niod multi-molecular hyaluronic complex review

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC2 for short) is a Hyaluronic Acid serum on steroids.

Trust me, I’ve tried A LOT of Hyaluronic Acid serums over the years BUT none left my skin so hydrated and plump like this baby. For once, I see why all the influencers rave about it (if you’re a regular here, you know I disagree with them on almost anything – science over hype always here!).

Its secret? It uses 15 forms of hyaluronic acid. 15!!! Your skin can’t get more hydration than that!

About The Brand: Niod

Part of the Deciem portfolio of innovative skincare brands, NIOD takes the lab experience to the mass market. While its sister brand, The Ordinary focuses on bringing triad and tested actives to the drugstore, NIOD focuses on the latest innovative innovative ingredients and breakthrough formulas.

Their ingredient lists are often incomprehensible even for the most knowledgeable of skincare fanatics! This is a cult brand for those who want to be the first to try the new innovations in the world of skincare – and they’re not terribly expensive either!

Key Ingredients In NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex: What Makes It Work?


Take a look at your hyaluronic acid serums. Can you see Hyaluronic Acid in the ingredients list?

Most of the time, you won’t. Nope, the brand isn’t lying. It’s just using the sodium salt of Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate. It works, just not as well as direct Hyaluronic Acid.

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex features both: 1% direct Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate and 13 more forms of Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid precursors. 

In other words, if an ingredient is even loosely related to Hyaluronic Acid, you’ll find it here. But what’s so special about Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture magnet. It can attract water from the air and bind it into the skin. But most of the time, it simply takes moisture from the deepest layers of the skin and brings it to the surface layers.

It’s not as drying as it seems. Your body is made up of 60% water, so you can transfer a little around without causing any problems.

The real problem is that Hyaluronic Acid is too big to penetrate skin. It just stays on the surface, hydrating the top layers.

Unless you chop it up into tiny little pieces that can penetrate skin easily. That’s why NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex has so many forms of Hyaluronic Acid.

Each of them has a different molecular level that can reach a different layer of the skin. In another words, all these different forms of Hyaluronic Acid mean that every layer of your skin gets all the hydration it needs.

Here’s what skin does with all this extra hydration:

  1. Reduces roughness: Hydration makes skin softer to the touch
  2. Plumping action: Hydration plumps up skin so that your fine lines and wrinkles look smaller
  3. Brightens skin: Hydration gives skin a translucent, dewy glow (it’s why Korean women are obsessed with hydration)

Hydration is the foundation of a good skincare routine. If your skin doesn’t have enough moisture of its own, or the colder winter weather is robbing you of it, adding a Hyaluronic Acid serum into your skincare routine is a must.

Related: What’s Hyaluronic Acid And Why Should You Use It?

