What started out as a review of a product ended up in being quite a personal post. So if you’re keen on learning from my experience and have a laugh with me, keep on reading. If you’re not into reading my nonsense, here’s a spoiler for you: scroll down to the pictures below to see which product I’m talking about. I love it. The end.
Just joking. I’ve got loads more to say!
Do you suffer from dry hands?
No I mean, do you suffer from DRY hands?
I mean, do you SUFFER from dry hands? I mean really, really SUFFER from dry hands?
All of us have something that we cherish about ourselves, something that you know you got lucky with. Like luscious lips, shiny hair or beautiful feet. And then on the other hand, we all have some features that we really wish were different. I’m not talking about being slim or having big boobs. I’m talking about something that is nearly impossible to change (without surgery). Like, if you were blessed with ugly feet and you feel like you have to be stuck in sneakers for the rest of your life – kind of thing.
I have two of those things, and one of them is my dry hands. My hands are dry by nature, and they look years older than the rest of me. I have a memory of when I was seven years old and a girl asked me if I was okay, if it wasn’t painful to have such old hands. Since that tender age, I’ve realised that I’m stuck with these ou tannie handjies.
I’m not always one to say “you can tell me nothing about” so and so. But on this one, I’m
arrogant bold enough to say that there is little more you can tell me about an excellent hand cream. I’ve tried everything readily available at pharmacy stores and am currently head hunting hand creams that I don’t know about in salons or elsewhere. The problem with 99% of them is not necessarily that it’s not a good product, but the glitch usually comes in that my hands get used to a lotion or cream very quickly and then after a while it no longer works so great anymore.
There are a few creams which I use on and off which are really great, with the main peanut in the packet being Handy Gurugu from Lush. I reviewed it over here. I also like mixing in Bee Natural’s Beauty Balm to give extra relief, which I reviewed over here. Problem with this, unfortunately, is that it leaves my hands too greasy to work with paper or type on a keyboard after using it. So I can’t use it at work; I can basically just use it before going to bed.
With the struggle being real in search of the perfect hand cream, it is inevitable that I’ll be looking at any hand related products too. So my never ending searches lead me through the door of L’Occitane (pronounced Lox-eeeh-taahn), ignorant and unaware that I’m about to meet a product that will change everything: L’Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub.
I know the sales assistants use this hand scrub on clients in store as part of a demonstration. I was not even one of those clients that day. I was merely browsing around and feeling absolutely ecstatic that a L’Occitane store had opened up at Mall of the South, a little less than half an hour’s drive from me. So I felt quite spendy, and spendy I was.
This small tub landed in my hands and the first thing that drew my attention was the smell. Love, love, LOVE. It smells of almond oil and sugar. As it should, because that’s half of the ingredients list. The hefty price tag of R300 (nowadays it’s R315) didn’t bother me too much, because, you know, desperation talks louder than words. L’Occitane’s very famous Shea Butter Hand Cream also jumped into the basket. Because, you know, desperation talks louder than words.
Funnily enough, I bought these items that day without the “help” of a sales assistant. I was browsing around while the friendly lady was busy assisting another customer and I was done shopping before she was free to help. Mind you, it doesn’t take much longer than 30 seconds to completely annihilate any semblance of a budget that I had in mind when entering that store. And it doesn’t take longer than 31 seconds to reach this so-called budget.
Still oblivious to what greatness I had bought, I drove home and slowly started to feel the guilt of just having spent R700 on two hand products. R700 on only two products. Two hand products nogal. The hand cream I knew had to be a winner: thousands of good reviews cannot be that bad. But the scrub… what had I done…
Being scared of being proven a wrong judge of character (you know, now hand scrubs have character), I was too scared to use it. I didn’t want to face the fact that I spent R700, impulsively, on maybe-rubbish. So I left it lying in my closet for nearly three weeks. THREE WEEKS!!!! One saturday morning when I was home alone with nobody around to see my possible shame, I opened the hand scrub. My first thought was eeeuw! This is way too oily and not at all how I remembered it from the store. I knew it. I knew it, Marné, jy’t nou drooggemaak. I’m the winner of the most shameful, impulsive spender on bull dust items of 2015 (this was in September / October last year, by the way).
So what is the best way to make amends with a crap purchase? Have absolutely no expectation when using it and start thinking about what to buy next to console your sorry self. So I stand there, wondering if tears might help, and suddenly the smell hits my nose again. So, so pleasant. Of every single beauty product I own, this is literally my favourite scent of all. So maybe it’s not so bad, I should just use it, even if just for the smell. So I took the tiny little spatula that came with it, mixed the scrub part with the oil laying on top of it to make it one consistency, and thought here goes nothing.
The moment the scrub hit my hands, it wasn’t magic in my ears, no. The scrub satisfies both of my personal requirements for a good body scrub, even though it’s a hand scrub: it has to be very scrubby, harsh in texture, and it has to be oily in such a way that it does not completely disappear when exposed to hot water. I was starting to feel a bit better about what in my mind was still an impulsive, crap purchase. I scrubbed and scrubbed and enjoyed the soft scent filling my nostrils. Still no magic, but at least “crap impulsive purchase” started changing to “okay-ish impulsive purchase” in the back of my head.
As I scrubbed, the oils started working on my dry skin. It surprised me how quickly the oils were becoming effective. I started thinking that maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. The scrub lasts on your hands as long as you want to rub, it doesn’t disappear or turn soapy like some other scrubs do. The oil makes a great companion to the sugar granules, because as you scrub, not only do you scrub dead skin cells away, but it feels as if you’re scrubbing the nourishing oils into your hands too.
The magic moment came when I rinsed my hands and dried them. The softness left on these ou tannie handjies is something I’ve never, ever come across. And it does not feel like superficial softness, because there’s no greasy film left on your hands whatsoever. Just splendidly soft hands. I do feel like you have to “seal” in the softness afterwards with a hand lotion though. Any hand lotion, it does not matter. Obviously, L’Occitane’s very own Shea Hand Cream makes the absolute perfect companion to this scrub, because the scents compliment each other and the Shea Hand Cream is not too greasy, it absorbs 100%.
But seriously, any lotion or cream will do. When I scrub my hands right before bed time and I’m not going to touch my Kindle or a book or my phone or whatever, I’ll apply a really rich cream like Lush Helping Hands mixed with Bee Natural’s Beauty Balm after scrubbing, and wake up to beautifully nourished hands.
I cannot see myself ever going without this hand scrub. If it wasn’t so expensive I would use it every day, three times a day. I have to say that a little goes a loooooooong way. If you just use it for your hands, you ought to get a few months’ use from this small tub.
I also think that this makes for a perfect gift. If it’s a gift to someone that you know really well and you know she appreciates treating herself with the finer things in life, I can almost promise you that she will love this. A hand scrub is not everyone’s thang. It adds additional time to a beauty routine that not everyone is prepared to do. But this is a luxury, and in some cases like mine, a 100% pure necessity.
PS: I loved this video on the pronunciation of L’Occitane, it’s very cute and very relevant. Watch it and decide for yourself 🙂
**Not sponsored content or a PR provided product. I’ll buy this over and over again