Frequently Asked Questions



01. What is your commitment about palm oil?

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.

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.
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. 

02. What are parabens and do your products contain them?
ROLE: Preservative (molecules to fight against the microbiological contamination of cosmetic formulas). All formulas containing water need preservatives so that they can be used in normal conditions (kept in the bathroom, everyday contact with the user's hands, etc.).
L’OCCITANE POSITION: Today, parabens have been removed from all of our formulas.

03. Do your products contain silicons?
ROLE: There are numerous forms of silicones used in cosmetic products, particularly leave-on skincare products as they give a soft feeling to the formulas. In addition, all types of hair-care products generally use silicones as they leave hair shiny and smooth.
L’OCCITANE POSITION: We limit our concentration of silicones to a maximum of 5% in our care formulas,with the exception of some sun protection products when mineral sun filters are dispersed for better efficacy. We do not use silicones that are suspected to be toxic. Because silicones are suspected to be poorly biodegradable, we are working on their total or partial substitution with plant-based alternatives in order to obtain the most sensory feeling and application of our products. We also try to give present an option to customers who search for products that do not contain silicone. For instance, our Aromachology Repairing Shampoo does not contain silicone. Angelica Sublime Essence, which has an incredible silicone-likeeffect, also does not contain silicone.

04. Are your products tested on animals?
 L’OCCITANE does not and has never tested its products, its active ingredients or its raw materials on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process.
L’OCCITANE has always been committed to the suppression of animal testing for beauty products, along with associations including One Voice and PETA. L’OCCITANE was one of the first companies to be in the positive list of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1997.
Nevertheless, in December 2011 the BUAV decided to remove their accreditation from all companies operating in China. PETA followed suit in 2012. This was decided because Chinese authorities still request testing on all cosmetic products sold on the Chinese market, as they view it as the best way to safeguard their consumers’ safety. Our company does not conduct those tests; they are done by Chinese laboratories, approved by local authorities on a restricted animal panel.
L’OCCITANE is fundamentally committed to the abolition of animal testing of beauty products worldwide. Unfortunately given the limited economic and political weight of L’OCCITANE, ceasing to sell our products in China will not change local regulations. Instead, to move forward, we decided to develop our relationship with the Chinese authorities to pledge the case for the end of animal testing for beauty products, through open dialogue.
Since December 2010, L'OCCITANE has met with representatives from the Chinese authorities to promote alternative tests to animal testing. L'OCCITANE continues to work alongside the BUAV as one of the main beauty brands represented on its dedicated taskforce called “China Cosmetics Cooperative Group.” This entity works with European and Chinese officials to promote alternative testing methods. The first meeting took place in May 2012 and regular meetings are organized in London, Paris and Brussels.
On their side, the Chinese laboratories certified by authorities have recently launched a program to investigate alternative testing protocols. On sun care, animal tests have been stopped and our method on humans has been accepted. This is a first step. L'OCCITANE will continue to work proactively for these alternatives to be implemented as soon as possible for all of our products.

05. May I receive free samples?
 To discover our wide range of skincare and perfumes, we invite you to go to your nearest boutique.

06. Can I make a beauty diagnosis?
Of course yes. Our sales assistants will do a personal beauty diagnosis and you will be able to try numerous textures and fragrances in order to choose what fits best your needs.

7. What does "L'OCCITANE" mean?
 L'OCCITANE means "the woman from Occitania". Occitania is the name of the ancient geographic area in southern France, spanning from northeastern Spain to northwestern Italy.

8. How do you pronounce the word L'OCCITANE?
Phonetically you pronounce our name "lox- ee- tahn".

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