line.
Cost: $26 for 5.2 oz, or $10 for the smaller 1-oz tube of L’Occintate Shea Butter Hand Cream.
– Review by Jennifer Miner