I went to a wedding yesterday (big congrats to Dimples and Mrs Dimples) and as part of the preparation leading to the big day I exfoliated my body every other day for a week because, I wore a dress, which was not a maxi dress, without tights! This is quite a rare occurrence for me so the necessary preparation was…well…necessary.
Exfoliating is one of my favourite body procedures I have very dry skin on my body from the waist down and normal to dry skin from the waist up so I really need an exfoliator that is
- gentle yet effective,
- does not feel like you are rubbing sandpaper against your skin and
- does not leave your skin feeling or looking drier that a cream cracker.
L’Occitane is a staple in my cupboard for its shea butter range. The hand cream, the 25% shea butter cream and the 5% shea body lotion are products that I buy in bulk. It was not until very recently however that I dipped my toe into the almond range. I say I dipped my toe… in truth, it was only one product that I tried – the Almond Shower Oil. The first time I tried it, I did not like it because, I decided that it smelt like marzipan, which is a smell that makes me nauseous. The truth is that it does not smell like marzipan, and this is probably to do with the fact that it contains more grape seed oil then almond oil (yes really!) A couple of showers later, I was able to verify that the smell is not of the dreaded stuff, and whilst I cannot confirm that it smells like the blossom of an almond tree – having never smelt that, the fragrance is not overpowering, and more importantly, it left my skin very hydrated. So it is now a regular in my bathroom.
Anyway, back to the exfoliator – it comes in a tube, which is great because with a tub you need to dip your fingers into it or use the spatula, wooden spoon type thing that often comes with such products. It is always a faff to use these in the shower in my opinion so the tube is welcomed. This is also the kind of tube that is easy to cut open with a scissors which means that you really can get every last globule of the product. The product does not have a lid, rather the same open and closing sliding mechanism that is found on the 500ml of the shower oil. The benefit of this is that it is easy to manipulate in the shower with hands covered in product and you don’t have to worry about the product drying out as a result of you not having closed the lid properly. This product does not smell anything like the shower oil. There is a freshness about it – it does not have an ‘oil’ smell, not at all intense and smells in the shower like it does in the tube.
L’Occitane describe the texture of this product as a jelly. I suppose if you eat your jelly before it has set, then yes, that would be an accurate description, but I don’t so I would say it is more like the consistence of a good quality conserve (think Bon Mamon). It would run off the back of a spoon, as opposed to falling off it with a thud. The consistency is excellent for a ‘quick’ shower, you don’t feel like you need to melt it/ work it between your hands before you apply it to the body. That said, if you want to spend more time rubbing the product over the skin there is plenty of slip to work with.
The granular element of the scrub comes from crushed almond shells. The grains are not gritty, they feel round/ smooth when applied to the skin but not smooth like they are not doing anything. When you apply it to the skin, the product does not foam, but is does emulsify into an oily milk so you feel like you are cleaning your skin as well as exfoliating. there are some products which are clearing exfoliating without this element which for a shower product I think is important. This product rinses off the skin very easily. Am I the only person that occasionally finds exfoliating grains from the day before under my armpit? Not with this one – as the texture is not oily, there is no residue on the skin for the grains to stick to. A real bonus if you are hirsute. After towel drying my skin it definitely did not feel dry or tight. I would never skip the application of a body moisturizer/oil/cream/butter etc but there may be people for whom this is an option. L’Occitane say that you can use this everyday, but I did not do that because I felt like it would be too much activity for my skin, but I did alternate it with the Almond Shower Oil which have proved to be really effective on my crocodile scales dry skin on my legs. The other thing that I did which was lovely was to add the exfoliator to the shower oil and shower with that. Lovely for a mini, less intensive exfoliating treatment , great on the backs of the hands and excellent for last-minute leg shaving… which is what I did yesterday morning prior to the wedding.