Whip It Real Good With New L’Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Collection
In October, to toast the 20th anniversary of its now iconic Shea Butter collection of bath and body products, French brand L’Occitane introduced a new line of offerings with the same DNA as their shea-based predecessors but with a lighter, airier texture: the L’Occitane Whipped Shea Butter collection. The three-piece collection was inspired by a specific stage within the ritual of processing karité nuts and churning them into a buttery paste, a task performed by the collective of women in Burkina Faso who have produced shea butter for L’Occitane for two decades (a wonderful business relationship that has facilitated the economic self-empowerment of these women). During this stage, these shea butter harvesters whip the substance extracted from the crushed kernels inside the karité nuts until it develops a mousse-like texture. With that in mind, then, L’Occitane sought to emulate that ethereal texture in its Whipped Shea Butter collection, all the while retaining the nourishing properties and the distinctive jasmine- and ylang-ylang tinged aroma of the line’s predecessor.
The range consists of three products: the L’Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam ($20 at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com); the L’Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Body Cream ($24 at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com); and the L’Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream ($12 at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com).
I personally never found the products in the L’Occitane Shea Butter collection to be too viscous, thick, or rich in their consistency — or, for that matter, to feel too heavy or greasy on the skin. But, by the same token, I think given the hectic pace of modern life, there’s something alluring about the prospect of a product that can melt right into the skin quickly, with a very minimal amount of effort being exerted. I also figured the Whipped Shea Butter collection products would be useful when in more humid climates or even during the steamy summer months, when I tend to recoil at the thought of any moisturizer that’s velvety or buttery.
The L’Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Shea Foam is a lightweight cleanser with a frothy texture reminiscent of the foam atop a cappuccino. The airy, floating-on-air consistency is surprising for a shower gel. In fact, when you pump out the cleanser, you might be reminded of the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam face cleanser (one of my all-time favorites) because of the delicate and feather-weight feel. That said, it does accomplish the desired feat of gently cleansing the skin. When you massage it onto the body, creating a lather, you’ll instantly detect the delicate powdery aroma and, once you rinse the cleanser off, your skin won’t feel parched because the shea moisture content allows the skin to retain its moisture. That said, whenever I feel like I need a deep cleanse — like when I’ve had a particularly intense workout, for instance — I find that this shower foam doesn’t feel intense enough, so I do tend to opt for a thicker, more gel-like option in those instances. It might just be a sensory predisposition but because this cleanser has such a frothy texture, I feel like I’m relying on air to remove dirt, oil, and grime. Sure, from a logical perspective, I know that this isn’t the case, but I still prefer the feel of a gel-like body wash. At times, I’ll cleanse with another body wash and then finish off with the Shea Butter Whipped Shea Foam to give my skin a bit of a treat in that final showering stage.
For me, then, the star product in this array is the Shea Butter Whipped Body Cream, which has a 10% shea butter concentration. Everything about this moisturizer is delectable — the soft powdery but vanilla-tinged aroma, the ultra-light texture (it literally melts into the skin so that you barely have to rub it in at all!), and the mousse-like consistency. When you apply this body cream, your skin is left feeling soft and supple, and there’s no filmy or greasy residue whatsoever. These qualities can likely be attributed to the slightly lower concentration of shea butter (5% less) and to the presence of such ingredients as sunflower seed oil, which has a chemical composition that mirrors that of the human sebum, thereby allowing it to penetrate the skin rapidly.
The standard L’Occitane Shea Butter Body Lotion can feel a bit too heavy initially— at least for a 10-15 minute period — while all of the ingredients are fully absorbed by the skin. But, at the same time, it provides instant relief for those with cracked, chapped, itchy, achy skin and it strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, locking in that much-needed hydration. Again, I have incredibly dry skin, so I found the standard L’Occitane Shea Butter Body Lotion to be fine in terms of its consistency, but I do know many consumers who said they wished it weren’t so dense — and this product should answer their prayers. That said, because the Whipped Body Cream is so light, you’re likely to use more of it to hydrate the skin, which means you’ll run out of cream pretty fast. I went through a 2.46 oz. tin in two weeks’ time! I wish the tin were slightly larger — that’s probably my only gripe (and wanting more of a great thing hardly classifies as a problem!). For day-to-day use, this has become my go-to moisturizer, but I will admit that, when it’s bitter cold outside, I prefer using the standard Shea Butter Body Cream, which feels more buttery and indulgent, like it’s hugging my parched skin after it was slapped around a bit by the arctic chill.
Last but not least, there’s the Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream, which is also delightful. When you first squeeze out the lotion, you’ll notice the product looks like whipped cream, right down to the swirled shape. It’s pretty amazing how light the texture of this hand cream is given that it has a 25% concentration of shea butter — which is 5% more than the standard L’Occitane Hand Cream. And, again, it features the same crowd-pleasing scent, which isn’t overly saccharine, zesty, or otherwise overwhelming.
Ready to whip it?