Clean beauty is currently bigger than ever—but it wasn't long ago that our options were few and far between. 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.
Read on to find out what it does, what's in it and why I recommend it for ALL skin.
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 earlier this year 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 with 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 as well as for its producers 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
The full name of this wonder moisturizer is LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil. Besides its inspiring origins, what makes it 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 percent 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. 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.
What Can LXMI Crème du Nil Do for Your Skin?
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 it won't replace products high in active ingredients like retinoids or vitamin C, it definitely deserves a spot in your skincare routine for its nourishing, smoothing and priming properties.
LXMI Crème du Nil Ingredients
Here's what's inside a jar of Crème du Nil:
No surprise, organic Nilotica is the second ingredient on the list—and LXMI cultivates the best quality available, dubbed "Nilotica Reserve."
Compared to more common forms of shea butter, Nilotica boasts a 25% higher concentration of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. That means it is among the more stable fatty acids used in skincare, and resistant to oxidation. Oleic acid 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, coconut fatty acids and fatty alcohol are emollients that 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:
- Synthetic fragrances
- Mineral oil
- Chemical sunscreens
- Synthetic dyes
LXMI Crème du Nil Scent and Texture
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 100 percent natural and therefore free of 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 mainstream fragranced skincare products, then it could take some getting used to.)
Once you apply Crème du Nil, I promise you'll be amazed by the texture.
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. (Never mind that silicones are film-formers that can worsen breakouts, dehydrate your skin and slow down cellular renewal!)
Well, LXMI just proved 'em wrong. It IS possible to achieve a gorgeously-textured cream without silicones, and it's all thanks to the star ingredient. While regular shea butter is usually hard as a rock, Nilotica can be cold-pressed into a soft butter that feels 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. It's perfect!
LXMI Crème du Nil Frequently Asked Questions
- 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 right before your mineral 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? Maybe. I personally am acne-prone and quite sensitive to oils, and Crème du Nil has never broken me out. But I believe that any ingredient can be comedogenic, and everyone's skin is different—so it's a matter of trial and error to figure out what works for you. Also keep in mind that it 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.
LXMI Crème du Nil ticks off ALL my moisturizer boxes—and that rarely happens!
The truth is, most creams out there are indistinguishable from one another, since they're primarily composed of water, glycerin, silicone, cheap oils and countless synthetics.
LXMI has raised the bar by creating a TRULY luxurious and innovative product.
Not only does it repair dryness better than other moisturizers I've tried (and seriously helped me get through the Canadian winter), it also supports skin health with one of Nature's most incredible ingredients. And it looks and feels every bit as luxe as La Mer!
But perhaps more importantly, it's not JUST a jar of moisturizer—it's a movement. Every purchase helps to end poverty and create job opportunities for women in one of the world's poorest communities.
Now that's the kind of beauty brand we can all feel great about supporting!
Where to Buy
Have you tried LXMI Crème du Nil?
What's your favourite clean moisturizer?