As you know by now, I am living in Korea and am OBSESSED with Korean skincare products. I’ve gone a bit overboard and I’m loving every second of it. I have a million to review, but today have decided to review L’Occitane en Provence’s popular Ultra Rich Face Cream for a few reasons: 1) it’s super rich and perfect for this incredibly dry weather, and 2) Korean women LOVE L’Occitane so in my eyes it is practically a Korean brand anyway!
I’m not joking when I say this: the Korean teachers at our school love L’Occitane en Provence (hereby referred to as L’Occitane) and have told me that Korean girls in general love this brand. And as you are probably aware, brand names are very, very important here. Coming from someone who gladly and openly shops at op shops, markets, Target or now the random Korean shops in Doldari Market, the extent to which this is the case is eye-opening for me.
Of course, I am from the West and am clearly influenced by branding, although I often feel incongruent with this at home, anyway. But in Korea, it’s a case of live and die by the brand. Even when our kids need to bring in random things to school (such as new shoes, bathers, etc) they carry them in top-notch shopping bags, such as Hugo Boss, Fila, Calvin Klein, even Mercedez Benz. These guys don’t mess around!
This brand brain-washing may have something to do with my purchase of this Ultra Rich Face Cream. One of the great successes of this company is branding: L’Occitane know their niche and they sell it well. L’Occitane was actually started in 1976 by a man called Oliver Baussan, a creative type who peddled essential oils in Provence but wasn’t a great businessman: after 18 years, the brand only had three shops and was on the verge of failure. Enter Reinold Geiger, an Austrian former skiing champion who revived the company and crucially decided to bring it to Asia, L’Occitane’s key market. Selling French Provincial countryside in Asia seemed like a gamble, but he did it anyway.
This is why he is now a billionaire.
Now, onto the product!
I bought this a few months ago at Singapore’s Duty Free on my way back from Perth. I decided to spoil myself and purchase a new face cream because, clearly, I don’t have access to enough stuff here (badum tish!). Granted, the price was cheaper and I could justify it more, but basically it was just me indulging myself and having a great time. YOLO, right? My first impression of this cream in the bright lights of Duty Free was that it was luxurious, thick and, yes, ultra rich. It absolutely lives up to its name! Also, that it smells and feels AMAZING. This was what tipped me over the edge and into purchasing country.
Firstly, what does it look like? it comes in L’Occitane’s signature ‘countryside chic’ brown cardboard box, as seen above. The jar itself has fairly recently been redesigned from a simple, metallic tin to an almost jewel-shaped jar with a silver lid. I actually really like the design of this jar: it is luxe and heavy without being cumbersome (see: my review of Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Watery Cream). Also, it’s not huge but it fits snugly in my hand (as you can see in the following picture) and is comfortable to hold. I actually find it really satisfying to open, like I’m unlocking a magical treasure chest full of skincare wonders (there’s the branding at work)!
Although the jar isn’t that large (it’s 50ml), it is filled to the top. The thing is, you really don’t need to use much of this stuff, because it is so potent. After all, it is made up of 25% shea butter, which is a super moisturising natural extract. I know I sound like I’m exaggerating, but honestly if you use more than a dab of this stuff on your face, you may just turn into an oil slick! I pretty much just dab my finger in the pot (not ideal for hygiene but with clean hands its okay), rub it between my fingertips and smooth it onto my face.
I didn’t take a snap of the cream upon opening, but this is what it looks like at this stage (after a fair bit of recent usage):
So, how does the cream feel? As I have said a few times, it is super rich and not for the faint of heart. I bought this cream in warmer weather on a whim, and afterwards I was a bit hesitant about using it because it would make me a bit too oily. It’s like smearing butter on your face (in the best kind of way!) and this ain’t a good look in humid Korean summers (or even warm autumns in my case), believe me. Beware if you are already prone to oily skin – this cream is not your friend!
However (and this is a BIG however), if you are struggling through this winter and living somewhere particularly dry, such as Korea, this cream is a godsend. Recently I have been pulling this out and my skin has been thanking me for it. It is so moisturising, I haven’t had the same issues of dry skin when I have been using it. It sort of feels as if my face is protected from the harsh winds with a creamy, dreamy barrier, which is a plus!
Hopefully you can see from this picture how thick this cream is. Despite this, it settles in and absorbs nicely on my skin. I am really thankful for this product right now, it makes my skin feel so~ soft!
What’s the verdict? L’Occitane en Provence’s Ultra Rich Face Cream is a thick, luxurious cream perfect for those with supremely dry skin or struggling to get through this dry winter. In summer (and possibly spring and autumn) I couldn’t use this, but it is a godsend in this harsh weather!
How much? It ain’t cheap… Full-priced in Korea, this cream retails for 58,000 won (roughly $61AUD) for 50ml, but at Singapore Airport’s Duty Free it was about $46 if I remember correctly. Either way, it’s a luxury item and that is reflected in the quality.
Thanks for reading friends, hope you enjoyed it!
See you next time,