Generally, I loathe targeted advertisements—they feel like an instant invasion of privacy and give me the sneaking suspicion that computers are, in fact, taking over the world. But I'll give them a free pass for leading me to LilyAna Naturals, an all-natural skincare brand with a growing following on Amazon.
Presumably because I'm always on the hunt for best-selling skincare products on the e-commerce site, I was served an ad for LilyAna's best-selling eye cream. I was immediately struck by the number of five-star reviews the product had amassed. After a little digging, I realized that its clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products are Amazon best sellers with tens of thousands of glowing reviews.
Founded By: LilyAna Naturals CEO Retta Abraham says LilyAna's founder, who started the company in 2014, "prefers to remain anonymous."
Based In: Collinsville, MS
Best Known For: Being one of Amazon's top-reviewed skincare brands
Most Popular Product: Retinol Cream, Super C Serum
Fun Fact: "The brand was named after the two daughters of our director of operations, Lily and Anna Belle, both of whom grew up in Mississippi where the brand was founded," Abraham says.
Other Brands You’ll Love: Burt's Bees, InstaNatural, Tree of Life
LilyAna, whose products are also sold through its own website, earned its rep on the strength of four rockstar products: a face cream, an eye cream, a retinol cream, and a vitamin C serum. In 2020, the super-hot brand was acquired by Abraham and Menna Samaha, a brother-sister investment team based in New York City. Despite the change in ownership, the brand hasn't strayed from its roots: LilyAna's products continue to be made in the United States and assembled in the teeny-tiny town of Collinsville, the brand's home since its inception.
Abraham says he and Samaha were drawn to LilyAna not just because of its "incredible amount of growth potential," but also because of the company's wholesome family vibe. "At its core, LilyAna Naturals is a homegrown family business," he says.
The secret ingredient to LilyAna's success? Its accessibility, Abraham says. "We want to provide skincare for all at an attainable price point," he explains; to whit, the brand's most expensive products are its $30 eye creams.
LilyAna Naturals' products are not only affordable, they're also safe and, seemingly, effective. LilyAna's mission, Abraham says, is to provide "supercharged formulas for immediate and lasting results"—with clean ingredients. In addition to being vegan and cruelty-free, LilyAna products are made without parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, gluten, and artificial fragrances and colors.
If you've browsed any of the goods in LilyAna's Amazon shop—with their giddy reviews and low prices—you'd be forgiven for wondering if these products are the real deal, especially given the history of sketchy beauty buys for sale on Amazon. Although LilyAna's marketing isn't always clear about the concentration of active ingredients in its products, the experts we polled say this isn't a red flag.
"Many skin care brands do not share the concentrations of particular ingredients in their products to help keep their trade secrets," explains Joshua Zeichner, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital.
This lack of information on ingredient potency can make it "difficult for the consumer to assess the product efficacy and how their skin might react to the the product," explain Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu, the cosmetic chemists better known by their moniker Chemist Confessions. But that hasn't stopped tens of thousands of Amazon reviewers from posting raves; in fact, Lu and Fu say they recommend LilyAna's vitamin C serums. (More on those in a sec.)
LilyAna began rapidly growing its product line in 2021, adding face washes; a toner, scrub, dark spot corrector and mask; and more vitamin C and retinol products that are racking up five-star reviews faster than Kylie Jenner changes hairstyles. So what are the brand's best products?
Read on for our favorite LilyAna Naturals products and reviews.
This retinol cream remains the hero product of the LilyAna Naturals brand, with tens of thousands of thumbs-up reviews on Amazon and glowing coverage in beauty editorial. The thick, luxurious texture of this hyaluronic acid–packed cream makes skin look plump and hydrated.
Although we're not sure how much retinol is in the product—and to that effect, how effective it is at treating wrinkles, fine lines, collagen loss, and uneven texture and tone—this is a decent nighttime moisturizer with lots of moisturizing botanical ingredients.
If you're put off by that uncanny, expired-orange-juice scent of many vitamin C serums, you'll be delighted by this much more pleasantly scented—and affordable—serum, which gave our skin a noticeably brighter look within days.
At just $28, it contains "a solid amount of sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is a good vitamin C alternative to the classic ascorbic acid serum," Lu and Fu say. "There’s some nice data on SAP being a helpful active for oily, congested skin and pigmentation."
For best results, apply a thin layer of the serum, give it a few minutes to penetrate, and follow up with moisturizer or a hydrating sunscreen.
If you're a a relative skincare novice dipping your toes into the world of actives, LilyAna's original vitamin C serum is a great gateway product. With a lower concentration of vitamin C than the aforementioned Super C Serum, it's gentle on sensitive skin while promising to provide a respectable antioxidant boost, improving skin tone, and treating acne. We also appreciate the opaque packaging, which is meant to ensure the vitamin C doesn't degrade due to light exposure.
Although we haven't tried this hydrating brightening mask, we're eager to try it for a soothing self-care moment. Although it's said to be helpful for acne-prone and aging skin, the mask's mix of gentle plant extracts and oils seem best suited for hydrating balanced or dry skin and calming irritation.
Antioxidant vitamin C is one of the few ingredients that can really, truly fade under-eye circles due to hyperpigmentation. This eye cream is formulated with a derivative of L-ascorbic acid to meant to brighten under-eyes and stimulate collagen growth. It also has nourishing botanicals like licorice root extract (another hyperpigmentation fighter), aloe, jojoba oil, and rosehip seed oil.
If you're not used to using vitamin C under the eyes, keep in mind it may be a little drying with daily use. If you notice your under-eye area getting a little parched or flaky, try using it every other day, switching off with a more hydrating eye cream.
LilyAna's retinol serum is described as a more potent sister to its best-selling Retinol Cream. If you're a fan of the cream and want more bang for your buck, try this serum—or, better yet, layer the serum under the cream for maximum anti-aging effects.
Although the no. 1 best-selling status of LilyAna's Retinol Cream seems destined to endure, we think this serum is one of the better retinol offerings from the brand, including its lower-potency Retinol 0.5% Eye Cream and Retinol Face Wash.
Love what vitamin C does for your skin but need a little more moisture than a serum can provide? Try this face cream with acne-fighting tea tree oil and salicylic acid.
Although it has a vaguely medicinal smell, the scent quickly dissipates after application, and the cream makes skin feel nourished and supple for hours. We dig.
If potent, anti-aging eye creams have ever left you irritated and swearing off eye cream completely, this clean, no-frills eye cream might be for you. It's made mostly with good-for-skin, plant-based ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, rosehip seed oil, and vitamin E. It's simple and wholesome—which, if you don't have serious wrinkles or dark circles, may be just what you want from an eye cream.
One of the brand's four core products, the rosewater-scented Face Cream is a solid moisturizer for most skin types. It contains lots of lovely moisturizing ingredients—like carrot seed and meadowfoam seed oils and hyaluronic acid—plus antioxidant cranberry extract, pomegranate extract and vitamin C.
Meadowfoam (a.k.a. Limnanthes alba) seed oil is derived from meadowfoam seeds and is composed of mostly fatty acids and antioxidants. The emollient helps lock in moisture and soften skin.
Although some Amazon reviewers complained that this cream didn't leave their dry skin feeling appropriately quenched, people with balanced, sensitive, or combination skin should get by just fine.
LilyAna's first toner smells like a delicious, citrus-y cocktail and leaves skin feeling refreshed and lightly hydrated, thanks to aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and niacinimide. Although the product comes in a (very generously sized) spray bottle, the nozzle didn't deliver the elegant, fine mist we were hoping it would; we found it easier to apply the toner with a cotton pad versus spritzing directly on our faces.
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