I thought Korean skincare had revolutionised clay masks when it made them bubble.
Boy was I wrong!
That was just a gimmick. Those bubbling clay masks do their usual basic job – you know, remove excess oil from skin – but with foaming special effects (truth bomb: just because you can see it doing something, it doesn’t mean it’s doing something good for your skin).
The true disruptor of clay masks is Niod (who else?). NIOD Flavanone Mud takes clay masks on a whole new level. It decongests skin in three phases: it purifies skin, protects it from environmental aggressors and reduces inflammation.
At least on paper. Let’s take a look at what the science says and how it performs in real life. Ready?
- About The Brand: NIOD
- Key Ingredients In NIOD Flavanone Mud: What Makes It Work?
- The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients
- How To Use It
- Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
- What I Like About NIOD Flavanone Mud
- What I DON’T Like About NIOD Flavanone Mud
- Who Should Use It?
- Does NIOD Flavanone Mud Lives Up To Its Claims?
- Is NIOD Cruelty-Free?
- Price & Availability
- The Verdict: Should You Buy It?
- Dupes & Alternatives
About The Brand: NIOD
Part of the Canadian beauty group Deciem, NIOD stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science. The brand aims to bring you the latest breakthrough technologies in the world of skincare. If you think it hard to decipher an ingredient list, NIOD is another level. Half of the ingredients in each products are so novel, even this skincare junkie had never seen them before!
NIOD brands itself as “Skincare For The Hyper-Educated”. I think it’s for people who keep up to date with the latest technological advances. Either way, the jargon on their website feels extremely confusing. I feel like you need a PhD in skincare science to be able to understand how the products work! Still, the products work, so no wonder the brand has developed a cult following among skincare fanatics who want to be the first to try all the latest novelties.
Key Ingredients In NIOD Flavanone Mud: What Makes It Work?
PHASE ONE: PURIFYING
A.k.a. the basic job of a clay mask. This phase uses clays like montmorillonite and kaolin to absorb excess oils and surface impurities (clays can’t detoxify pores!) from your skin. Absorbing excess oil makes skin less shiny and prevents the clogged pores that inevitably lead to breakouts.
P.S. The mask also has its fair share of humectants (think glycerin & co) to hydrate skin, preventing it from getting too dry during the oil absorbing process.
Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bentonite In Skincare
Not sure how to care for your oily skin? Download the “Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin” to get started. It features product recommendations + right application order:
PHASE TWO: PROTECTIVE
A.k.a. the pollution fighter. This phase is all about decongesting skin by shielding it from external environmental buildup. It features:
- Alteromonas Ferment Extract: A polysaccharide from microorganisms living in the Polynesian coral reef, it’s involved in responses to environmental stress and reduces inflammation.
- Resveratrol: A powerful antioxidant that destroys the free radicals that cause wrinkles and dark spots.
- Bisabobol: The thing that gives chamomile its anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes red and irritated skin
I rarely see antioxidants and soothing ingredients in clay masks, so I’m thrilled Niod chose to supercharge the mask with them.
Related: The Complete Guide To Resveratrol In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And Product Recommendations
PHASE THREE: RESPONSIVE
A.k.a. the workhorse. NIOD says this is the most important phase (that’s why it’s named after the star ingredient here). It detoxifies skin and reduces inflammation. Here’s how:
- Flavanone: Listed as Naringenin on the ingredient list, it’s a powerful antioxidant derived from citrus fruits that fights wrinkles and reduces inflammation.
- Modified oleic acid: An acid naturally produced by your skin that helps it to keep it moisturised and soothes inflammation.
Related: 9 Ways To Soothe Sensitive Skin
NEW DISPERSION TECHNOLOGY (A.K.A. LESS MESS IN THE BATHROOM)
I hate using clay masks.
There, I said it. You always have to use A LOT of product to cover your entire face. As that thick layer of mud dries, your skin feels SO tight and uncomfortable. And don’t get me started on removal. SO. MESSY.
Masks are a pampering evening ritual for me. Cleaning the sink afterwards is NOT pampering. Unless my skin is way oilier than usual, I just can’t be bothered. That’s in the past. Phew!
NIOD uses a new dispersion mechanism that allows you to apply way less product. You only need a very thin layer to cover your entire face. No joke.
It feels way more comfortable on the skin. It’s way less messy to remove. And you don’t waste so much product every time you use the mask.
The best part? Because the mask dries much faster, all those goodies above that need to penetrate the skin to perform their magic have the time to get into your skin before you take the mask off.
Why had no one come up with this technology before? I can’t think of going back to using a normal clay mask ever again.
The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients
NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.
- Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
- Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
- Red: What is this doing here?!
- Aqua (Water): The base – and main solvent – of the product.
- Silica Cetyl Silylate: A synthetic silica derivative, it helps keep cosmetic ingredients dispersed throughout a formula. It’s also a thickening agent.
- Isodecyl neopentanoate: It gives a light, non-greasy feel to formulas and helps them glide smoothly on the skin.
- Panthenyl Triacetate: It helps heal wounds.
- Glucosyl Hesperidin: A synthetic water-soluble form of hesperidin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that fight wrinkles and reduces irritations. It also helps to improve skin barrier function to keep skin moisturised.
- Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate: A derivative of Azelaic Acid and hydrating amino acid Glycine. According to the manufacturer, it has the same skin-brightening properties as Azelaic Acid. It works by inhibiting the activity of Tyrosinase, the enzyme that produces melanin. It also has soothing properties.
- Argilla: A type of clay that helps to remove impurities from skin.
- Butylene Glycol: A humectant that attracts water from the air into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated while the clay mask does its oil-absorbing job.
- Naringenin: A powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals responsible for premature aging.
- Arginine: An amino acid naturally present in the body, it hydrates skin. It also has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals.
- Perfluorodecalin: A controversial ingredient that can absorb and carry oxygen in the skin, a feat that can be useful in some medical settings. But it may also makes skin more prone to free radical damage. It can also be used as a solvent and texture enhancer.
- Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil: A.k.a. Jojoba oil, it’s a non-comedogenic oil that deeply moisturises all skin types (including oily and acne-prone) without clogging pores. It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and makes skin softer and smoother.
- Glycosphingolipids: Made up of ceramides and glucose, they strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and make skin softer and smoother.
- Propanediol: A solvent that dissolves other ingredients in the product.
- Xanthan Gum: It thickens skincare products.
- Carrageenan: A plant-based gelatin-like substance, it’s an emulsifier that creates a smooth, creamy texture. It also binds water to the skin, helping to keep it hydrated.
- Acacia Senegal Gum: It’s a thickening agent that also enhances the smooth feel or adhesion of a formula.
- Mica: A mineral that gives your skin some sparkle and shine. It’s the quickest way to make your skin glow.
- Quartz: An abrasive that removes impurities from skin.
- Sucrose Palmitate: It helps water and oil to mix together, thus improving the feel and texture of the formula.
- Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: It neutralises the metal ions in the water that would otherwise spoil the formula.
- Ethoxydiglycol: It’s a solvent that helps dissolve active ingredients.
- Potassium Sorbate: A mild preservative that helps to extend the shelf life of your products.
- Sodium Benzoate: Another preservative that predominantly kills fungi, but has some anti-bacterial properties too.
- Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that keeps your mask germ-free.
- Chlorphenesin: A preservative that extends the shelf life of the formula.
NIOD Flavanone Mud is a dark terracotta shade with a smooth texture that applies like a dream. It really has the creamier texture out of all the clay masks I’ve tried. I couldn’t be happier with it.
It’s fragrance-free. I like that. Fragrance is the most irritating ingredient in skincare and a serious no-no for sensitive skin. Leaving it out is always the safest option. Having said that, each skincare ingredient has a smell of their own – hence the need for artificial fragrance. Their natural scent isn’t always the nicest, let’s put it this way. This clay mask is the exception. Its ingredients give it a spicy cacao scent that doesn’t linger long.
How To Use It
- Cleanse skin and towel dry it.
- Apply a thin layer of Flavanone Mud on clean, dry skin.
- Wait 10 minutes.
- Rinse it off. Warning: you may experience stinging. This is normal.
Once a week is enough even for oily skin.
The mask comes in a dark coloured bottle. It’s an unusual packaging for a clay mask, but one that’s beautiful and practical for this type of formula. The dark bottle also prevents the light and oxygen that could spoil the antioxidants inside from hitting the formula – until you open it to use it. Be quick with it!
P.S. It’s also available in a 100ml tube version that’s better at keeping the antioxidants inside stable and effectiveness.
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
NIOD Flavanone Mud is different from other clay masks in every way. For starters, as it dries, it never feels uncomfortable or dry.
My skin rarely tingles, even when I use high doses of vitamin C. But when I took this off, I did feel the tingling sensation Niod warns you about. It wasn’t painful and lasted only a few seconds. But if you’re experiencing it too, don’t freak out. It’s totally normal.
The first time I used it, I didn’t see much of an improvement. My skin looked like it looks after any clay masks: less oil, less shine, smooth skin texture. You know the drill.
It’s with regular use that this mask truly shines. After the second use a week later, I noticed my skin looked a bit brighter and overall healthier.
By the fourth use, I noticed a much bigger difference. My skin was softer and brighter and blemish-free. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a huge transformation straight away. This needs time and commitment to improve the look and health of your skin.
