Ask the experts

101 Guide To L’OCCITANE

A woman putting L'OCCITANE's Shea Butter Hand Cream on her hands

Born from the belief that beauty goes beyond what you can see, L’OCCITANE (that’s pronounced Lox-ee-tan, FYI) was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan. Hailing from Provence and powered by the region’s world-renowned ingredients, the brand blends nourishing formulas with tantalising aromas to transform your daily beauty routines.  

From L’OCCITANE’s signature skin care saviours to its moisture-locking hand care, each and every product provides an encapsulating experience for both your skin and senses to enjoy.  

Bridge the gap between self care and beauty and bring the spa home as Cult Beauty brings you everything you need to know about the oh-so luxury French label. Sit back, relax and enjoy all things L’OCCITANE…  


L’OCCITANE’s story began when its founder, Olivier Baussan, took nothing but an alembic truck to the markets of Provence. Here, the creative began distilling rosemary essence to sell to the locals. Expanding his inventions from oils to creams, the young entrepreneur used an old factory to revive the traditional art of Marseille soap-making before opening its doors to the first L’OCCITANE store in 1981. Fast forward to today and not much has changed. The powerhouse continues to expand it production, celebrating its native’s natural beauty through wellness and beauty.  


In short, L’OCCITANE is renowned globally for establishing award-winning skin and body care inspired by the Provençal art-de-vivre. With over 40 years of experience under its belt, the brand’s curated collections include the lauded Almond, Verbena and Shea Butter edits – that we are in no doubt feature on every beauty aficionados’ shelf.   

L'OCCITANE almond shower oil collection in batheroom setting


  1. L’OCCITANE was the first major skin care brand to include braille on its packaging: after meeting with a blind customer who was smelling the brand’s fragrances intensely on his shop floor to discover which collection to buy, Olivier wanted to find an easy and accessible way to make the experience easier for everyone. Therefore, in 1996 it became the first ever brand to use braille on all its product’s packaging.  
  2. The brand was aptly named after the women of Occitania: literally translating to “The woman from Occitanie”, L’OCCITANE referred to an ancient province that spanned from southern France to northern Italy in the Middle Ages. Here, women and nature played leading roles in everyday life and were celebrated and cherished.  
  3. A tube of L’OCCITANE’s Shea Butter Hand Crem is sold every three seconds: holding the crown as the brand’s bestselling product, this nourishing formula has remained unchanged since 1993 (as they say there’s no point fixing somethings that’s not broken).  
  4. The brand uses over 200 different botanical ingredients: L’OCCITANE hand selects its ingredients based on their effectiveness and the way they react with your skin. Every ingredient is used at its ideal concentration. Plus, instead of using petrochemical-derived oils, its formulas consist of vegetable oils that work better with our complexion. 
  5. Each product is tested on real skin: hear us out… Working with professional plastic surgeons, L’OCCITANE tests its products on human skin for up to 72 hours, before deciding on their efficiency and if their results are good enough


Discover the best L’OCCITANE products – as picked by our Cult Concierge experts – that will keep your skin and senses happy, healthy and in harmony.  

We can’t talk about the best L’OCCITANE products without celebrating the iconic Shea Butter Hand Cream. Treating the hardest working part of your body to some TLC, it’s made with 95% plant-derived ingredients (we’re talking shea butter, argan and coconut oil) to prevent dryness. What’s more, infused with a refreshing blend of jasmine and ylang-ylang, the formula is just as reviving for your senses too. 

How to use: massage this treatment into your hands to counter dryness as often as needed. 

Just as satisfying as your morning coffee, L’OCCITANE’s Almond Milk Concentrate energise your skin by boosting long-lasting hydration. Improving suppleness from head to toe (quite literally), this body cream lathers your limbs in skin-loving essentials. Enriched with a targeted complex – which consists of walnut seed and almond extract this quick-to-absorb solution works hard to protect your elasticity, while enhancing cellular renewal. Who says one jar can’t do it all? 

How to use: after cleansing, warm a small amount of the product in your hands. Massage into the skin with slow, circular movements, working from your ankles up. 

Melting away your day, L’OCCITANE’s Gel-To-Foam Facial Cleanser leaves you feeling refreshed, reived and rejuvenated. Banishing dirt and debris, it removes the tiniest traces of make up while revealing an enviable glow. Plus, melding cucumber, thyme and zinc, this foamy formula thoroughly cleans, without stripping your skin.  

How to use: Work the gel into a lather with water then massage over the face with circular movements, avoiding the eye area. Then, rinse off. 

Transforming your daily shower ritual into a spa-link experience, L’OCCITANE’s Almond Shower Oil is your answer to the ultimate relaxation. Breaking away from your typical body washes, this award-winning formula soaks into your limbs, before turning into a delicate milky veil that gently rinses away impurities. The result? Soft, soothed and supple skin encapsulated with alluring sweet scent.   

How to use: Lather with water to form a sheer, milky texture or use a loofah to create a cloud-like shower experience. Or if you love a moisturising bath, pour it directly into a tub of warm water for a softening almond soak.

You’ll never need to be without your favourite bathing partner again, thanks to L‘OCCITANE’s Verbena Shower Gel Refillable Duo. A match made in heaven, this set features a limited edition, 100% recycled Forever Bottle accompanied with a full size and eco-friendly refill pouch. Blending the vibrancy of citrus with a richly foaming formulation, this body wash turns your daily shower into a wellness wonder.  

How to use: To top up, pour the refill pouch into your bottle. Tightly twist the pump back on. Apply to wet skin, work into a lather, and rinse. 


We come bearing good news… Your favourite L’OCCITANE products are refillable! Introducing its eco-refills in 2008, the brand made a commitment to better our environment by reducing landfill waste. And we can proudly report that it’s stuck to its word. Saving 85% more plastic, compared to the original products, the refills not only ensure you’re never without your skin-saving solutions, but they keep Mother Nature happy too. But why stop there? Go one step further and recycle all your beauty bottles with our Recycle Me scheme. Click here to find out more… 



Trifonia Asmar

Trifonia Asmar

Senior SEO Copywriter

Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.