When I was living in Taiwan, a hand cream was something I only needed from time to time, mostly in winter. Now that I’m living in Belgium, a hand cream is something I need at least a couple of times a day, just so that my hands can stay soft instead of dry and scaly!
My affair with L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream has spanned at least 6 years. I remember really liking the vibe of L’Occitane stores in Taipei and hearing people rave about the brand, but everything looked a bit too expensive so I never splurged out. The first time I came to continental Europe in the beginning of 2006 however, I decided to give L’Occitane hand cream a try. 6 years and many more hand cream trials afterwards, this remains my go-to product.
Full-size (150 ml/5.2 oz) L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream comes in aluminum tubes, and the minis (usually 30 ml/1 oz) come in plastic ones. I’m not the biggest fan of aluminum tubes, but with a little patience you can squeeze everything out methodologically and effectively. I can’t put my fingers on the smell. It’s a bit “nutty” and a bit flowery perhaps. It doesn’t smell artificial, and unless I keep sniffing my hands I don’t really notice it that much. It contains 20% of shea butter, and the texture is very thick. When I squeeze it out of the tube, the cream actually retains its shape. Once it is warmed up by my hands however, it becomes silky soft. A little goes a long way, and it is absorbed very quickly especially considering how thick it is. I wouldn’t type right after using this cream, but give it 3-5 minutes and it’s fine. It does leave a residue, but it is not greasy or slimy. My hands feel well-moisturized, protected, and soft with this cream. The effect is very long-lasting as well, so I don’t have to reapply every time I wash my hands. A couple of friends who suffer from extremely dry and red hands in winter have bought this after my recommendation, and they were very impressed with the result. I think I have converted them to be members of the L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream cult!
At the end of every year, L’Occitane launches some limited edition scents of the shea butter line. In 2011, it was 3 small hand creams with Cocoa Flower, Hibiscus Flower, and Desert Rose. I am not ALWAYS a big fan of limited edition scents, but I think L’Occitane nailed it in 2011. All three of them smell lovely and protect my hands just as well as the original does. They are still available as far as I can tell, so stock up on a couple of yummy-smelling tubes to get yourselves through this winter!
Good news for my Belgian readers: If you “like” L’Occitane and fill in your information on their Facebook page, you will receive a coupon for a 10-milliliter tube of hand cream. If the page reaches 5000 fans, you will get a 30-milliliter tube instead! The page says the coupons will be sent before February 7th but not when the promotion ends, so I guess you have two weeks to do this.
How about you? What is your go-to hand cream? Have you tried anything L’Occitane?