Tuesday, 6 November 2012

L'Occitane Lavande (Lavender) Shower Gel and Amande (Almond) Shower Oil (review)

L'Occitane Lavande Shower Gel
L'Occitane, a brand that I have been mispronouncing for years (it's lox-e-tan not loss-e-tan, apparently!), is one of my favourite natural cosmetics companies. I'm pretty familiar with their skincare products, but I've only just started trying their bread and butter body care range. I've started off with a couple of body washes – one from their Lavande collection, made with essential lavender oil from Haute-Provence, and another from the Amande range with pure almond oil; a best seller, no less.

Not only do they both smell absolutely lovely (my preference errs towards the almond scent, but each to their own), but I find them very luxurious to use, too. Lavender is calming and sleep inducing, so that's a great product to use at night before bed. Both fragrances stay on your skin for a little while after use, and would only be enhanced with the matching body lotions.

They foam nicely when used with a body polisher and aren't at all harsh so I would imagine they're suitable for sensitive skin. L'Occitane themselves claim that the lavender shower gel “cleanses ever so gently” and you can take comfort from the fact that with both products nearly every ingredient is natural. However, while the lavender body wash is certified as organic, it's certified by France's ECOCERT which has lower standards than Britain's certifier Soil Association. It's quite telling that out of twenty-seven ingredients only two are organic (and neither of those is lavender).

L'Occitane Amande Shower Oil
No such claims are made for the almond wash. Instead, Amande has a unique selling point in that its oil-like formula is beyond decadent – L'Occitane even go so far as to describe it as a “treatment”. It leaves a satiny film on your skin after use, which leaves you feeling really soft and smooth all over. Don't worry, it's nothing like slathering on baby oil, it's far subtler and leaves no residue on towels or clothes. It's brilliant and I'm not the only one that thinks so: Marie Claire and Psychologies both rate this product very highly, with the latter publication awarding it a Positive Beauty Award this year. As a bonus it works well as a light shave oil in the shower for quick hair removal without additional shaving products.

They're both very desirable, to be fair, which is not something you can often say about everyday items such as body wash. Unfortunately they don't have everyday prices – the almond version in particular is a little expensive. Lavande comes packaged in a purple-hued plastic bottle with a silver label and cap, which looks great, but the flip-top lid is a bit fiddly. Amande comes with a better press-to-open lid and yellow hues. If you'd like relaxing bath care, then go for Lavande, however, for the ultimate in pampering you simply have to buy the Amande Shower Oil.

Authentic, calming fragrances
Bit pricey!
Gentle yet luxurious formulas
Few organic ingredients in Lavande, none in Amande
Attractive packaging

Amande leaves skin very soft and smooth

Shower Oil can be used for shaving


Brand: L'Occitane

Website: www.loccitane.co.uk

Lavande Size: 250 ml
Lavande Price: £13.00 (£5.20/100 ml)

Amande Size: 250 ml
Amande Price: £16.50 (£6.60/100 ml)

Manufactured: France

Lavande Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Sodium Chloride, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Coco-Glucosides, Glyceryl Oleate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Trisodium Sulfosuccinate, Xylitol, Sodium Benzoate, Levulinic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Terpineol, Tocopherol, Pafum (Fragrance), Linalool, Limonene


Amande Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tipa-Laureth Sulphate, Laureth-3, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Parfum (Fragrance), Cocamide MEA, Sorbitan Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopherol, Aqua (Water), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Coumarin, Limonene, Linolool


  1. I love the Almond Shower Oil! It is pricey, but leaves my sand-paper skin feeling half-way human! :D

  2. I had no idea you've used it as well! The Amande one is particularly good, isn't it? If it wasn't quite so expensive I'd use it all the time.