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Surely this is something I complain about every year, but, once again, winter took a serious toll on my skin. Residual effects of a sweets- and stress-filled holiday season mixed with the usual cold-weather wear and tear left my face dull, dry, bumpy, and with a hodgepodge of other unflattering terms you can use to describe a shitty complexion.
However, thanks to my new skin-care hero, I can speak of this lack of good skin in the past tense. While many of you are currently fangirling over how great The Ordinary is (which, yes, you absolutely should be), I’d like to direct your attention to its sister brand that deserves some praise of its own: NIOD.
NIOD isn’t just your average skin-care brand. Its products are rooted in technology’s latest innovations and focus heavily on overall skin health, not just quick fixes. The name itself stands for Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science, which explains its very science-y, tongue-twister-y product names. There are no frills, no overly fancy packaging or scents, just products that work, and work well. It’s a brand that’s constantly evolving, with product formulations that are constantly updated and changed as part of the brand’s commitment to continuous innovation. (Just check the version number on any package to ensure you have the most recent one).
My NIOD love story began with the Sanskrit Saponins. Intrigued by this cleansing paste (and, honestly, not even really sure what it was meant to do), I gave it a shot. Formulated with unrefined Ayurvedic plant surfactants, this cleaning balm uses modern technology to truly (and safely) cleanse the skin of dirt, bacteria, and oils, without the harsh intensity of chemicals, acids, or exfoliants.
Admittedly, using the Sanskrit Saponins sort of smells like you’re rubbing food all over your face, but not necessarily in a bad way. I became instantly obsessed with the truly-clean-but-not-dried-out feeling in my face post-use. And from there, I was dying to try more.
For a month, I went on an only-NIOD regimen—a very big deal for me as I’m a bit of a brand commitment-phobe when it comes to skin care. This is when I fell in love with its other product: the Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1, otherwise known as CAIS2. This miracle bottle of blue liquid is a godsend. First of all, you get to play scientist by mixing the solution with the activator together, guaranteeing its freshness, but that’s only half the fun. (The other half is, well, really good skin.) The serum is pro-repair and pro-collagen and addresses overall skin health, indirectly fighting multiple signs of aging while leaving you with smooth, glowing skin. While the full explanation is a bit more scientific than what my non-scientist brain can fully understand, it basically takes whatever skin issue you’re having—be it dryness, bumps, whatever—and fixes it, without even necessarily trying to. After the first two weeks, my skin was visibly smoother, brighter, and looked way healthier.
Other winners from my month of NIOD include the Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (try saying that three times fast), a mist that fights oxidative stress, water loss, and the look of inflammation; the Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, a plumping and hydrating serum of a hyaluronic acid and 15 different hyaluronic compounds; and the Hydration Vaccine, a breathable, smoothing hydration “seal” for the skin that locks in moisture—and other product—into the skin.
While, yes, I missed some of my other skin-care favorites, I can definitely attribute my freshly awakened complexion to these five five-star products. To be completely honest, I’m convinced NIOD is the only reason I made it through New York Fashion Week followed by a Really Bad Sinus Infection without my skin completely freaking out, and, for once, won't be entering spring still battling my winter skin woes.
So, as you stock up on all of The Ordinary’s magical $6 potions and serums, may I suggest you also check out what NIOD has to offer—it will change your life (alright, your skin) forever.
NIOD, Sanskrit Saponins, $28, available at NIOD.