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A wonderful cream for soft and lovely smelling hands!
L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream Hibiscus Flower
Member Name: ms_123
L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream Hibiscus Flower
Advantages: smells lovely, skin really soft, lasts long
Disadvantages: limited edition
I had recently ran out of my latest tube of L'Occitane hand cream and popped into my local branch just after Boxing day, hoping the hand creams had been reduced and that I may pick up a bargain. Unfortunately that was not the case. The smaller 30ml tubes retail at £7.60 each, which is a fair bit more expensive than many of the hand creams on the market. I do baulk at the price each time, but then remind myself how good this cream is by applying a bit to my hands and then parting with my cash is not so difficult! I usually opt for the hand cream which is for 'dry skin' but spotted a range of limited edition hand creams by the counter. I am quite fussy when it comes to scent of a cosmetic product and so I tried some of the hand creams, smelling them as I went along, and finally settled on the hand cream with hibiscus flower.
Like many of the L'Occitane hand creams this comes in a silver foil like tube with a small black screw on lid at the top. This hand cream is part of the 'African happy hands' range and the the front of the tube really reflects this. The label has a vibrant design with orange and yellow polka dots, which really make it stand out from the crowd. The label states that this cream contains 20% shea butter. Shea butter is known to be intensely moisturising and soothing, offering protection when applied to the skin, which is ideal for my dry hands. The lid is quite unusual as most hand creams have a flip lid or one that screws on and forms the base of the tube. I like this from a design point of view as it stands out from the crowd, but there are times where I have found it a little fiddly to screw back on.
Although the tube does not state this, looking on the L'Occitane website I also learnt that the cream contains honey and almond extracts which are also ingredients with excellent moisturising properties. This limited edition cream also contains extracts from the hibiscus flower. I'd only heard of this flower in the context of hibiscus tea but after a little research learnt that it is particularly rich in vitamin C, but doesn't appear to have any significant benefits for dry skin so it appears to have been added to this cream for its scent.
So what was this cream like to use? Squeezing the tube releases a fairly thick white coloured cream. Don't be fooled by it's thickness though - it blends into the skin effortlessly and doesn't leave the skin at all greasy. Once applied it makes my skin feel exceptionally soft and all traces of dry skin disappear and do not return for a couple of hours. In my opinion it works just as well as the hand cream in this range that has especially been formulated for dry skin. The cream also smells lovely - it has a light, warm, almost spicy fragrance with a hint of citrus tang. It's quite difficult to describe but as someone who is quite fussy about scents this was one that I really liked.
I always like to know a little about the company that I purchase cosmetics from in terms of their ethics and 'naturalness' of their products. L'Occitane was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan, at the age of 23, who wanted to create products that captured the tradition and values of his childhood in Provence. They pledge to use natural, active ingredients that are organic where possible and are sourced largely from Provence or the Mediterranean.
The products are not, nor have they ever been tested on animals and nor are the ingredients used and the company is a member of PETA. All the products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, with the exception of the beehive products containing honey or Royal jelly. Further information is available on their website. This deserves a special mention as I found the site extremely interesting. There is a section which contains details of each of the ingredients used in L'Occitane products, what their role is and which products contain them.
Impressively the company also set up an initiative for the women in Burkino Faso, in West Africa where L'Occitane purchase the shea butter directly from them, ensuring they get a fair price. They have also created a foundation which supports projects that support the development of these women in terms of literacy and gaining access to microcredit so that they can enhance their businesses. So thumbs up also from an ethical point of view!
Overall I am really pleased that I tried this hand cream and the effect it had on my hands. It is a shame that it is a limited edition product as I really like the scent. If I can afford to I will be purchasing a couple of extra tubes or adding this to my list of birthday presents!
Summary: Stock up while you can!
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