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L’Occitane haul: A review

 

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Around four or five months ago I was looking for a paraben-free exfoliator to replace my previous drugstore find. I mean, I know I said I’m not going to go completely gaga over parabens and suddenly forgo everything that contains the much-tabooed ingredient in the cosmetics industry, but it’s best to protect ourselves when we know we can, right?

So I went to one of my favorite stores and give L’Occitane’s Immortelle line a try to handle my pore problems. I’ve been an avid user of their fragrances for years that it only seems natural for me to peek at their skincare products. After all, I’ve been enjoying the eye balm for almost a year now. The new one on the pictures was a repeat buy.

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Touted for improving the skin’s overall complexion, I decided to go for the Immortelle Brightening Instant Exfoliator (IDR 470,000), not just to reduce the everyday appearance of my huge pores, but also to manage my skin tone as well. Whenever I’m having my PMS week, my skin tends to become more sensitive. There’s also the issue with itchy red spots that occasionally appear out of nowhere.

So why am I so convinced to invest nearly half a million rupiahs on this particular exfoliator? Well, it was tested1.

26 women were put to the test for 4 weeks, applying the Immortelle Brightening Instant Exfoliator for 2 to 3 times a week. The immediate results are a smoother, softer, and much purified skin for 100% of the women. At the end of the test, 92% of the women see a more even complexion, 100% experience a more luminous face, and 88% of them see reduced wrinkles.

I was a bit skeptical before I knew it was dermatologically tested. I suspected that, like many other skincare lines, the Immortelle line could just be another gimmick. Its basic premise is based on the fact that even if you’ve picked and dried the immortelle flowers (often dubbed as the ageless/everlasting flowers), it retains its golden colors and doesn’t wither. It is also said that immortelle essential oils have traditionally been used as a laxative due to its calming, cell-regenerating, pain-reducing, and anti-inflammatory properties2. Whether or not the flower’s natural properties can be seen on to the human skin when topically applied, i.e. bright and ageless, I kept myself reminded that bottom line, immortelle only manifests itself within the product as mere extracts. The properties could’ve been completely stripped off during the picking and the drying process.

Also, after some experiments with different exfoliators, I learned that the best results often come from abrasive agents that are smaller, but nonetheless dense.  The cocoa beads in Palmer’s scrub was huge and it felt quite rough, so you’ve got to be extra gentle as you rub them on the skin. For this scrub they’re using pumice granules, which are pretty tiny, adding to that overall mildness of the solution.

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INGREDIENTS: Aqua/water, Octyldodecanol, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Corn Starch Modified, Cellulose, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Silica, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Helichrysum Italicum Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Tetrasodium Edta, O-cymen-5-ol, Sodium Glycolate, Trisodium Nta, Potassium Sorbate , Methylisothiazolinone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, CI 77007.

I was happy with it for many reasons, mainly because I see the skin-boosting effects of the immortelle oil3 instantly as well as throughout my entire use.

The sales girl who assisted me said that immortelle helps in collagen synthesis and in controlling melanin production, and over the course of my use, I did see that my skin’s glowing more, much gentler, less sensitive, and that some inflamed spots and acne scars have faded a bit. My huge pores don’t seem like they’re cursing my face 24/7 as well (as they normally do).

Also, the scrub is so mild that it doesn’t foam as much as your usual scrub or cleanser when you lather. This is good news because you put on a bit more pressure without irritating your skin as you polish away those deep-seated dead skin cells. The fact that it doesn’t foam much just means the scrub doesn’t contain as much chemicals as in other skincare products you normally use.

Another pro point – and maybe it’s just me: Every time I’m using it, I seem to feel much calmer. I don’t know if its the strong fragrance or the mollifying ingredients themselves, but somehow the soothing effects of this balmy scrub permeates through every cell in my head. And no, I’m not exaggerating.

Probably the only con is that it costs close to half a million :p

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INGREDIENTS: Water, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Proplyene Glycol, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Glycerin, Myreth-3-Myristate, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Decyl Oleate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polyacrylamide, Helichrysum Italicum Extract, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Tocopherol, Carbomer, Laureth-7, Xanthan Gum, Benzoic Acid, Sucrose Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glyceryl Linoleate, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil

The same goodies apply for the Immortelle Precious Eye Balm (IDR 575,000). I’m only in my 20s, but my mom advises me to start early. I figured it’s never too late to start protecting the most delicate area of your face.

What I’ve experienced from plenty other eye creams out there is that they provide the standard hydration you need, but don’t do much on the puffiness, most of the time even making those baggy circles look bigger. I got to thank the toning rose water and the immortelle oil once again for the calming effects of this balm. The Butcher’s broom extract, which is used in medicine for boosting blood circulation, also helps to get the excess fluid flowing out of your bags to make the under-eye areas look more rested.

This is my holy grail whenever I don’t get my 8-hour sleep and just whenever my hormones are not doing my skin a favor. Unlike other eye creams I’ve tried, this balm is just liquid enough and a lot creamier that it keeps those dry baggies moisturized without looking extra-swollen. Sometimes they get so dark and dull that I probably look 10 years older than I am.

I must say that the sales girl was really good. She got herself time introducing the whole Angelica collection to me, which was supposed to be hydrating. I didn’t even got the chance to say my skin type is oily/combination. At the register, she packed my goodies and added these samples into the bag, saying, “Please try these out, OK?”

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So I did. And I still don’t buy it :p They’re free samples anyway, so I had nothing to lose.

I kind of like the Angelica Ultra-Matte Face Fluid (IDR 490,000). The little sample lasted me for up to three times’ of use, which is great because a pearl-sized dose goes a long way. Each time I apply the lemon-y liquid on my face, it made my skin instantly softer and smoother without the dreaded grease, even if you leave it on till later in the day. As matte as they are and as”non-comedogenic” as it was claimed to be, if I ever decide to purchase the 50ml bottle later on, I probably won’t give it a shot as a makeup primer. It may be a different story for you dry skin folks.

The same goes for the Iris Angelica Sublime Beauty Cream (which is great because it provides a soaring SPF-30 sun protection) (IDR 480,000 in Light and Medium) – those with dry skin may benefit from this BB cream. After receiving these samples plus some more BB cream samples from my 3-month Lolabox subscription, I know I won’t be using BB creams anytime soon (unless I’m using them as an under-eye concealer). I never needed them in the first place, and my main issue with BB creams is that they made me break out (read: pore-clogging). Kind of ironic eh, when the ‘BB’ in BB creams tend to stand for ‘Blemish Balm’. But seriously, when it comes to the whopping pores, you don’t have to look under a microscope to see that my skin resembles the surface of the moon. With that, these days I’m getting flirty with water-based BB creams, but that’s for another time. After spending more than five beautiful years with bareMinerals, I’m still going strong with their powder-based mineral foundation.

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ULTRA-MATTE FACE FLUID INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coconut Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sorbitol, Angelica Archangelica Root Extract, Angelica Archangelica Root Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Zinc Glycyrrhtinate, Salicylic Acid, Zinc PCA, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorpenesin, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Glucoside, T-Butyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene

 
 

What about you? Have you tried any of the skincare products by L’Occitane?

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 
 Footnote(s):

  1. The said dermatological test []
  2. Immortelle – Ageless flowers [Fragrantica] []
  3. Which is organic, by the way. []
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