This article was last updated in November 2018.
One of the questions I'm often asked is if I can recommend a great moisturizer, preferably at Sephora.
Finally, I can!
But that wasn't always the case, since I'm SUPER-picky about moisturizers.
In fact, in all the years I've been monitoring Sephora's skincare section, they've had a few serums and oils I've liked—but not a single cream I'd actually use and recommend, until now.
That's because I prefer to avoid ingredients like silicones, chemical fragrances, petrolatum and unstable oils, all of which may create a pleasing texture and scent, but won't truly improve skin health.
[Read more about the reasons to avoid silicones on your skin]
But a new product has just landed on Sephora's shelves that is unlike ANY other!
I've been using this cream non-stop since purchasing it in January, and I'm so excited to recommend it to you...
LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil
LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil is a lightweight but intensely hydrating moisturizing cream made with safe, stable, beneficial ingredients.
It is 100 percent naturally derived, and completely free of all the "fillers" you see in mainstream moisturizers (more on that in a moment!).
It's also suitable for ALL types of skin—normal, dry, sensitive, combination and oily. It should even work for acne-prone skin, since it contains no comedogenic ingredients.
This moisturizer basically does it all:
- Quenches dryness all over the face and eye area
- Diminishes the appearance of your pores (i.e. "refining" them)
- Creates a healthy, semi-dewy skin finish
- Acts as a silicone-free primer under makeup
- Helps prevent aging skin with healthy fats and vitamins A and E
Another point of difference is the gorgeous packaging, which rivals any mainstream luxury brand's. Crème du Nil comes in a heavy black jar embossed in copper (although mine has rubbed off a bit, since this has been in heavy rotation for the past few months!). The crest on the top of the jar symbolizes the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, from whom LXMI (pronounced "luxe-me") gets its name.
This moisturizer also comes with a double-sided applicator. The flat, black side is for scooping out the product, to avoid cross-contamination from your fingertips. The other side has a copper ball for massaging it in. This helps stimulate the skin, and has a cooling and refreshing effect that is particularly great for dark circles and puffiness!
LXMI Crème du Nil Texture
So the main thing that I think will blow you away is Crème du Nil's texture. It's to die for.
For years, skincare formulators have used the excuse that they "need" to use silicones in order to create desirable textures, because people won't like their products otherwise.
(This StyleCaster interview is just one example... they KNOW the silicones obstruct absorption of the actives, but they care more about a silky feel than actually delivering results!)
Well, LXMI just proved 'em wrong. It IS possible to achieve a gorgeously-textured cream with zero silicones or petrochemicals.
Crème du Nil feels luxurious and pillowy, but still lightweight.
It's quick to absorb and leaves your skin feeling supple and fresh, with no greasy residue. There is a slight dewiness, but not so much that your face will look oily or shiny. It's perfect!
LXMI Crème du Nil Ingredients
So down to the nitty-gritty, here's what's in Crème du Nil:
Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Nilotica) Butter, Glycerin, Squalane, Octyldodecyl Olivate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Candililla Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Hibiscus) Hydrosol Water, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Hydrosol Water, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Gluconolactone, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance* (*Natural)
The Shea Nilotica butter is a special type of cold-pressed shea butter used by the brand that they source from Africa's Nile Valley. I like shea in general, because it is a stable blend of saturated and monounsaturated fats.
The Nilotica variety is even BETTER than regular shea, because it has a lower polyunsaturated oil content (the component that oxidizes most easily). Shea Nilotica is rich in stearic and oleic acids, vitamins A and E, and allantoin—all of which are beneficial to the skin.
The glycerin and squalane are also fabulous moisturizing ingredients. (Squalane is the fully saturated form of squalene, so it's the safest possible oil to use on your skin.)
[Read more about why squalane is the best face oil]
Plus, you get additional antioxidant, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory benefits from the hibiscus and vanilla extracts.
Just as important is what's NOT in Crème du Nil:
- Synthetic fragrances
- Synthetic dyes
How to Use LXMI Crème du Nil
When: Crème du Nil can be used day and night, as the last step in your skincare routine before oil and/or sunscreen.
Where: You can use Crème du Nil as both a moisturizer and an eye cream. You could even do a thicker application at night as a sleeping mask.
How: Bear in mind that a little Crème du Nil goes a long way. You only need a pearl-sized amount to moisturize your entire face—or less, if your skin is on the oilier side. Use the flat side to scoop out the product and the copper ball to distribute and massage it in.
Next: Since Crème du Nil does not contain SPF, you'll need to apply a separate sunscreen in the daytime, if you'll be getting UV exposure.
Like I said, I bought my jar of Crème du Nil a few months ago, and I've been wearing it both alone and in combination with my favourite oils (squalane, coconut and jojoba). It has really helped get my skin through the drying Canadian winter.
Thanks to its ingredients, texture and performance, this product ticks off ALL my moisturizer boxes—and that never happens! The sad reality is that most other creams are indistinguishable from one another, since they're primarily composed of water, glycerin, silicone, cheap oils and countless synthetics, with any "innovation" happening in miniscule amounts near the end of the ingredients list. I'm so thankful that LXMI is finally raising the bar.
Need one more reason to love this cream? LXMI helps women in marginalized Nile Valley communities to move out of poverty, by paying its producers three times the local average wage to harvest the Crème du Nil ingredients. Let's hope more beauty brands learn by their great example!
Where to Buy
Have you tried LXMI Crème du Nil?
What's your favourite natural moisturizer?