welcome to SKINCARMA!

These are the musings of a skincare junkie + writer + brand guru with 25+ years of product wisdom put into action to demystify skin care. 

You can change your skin’s destiny.β„’


There's something exceptionally intriguing about skincare company DECIEM's sub-brand NIOD (sister brand of the more popular The Ordinary), but I have yet to put my finger on it exactly. First and foremost, it's a smart, hard science brand β€” not for the faint of heart. NIOD requires somewhat of a commitment to learning about what ingredients work for your skin; it's definitely not for beginners or anyone uninterested in much beyond the basics of cleansing and moisturizing. That said, I strongly align with their overall formulation philosophy. I've mentioned in a previous post how much a brand's formulation philosophy matters to the end result, and to whether the product is genuinely good for your skin. And while most skincare brands offer some well-made products, which of their products are actually doing right by your skin comes down to who exactly is formulating the company's skin care β€” and whether the formulator (often a chemist or someone who works closely with a chemist) follows a solid formulation philosophy. e.g. Does the chemist and/or formulator follow strict guidelines about ingredient no-no's like denatured alcohol and fragrant plant (essential) oils that are actually pro-aging? Or, as is very often the case, are they just making something to make something? e.g. We need a new cleansing oil because they're hot right now. Often, they don't actually care what's in it, or whether it promotes skin health. It's just another cleanser. Marketing will take care of convincing colleagues and consumers that it's a quality cleansing formula. A cleanser can do damage to your skin one day at a time. Like with all skin care, every component of the formula matters.

NIOD is clearly different. Or, as Deciem would say, abnormal! 

So, what exactly is NIOD?! NIOD is an acronym that stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal-ScienceThis is how they describe themselves:

β€œAhead is not further than behind.

True learning is a form of love β€” it is humble. It respects that to look forward, it must look backward. The few observers of NIOD’s childhood know that NIOD isn’t a brand. It is a force and it has a soul. While NIOD’s genetics are committed to science, its soul is ultimately rooted in learning. Perhaps the only flaw of modern science is that it grows proud and loses respect for our deserving past β€” but learning stays humble and looks back.

NIOD’s journey will offer respect to our past with a series of formulations informally called yeΕ‘ti. NIOD’s caretakers live with exhausting standards in science. The journey of NIOD’s yeΕ‘ti formulations is not one of a lower standard β€” it is instead one that allows our collective past an overdue chance to speak.”

That's it! It's a smart, science-based skincare company with a soul! There's hard science at the foundation of the brand and behind each and every product. The product description of my favorite treatment, Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, reads like the scientist who made it wrote it:


Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex

MMHC2 is the second generation of MMHC. The formula offers a multi-dimensional approach to topical hyaluronic supplementation by combining 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system. It offers water-based hydration and helps skin surface look plump, elastic, comfortable and uniform.

MMHC2 is essentially the mother of all Hyaluronic Acid treatments. A sure-fire way to keep your skin hydrated and healthy by preventing water loss, Hyaluronic Acid has the ability to draw water like a magnet and hold it in your skin. MMHC2's super-light, watery texture makes it easy to layer and deeply absorb into skin layers. It's so effective, I rarely need any additional hydration. Perhaps most notable, it's literally reprogrammed my thinking about hydration (water-based) and moisturizing (oil-based). That's a big deal for me given my experience with skin care and the number of years I've worked in the category. Like most people, I'm accustomed to thinking of hydration and moisturization as the same thing, essentially achieved by a cream or lotion applied as one of the main steps in every basic skincare regimen β€” and I've rarely gone a day without applying one. (There's so much more to learn and the wheels are churning on a SKINCARE 101 blog post about the subject of hydration vs moisturization.) But what I know now is that this little power-packed super-hydrator from NIOD is helping me keep my skin healthy. As wowed as I've been by MMHC2, I've begun to explore other NIOD treatments, including the even-more-wildly named Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 (nicknamed CAIS2); Hydration Vaccine, essentially a silicone based treatment that creates "a 'breathing', adaptive hydration seal for the skin"; and, what NIOD calls a face "cleaning balm," Sanskrit Saponins. Now that's an abnormal name for a face product!

And maybe that's the whole point of NIOD. It's not normal, not what you'd expect from your skin care. And certainly not what you'd expect for your skin! If you're a real skincare junkie, and serious about the science behind your skin care, NIOD could be the brand for you. I know I'm hooked. βš“️


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