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.™

I never leave home without perfectly hydrated skin.

I never leave home without perfectly hydrated skin.

About a year ago, Hydration Vaccine from Deciem's NIOD brand upturned how I think about moisturizing and hydrating my skin. It relies on the concept of preventing loss of water and moisture in skin rather than merely adding water-based and oil-based products like serums and moisturizers — most of which are likely to evaporate rather than be absorbed into your skin's layers as claimed or intended. Think of Hydration Vaccine as a skin sealant. By holding water in, you keep your skin hydrated longer; and as a consequence, you can maintain the health of your skin at a higher level. 

But you know what this odd product reminds me of? A sleeping mask! While it's directed for use as part of both an AM and PM regimen, it functions exactly like an overnight sleeping mask is intended to work. That is, it relies on occlusive technology to seal your skin and prevent loss of water and moisture.  

I love the texture of the  Laneige Time Freeze Sleeping Mask!

I love the texture of the Laneige Time Freeze Sleeping Mask!

A few years back, I began to notice a whole new category of skincare products coming into play that were being marketed as “sleeping masks” or “overnight masks”. For a while, it looked like just another trendy marketing gimmick. As they began to proliferate, Sephora seemed to be making a big push into the category. Suddenly, I came down with a case of FOMO and I started to think seriously about what a sleeping mask could actual offer that you couldn't or wouldn't get from a well-formulated night cream.  Then it hit me. 


What the heck does that even mean? Well, “to occlude” means to close, plug, block — as in the passage or flow of something. It comes from the Latin "occlūdere : to shut up, close up, equivalent to oc- oc- + -clūdere, combining form of claudere to close."

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Deciem’s NIOD Hydration Vaccine

Deciem’s NIOD Hydration Vaccine

Hydration Vaccine (HV) has a unique silicone-rich texture. It takes a bit of getting used to as it's like nothing you've ever applied to your skin before. In order to appreciate it, you need to get past the fear that heavy silicones are going to clog your pores and lead to irritation and breakouts. In fact, I've had zero sign of that when using HV. I've actually grown to love the texture. Likely as a consequence of the fact that I really get it and appreciate what it's doing for my skin — and my skin care. My skin simply feels healthier, more hydrated, plumper and, of course, less dry. In the cold winter months in NYC, this was a godsend.

The directions read:

“Apply a small amount all over face in the AM and PM after the application of serums (ideally NIOD CAIS and MMHC) but before the application of any other creams and/or sunscreen formulations.”

I've actually adjusted that slightly on days when the air is colder and dryer by applying a lighter moisturizer before I apply HV. Again, at first, I was concerned it may be going too far and lead to breakouts. Nope! Works like a charm every time.

I get that Hydration Vaccine isn't for everyone. Quite a few people are averse to silicones for one reason or another. I don't happen to be one of them. 

What NIOD says about Hydration Vaccine:

A "breathing", adaptive hydration seal for the skin that helps protect against loss of Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF), and supplements the skin's own moisturizing factors. NMF, largely composed of amino acids and minerals, is the skin's natural barrier against water loss—in effect, protection from loss of NMF itself is the first line of defence against protection from loss of hydration (water). This novel approach stands in sharp contrast to moisturizers that offer oils and lubricants as a method of hiding dehydration instead of respecting the skin's own barrier to water loss. This supplementation of NMF within the skin is shown to be so effective that it can help the skin look up to 20 years younger—purely by increased natural water content.

As with nearly all of NIOD’s formulas, Hydration Vaccine is about real science. It's not for skincare beginners or casual skincare users. If you're serious about your skin care and fully understand the link between skin health and hydration, I recommend giving Hydration Vaccine a try! 


Don’t sleep on this Avocado Melt sleeping mask from  Glow Recipe!

Don’t sleep on this Avocado Melt sleeping mask from Glow Recipe!

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The Ingredient List of the NIOD Hydration Vaccine:

Caprylyl Methicone, Aqua (Water), PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Propanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Leontopodium Alpinum Callus Culture Extract, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Proline, Alanine, Serine, Xylitol, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Polypodium Vulgare Rhizome Extract, Cetraria Islandica Thallus Extract, Sphagnum Magellanicum Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Squalane, Lecithin,Hexamethyldisiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Gluconolactone, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Kiehl's Lip Balm #1

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Kiehl's Lip Balm #1

SKINCARE 101 : Exfoliation and Your Skin Barrier 💁‍♂️

SKINCARE 101 : Exfoliation and Your Skin Barrier 💁‍♂️