Monday, 15 March 2010

L'Occitane hand creams

I panic if I realise I've left the house without hand cream. A bit like my lip balm obsession, I am always finding half finished tubes of hand cream in handbags or random drawers around the house. I hate to have dry hands and I always find the soap available in public loos, the office and restaurants seems to strip so much moisture from my hands. I also like to wash my hands a lot as I use public transport every day and I've seen what people put on seats, handrails and the like. Urgh.

After years of trial and error, I've found my favourite hand creams are those from L'Occitane. I find them to be rich, non greasy, nourishing and they smell gorgeous. My absolute favourite handbag standby is the travel size of the Shea Butter Hand Cream.

This cream is incredibly thick yet a small amount is enouch to cover the front and back of my hands and immediately soften the skin. It absorbs well and feels as though it protects my hands from cold weather and general dehydration and it smells a bit like baby powder to me - very delicate and a bit sweet. I've bought individual tubes but they also come as part of gift sets occasionally and I even acquired one tube as a free gift with a magazine last year.

I also always keep a tube of hand cream on my bedside table and (at least) one on my desk at work. I do try other brands from time to time - Burt's Bees is good but comes in a jar, which I hate, Liz Earle's is also good, but I find the fragrance a bit strong - but I always return to L'Occitane.

Also rich in shea butter, but not as heavy duty and thick as the one above, the Honey & Lemon Hand Cream is a real pampering treat. The cream can be squeezed from the tube in a thin ribbon from the lovely gold twist cap and it feels silky upon application. Again it is absorbed quickly and moisturises well but one of the real pleasures of using it is the scent. The sweeteness of the honey is curbed by a tart citrus hit and it will easily fragrance the room in which you apply it, though it is not headache-inducing.

Once I'd used a full tube of the Honey & Lemon - and it lasted for at least four months of daily applications at work - I decided to check out the other fragrances to see if they were all as delicious.

I toyed with Lavender, Cherry Blossom and Rose 4 Reines (which I succumbed to in the travel size as a handbag back up) but once I smelled the Green Tea Hand Cream, the hunt was over. This cream has the same silky moisturising qualities as the Honey & Lemon but the fragrance is even better, in my opinion. It is light, refreshing and sweet with a bitter undertone of  leaf tea. As with the Lemon & Honey it wafts around the room and every time I apply it at work, someone will comment on the delicious smell. The fragrance then lingers on your hands which means you get wafts of it every now and then.

Pricing info and the creams themselves (along with others) are all available from the L'Occitane website though I've always bought from freestanding shops or concessions in Department stores. The travel size shea butter tubes are really worth a try, though I can't vouch for how well they'd work on sensitive skin or those with eczema. What works well for me might not for someone else. L'Occitane are pretty generous with sample sachets though.

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