Occasionally I pick up a product that is so instantly great it moves from ‘newbie’ to ‘staple’ almost immediately. Such a thing happened with L’Occitane’s Ultra Rich Face Cream and so rapid was the transition that I completely forgot to feature it in the Natural Beauty Cabinet.
The truth is, it was an absolute godsend through most of the January/February winter doldrums and on into the moisture-leeching changeable weather of early spring.
While the ingredients list isn’t as virtuous as some other products I’ve tested, the hero here is the 25% shea butter.
Shea butter comes from the pressed nuts of the African Shea (Karite) tree. It has fantastic hydrating properties, helping to seal moisture in the skin without blocking pores. It’s also an excellent skin softener, helping to plump up very dry or dehydrated skin, as well as nourishing skin with vitamins A and E.
The L’Occitane cream is pretty rich and thick in texture but it’s non-greasy and absorbs quickly. I find it leaves me with a healthy glow that really couldn’t be called shiny at all. It’s also an excellent base for make-up with impressive, long-lasting moisturising effects. (No dry skin patches at the end of the day.) However, if your skin is more normal than dry, you might prefer the lighter product in the range – Shea Ultra Gentle Moisturiser, which contains 8% shea.
It’s a big thumbs up for the expanded L’Occitane shea range but I’m also left with a hankering to find out more about what else I can do with shea butter; particularly the raw, unrefined, organic variety that you can both slather on or eat, depending on your preference. So in the interests of pursuing the simplest option, I’m going to get hold of some shea butter, research some suppliers and report back in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, if your skin is struggling with the transition from cold to warm, check out L’Occitane’s range, available from L’Occitane stores nationwide and their website. The Ultra Rich Face Cream costs £30 but it’s currently reduced to £26.55 on Debenham’s website and available for £27 on the John Lewis website.
Ingredients (L’Occitane – please put these on your website!!): Aqua/water**, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)**, dicaprlyl carbonate, glycerin**, corn starch modified, cetearyl alcohol**, dimethicone, glyceryl stearate**, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) extract**, PEG-100 stearate, sorbitol**, sodium PCA**, castanea sativa (chesnut) seed extract**, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil**, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract**, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide**, xantan gum, ceteareth-33, phenoxyethanol, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, ethylhexylglycerin, benzoic acid, tetrasodium EDTA, Trisodium NTA, dehydroacetic acid, tocopherol**, polysorbate-60**, sorbitan isostearate**, polyaminopropyl biguanide, parfum/fragrance, benzyl alcohol, alpha-isomethyl ionone, hexyl cinnamal, benzyl benzoate**, linalool**, citronellol**, coumarin**, limonene**, geraniol**
**Natural origin ingredients