Treat Yourself to a French Spa Day-at-Home with L’Occitane en Provence

Treat Yourself to a French Spa Day-at-Home with L’Occitane en Provence

One of the hardest parts of this pandemic—besides the very obvious hardest parts, of course—is missing out on travel abroad. For me, traveling to another country is technically very easy, since I live in what is called the “Three Country Corner,” that little southern tip of Germany that borders on both Switzerland and France. In fact, traveling to France was an annual tradition in my family, since my parents are long-time Francophiles. Especially Provence, that almost quintessentially French region in the southeast of the country, has been their favorite holiday destination for many decades now, and I know it breaks their hearts not being able to go this year.

If you’ve ever seen those vast, lilac-blue fields of lavender on Instagram, where influencers love to frolic in their brand-sponsored gowns (to the dismay of the local farmers, mind you), you know why Provence has always captured the senses of travelers near and far. For most Americans, Paris is the ultimate French destination, but for us Germans, France is mostly about charming rural villages, beautiful beaches, and stunning nature. In contrast, my only lingering memory of Paris is that our car got stolen overnight, with most of our luggage inside. Quelle dommage!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

It was during one of our summer holidays in southern France that I first became aware of natural French beauty brand L’Occitane. Their charmingly homemade-looking packaging and delicious-smelling products left a strong impression on teenage-me whenever we browsed the local gift shops. Back then, L’Occitane was everywhere in France, but hardly anywhere outside of the country, and I’d always had a thing for discovering beauty products that were new, foreign, and different.

I distinctly remember an incredible L’Occitane sugar scrub with almond oil and lemon pulling me to it. Part of me still agonizes over the fact that I had to walk away eventually, because my very German and thus very practical stepmother reminded me repeatedly that there was no need for spending my pocket money on something so frivolous. It had a tiny wooden shovel to scoop out the grainy sugar scrub from its glass jar—how on earth did I manage to resist this lemon-scented magic concoction back then and walk out of the shop empty-handed?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

Over the years, L’Occitane went from a niche brand known mostly to European vacationers to a global success story of epic proportions, with stores scattered all over the globe. It is fascinating to think how far this regional natural beauty brand has come, given its humble origins. Founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan, the name “L’Occitane” derives from the medieval region of “Occitania,” which consisted of an area that is now part of Spain, Italy, and southern France. The distinct-sounding Occitan language still is spoken in these parts, though sparsely so.

Baussan founded L’Occitane, today officially known as L’Occitane en Provence, out of a desire to celebrate and promote the natural beauty and cultural traditions of his native region Provence. At only 23 years old, Baussan started the success story of L’Occitane by selling rosemary and lavender essential oils at local Provençal farmers markets. He steam distilled these essential oils with traditional methods customary in Provence, using locally sourced plants only. In 1981, Baussan added soap making to his skills—the brand still produces gorgeous soaps made from shea butter and natural oils to this day.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

If your heart yearns for the stunning splendors of Provence and its endless lavender fields, and if scrumptious beauty products for a head-to-toe spa feel are your thing, check out these select favorites which, incidentally, also make excellent gifts!

 

L’Occitane Shower Oil

This luxurious, rich shower oil is an all-time favorite of mine, especially now that the colder season has arrived. While my face tends to be oily, the rest of my body is usually on the verge of being dry, with colder weather usually forcing me to grab shower oils or creams over the more drying shower gels.

Not only does the L’Occitane Shower Oil smell absolutely heavenly—like almond confectionary but without being too sugary sweet—it also helps to keep skin moisturized and supple thanks to a mix of almond, grape seed, and sunflower oil.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

 

L’Occitane Supple Skin Oil

This is another bestseller from L’Occitane’s Almond body care range that I am incredibly fond of either solo or as a companion to their shower oil. These two just pair up perfectly, giving dry skin a deeply nourishing pampering.

Rich in skin-smoothing and repairing linoleic acids, sweet almond oil is among the most skin-friendly oils, usually tolerated well even on baby skin. The Supple Skin Oil feels like a warm hug after a long bath or far too short shower, and I tend to use it when I feel like I just need an extra treat after a less than stellar day. It has that same delicious marzipan smell as the shower oil, and like most body oils, works best when massaged into slightly damp skin.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

 

L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil

Immortelle Divine is L’Occitane’s luxury anti-aging line, which utilizes the magical powers of the immortelle plant in its “Immortelle Super Extract,” said to work similarly to retinol in terms of skin-smoothing and combating fine lines. Immortelle means “immortal” in French, since this yellow flower with a strong, herbal honey smell was said to be ever-blooming. L’Occitane uses organic immortelle flowers harvested on the island of Corsica for its Divine Youth Oil, which has a beautifully deep, golden color and is a luscious blend of wild rose seed, borage, evening primrose, and sea buckthorn oil, packed with antioxidants and moisturizing fatty acids.

You can either use the oil as an extra step in your routine (best applied right after your hydrating serum, when skin is still a bit damp), or mix a drop or two with your nighttime moisturizer.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

 

L’Occitane Rich Body Lotion

The L’Occitane karité, or shea butter, skin care products are cult favorites, with many celebrity endorsers. L’Occitane was one of the first brands in Europe to use shea butter in their products, collaborating with farming projects in Burkina Faso to fairly and sustainably source this magic nut butter, which is a fantastic emollient for both skin and hair.

The L’Occitane Rich Body Lotion is great for people who, like me, aren’t fond of thick body creams but still need richness and nourishment. This milky lotion leaves a velvety feel on the skin and thankfully sinks in without that annoying sticky film richer balms tend to leave behind. It smells nutty and earthy, a natural and subtle scent.

 

L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm

Most people know L’Occitane from their famous hand creams in those charming metal tubes, loved by a number of celebrities (and quite a few of my non-famous family members). This thick yet silky hand salve is a godsend if you suffer from dry, cracked hands—and, well, who doesn’t, thanks to constant, manic hand-washing and disinfecting!

The Intensive Hand Balm just does everything right: its super rich texture soothes inflamed skin and manages to smooth even the driest of hands thanks to its 25% organic shea butter, and there is minimal waiting time before you can use your hands again after applying the balm. Pro hack: this also works wonders on rough skin patches such as elbows and knees!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE en Provence (@loccitane) on

 

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

This site is using software to reduce spam. Learn how our comment data is processed. Privacy Policy

%d bloggers like this: