Saturday, 11 June 2016

Veracious Product Review: NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%

Hi, everyone! I'm a sucker for skin care, there's no denying. And as I inch further into my '30s, I find myself less patient with sub-par skin care; that is, skin care with useless ingredients and near imperceptible results. I actually find it incredibly fun to research skin care ingredients; pouring over the roles and impacts of various ingredients is my idea of a thrilling evening! Having incredibly finicky skin (read: sensitive, acne-prone, combination-oily, some fine lines) has further motivated me to keep as informed as possible about what I'm putting on my face. As a result, I've been gravitating towards two realms of skin care lately: 1) natural, organic brands with high-quality ingredients and 2) high-tech science-driven lines with unique perspectives. NIOD most definitely falls in the latter category and I'm so thrilled to finally be giving the brand a try! 


NIOD is a Toronto-born brand (yay!) that's under the umbrella of Deciem lines, such as Hylamide, Fountain, and Hand Chemistry. Its name stands for Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science and devotes itself to using non-traditional, high-tech, effective ingredients driven by science and devoted to results.  My kind of mantra! 

NIOD's star, cornerstone product (seriously, if you follow skin care bloggers on Instagram, you'll see this everywhere) is the Copper Amino Isolate Serum or, CAIS, for short. It comes in two concentrations, 1% and 5%, and I was lucky enough to be sent a CAIS 1%** to take for a spin! 


The Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%** is designed to promote overall skin health from the bottom up by encouraging skin to repair itself in an accelerated fashion. NIOD touts that it "departs from the traditional thinking of addressing visible aspects of visible signs of skin aging and instead forms a foundation to make skin look and act younger from its lowest depths upward" (from niod.com). In other words, it doesn't only improve skin at its surface, but also changes the underlying function of the skin. Sounding intense and intriguing? Yes, most definitely! 

The star ingredient of the serum is 1% Pure Copper Tripeptide-1, an element of human plasma responsible for vital skin functions such as healing, immune function, collagen synthesis, and anti-inflammatory responses, that begins to decrease in our late teenage years. Unlike other skin care products that feature copper, CAIS 1% includes a concentration designed to actually deliver visible results, such as reducing textural damage, fading hyperpigmentation, improving elasticity and radiance, and minimizing the look of pores and fine lines. This concentrated dose of copper is supported by a Peptide Stabilization Complex to properly deliver the copper to the skin and a Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer to facilitate water-binding in the skin.

This all sounds very high-tech, indeed! My fellow skin-care nerds are no doubt enticed, but for others who may have glazed over, let's take a look at the packaging and performance! 


Like all NIOD products, the CAIS 1%** comes in delightfully minimal packaging, as if from a modern apothecary or laboratory. To access the product, a panel slides out from the side of the cardboard box, which I find oddly satisfying!

The CAIS is unique in that it initially comes in two bottles (to preserve the freshness and integrity of the ingredients) and must be mixed before use. The serum bottle includes powdered ingredients and is accompanied by a bottle of activating liquid. The box includes handy, visual instructions for mixing. 


After mixing, you are left with an empty activator bottle and a full bottle of serum with a twist-off top and a glass pipette-style dispenser.


My first thought after looking at the mixed concoction! This stuff is bright blue!! I had to look at other reviews to ensure this was supposed to be the case (I'd really seen nothing like it), and luckily, as was as it should have been. The elements in the serum give it a vivid hue totally reminiscent of a chemistry experiment. Just the point, I suppose! 

My second thought- this stuff is watery! As you'll see in the second photo below, the texture really is quite thin, runnier than any serum I've tried. I spoke to a rep at NIOD who confirmed this thin texture is intentional, as it helps the product to better penetrate into the skin. 

Directions suggest that you use a few drops of the serum both morning and night, applying directly after cleansing, before any sort of serum, treatment, or moisturizer.



So we've looked at the science, the packaging, and the texture, but how does this high-tech cult serum perform? Here's a breakdown of my experience:

Pros:
  • My stubborn post-acne scars have faded significantly after using this- nothing else has ever done this for me!
  • My pores look more refined and the overall texture of my skin, much smoother
  • My skin tone looks more even and my blemishes tend to heal more quickly 
  • My face now feels incredibly soft to the touch! 
  • This can easily be integrated into any skin care routine, as it doesn't contain acids or other ingredients that would clash with other products. 
  • The serum has in no way aggravated my sensitive skin; in fact, it tends to calm my redness slightly after application. 
  • The packaging is incredibly functional; the dark glass keeps the ingredients stable and the pipette never squeezes out more than intended. 
  • It's a Toronto-born brand! I like to brag about that to everyone. 

