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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.™

PRODUCTS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : NIOD Flavanone Mud Decongesting Mask

Look, I live in a polluted city. My skin is under constant attack by micronized pollutants, UV rays, infrared and blue light — and god knows what else. And while I wear sunscreen religiously and am a huge proponent of protective antioxidants, both orally and topically, they can’t do it all. There’s too much going on! 🤷🏼‍♂️ So, once a week I turn to what I consider my OG decongesting mask — the under-appreciated Flavanone Mud from Deciem’s high-science brand NIOD. This little pot of what-the-hell-is-it is a jolt to the system. In a good way.

Flavanone Mud (FM) is a condensed, smooth-as-silk, rust-colored blend of purifying and decongesting clays. But it’s so, so much more than that. A simple blend of clays wouldn’t deliver the kind of transformative results that I get from Flavanone Mud — each and every time.


FM is actually a blend of three highly concentrated clays — including Amazonian black clay, sedimentary white clay, and a copper-rich Brazilian clay. But the formula's strength and efficacy is powered by what NIOD scientists call a "three-phase decongestion system" that jolts skin into balance. I literally see and feel a transformation in my complexion every time I use it. The effect is both instantaneous and cumulative over hours and even days. 

Its unique "dispersion mechanism" means you need less of the formula than a conventional mud.

Its unique "dispersion mechanism" means you need less of the formula than a conventional mud.

There's literally no "mud mask" like it. And I've tried them all! The way I think of it, Flavanone Mud works like those pads they use to send an electric jolt into a person's chest to restart their heart. That's exactly the right analogy. My skin feels shocked into rebalancing itself and I always notice a visible, progressive improvement in my complexion in the days that follow.

Of course, I apply Flavanone Mud the way I apply every mask — with my trusted facial masking brush from The Body Shop. I know I've talked about it before, and even demonstrated how I use it. If you aren't applying a mask with a facial brush made for masking, you're missing out. It's literally transformed how I mask — and the results I get. And it's only $15. Get one here.

I wouldn't even think of applying a mask without my fave masking brush.

I wouldn't even think of applying a mask without my fave masking brush.

NIOD describes Flavanone Mud as a “three-phase rinse-off decongestion system that disrupts neither the skin surface equilibrium nor its density. While FM can be classified as a masque for categorical convenience, its approach varies substantially from that offered by the concept of masques today both in terms of its way of positive visible influence on the skin as well as its respect for dermal integrity.”

Come on. That sounds like the chemist who formulated this product wrote it. Who else would have those kinds of insights and such an off-center POV? As a copywriter, I could never write that without the close collaboration of the scientists in the lab.



So what about that "three-phase decongestion system"? Let's go back to those scientist who presumably made FM. The decongestion approach comprises a purifying phase, a protective phase, and a responsive phase.  

The Purifying Phase: "This phase is the simplest one in the formulation and the one that is most closely aligned with masques as they are known today. In this phase, surface impurities— which include oil- and water-soluble pollution, cosmetic product build-up and excess sebum activity build-up — are physically solubilized and removed." 

The Protective Phase: "This phase of FM's formulation offers the most innovative approach to decongestion by introducing technologies that offer a physical shield against external build-up. 

The Responsive Phase: "This phase of the formulation introduces mechanisms that fight against environmental congestion factors. This phase is the most important phase of FM as it respects health and longevity. The presence of "Flavanone" in the name of the product emphasizes the importance of this phase. A highly-purified flavanone derived from the inner white parts of citrus peel, triggers topical visible detoxification."


One of the more unusual qualities of Flavanone Mud is its texture. NIOD scientists used a unique "dispersion mechanism" that helps to more easily spread the formula across the skin's surface, meaning you don't need as much of it. That sets it apart from conventional mud masks, where you need to slather gobs of clay onto your skin to cover it evenly. Because of Flavanone Mud's unusual spreading technology, I have literally owned a single jar of FM and use it as regularly as once a week. (When I skip a week, I can tell!) I probably have a half-jar left after maybe 20 applications. Oh, one more thing, this baby stiiiings. 🐝 I love a good tingling effect when it's the result of the formula actually working to improve your skin health. That's different from the deceptive tingling effect you get from a fragrant plant oil like peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender — all of which are actually harmful disruptors of your skin barrier to varying degrees (lavender is particularly harmful to skin). 

Whether you live in a city or not, your skin needs a decongestive treatment like Flavanone Mud.


The Ingredient List of NIOD Flavanone Mud:

Aqua (Water), Montmorillonite, Kaolin, Bisabolol, Silica Cetyl Silylate, Isodecyl neopentanoate, Panthenyl Triacetate, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Argilla, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Resveratrol, Naringenin, Arginine, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Perfluorodecalin, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Glycosphingolipids, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Acacia Senegal Gum, Mica, Quartz, Sucrose Palmitate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

BRANDS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : Amperna Active Probiotic Skincare

BRANDS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : Amperna Active Probiotic Skincare

PRODUCTS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : Laneige Fresh Calming Mousse Moisturizer

PRODUCTS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : Laneige Fresh Calming Mousse Moisturizer