There's a whole lot of hype surrounding French pharmacy brands. Of course, the French beauty aesthetic is a lot more diverse than that typical stereotype gives credit to, but there's something about French skin care brands that you just automatically trust. Quite often, such as in the case of Avene and Nuxe, the brands are steeped in history and heritage and offer simple (but good quality) skin care that does exactly what you need it to—no fluff.
And that's exactly the case when it comes to L'Occitane, the Provence-born skin care and body range. I've always had a bit of an affinity for the brand, quite possibly because my Aunt always keeps her bathrooms stocked with its Verbena hand wash and cream, but it's definitely worth shining a light on some of its skin care formulas, too.
Founded: Founded by Olivier Baussan in 1976
Based In: Manosque, France
Best Known For: Luxurious French skin and body care
Most Popular Product: Immortelle Divine Youth Oil, Almond Milk Concentrate
Fun Fact: L'Occitane was the first major skincare brand to include braille on their packaging
Other Brands You’ll Love: Origins, Kiehl's, NUXE, and La Roche-Posay
Just like its peers, L'Occitane has hunted out some of the most effective ingredients this earth (immortelle flower, I'm referring to you) has to offer skin and funneled them into sumptuous formulas you'll actually enjoy using. Basically, L'Occitane offers so much more than hand soap, although it is a pretty brilliant hand soap at that.
This is the perfect partner for a jade roller. L'Occitane's oil contains immortelle (an antioxidant powerhouse flower from Corsica) to battle environmental damage and give skin that healthy sheen we're all after.
On hot, sunny days, all you want to do is splash cold water on your face. Well, this is the skin care equivalent without the mess. Keep the pot in the fridge so that when you apply the gel to the face, its hyaluronic acid and calcium-rich water practically soak the face in moisture. It's so refreshing.
This body lotion is like smothering your body in an almond latte—that's how good it smells. It isn't too buttery or rich, either, meaning it sinks in without much fuss at all.
Instead of being suspended in a gel or cream, these chunky salt flakes simply come in a blend of nourishing oils, so their scrubby power isn't compromised. The grains buff away dead skin cells (and both get washed down the plughole), but the oils cling on to the skin long after you get out of the shower, meaning you could skip the body lotion step if you so wanted.
Like an ultra-heavyweight cream, this mask is best suited for skin in need of some serious repair. It contains essential oils, moisturizing agents and vitamins A and E to firm up skin's defenses to limit moisture loss in the future.
A hand cream that actually works—not one of these waifs whose moisture lasts no more than ten minutes. Since it contains shea butter, it melts tougher patches of skin and smells heavenly (think jasmine and ylang-ylang).
Yes, the brand does perfume too! Terre de Lumiére has all the sweetness of honey and almond, the creaminess of tonka bean, the weight of amber and the spice of pink pepper. It's delicious.
I suppose the only question to ask now is, "Where exactly to start?"