Privilege Blog

Life’s Little Privileges: L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Lip Balm

I never used lip balm much. But the St. Regis Princeville keeps L’Occitane toiletries in their bathrooms. (Amenities seems like such a euphemistic word, does it not?) And on our honeymoon, I started using this. I’ll buy it again, for $10, when I run out.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Lip Balm

I now understand why people bother with the stuff. This is not waxy, not slippery, not sticky. It’s, um, lush. And smells sweet but not annoyingly so.

If you’re a habitual user, and sensitive to gluten, I’m going to send you over to Everyday Beauty to learn about the Red Apple products. But if you just like a little zhush of moisture, now and again, along with a sugared summer scent, well, imagine yourself a Grande Dame, perfumed air kissing in the tropics. Or Provence. Your choice.

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25 Responses

  1. Yes, it’s wonderful to find a product that solves a problem, smells and feels good.
    I noticed you stayed at the St. Regis. Going to NYC, I take the China bus, stay at the Jane (which has become more fashionable) and ride the subway.
    Yes, a bit envious…
    Enjoying your blog as I am an older woman myself. It’s nice not to have to explain what that entails.

  2. I feel the same way about l’Occitane’s Hand Cream and despite its slightly silly price, I always have a purse-size tube in my bag. A lovely fragrance that often gets commented on when I apply it but that doesn’t interfere. Great moisturizer but absorbs quickly.

  3. Lisa, are you familiar with ? they score products according to their health, analyzing their ingredients, as well as their sustainability and social commitments of the company. They also have an app, which is a lot of fun to play at the store – scan and find out how bad most products on shelves really are… of course occasional and minimal use is not going to kill us, but worth knowing.

    1. @Dalit Fresco, I didn’t know of that, but I have used Beautypedia, and another one called safe something or other. I think it’s really important to look beyond the initial rating number. For example, I don’t use products with parabens, sulfates, etc., but since I have no sensitivity to most fragrances, those “irritation” scores don’t worry me.

  4. I am a big fan of L’Occitane. I use their almond milk lotion, Shea butter lip and hand lotions and have indulged in their almond shower wash and Lavendar bath products. Their Divine face cream is perfect and is a beauty award winner.
    I hope some of your readers will take your advice and sample some.

  5. I recommend Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. It comes as a stick which is useful to keep in jacket pockets and also a little pot to keep on bedside table. The best thing is that it is matte finish so you don’t get long hair sticking to it and also can wear lipstick over it. I work as a gardener and lip balm and hand cream are high on my priority list( after sunscreen).

  6. Oh yes! This lip balm is the only one I tolerate–I cannot explain what the problem is, or which ingredient is the culprit, but all others I have ever tried, even perfectly natural ones, end up dehydrating my lips. I love it and buy it almost everyone I go through the airport!

  7. A Dissenting Opinion: I’m glad this lip balm worked out for you. However. Their products contain so many potentially irritating ingredients that anyone with sensitive skin should be careful. While on vacation in Portland, after a single day of using a hotel-provided skin care product by L’Occitane, I had an allergic reaction so extreme I had to go to urgent care. I ended up on steroids for a week–pills and cream. Now I don’t try anyone’s products until after I’ve read the review on Beautypedia. The rating for this product is poor.

    1. @Wendy Bird, Good thing you have figured out your sensitivities. I have them too, but to anything occlusive. Fragrances don’t bother me. Beautypedia is somewhat problematic for me, because it seems to skew towards accepting non-organic compounds. For example, she hated lavender oil and said it caused cell death. Maybe that’s changed in the last two years?

  8. I like Fresh’s sugar lip treatment – they have one with SPF that I use during the day. It’s similarly not waxy or slippery, just perfect amount, and I appreciate the SPF for my middleaged lips. I used to use Fresh’s tinted lip treatments but I’ve moved back to my old favorite – MAC – for lip color.

    1. @Leanne, I like Fresh too. I, on the other hand, don’t like SPF in my lip stuff. I try to wear hats/stay out of midday sun. So interesting to hear reasonable women have different and reasoned approaches to beauty products.

  9. Love (and have no problems) with L’Occitane products including the lip balm, hand cream and soaps. An effective lip balm is one of life’s little pleasures.

  10. When Mr C went to Paris (without me!)almost two decades ago to present a paper at the Sorbonne, he brought me back some Occitane potions and soaps. I loved them and was somewhat crestfallen to discover my special taste of Paris at the New Jersey mall some years later :-) .

  11. I’ve not tried this lip balm, but I certainly will. Although I love red lip sheers (Ilia, Fresh, and Lipstick Queen’s Medieval, mostly), I tend to stick to balms more, and really like the Burts Bees ones, including their lip shimmers. They probably have gluten, and I do need to be better about eliminating that, with celiac. Scents don’t bother me, but gluten in anything, including shampoo et al, is a killer.

  12. “Beautypedia is somewhat problematic for me, because it seems to skew towards accepting non-organic compounds. For example, she hated lavender oil and said it caused cell death. Maybe that’s changed in the last two years?”

    No, I think lavender oil is still cytotoxic in vitro. So in laboratory testing, lavender oil causes cellular death, according to some studies she can cite. She just doesn’t think it’s a great idea to put it on your skin. There is science behind her objection to it. Whether the lavender is “organic” doesn’t change the science. You can make your own informed decision.

    For skin care, she looks at what the product claims, compares that to what is in the product and tells the consumer what the real deal is. Before I spend money, I like to know whether or not a product is likely to work and whether or not it’s a risk to cause me to break out or have an allergic reaction. I also like to know whether or not something has been tested on animals, though that’s not a deal breaker for me.

    Everything is made of chemical compounds. What I want to know is whether or not those chemicals are good for my skin or harmful. Her site uses the most comprehensive evaluative process that I’ve seen.

    1. Yes, I agree she’s a great resource. I just noticed that some of her big issues around irritation weren’t problems for me, so I had to dig below the scores and make sure I understood her results.

  13. I like to know what’s in my skin-care/beauty products, too. I really, really try to avoid toxins and endocrine disruptors (hot-flash enhancers, anyone?). Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is another helpful resource, though I feel that they are often not strict enough in their assessments.

  14. I think I need to apologize to the group here. I knew of the issues reported on Beautypedia, but was in a hurry, and posted without going through the full discussion. I decided that since I used the product without any problems, and since I gave the link to Everyday Beauty for those who are highly sensitive at least to gluten, that I’d done enough. In retrospect, I was wrong.

    Another data point in the large body of proof that doing something quickly is rarely the right choice:). Next time I’ll hold myself to higher standards. Wendy, thanks for bringing this up.

  15. I pink puffy heart Red Apple Lipstick! If you, or your loved ones have gluten issues, their products are awesome. The Rally Balm is great if you are looking for no color, to keep your lips moist and supple. Not only are they gluten free, they also lack a lot of the other yucky unhealthy stuff most lipsticks contain. Nope. I don’t work for them, nor am I being paid to say these things. I just really love their products!!

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