Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for best l’occitane hand creams

Cold weather can mean dry, cracked, and even painful hands. Luckily, slathering on a thick hand cream can make your hands feel soft and supple again. L’Occitane manufactures some of the most luxurious and nourishing hand creams on the market.

L’Occitane has earned its reputation as a leading brand in body care products. Their award-winning hand creams are usually formulated with 5% to 25% shea butter to provide intense moisturization and all-day softness. The other ingredients in L’Occitane hand creams are sourced from over 140 producers throughout France. Between the high-end formulas and sophisticated scent profiles, it’s no surprise that L’Occitane’s name is synonymous with luxury self-care.

Give your hands the moisture and softness they deserve with L’Occitane hand cream. Our buying guide will introduce you to L’Occitane’s impressive line and explore the brand’s many formulas. For our picks for the best L’Occitane hand creams, see the matrix above.

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A little goes a long way with L’Occitane hand creams. If you’re using one for the first time, begin with a pea-size amount and see how well that covers your hands. If you require a bit more, add in pea-size increments.

Benefits of L’Occitane hand creams


What’s most striking about L’Occitane hand creams is their richness. With shea butter as a staple ingredient, each formula has a supple thickness. They’re not runny or milky like other hand creams. Instead, a dollop of L’Occitane hand cream tends to retain its shape until you rub your hands.

Despite their richness, L’Occitane hand creams are in no way heavy, greasy, or difficult to work into the skin. Their buttery, spreadable formulas are quickly absorbed into the skin, and they dry residue-free. After application, hands are left only with softness and a gentle fragrance.

Quality sourcing

When it comes to ingredient sourcing, L’Occitane has some of the highest standards in the industry. Producers and crops alike undergo rigorous testing before they’re considered reputable sources. This extreme quality assurance is part of the reason why L’Occitane hand creams come with higher prices.

L’Occitane is also committed to sustainable sourcing and adheres to Fair for Life standards. The company sources from organic-certified farms that have proven production methods that are friendly to the environment as well as animals. L’Occitane products that contain lavender oil have also earned the coveted AOP certification, which certifies source location through region-specific characteristics.

Recyclable packaging

The L’Occitane Recycling Program, through a partnership with TerraCycle, recycles beauty and skin care product containers for reuse. Once you finish a L’Occitane hand cream, you can drop it off at an approved L’Occitane recycling location.


Shea butter

Shea butter is an emollient, which means it moisturizes and protects the skin. To maximize hydration, L’Occitane includes anywhere between 5% and 25% shea butter in its hand cream formulas.

Shea butter’s unique concentration of fatty acids and vitamins makes it well suited to treat dry, flaky, and wind-chapped skin. For those with regular to occasionally dry skin, L’Occitane’s hand creams with less than 20% shea butter are ideal. Individuals with extreme dryness and chronic skin conditions like eczema do best with L’Occitane’s intense treatment hand creams, which contain 25% shea butter.


Lavender is often present in L’Occitane hand creams, even those where it’s not the main scent. This herb inspires relaxation. When it’s the top note, lavender hand cream makes an ideal nighttime treatment.

L’Occitane’s cherry blossom scent profile is one of the brand’s bolder fragrances, yet it’s subtle enough for everyday use. The cherry blossoms hail from the Luberon region of Provence.

L’Occitane’s rose scent profile is sophisticated and delicate. As it exudes romance, it’s one of L’Occitane’s most gifted hand cream scents.

While the scent of almond is demure, it’s interplay with shea butter in L’Occitane hand creams has quite the impact. Almond milk and almond oil extract add a natural, creamy aroma. These hand creams are ideal for those with skin that is sensitive to heavier fragrances.

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L’Occitane nail oils: L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil
To maintain whole-hand hydration, add a nail oil to your L’Occitane collection. We like this nourishing formula, which is made of 30% shea oil for deep conditioning. It keeps cuticles and nail beds soft and protected against dryness and peeling.

