L'Occitane Shea Butter Mini Tin (available here - $10) - Take-along tin of 100% Shea Butter hydrates and protects lips, face, cuticles and hands. This powerful moisturizer is retrieved from the fruit of African Shea trees, and celebrated world-wide for encouraging cellular renewal and repairing the hydrolipidic film, thereby softening, soothing and comforting skin. Non-irritating; suitable for men, women and children.
Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) is one of the most raved-about skincare products: From lipglosses to moisturizers to soaps and haircare, a number of brands boast this miracle ingredient in their list (where in the list of ingredients it figures is a whole different story!). Anti-inflammatory, emollient, humectant, and believed to have a natural SPF of about 6-8, this is a must-try for a dry-skinned person like me. When I found this small tin of pure shea butter at L'Occitane, I just had to buy it.
It is a mini/tiny/small tin - how much space would 8 mL need?? - and the amount of product you get is about as much as in an average lip balm. L'Occitane's shea butter is organically sourced, and I suspect it is refined since there is no specific mention about this being unrefined. I like how L'Occitane places a little paper disk on the product - I have a paranoid feeling that someone might have touched the product before me, and this sort of reassures me it's fresh and pristine :P :P
L'Occitane Pure Shea Butter - ReviewOn to the product itself, the L'Occitane Pure Shea Butter is creamish-ivory coloured and unscented. The consistency is waxy and hard - not really the most spreadable moisturizer out there - it's almost like cold butter though a tad softer than that. L'Occitane recommends taking a bit and rubbing it between the palms to warm it up so it's easier to apply. I find it easier to just scrape out a little at a time and apply it directly on to my skin. Unlike so many moisturizers containing shea butter that I have tried, pure shea butter itself is remarkably nongreasy. It takes some massaging to rub it into the skin, but it disappears almost completely without leaving any visible greasy residue. You can feel it on your skin, but you won't see the greasy shine. You don't need a lot of product - much lesser than with regular creams - and this small tin itself could last up to a month depending on your usage.
How to Use L'Occitane Pure Shea ButterFrom skin to hair, there are a lot of ways to use shea butter. While shea butter is supposed to work wonders for dry hair, I really couldn't figure out how to rub this into my hair. It's kind of sticky and not the easiest to rub into hair! If you do have dry hair and are looking for something to smooth it down a little and tame those fly-aways, this is a nice option - rub a small amount between your palms and pat on to your hair. I use this mostly as a hand/foot cream and on my elbows. It does take a bit of an effort to rub this in, but my winter-dried feet have shown a drastic improvement ever since I started using this. Since shea butter is not so greasy, I find this a perfect hand cream to use any time of the day, and it works wonders on my elbows and cuticles. A lot of people claim this is perfect for using on the face too, especially because of it's antioxidant properties, but being acne-prone as I am, that is not something I am planning to try any time soon.
While I love having added L'Occitane Pure Shea Butter to my skincare routine, there are a couple of things to think of if you do want to give this a try:
- Shelf life: I think L'Occitane claims about 1 year after opening, but in my opinion, this would actually vary depending on a lot of factors like humidity, whether you use your hands or a spatula, heat, etc. My tin is hardly a month old, and I can already detect a faint buttery smell that I hadn't noticed earlier. It's not yet rancid, but I won't give it more than a month or two to reach there. This is one reason why I would only be repurchasing the small tin and not the more economical larger tin. Buy a larger quantity only if you are sure of using this up by the mega scoops.
- L'Occitane makes this in only two sizes - this mini size and the extra-huge tin that retails for about $40. Even if I do overlook the disproportionate pricing (most trial sizes are costlier), I do wish there was an intermediate size. I don't need much product since I use it only for my hands and feet, and I don't want to stock up on too much and have it go rancid either.
- The smell or the lack of it! I know unscented products are the best for sensitive skin, but I do like a bit of fragrance in my skincare, so I would probably try out Orange-Honey or Vineyard Rose pure shea butters (contain about 95% shea butter).
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