My Story

My Story


Like so many women I've struggled to manage my sensitive skin.  Itching, burning, redness, eczema, hives, rashes, severe sunburns, I’ve experienced it all.  So many times over the years, the condition, and appearance of my skin left me feeling frustrated and self-conscious.  No matter what I did, I couldn't stop my skin from reacting. I visited dermatologists for eczema, purchased dozens of products from drugstore brands to expensive prestige brands searching for relief.  Some of these products were effective but they contained few if any natural or organic ingredients and many potentially harmful ones.

But more than just treating my skin with products, I wanted to understand why my skin was so sensitive, how my skin worked, and what I needed to do to have healthy, calm, beautiful skin.  In 2008, I made a commitment to study skincare and received my esthetician training at the Aveda Institute NYC, advanced education at the Dermal Institute NYC and completed a diploma in clinical aromatherapy.  I worked in spas in NYC and as a brand ambassador for several natural skin care companies.

In my work, I've met countless women who are confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting information about how to care for their skin.  Bloggers, wellness coaches, magazines, skin care companies, everyone has an opinion or promise about what about what women need to do to have beautiful skin.

But the key to beautiful skin isn’t found in the newest skin care trend or exotic ingredient. The key to beautiful, healthy skin is working in harmony with our skin.  Our skin knows how to function and balance itself but it needs to be supported with the right ingredients and lifestyle choices.  Thru my training, I've developed a deep understanding and appreciation of the skin's natural processes of regeneration and homeostasis and the primary importance of the protective, barrier function.  A healthy, intact barrier function is the foundation of beautiful skin and our skin responds best to botanicals and skin-identical ingredients that mimic the barrier function, like Omega 3and 6 fatty acids, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

When I started Lily De Mai, I wanted to begin a new conversation about skin care based on nature and science.  From my childhood in rural Maine, I have a deep connection with and love of the natural world.  I believe that organic extracts and oils are best for our skin and our planet.  I also have an inquisitive and skeptical mind that deeply respects and believes in the methodology and rigors of science.  I believe that many of the ingredients and innovations from cosmetic chemistry have enormous benefits for our skin.  I didn’t want to choose between nature and science in caring for my skin.  What I wanted were organic and natural based products, with safe, skin-soothing active ingredients that had scientific evidence behind them proving their effectiveness.

Working with like-minded industry experts, in the fields of cosmetic chemistry, aromatherapy and herbalism, I created Lily de Mai, for myself and other women who want gentle, high-performance skincare that embraces the best of nature and science.   Products that minimize sensitivity, achieve anti-aging results and support our skin's natural processes and balance.  Enjoy them and realize your own unique beauty.  Join our newsletter and check the blog and social media for tips, news, featured products, our formulation philosophy, Skin Identical ingredients and much more.  We’re here to make you beautiful!



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The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any concerns or questions about a persistent problem or medical condition.

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Sara Runser, Founder

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