L’Occitane, a Provence-based company rooted in natural solutions for all skin types (including the most sensitive), offers a popular bestsellers set, which includes one full-sized 20% Shea butter hand cream and an assortment of 8 other skincare and body care products in smaller sizes.
The hand cream itself is a bestseller and has been made famous over the years with it’s cult-like following. The set makes a wonderful gifting option, or a gift to the self, for both new and existing customers. It’s an excellent way to test out a range of items without a hefty price sticker, and with a significant (almost 50%) savings compared to retail value, the set offers a way to experience luxury at a more budget-friendly price point. The additional benefit is the naturally based ingredients that offer benefits to those of varying skin types and concerns, as barring any allergy to the formulation, customers typically benefit from use even with the most sensitive skin types, including topical conditions.
L’Occitanes main corporate headquarters are stationed in France, but the company has expanded rapidly into many countries and seems to be popping up with new store openings all the time, some in very close proximity to one another in urban areas, a la Starbucks. So is the cult-following hype? I wondered if all of the products delivered benefits and lived up to initial performance claims, so I tested out the set and will provide a brief reviews for the products included, as well as some overall positives and negatives regarding the entire item.
We will provide links to the Shea Hand Cream and Almond Shower Oil full reviews, and try to focus on reviewing the other items with further specificity.
The Main Features
The set includes 1 150ml Shea Butter Hand Cream, a bestselling product for its entire category that nourishes and heals dry hands.
The other products found in the set are 1 Immortelle Essential Water 1 fl. oz (skincare), 1 Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam 1.7 fl. oz (skincare), 1 Immortelle Divine Cream 0.14 oz (skincare), 1 Shea Butter Rose Hand Cream 0.3 oz (body care), 1 Shea Butter Foot Cream 0.3 oz (body care), 1 Almond Milk Concentrate 0.66 fl. oz (body care), 1 Almond Shower Oil 1.1 fl. oz (body care), 1 Verbena Shower Gel 1.7 fl. oz (body care), a total value of over $80, at the price of $50. It makes for both a great gifting option when you’re uncertain of the recipients preferences (as to reiterate, it’s suitable for even very sensitive skin), a great gift to the self, and a great option to try out a variety of the bestselling products from the brand at a lower cost. Those who have previously tried the products, like myself, will also enjoy the set and testing out new products as well.
We’ve provided brief reviews for each included product below, as well as links to reviews with further details, for the Shea Butter Hand Cream and Almond Shower Oil:
Immortelle Divine Cream
Considering the company’s marketing efforts and visual merchandising campaigns, you can tell this is a product that offers them some fairly high margins per purchase.
It’s definitely a bit over-hyped by the company, and in terms of a full sized moisturizer, I would likely opt for a competitor product, as I’ve found many others at lower or identical price points that offer the same, if not improved benefits to use.
With that said, it was likely my favorite product included in the set other than the Shea Hand Cream, and I was able to use it for over a full month (with continual use twice daily), which was surprising. It did not break out or irritate my (sensitive) skin, and benefits included improved radiance, restored hydration, improved brightness, and improvements in balance with respect to skin texture. This is a product I would certainly purchase if the full size came at a lower cost, as it did smoothen and soften my skin quite well.
I noticed differences with respect to the overall appearance of any fine lines as well. The product is formulated with Immortelle, for anti-aging benefits, and with continual daily use customers can also expect improvements for concerns such as sun spots and signs of damage or hyper-pigmentation. I would recommend this either in the smaller sized set version for most, and recommend the full size if you really enjoy the benefits of use and can’t find any other product suitable for your skin type or condition.
Precious Cleansing Foam
This cleanser offers a nice foaming texture and provides a gentle and refreshing cleanse, but for women who wear makeup (particularly eye makeup and mascara), it does need to be used daily in conjunction with a toner, as it does not fully remove all eye makeup.
I felt it could have offered a better deep cleanse, while still offering hydrating benefits. Further, the toning product provided seemed to dry the skin with daily use, so the two products weren’t extremely useful. The size of the product is quite generous and it lasts for about 6 weeks. The Immortelle in the products formulation offers anti-aging benefits, including treating signs of fine lines and wrinkles.
While I appreciate that it did not break out my skin or cause any irritation, and has a natural formulation, it could have done a better job by fully cleaning the face and not leaving behind eye makeup.
Immortelle Essential Water (Toner)
While I wanted to love this product, I found it quite drying to my skin (which is already dry). Unfortunately I’ve used too many other suitable toners at a fraction of the cost to consider repurchasing this or to recommend it to anyone with dry skin. The positives? It didn’t break out or irritate my sensitive skin, it may offer benefit to those with oiler or combination complexions, and it removed all of the makeup and grime left behind because of it’s companion cleanser.
Verbena Shower Gel
This shower gel was quite small, but I really enjoyed using it and it left my skin feeling quite hydrated. It doesn’t irritate or dry out the skin at all and is really refreshing, perfect for a morning shower. While I’m not usually a big fan of citrus scents for body products, this lemon scented gel is actually quite natural in odor, and I really enjoyed it. If you’re someone who loves citrus and lemon scents, or invigorating morning showers, I’d definitely recommend this product in it’s full size (which is moderately priced). If you run from anything that smells of lemon or it reminds you of cleaning products, this probably isn’t your best bet.
