Sunday, 12 May 2013

L'Occitane Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream (review)

My poor hands go through hell. It's important at my job to maintain strict hygiene standards, because there's a constant risk of infection, be it the common cold, influenza or stomach virus and so on. For this reason I wash my hands all the time, and when I'm not washing them I'm slathering them in alcoholic anti-bacterial gel. Needless to say, my hands are dangerously close to looking haggard, parched and lacking in plumpness. This is why a good hand cream is so important, as without it I'd get dry patches and soreness, and a rather worrying reduction in elasticity.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream
So to the rescue is L'Occitane's 20% shea butter hand cream, a rich, nourishing cream that comes in a large 150 ml tube and retails at a quite good value £19 – it's L'Occitane's best selling product! It's designed for dry skin and 'penetrates quickly to protect, nourish and moisturise hands'. It contains honey, almond extracts and coconut oil and is 'rapidly absorbed', which is what you want from any hand cream. There's nothing worse than an oil slick in the palm of your hands when you have pens to grip, door handles to hold or bottles to open.

This really does nourish deeply, it's one of my favourite products as it smooths my skin effortlessly and the effects are long-lasting, too. One application lasts most of the night. It is quite tacky after it's first applied, but this feeling disappears after a few minutes. It's not a particularly greasy cream, unlike some, so it's fine to use throughout the day. There's no SPF protection, though (L'Occitane offer Immortelle Brightening Hand Care with SPF 15), but other than that it's pretty much faultless.

I'm not the only one who thinks so, either; Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, SHE, Look Fantastic and the UK Beauty Awards have all praised it for its brilliance. Some may baulk at the nearly twenty pound asking price, but when a product works it's worth it. You don't even need much, a small blob goes a long way, and can be used to nourish nails and cuticles as well as your hands.

If I had a complaint, it's the ease of use. The metal tube is fine for me and most other people, I'd imagine, but those with arthritis or muscle weakness will struggle with squeezing it, and may not be able to even get the fiddly screw lid off. L'Occitane offer a tube squeezing key for £5 (although you can get them cheaper elsewhere) to help with getting every last drop out.

It's not quite as natural as I'd like, either, but I can try to overlook the propylene glycol, isoparaffin (tut!) and parfum. Something I wouldn't do on a poorer performing hand cream. Saying that, I picked up Vita Bella Moisturising Hand Cream at The Anti-Ageing Health & Beauty Show the other day. That's more natural, and is showing signs of being a serious rival. Until I've made my mind up on that, though, it is L'Occitane's Shea Butter product that gets my vote of confidence.

Very moisturising and caring formula
Packaging is not disability friendly
Not a bad price considering size and efficacy
Disappointed at some of the bad ingredients included
Absorbs quickly, and it's not very greasy...
...but it's a little bit tacky for a 1-2 minutes


Brand: L'Occitane

Size: 30 ml
Price: £8.00 (£26.67/100 ml)

Size: 150 ml
Price: £19.00 (£12.67/100 ml)

Manufactured: France

Ingredients: Aqua/Eau (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Mel (Honey Extract), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower), Xanthan Gum, Parfum/Fragrance, Polyacrylamide, PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Ceteareth 33, Alcohol Denatured, Laureth 7, Benzonic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxyisohexl 3 Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methlyproprional, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol

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