L’Occitane’s new Angelica skincare line springs from the same base as Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica products: Take one exceptional plant and bottle it for beautiful skin. Completely unlike the Rosa Artica, though, the Angelica line performs for and targets an entirely different demographic.
The Angelica flower hails from Provence, France, like L’Occitane, and boasts a unique relationship with water. The Angelica plant draws water from deep in the ground to hydrate itself, growing to improbable heights with this hidden talent. Once blended into cream and cleanser form, the Angelica plant activates the aquaporins, or water channels within the skin. Unlike L’Occitane’s shea butter line, designed for very dry skin, the Angelica products help slightly dry or dull skin to hydrate itself. Made up of a cleanser, toner, two sun-screens, an eye gel, and a night cream, the whole line smells of clean, fresh grass, without the slightest sense that it’s chemically contrived. Every product evokes a warm summer afternoon in a meadow, which goes a long way towards mental health, if not skin health. Since all the products use Angelica water and Angelica essential oil (which isn’t oil at all, but a distillation of the plant) this wholesome scent isn’t surprising.
Luckily, these sweet smelling Angelica compounds get the job of hydrating done, too. I tried all the products, and they kept my acne-prone skin clear and soft. Usually just looking at a picture of face cream causes me to break out. Because I was giving my skin’s own water delivery system a hand, instead of slathering on a suffocating cream, I didn’t have to worry about clogging my pores. I especially liked the UV Shield with SPF 40. Current wisdom dictates that we need to apply an antioxidant serum, and then follow it with a high SPF face lotion for maximum protection. I get so rushed in the morning, and my oil glands tend to work overtime if I layer on too many products, so I’m always grateful when I find a high SPF face lotion that packs in antioxidants, as this one does.
The Angelica Skincare’s strength lies in its versatility. It works well on slightly dry, dull, or oily skin that can’t handle a heavy-hitter, like shea butter or rosa arctica. This latest in the crop of hardy plant-turned-skin-regimen retails from between $20-$39 at www.usa-loccitane.com.
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– Katharine McKenzie