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Reviewed: LXMI Crème du Nil, a Clean, Silicone-Free Moisturizer to Hydrate All Skin Types

It's unlike any cream you've tried.
LXMI Creme du Nil

Clean beauty products are more accessible than ever, but that wasn't always the case—even for something as basic as moisturizer.

Take it from me, as someone who's been into natural skincare from way back. For many years, I struggled to find a cream that I could confidently use and recommend. Almost everything was packed with silicones, synthetic fragrance, cheap and unstable oils, and other ingredients that aren't great for your skin.

That finally changed when LXMI Crème du Nil came along. When it launched in 2016, it was the only clean moisturizer that Sephora carried—and it's still one of their best to this day.

Read on to find out what it does, what's in it, and why it's one of my favourite creams for all skin.

LXMI Background

LXMI Leila Janah

LXMI founder Leila Janah.

Before we start, here's what you should know about LXMI and its founder. 

Leila Janah was a trailblazing, socially-conscious entrepreneur who tragically passed away from a rare form of cancer in 2020 at age 37.

She first encountered the brand's star ingredient, Nilotica—a rare type of shea butter—in 2015, when visiting a market in Uganda. 

Initially, she was blown away by its skin-transforming properties. Then, she realized she could help lift African women out of poverty by partnering with them for its harvesting and production. And so, LXMI was born, enabling its producers to earn at least three times the local wage.

Leila's legacy lives on today with the company's mission to do good for your skin, people and the planet. Now, we can buy a whole range of Nilotica-based products, including Crème du Nil, of course.

LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil

LXMI Creme du Nil

The luxurious packaging of LXMI Crème du Nil.

Besides its inspiring origins, what makes LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil so special? 

First of all, it's a lightweight but intensely hydrating cream that ANY skin can use. If you're on the oily side, you'll only need the thinnest layer (a little goes a long way). But if you're dry, you can apply it more thickly for deeper nourishment.

Second, the ingredients are 100% natural and get the "Clean at Sephora" seal of approval (as well as meeting my even stricter personal criteria). So unlike most conventional moisturizers out there, this one is truly beneficial for your skin—more on that in a moment.

Then there's the luxurious texture and packaging, which rival any mainstream prestige brand's. Not only does it feel ultra-plush to the touch, but Crème du Nil also comes in a heavy embossed jar, with an accompanying copper applicator. The crest on the lid symbolizes the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, from whom LXMI (pronounced "luxe-me") gets its name.

LXMI Crème du Nil Benefits

LXMI Creme du Nil

LXMI Crème du Nil has hydrating, smoothing and priming benefits.

As far as moisturizers go, this one does it all:

  • Quenches dryness all over the face and neck
  • Can be used around the eyes, instead of eye cream
  • Reduces the look of large pores
  • Creates a healthy, dewy skin finish
  • Acts as a silicone-free primer under makeup
  • Supports skin health with naturally-occurring fatty acids, allantoin and vitamins A and E

While Crème du Nil is not an anti-aging treatment, it deserves a spot in your skincare routine for its nourishing, smoothing and priming properties.

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From The Skincare Edit Archives

LXMI Crème du Nil Ingredients

LXMI Creme du Nil

The star ingredient of LXMI Crème du Nil is Nilotica, a rare type of African shea butter.

Here's what's inside a jar of Crème du Nil:

Water, 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.

No surprise, organic Nilotica is the second ingredient on the list—and LXMI cultivates the best quality available, dubbed "Nilotica Reserve." 

As a type of shea butter, Nilotica has a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are resistant to oxidation. It also has both emollient and occlusive qualities that make it intensely hydrating and protective against moisture loss.

What's more, Nilotica is a natural source of allantoin (an enzyme with soothing properties) as well as vitamins A and E. Vitamin A plays an integral role in cell regulation and therefore skin health, while vitamin E is a master antioxidant. 

Fun fact: Ugandan women are known for their incredible skin, which they attribute to the centuries-old practice of massaging it with Nilotica!

As for the rest of the formula, the glycerin, aloe and hyaluronic acid are humectants that bring moisture to the skin, while the squalane, capric triglycerides and fatty alcohol help to lock it in. Hibiscus water has natural AHAs for an ultra-gentle exfoliation (although not comparable to an actual acid treatment), and vanilla extract gives you additional antioxidant benefits.

Just as important is what's NOT in Crème du Nil: silicones, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, petrochemicals, chemical sunscreens, glycols, PEGs, parabens, synthetic dyes, microplastics, phthalates or gluten.

LXMI Crème du Nil Scent and Texture

LXMI Creme du Nil

LXMI Crème du Nil has a luxurious texture, but is free of silicones.

Now, let's talk about the experience of using Crème du Nil, shall we? The first thing you'll probably notice is the scent, which is all-natural and therefore free of potentially irritating and hormone-disrupting ingredients.

If you're wondering what you're smelling, the primary note is a green aloe inspired by the Nile Valley, where the Nilotica is harvested. Personally, I'm a fan and would much rather smell something subtle and natural like this than a cloying synthetic scent. (But if you're used to synthetic fragrance in your skincare products, then it could take some getting used to.)

Once you apply Crème du Nil, I promise you'll be amazed by its luxe, whipped feel. 

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. Well, LXMI just proved 'em wrong. It IS possible to achieve a creamy, luxurious consistency without silicones, and it's all thanks to the star ingredient. While regular shea butter is often hard as a rock, Nilotica can be cold-pressed into a soft butter that is just like a high-tech emulsion.

That means Crème du Nil feels silky and pillowy, but still lightweight. As long as you don't use too much, it's quick to absorb and leaves your skin supple, fresh and dewy. 

LXMI Crème du Nil Frequently Asked Questions

LXMI Creme du Nil

Wear LXMI Crème du Nil under sunscreen and makeup in the daytime, and as the last step in your routine at night.

Here are some of the most common questions about this moisturizer:

  • When should you apply it in your skincare routine? Crème du Nil can be worn day and night as a moisturizer, eye cream and/or neck cream. In the mornings, it should go on after your serums and before sunscreen, followed by makeup (if you wear it). I also like to wear it as a dewy primer before I apply makeup for a night out. At bedtime, it should be your last step, after applying any active treatments like retinoids. You can even do a thicker application at night as a sleeping mask. 
  • How much do you need to apply? A pearl-sized amount is all it takes to moisturize your entire face. Consider using even less, if your skin is oily or if you feel it's not absorbing fast enough. It's such a powerful moisturizer, you really don't need much!
  • How do you use the 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 to stimulate circulation, and has a cooling and refreshing effect that is particularly great for dark circles and puffiness.
  • Does it contain sunscreen? No. If you'll be getting any UV exposure, you need to wear a separate sunscreen. See my mineral sunscreen guide for product recommendations.
  • Is it safe for acne-prone skin? It can be. I personally am acne-prone and quite sensitive to oils, and Crème du Nil has never broken me out. But everyone's skin is different, so it's best to patch test first to see if it will work for you. Also keep in mind that comedogenicity can be dose-dependent. A thin coating may be just fine, whereas your skin could find a thick layer is too much.
  • Is it cruelty-free? Yes. None of LXMI's products (nor their ingredients) are tested on animals. 
  • Is it vegan? Yes.

Conclusion + Where to Buy

The bottom line? Not only does Crème du Nil repair dryness better than other moisturizers I've tried, it's every bit as luxe as La Mer—plus every purchase helps to end poverty in one of the world's poorest communities. That's the kind of beauty brand we can all feel great about supporting!

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