Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Hands & Handcare, Editorials, L’Occitane

L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream

A more luxurious and 96% natural way way to prevent nail biting

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This landed on my doorstep a good few months ago and I was intrigued. The main selling point on the press release were it being part of the L’Occitane Cade men’s collection; 96% ingredients of natural origin and it’s remarkable nail biting prevention properties.

Now sadly, I’m not able to enjoy L’Occitane hand creams largely due to the dermatitis on my hands. The two hand cream formulations L’Occitane do: the shea or the gel-cream, don’t work for me, with the gel-cream not delivering enough moisture and the shea often just sitting on the surface. However, everyone around me does enjoy them and they’re often something I gift, so if it weren’t for my annoying skin issue, I’m certain I would too.

However, Mr. Manface has very normal hands with only the occasional bit of dryness as most of us get from time to time. His bigger problem however, is that he’s a nail biter, and he’s very skilled at it. During times of stress, it’s not uncommon to see his nails disappear into stubs and although not raw or cut, it’s not something he likes, but is a totally autonomic response. So the arrival of L’Occitane Cade hand cream couldn’t have had a better test subject. We took it on holiday with us a few weeks ago and it was often found sat on top of his copy of Miriam Margolyes’ very amusing new memoir: This Much is True – very much worth a read.

Does L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream really work for nail biting?

Yes, it does and I was truly impressed. Cade hand cream contains Bitrex, a foul tasting anti-nail biting ingredient. When you start nibbling away, it kicks in and immediately stops you or at least makes you instantly aware of what you’re doing.

Mr. Manface says it’s not so bad that touching food or causing anything you’d eat/drink to taste of it, but that it’s just enough to ward off the bad habit. Within 2 weeks and for the first time in a long time, he started to have nails again and was much happier because of it. So hands down (lol) L’Occitane have really nailed (LOL) the nail biting part of the formulation.

Are the ingredients any good?

I’d say so. I think L’Occitane products on the whole are good with their ingredients and the Cade hand cream is no exception. This is the aforementioned gel-cream formulation, so the base is water and glycerine with then sweet almond oil and shea butter layered into it. The feeling is quite smooth but as you can see in the photo, it has that gel sheen. This means the cream soaks in very well and you’re not left with lubed up hands.

Neurophroline: the ‘wonder ingredient’ that’s badly worded

As well as the shea and almond oil, there’s also a host of other naturals in there including rosemary leaf oil, prickly juniper, lavendar oil, coconut oil and sunflower seed oil. L’Occitane then focus on the inclusion of wild indigo extract that they say “is absorbed into the skin, stimulating the production of neurophroline, an active ingredient that decreases cortisol (stress hormone) and stimulates endorphin production to soothe skin and mind”.

L’Occitane probably need to address their wording here, as it doesn’t make much sense. Wild indigo isn’t “stimulating the production of Neurophroline”. From my research, Nuerophroline is a Givaudan registered trademark of a Wild Indgio extract. Neurophroline has been found to promote the release of relaxing neuropeptides (endorphins) in our skin, which breaks down the vicious biochemical circle of stress (source).

I also think making a claim that a hand cream reduces mental stress is an overreach, but as a marketer myself, I’m not holding them to that and think we’re all grown up enough to know that’s probably an overinflated claim,

Hand swatch of L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream

Full List of L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream Ingredients

Aqua/water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Tapioca Starch, Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ceteareth-33, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate 60, Denatonium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum/fragrance, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Coumarin, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Citral.

Would I recommend L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream?

Absolutely. I think it’s a really solid product, well formulated and well packaged. It’s a hand cream and self-respecting man would use and throw in a gym or work bag. The scent is gorgeous and the texture is very good. The fact it also stops nail biting too is great value, a word I would often associate with L’Occitane.

L’Occitane Cade Hand Cream is £17 and available directly from L’Occitane. If you do buy it, leave them as a review as there’s currently one at one star which I think whilst valid, is not an overall reflection of the product.

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