Cons:
  • Because the serum is so watery, I find application tricky. I would normally spread a serum between my palms before applying it to my face, but when I do that with this, it quickly absorbs into my palms before it can make it to my face. Instead, I pour a little pool of it into my palm and quickly dab it to sections of my face with fingertips. In doing so, I tend to need more than the 2-3 drops of serum recommended. 
  • I do not see this as a con (though some may), but this is not a serum that will give you any quick-fix instant results. The effects are slow and steady. 

Overall, I am way pleased with this serum! While it is not the kind of skin care product that will give you immediate results (i.e., no instant wow factor upon application), the slow and steady effects of the CAIS 1%** have been incredibly impressive! Long-time scars are fading, breakouts heal more quickly, my pores appear refined, and my skin tone looks more even. Plus, it always catches me off-guard when I feel just how soft my face is! Yes, the application is a bit fiddly (still trying to perfect my technique), but the results have been so worth it. In a world of quick-fix beauty products, I am completely swayed by the gradual, yet meaningful changes that this gives to the skin. It's become a staple that I'm not sure I could be without! 

You can read more about NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%** on the brand's website, here, and if you're in the GTA, you can find it on shelves at stores like Jacob and Sebastian or Hudson Bay Queen Street's Beauty Underground section.  A 15mL bottle retails for $60 CAD and, at a better value, the 30mL bottle goes for $90

Have you tried any products from NIOD? What is your favourite serum or skin treatment at the moment?

Thanks for stopping by! xo


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** This product was sent to me as a PR sample for consideration and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own. 

23 comments:

  1. Looks like this brand really means business! :-) Interesting!

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    1. They really do! So worth checking out :)

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  2. This looks really interesting! I've lately started following Caroline Hirons skincare routine, and it's totally changed my skin for the better. This looks like it would be a really good addition, or at least really interesting to try.

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    1. Caroline really knows her stuff! This serum is so worth a try- I've seen results and you can integrate it into pretty much any routine!

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  3. This looks really interesting! I've lately started following Caroline Hirons skincare routine, and it's totally changed my skin for the better. This looks like it would be a really good addition, or at least really interesting to try.

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  4. This seems to tick all of the boxes so I have firmly placed it on my "to buy" list! Great post! xx

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    1. Absolutely! Glad I've inspired you to check it out! :)

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  5. This sounds pretty good and like it would give lasting long term benefits rather than just a short term quick fix. Great review! Xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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    1. Absolutely! Lasting benefits is really what it's all about! Thank you :)

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  6. NIOD is one of the brands I have been meaning to try, and this product seems to be a good place to start.

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    1. Definitely a great place to start! It really does a bit of everything and can easily be integrated into any routine :)

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  7. I've heard so much about NIOD, and I really need to try more of their products! I love how scientific their branding looks xx

    Gemma ♡ Miss Makeup Magpie

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    1. Yes, everything from the packaging to the ingredients have a scientific feel- the nerd in me loves it! :)

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  8. How is the initial your skin getting used to it? I just started using Tretinoin and am waiting for the flakes and such! Is there any of the warnings like Tretinoin? Sun sensitivity? Waxing?

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    1. I've had no averse reaction at all! It's effective, but since there are no acids, it doesn't seem to sensitize the skin at all! Very easy to incorporate into any routine :)

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  9. This looks very interesting! Thank you for sharing! X

    www.britishmilan.co.uk

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    1. My pleasure! Glad I piqued your interest :)

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  10. This sounds so cool! It's pretty neat how you have to mix it together, although it looks a little tricky to pour the activator into the serum bottle.

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    1. I thought it would be tricky to pour, but it was quite easy! The effects were well worth the tinkering with the mixing :)

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  11. Absolutely wonderful!

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  12. The results you achieved are amazing! I see why this is popular! Definitely beneficial!
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  13. Few things that I like about this brand but the main one is it's a local Canadian brand and I love supporting local. The serum is pricey for sure but hey, it delivers and it's better than spending $$$ on products after products that don't work. Will check them out.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  14. NIOD is the best. I have a whole routine to start testing including this serum and I think I am going to love this product as well!

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All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)