I personally prefer the sweeter scent of the Almond Shower Oil, but this one is nice as well.
Almond Milk Concentrate (Body Cream)
This product is amazing! It offers benefits of soothing the skin, leaving it refreshed and supple, and it’s perfect when used after a shower using the Almond Shower Oil. The scent is lovely, it is light and sweet, just like fresh sweet almonds. I think most would really enjoy the scent of this product, which doesn’t have any chemical or perfume-type odor. It really refreshes dry skin without feeling greasy or sticky at all. Leaves the skin like butter, and I would consider purchasing a full size, although it is quite pricey in the full sized version.
My only qualm is in wanting the sizing larger, but admittedly I could have used this a bit more conservatively.
Rose 20% Shea Hand Cream
This is similar to the original formulation, with slightly less Shea (5%). It offers all of the same traditional benefits to use and soothes and protects the hands, treating any rough or dry areas quite well. The rose scent is lovely, and I don’t traditionally like rose scented products. This is more comparable to natural fresh rosebuds than it is to any type of rose perfume product, and the fragrance doesn’t have any chemical or perfume-type odor to it.
While I don’t have dry feet as a general concern, I did want to test out the product for a full review. I was anticipating a really greasy texture as I’ve experienced with other foot creams previously, but was quite happy to find using the product was actually quite nice. My feet felt extremely soft, and it wasn’t at all sticky or greasy. It doesn’t have an odor (other than a very slight smell of Shea), which I like, as I wouldn’t want to use a scented foot cream.
You may read the Almond Shower Oil full review here.
You may read the Shea Butter Hand Cream full review here.
Positives and Negatives
While I found great use and benefits with the included products, and felt the kit offered good value compared to cost, there are a couple of areas of improvement. I felt the skincare and body care products (excluding the cleanser and toner) could have been larger and didn’t offer much longevity even with conservative use, and the toner is a bit drying for those with dryer skin types. I also felt the cleanser could have offered a bit of a deeper clean, it’s definitely best used in conjunction with a daily toner.
But in terms of positives, I loved the scented hand creams, shower products, and the moisturizer was lovely.
- Makes an excellent gifting option and includes body product, facial product, and plenty of overall variety
- Products are all suitable for sensitive skin, and all skin types, and provide excellent benefits including restored hydration, brightening, and softened skin
- Products all contain high quality naturally based ingredients, and are all free of any parabens or sulfates
- Cruelty-free company: company does not test on animals or use any animal product during manufacturing processes (excluding beeswax, which is not found in any of the products included in the set)
- The set offers a range of products to try if you’re interested in one but not ready to spring for the cost of a full sized item
- Savings: the set retails for $53, a discount of almost 50%, and includes a full sized Shea butter hand cream as well as 8 other smaller, travel friendly options
- Excellent for travel, other than the hand cream all products are suitable to carry on, or toss in a purse or gym bag
- Products provide anti-aging benefits, and fully restore hydration to the skin
- While it doesn’t come cheap, $50 certainly provides a great value and an average savings of about $35, including a full sized Shea cream
- Products did not cause any breakouts, redness, or irritation
- The bestselling hand cream provides excellent longevity and benefits with use, especially for those with dry or rough hands, or who work in fields that require frequent handwashing
- The shower products are quite small (only slightly larger than you’d find in a hotel), which doesn’t provide any longevity even with conservative use
- Cost: even with great value to retail, this is still a moderately priced item for its category, and some may find the range a bit too high, dependent on gifting needs or personal preferences
- Toner was a bit drying, those with very dry skin may prefer to opt for a more hydrating option or the brands Shea toner formulation instead, but this did not ruin the entire set for me, because the other products were great
L’Occitane has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, this policy favors the customer, both new and preexisting, including if the item was given as a gift. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the products, or if they do not work for your skin to provide suitable benefits, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulations, you may elect to return the entire set. In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the item. You may also wish to exchange the product for an equal and full refund- or opt for a single product you prefer.
One must bear in mind that you will need to return the entire set, as individual items within the kit are not available for return. I was happy to discover all of the products in this set were suitable for my sensitive skin, as I’ve had different kits in the past with one or two items I could not use, and would usually not return the entire set if I liked most of the items. The company provides naturally based formulations suitable for sensitive skin, which may assuage fears, and gifts are eligible for exchange or credit as a recipient.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, while there are products that could have performed better, overall the set offered great value and felt like an at-home-spa type treatment. This makes a really lovely gifting option as well, and is safe and suitable for sensitive skincare, making it a good option if you are uncertain of the recipients preferences or complexion type. Even those with topical conditions can typically safely use the products without any irritation, barring any allergy. I would recommend the set to those new to the brand (or returning) who are seeking some product variety at a lower cost to retail value as well. If you enjoy the cleanser and toner, it makes the set even more valuable as they are sized quite generously for smaller/travel options. I felt the cleanser and toner could have been improved, but those with oiler or combination types seeking anti-aging benefits would probably enjoy them more. The body care products are lovely, and all contain natural fragrances, which are not overly perfumed and don’t smell artificial.
Overall, I would recommend this set, it isn’t perfect but certainly makes a lovely gifting option and it’s a great way to try out a full product range.