Clay masks used to be a necessary evil whenever my skin single-handedly decided to pump out too much oil. Now they’re a true pampering ritual (finally!). I can’t wait to use it again.
What I Like About NIOD Flavanone Mud
- Smooth, creamy texture.
- Easy to use.
- Less messy than other clay masks I’ve tried.
- Feels comfortable on, never drying.
- Absorbs excess oil.
- Brightens skin.
- Beautiful and practical packaging.
What I DON’T Like About NIOD Flavanone Mud
- It can sting a little.
Who Should Use It?
It’s a clay mask. Like all clay masks, it’s for oily and/or acne-prone skin. If you don’t have excess oil to absorb, you simply don’t need it.
Does NIOD Flavanone Mud Lives Up To Its Claims?
|Flavanone Mud is a three-phase rinse-off decongestion system that disrupts neither the skin surface equilibrium nor its density.||True.|
|Surface impurities—which include oil- and water-soluble pollution, cosmetic product build-up and excess sebum activity build-up—are physically solubilized and removed.||True.|
Is NIOD Cruelty-Free?
Yes, NIOD has confirmed they’re cruelty-free. They don’t test on animals and don’t outsource the process to others.
Price & Availability
£29.00 at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Harrods, NIOD, and SpaceNK
The Verdict: Should You Buy It?
If you have oily skin and looking for a clay mask that doesn’t leave a mess all over your bathroom, you’ll love this.
Dupes & Alternatives
I don’t know of any exact dupes for this product. There are many clay masks out there, but they all seem a downgrade compared to this.
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
It sounds good, but I never tried a NIOD product. The web site just confuses me.
Susan, I think Niod is one of the best skincare brands out there. But I agree, their website is super confusing!
I tried this mask some time ago and I thought it was great. In fact, it’s the ONLY Deciem product that I think does anything at all. Everything else I bought from them just sat on my face. I stopped using the Flavanone mask until I read your post and decided I should be using it. Now my skin is burning so badly, I’d go to the hospital if I could! I even put their Sensitive Fix on (I don’t know why, it’s never done anything). I’ll try Dr Jart’s Cicapair serum next, this is really unpleasant!
Polly, oh no I’m so sorry to hear this! Have you changed anything in your skincare routine lately that may have increased its sensitivity? Like, upped your retinol dose or had a glycolic acid peel?
Help me out with some nomenclature, please? If something “decongests” skin, how will I know? What is “congested” skin? “Congested” means “crowded,” or in the case of our noses, “stuffy.” What does it mean when applied to the skin?
Also, something which “detoxifies” our skin by definition removes toxins. What toxins are these? And why don’t we have a system to “detoxify” our skin the way we have a liver to deal with keeping our internal systems clean?
I’ve always assumed these are marketing buzzwords, but you deal with skin science, so I assume you can straighten these out for us. Thanks very much!
Hi Binky, yes these are marketing buzzwords. Skin can’t detoxify itself and you can detoxify it with skincare. It’s your liver and kidney that do the detoxifying job. So when you hear a skincare brand making this claim, ignore it.
I guess in the world of skincare decongested means that it can unclog the pores. But again, there’s not a standard definition so a lot of brands can use it to mean everything and nothing.
The new skincare trend seems to be anti-pollution skincare, hence where all this stuff is coming from. But having a healthy liver and cleansing your skin every night are your best detoxifying/decongesting weapons.
Purchased this product on your recommendation and am so glad I did. I was able to shop in store armed with a list of products I was currently using and looking to match with NOID. Discussion with the sales rep was very informative, but you do need to know your stuff, how your skin reacts, what you use etc as there is a lot of technical info to consider. Sales rep recommended using the mask for 5 days to start and then go to once a week. I have fairly oily skin and it can really stand up to anything I try on it (Vitamin C, Retinal, etc…). This is only day 2 but my skin already feels and looks great morning to night. Thank-you for the recommendation and scientific explanation I may toss all other masks in my cabinet as they just feel frivolous now!
Courtney, I’m so so glad to hear you like it and it’s working so well for your skin! It’s really a game changer, isn’t it? Other clay masks just absorb excess oil but this one does go the extra mile. 🙂
First time I used this was fine. Second time burned a lot. Keep your layers thin and ice handy. It will be worse if you layer anything on top. The tightening of my skin is major. Pores disappear and the face moves less. Skin texture is super smooth.
I have dry skin, am 40 years old. This is my fave mask. Do not use actives for three days before until you know your reaction. Stay away from your eyes. I usually ignore this direction but it would be a very bad idea in this case. Session 2 stinging/burning lasted 10 minutes.