L’Occitane hand soaps: L’Occitane Shea Butter Liquid Hand Soap
Extend your L’Occitane experience by investing in one of the brand’s hand soaps. This liquid hand soap cleanses hands without drying or stripping them of natural oils. Its gentle formula and soft fragrance make it especially popular among those with sensitive skin.

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L’Occitane hand cream prices

L’Occitane’s luxurious hand creams cost between $12 and $60. The price depends on the size of the tube as well as the formula.

Inexpensive: Travel-size L’Occitane hand creams cost $12 for 1-ounce tubes and $19 for 1.9 ounces. You’ll find staple formulas in this price bracket as well as select limited-edition ones.

Mid-range: L’Occitane’s 2.6-ounce hand cream tubes cost $24. Not all formulas are available in this size which means you may need to size up to the larger 5.3-ounce tubes for $29.

Expensive: If you’d like to get a limited-edition set or gift set of L’Occitane hand creams, expect to spend between $30 and $60. These hand creams include seasonal scents, regional releases, and retailer exclusives.

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  • Try more than one scent. Even if you’re a lavender or cherry blossom loyalist, give other L’Occitane hand cream scents a try. You might land on a new favorite.
  • Squeeze from the end of the tube. To use every last bit of your L’Occitane hand cream, squeeze from the end of the tube with every use.
  • Keep away from hair. L’Occitane hand creams are luxurious and moisturizing, so avoid running your hands through your hair. The creamy formulas will weigh down hair and cause it to look greasy.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. Hand cream maintains its formula integrity at room temperature, so it’s best to keep it in your handbag or a vanity. If you’re spending time in a hot location, leave your L’Occitane hand cream in your hotel room.

Other products we considered

We also enjoy the L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, which has an exotic and refreshing aroma. It includes 20% shea butter as well as coconut oil, honey, and marshmallow root extract. Hands feel instantly moisturized and soothed with this luxurious formula, which happens to be one of L’Occitane’s best-selling scents.

We like the feel of the L’Occitane Verbena Cooling Hand Cream Gel. This lightweight formula refreshes hands and leaves a soft fragrance of clean and powdery notes. As it’s not as thick as other L’Occitane hand creams, it’s ideal for those seeking mild moisturization. It wins big points among consumers who are sensitive to fragrance as it’s lightly scented and non-irritating.

For those with extremely dry skin, we like the L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm with 25% Shea Butter. This intense balm formula is designed to lock moisture into skin prone to cracking, peeling, and discomfort due to dryness. Considered L’Occitane’s premier weather-conscious formula, this top-rated hand cream is ideal for use in severely cold weather. It’s also a sure bet as a manicure formula as it melts into the skin as well as cuticles and nail beds.

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Many of L’Occitane’s beauty products, including some hand creams, have Braille on the packaging to make them accessible for visually impaired consumers.


Q. Where does L’Occitane source its ingredients?
L’Occitane sources lavender, almonds, and other staple product ingredients from over 140 producers throughout France. Shea butter, perhaps the main ingredient in L’Occitane’s body products, comes from Burkina Faso.

Q. Can I use L’Occitane hand cream for cracked heels and dry elbows?
Yes, hand creams can be applied to other areas of the body. But if you plan on applying cream to these areas on a regular basis, you’re better off buying one of L’Occitane’s dedicated foot or body creams. They have slightly different ingredient blends that target the rougher skin of the heels, elbows, and knees to soothe and moisturize. You should never, however, use hand cream on your face as it’s much too thick for that delicate skin and will lead to breakouts.

Q. How many times per day should I apply L’Occitane hand cream?
It comes down to preference. Some consumers say L’Occitane hand creams provide all-day hydration and softness, so one application is usually enough. Others say it’s best to reapply small amounts after washing hands. It’s also common to apply hand cream once in the morning and once at night.

Q. What’s the L’Occi truck?
L’Occitane takes their products on the road with mobile pop-up shops. The L’Occi truck, which is inspired by a vintage Citroën van, is instantly recognizable in L’Occitane’s signature yellow. If you follow the brand on social media, you can visit the L’Occi pop-up to try new products, buy your favorites, and learn more about L’Occitane’s ethical sourcing and philanthropic work.

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