A few months ago, I began exploring ‘better’ beauty products with a nod to healthier brands – brands that care about wellness in beauty products, or are environmentally conscious, use ‘good’ or green ingredients and are high performance, i.e. when you use them you see results! I found a few companies I think are quite special. I’ll be posting new brand write-ups as time goes on.
Beloved L’Occitane, based in France, is an international retailer of fragrances, body, face, and home products. In 1976, the company was founded in Provence, France by 23-year-old Olivier Baussan after he learned to use steam distillation to produce essential oil from wild rosemary and lavender. You’ve probably see L’Occitane boutiques as they are over 3000 stores in 90 countries world-wide although they are online and easily available. L’Occitane has an inspiring range of beautiful skincare products from cleansers, mists, eye care, serums, creams, lotions and moisturizers. The brand is also well known for their bath and body care products such as their iconic bar soaps, shower oils, and their best-selling lavender hand cream. I’ve used various L’Occitane products for years, relying of them, albeit somewhat pricey, for quality ingredients, environment ethicality and the overall sensibility of the brand. For one thing, nothing smells artificial or too single-note. Since its inception L’Occitane has created natural, subtle and uplifting fragrances for each of their products. Think of a spa and add some French cachet (i.e. sophistication) and you get an idea of the subtle elegance of L’Occitane. I interviewed the company recently and here are my responses. Below you will then read some of my reviews and/or comments on the products I tried (that I would definitely purchase again).
Since l’Occitane began, has the centering philosophy about the product line or brand changed or morphed?
L”Occitane keeps its values front and center and has since the brand’s inception in 1976. Our philosophies and values have stayed true but we’re also constantly evolving, and we keep a close eye on what is current in the beauty industry (while keeping sustainability and product innovation at the forefront of our brand ethos). We are constantly looking for new, environmentally conscious ways to deliver high quality products to our consumers, and have a goal that by 2025, 100% of the brands’ bottles will be made with recyclable plastic. We always ethically source high-quality ingredients at the heart of our brand, and work with local experts to each region, in partnership with them. 100% of our Shea Butter is purchased from over 40,000 local, female operatives in Burkina Faso and Ghana. We want our customers to feel good about the products they are using.
How does Occitane view the new ‘wellness and self-care movement vis a vis their products? (Since this is part and parcel of their identity before the trends)
L’Occitane was founded in the Mediterranean ‘art-de-vivre’ (art of life sensibility) and looks to provide Provence-region inspired products that uplift the senses. Every single product is formulated to be a sensorial experience with self-care and personally-tailored routines using the products. Customers gravitate towards scents/products that are based on mood: lavender to relax, verbena to invigorate or almond to entice. Textures melt into the skin whether they are velvety face moisturizers or lightweight oils and no matter what the season, there’s something for every skin care type and need.
What is the difference between the face oils and serums?
Face oils are more for targeted moisturization while serums are targeting a particular concern. Both the Divine Youth Oil and Divine Serum are super charged with our Immortelle Essential oil and are natural alternatives to retinol, a popular anti-aging ingredient. Our Divine Youth Oil is non greasy and boosts radiance (without retinol). The Divine Serum focuses on wrinkles, fine lines and with the immortelle essential oil we had hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin. You can use both for a radiant glow.
Does l’Occitane focus on a certain age group (anti-aging or better ingredient products) OR its own unchanging philosophy? (I ask this because the brand seems ahead of the current trends)
L’Occitane doesn’t focus on a certain age group and we are currently expanding our line for the whole family. There are certain products lines that target advanced signs of aging but also preventing aging or first signs of aging and we match products offering different ranges to ensure there’s something for everyone no matter where they are on their skincare journey.
In recent years, what are top 5 sellers?
Almond Shower Oil
Shea Hand Cream
Almond Supple Skin Oil
I worked with the following products one-by-one and am set to double-down and re-purchase when I run out especially with the Reset Serum, Milk Concentrate with Almond Milk, Immortelle Divine and the Immortelle Eye Cream. You see a difference with all these products but the fragrances are captivating and gentle or subtle and the performance is clearly there but in a very gentle way on the skin. L’Occitane used to be considered pricey but with so many new brands in the marketplace all equally pricey that has positioned L’Occitane as an average priced quality line. The products last a long time and you actually feel you’re doing your skin good. The packaging is also so exceptional it adds the luxury self-care experience. For more reviews, check YouTube where many influencers review each product and the reviews are unanimous: worth every sou!
I didn’t review these because I’ve long used these products but be sure to check out L’Occitane hand creams with shea butter, their almond hair shampoo and conditioner, their lavender bar soap and their liquid soaps. The company often has sales and promotions and if you buy certain products that can be refilled you’ll save yet more money.
Milk Concentrate with Almond Milk
If all you did was inhale this cream it would do wonders. The texture of this head-to-toe body product is between a whipped moisturizer and a cream and it sinks into your grateful skin, leaving a silken surface that lasts all day. Overtime, I noticed my skin stayed softer between applications. A staple.
L’Occitane Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum (and Reset Eye Serum)
L’Occitane Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum is formulated for all ages and skin types, and is said to help smooth fine lines and promote youthful radiance. In fact, Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum is claimed to “reset your skin in just one night”. I found my skin did look radiant and after a week really showed a difference. The Overnight Reset Eye Serum smoothed out lines and made the under-eye skin look dewy. One of the few eye creams I can tolerate.
Immortelle Divine Serum, Immortelle Divine Cream
This is one of the most luxurious in the L’Occitane range. The Immortelle Divine Cream features a beautiful ingredient banquet of their gentler retinol-alike botanicals and other good things, along with vitamin C and hydronic acid. No wonder it works so well!
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