Frequently asked questions
1. What does L'OCCITANE mean and where are you from?
2. What is L'OCCITANE's Commitment?
3. Are your products all natural?
4. Are your products hypoallergenic?
5. Do you test on animals?
6. What does A.O.C. mean?
7. What is Shea Butter?
8. What is your commitment about palm oil?
9. Is it safe to give you my email address?
1. What does L'OCCITANE mean and where are you from ?
L'Occitane literally means, in the old language of Oc, 'The woman from Occitanie'. Occitanie is the the ancient province that once stretched across the south of France, from east to west, incorporating Catalonia and Italian Piedmont. Provence, a descendant of this pre-medieval region, is where all of our products are manufactured… Phonetically you pronounce our name 'lox- ee- tahn'.
2. What is L'OCCITANE's Commitment ?
For over 25 years, L’OCCITANE has been creating the highest quality body care, skincare and fragrance products using natural ingredients. In an effort to respect the environment, L’OCCITANE rigorously selects its ingredients from local, well-respected growers. The use of natural, traceable ingredients is at the core of L’OCCITANE product development
3. Are your products all natural ?
Our products are based on essential oils and natural ingredients. No cosmetic product can be 'all' natural, it would need a preservative system at the very least to discourage the growth of bacteria and to ensure a long shelf life. We take our ingredients from nature whenever we can. If it does not exist in nature or if the laboratory can do it better, then we will use a synthetic ingredient.
4. Are your products hypoallergenic ?
Our products are all tested against allergies and F.D.A. approved. Not only does each of our end products go through extensive testing, each ingredient is scrupulously tested as well. The frequently misunderstood word 'hypoallergenic' means 'least likely to cause a reaction'. It does not mean that it will never cause reactions on anyone ever. In fact, no product can say that.
5. Do you test on animals ?
No we do not. Tests are carried out on human beings as part of a series of clinical tests- a patch test in the case of human skin or tests using egg membrane as an alternative.
6. What does A.O.C. mean ?
'AOC'- Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée- is a special government designation. To qualify for this AOC Quality Label essential oil from Haute Provence must meet a number of stringent requirements: Production is limited geographically to 4 small regions in Provence. Oil is produced by steam distillation using the flower tops only of Fine Lavender. Fields must be located at a minimum altitude of 800 metres above sea level. No substance or products may be added to the essential oil. Maximum yield of essential oil is limited to 25kg. per hectare. Samples are submitted for olfactive and analytical tests. L'Occitane lavender is grown on the highest area of Mount Lure, 1200 metres above sea level. Lavender flowers are distilled lower down in the valley and the essential oil is delivered to us a few days after approval for the AOC label.
7. What is Shea Butter ?
Shea butter comes from the kernel of the fruit of the shea tree- indigenous to Africa. For generations the women of Burkina Faso have used the emollient 'butter' that comes from the processing of this kernel. They harvest the fruit from May to July and have historically used the shea butter for protecting, nourishing, soothing, replenishing, and smoothing the skin and hair.
8. What is your commitment about palm oil?
PALM OIL STATEMENT – L’OCCITANE
Palm oil, which comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree, is used mainly in food products. However, it is also used in personal care and cosmetics, mainly for its good saponification index and high concentration of lauric acid, which give a soap its hardness, as well as its cleansing and foaming properties. The intensive cultivation of oil palms can have major consequences on the environment and biodiversity.
THE L'OCCITANE COMMITMENT
We do not directly purchase or use palm oil in our formulas. However, our soap noodles and certain derivatives (such as surfactants, which give a formula its foaming properties) may contain it. Nevertheless, the volumes used by our activity are very low in relation to worldwide consumption across all sectors.
When it comes to sourcing our ingredients, we are committed to upholding our values and ensuring the quality, traceability and sustainability of our plant ingredient supply chains. This is why we have launched various initiatives to ensure that we use palm oil responsibly in our products.
Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil
Since 2011, L’OCCITANE has been a member of the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) – a not-for-profit organization that unites all stakeholders from the palm oil industry. Its aim is to develop and implement global standards for certified sustainable palm oil.
By the end of 2015, 100% of our soaps sold in stores will be formulated with traceable and sustainable palm oil, in accordance with one of the highest levels of traceability defined by the RSPO (Segregated).
Moreover, in 2014, we launched a procedure that makes it possible to identify the presence of palm oil derivatives in all of our raw materials. Between now and 2020, we will be implementing an action plan so that 100% of these raw materials can be awarded RSPO certification in accordance with the highest levels of traceability.
Find out more about the RSPO
Working with our suppliers
Our soap flake suppliers are going one step further than the RSPO criteria and are signatories to the "Palm Oil Innovation Charter". This charter lays down stricter provisions with regard to protecting biodiversity, fighting deforestation, building ethical and sustainable partnerships with local populations, and carbon storage.
We also encourage our suppliers to use RSPO-certified palm oil and to give priority to the highest certification levels.
Setting up a supply chain
To go even further, we are working on setting up a supply chain in West Africa with a contracted supplier of palm oil. This will allow us to have a direct supply, as well as greater control over the traceability of the raw material and environmental and social impacts.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT ON THE INGREDIENT LIST: SODIUM PALMATE, SODIUM PALM KERNELATE, PALM ACID, PALM KERNEL ACID.
9. Is it safe to give you my email address ?
The customer information that we have in our database is reserved for internal use only, we do not sell this information to anybody, it is kept private. This information is needed in order to get to know you better and find ways of serving you better.