Le Couvent des Minimes: Gardener's Hand Healer Review

20% Shea Butter & Seven Magical Plants.

Seriously, that's what it says on the packaging. I'm tempted to think that this is a wizard's concoction. For his gardener.

Well, if you've read an earlier post of mine, you might know that the wizard in this case is actually, umm, L'Occitane. Familiar packaging, no?

Le Couvent des Minimes the brand was created by L'Occitane in honour of the long tradition of care and healing using products and plants harvested from the land surrounding the convent/hospice. Today (for better marketing purposes, I suppose), the product range of Le Couvent des Minimes is divided into eleven categories, which they call 'recipes'. This particular hand cream shares the same name as the recipe - Gardener's Hand Healer.

According to Le Couvent des Minimes
This rich, emollient cream blends 20% of the finest grade shea butter with seven carefully selected beneficial botanicals. This intensive formula restores moisture to the skin and protects active, chapped and cracked hands like an invisible glove to leave them soft and smooth.

The Cream
Well, I think this is a good hand cream, if you're okay with the scent. The thick, white cream smells lemony verbena. The scent is less fresh and more aromatic than plain lemon and in fact, it's quite like lemongrass. I'm not a fan of its scent but that's a matter of personal taste. The scent is strong at first but it tones down after a while.

The cream sinks in in less than a minute, leaving the skin very slightly tacky but not greasy.

This rich, thick hand cream would work great for the outdoors (keep in mind the name of this product), especially now in winter. I have however been using this as my bedtime hand cream for the past few months (I don't do gardening - plants die on me, every time). My other hand cream, the Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream, which used to be my night hand cream is now used in the daytime, along with others. Sometimes, if I remember, I would wear cotton gloves after application and in the morning, I would wake up with extra soft hands, still subtly scented with lemon verbena.

I've written a post on the cotton gloves that I wear: Essence Nail And Hand Care Gloves

The convoluted list (please click to enlarge):

The quick list (from the box packaging):

• Shea butter - healing and protective
• Mimosa - restores moisture to the skin
• Verbena - revitalising
• Chamomile - soothing
• Marshmallow - calming
• Calendula - softening
• Lemon balm - softening
• Rosemary - protective

Final Words
Would I buy this cream again? I may, if it's on special offer. The thing is, just like with lipbalms, there are just so many more out there that I'd like to try! There is another hand product from this Gardener's Hand Healer range called Nail & Cuticle Fortifying Salve. Perhaps it's a product to keep in mind for the future.

In the Netherlands, Le Couvent des Minimes products are available at ICI Paris XL parfumerie stores. The Gardener's Hand Healer retails for €12.50 (75ml) but I bought mine at 30% off at ICI Paris. So, if you're interested, look out for the ocassional discounts on the Le Couvent des Minimes range there.

Further reading:
My first post on Le Couvent des Minimes, including the history/heritage of this convent in the Alpes de Haute-Provence and a review of the Le Couvent des Minimes Nutritive Lip Balm

Le Couvent des Minimes website


Girlie Blogger said...

Love rich hand creams. But you are right, there are other fish in the sea.

Bear Woods said...

Mmmm, magical ingredients? This definitely sounds interesting but I don't think we have it here, since this is made by L'Occitane, do they sell it in their stores? Or is this something completely different?

Bear Woods said...

I've checked their page and they unfortunately don't sell in Slovenia. Well, if this is similar to L'Occitane I won't be too sad because we have at least that shop (I have one of their hand creams and it's really great)

Witoxicity said...

@Girlie Blogger
Yup, the market is saturated with so many good and interesting creams. :)

I've never seen Le Couvent des Minimes products in L'Occitane stores. I think L'Occitane prefers to keep these two brands separate and Le Couvent des Minimes products would be available in places where L'Occitane does not have a retail presence.

Ah, never mind. I don't think you're missing all that much. L'Occitane has a much much wider product range anyway and they've got so many different types of hand creams! I love their classic, the Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand Cream, which is also with 20% shea butter (but without the seven 'magical' plants). :D

Bear Woods said...

That is the one I have (Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand Cream) and it is 'hands down' the best I have ever used but it's a little expensive so I'm looking for a cheaper substitute

Anonymous said...

Nice post. This sounds great, have to keep this one in mind. "KTee" xx

Witoxicity said...

Oh, you have that one too! You know, this L'Occitane's Shea Butter one is actually the first hand cream that I ever used. For the last ten years, I've always had a tube with me. :)

Thank you, KTee. It's not a must-have - you must still have young taut skin - but yeah, it's something to keep in mind for the future. :)

Anonymous said...

I think L'Occitane is quite expensive. This one doesn't come cheap either, but 30% off is a good deal, I suppose. Nicole x

Witoxicity said...

Yes, it's definitely better than paying full price for it! I love a good bargain. Have a great week ahead, Nicole! :)

Bear Woods said...

Yeah but this is actually the only L'occitane product that I have (for now) ;)

Witoxicity said...

If you love the brand, then I'm sure you would eventually want to try out their other lovely products too. :)