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

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 this serum.
  • Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract: Very hydrating, it can stimulate Hyaluronic Acid synthesis in skin.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that, like hyaluronic acid, draws water from the environment into your skin, helping to stay softer, suppler, and hydrated.
  • Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate: According to the manufacturer, it can increase hyaluronic acid synthesis by 282% in just 2 days. Too bad the study was done in a Petri dish, not on real skin.
  • Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate: According to the manufacturer, it can boost the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in the skin up to 300% (in-vitro tests). 
  • Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides: Derived by the fermentation of a marine bacterial strain, according to the manufacturer it’s rich in the same monosaccharide (glucuronic acid) as Hyaluronic Acid, so it deeply hydrates skin too.
  • Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract: A rich source of Glucuronic acid, a major component of Hyaluronic Acid. This makes it a wonderful moisturiser that can hold even more water into your skin than Hyaluronic Acid!
  • Ceratonia Siliqua Gum: It improves the texture of skincare products.
  • Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3: A.k.a. Retinopeptide 189, it’s said to have the same collagen-boosting s retinol, but without the irritating side effects. I’m still waiting for independent studies to confirm this.
  • Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract: It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent wrinkles and soothe irritations.
  • Salvia Sclarea Extract: A source of antioxidants that help prevent wrinkles.
  • Arginine: An amino acid with antioxidants and hydration properties.
  • Aspartic Acid: An amino acid with light hydration properties that also helps build collagen.
  • Glycine: The simplest of the amino acids, it’s very hydrated and helps to keep skin soft and younger-looking.
  • Alanine: Another amino acids, one of the building blocks for collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin firm and elastic.
  • Serine: An amino acid that helps retain moisture in the skin. Hydrated skin = younger-looking skin.
  • Valine: This amino acids soothes and hydrates skin.
  • Isoleucine: Another hydrating amino acids that makes skin soft and supple.
  • Proline: This amino acid helps skin retain moisture and supports the structures in skin that prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Threonine: Another hydrating amino acid.
  • Histidine: This multi-tasking amino acid hydrates, soothes irritations, and protects skin from environmental aggressors.
  • Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid that helps skin retain moisture.
  • PCA: Derived from amino acids, it helps boost hydration in the uppermost layers of your skin.
  • Sodium PCA: Part of the skin’s natural protective barrier, it helps skin attract and retain moisture, keeping it softer, suppler, and younger-looking.
  • Betaine: A humectant that hydrates skin, making it softer and smoother.
  • Sodium Lactate: The sodium salt of lactic acid, it hydrates skin and has minor antioxidant properties.
  • Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside: A synthetic version of EGCG, the key antioxidant in green tea. According to the manufacturer, it’s easier to formulate with than natural EGCG but it still keeps its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Gallyl Glucoside: It has antioxidants and soothing properties.
  • Algae Extract: It binds water to the skin, helping to keep it hydrated. It also has antioxidant properties that help prevent wrinkles. Oh, it also helps to thicken the formula.
  • Sodium Salicylate: A preservative that helps to extend the shelf life of the serum.
  • Lecithin: It improves the texture and feel of skincare products.
  • Polyglucuronic Acid: A humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer. It holds up to 5000 times its weight in water, making it even more powerful than hyaluronic acid.
  • Xanthan Gum: It thickens the texture.
  • Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: It helps to neutralize the metal ions in water, so the formula stays stable and effective for longer.
  • Sclerotium Gum: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Pullulan: It has hydrating properties too.
  • Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose: It keeps the formula from separating into its oily and liquidy parts.
  • Propanediol: It’s a solvent that also enhances the texture of skincare products.
  • Pentylene Glycol: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Dimethyl Isosorbide: It’s a solvent, used to dissolve other ingredients in the formula.
  • Citric Acid: It’s used to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Magnesium Chloride: It decreases the viscosity (thickness) of skincare products.
  • Silica: It’s used here as a thickener.
  • Polysorbate 20: It improves the texture and feel of skincare products.
  • Ethoxydiglycol: It’s a solvent used to dissolve other ingredients in the formula.
  • Propyl Gallate: It slows deterioration of serums caused by chemical reactions with oxygen.
  • Dehydroacetic Acid: It’s a preservative that kills any bacteria that may infiltrate your serum, keeping it safe to use.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: It’s used here as a preservative to keep your serum safe from bacteria.
  • Potassium Sorbate: Another preservative that fights bacteria, keeping your serum safe and effective.
  • Sodium Benzoate: Another preservative that kills bacteria and microbes that should make its way into your serum.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • 1,2-Hexanediol: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Caprylyl Glycol: It’s a moisturiser and preservative (mostly preservative here).
  • Phenoxyethanol: Another bacteria-killing preservative.


I love the texture of this serum. It’s lightweight, almost watery and sinks into my skin immediately. It doesn’t leave any residue behind either, it’s not tacky – just a pleasure to use regardless of what your skin type is.


NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex is a fragrance-free. There are pros and cons to this. Fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients in skincare. Leaving it out makes it gentler and suitable even for sensitive skin. I like that. I don’t want to get an irritation from my serums.

On the other hand, fragrance-free products aren’t really fragrance-free. Fragrance-free means that no synthetic fragrance was added to the serum. But, the serum has a smell because every ingredient has a smell. And this serum doesn’t have the best smell. I don’t mind, the trade-off is worth it for me. Plus, it doesn’t linger around for long.

How To Use It

Your skin can never get enough moisture! This is a serum you can use in the morning, at night, or both morning and night. Studies show that with hydrating serums, the order of application doesn’t matter much. I do recommend you use it after anti-aging serums (Vitamin C and retinol, for example) and exfoliants, as those need to penetrate skin to work their magic. But use it before moisturiser or sunscreen.


NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex is available in two sizes: 15 ml and 30 ml. I have the smaller size. As a skincare blogger, I try so many products, I can never finish anything. So I appreciate NIOD making a smaller size I can go through quickly. Plus, it’s great for travelling. But if I weren’t a skincare blogger, I’d totally go for the bigger size. 🙂

The bottle is dark to protect it from light, looks pretty to the naked eye (always a bonus, if you ask me), and has a dropper applicator that makes application a breeze.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I use NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex at night and when I wake up, my skin’s the softest it has ever been.

Then, I give my skin a second dose in the morning. It’s winter and my skin needs all the hydration it can find! Since I’ve started using this, I can spend hours outside without my skin getting dry. The hydration lasts all day.

But my fave part is how small it makes my fine lines look. All that extra hydration plumps up my skin, so my cheeks looks plumper and the fine lines on my forehead are barely visible.

If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you NEED this. If you have oily skin, grab a bottle too. Hyaluronic Acid is a great way to hydrate skin WITHOUT adding more oil to it. Heck, you may find you don’t even need moisturiser afterwards!

niod multi-molecular hyaluronic complex

What I Like About Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Complex

  • Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Contains a record number of hyaluronic acid forms for maximum hydration.
  • It plumps up fine lines and wrinkles like nothing else!
  • Super hydrating, it makes skin softer and smoother.
  • It gives skin a lovely glow.
  • Pretty and practical packaging.

What I DON’T Like About Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Complex

  • It’s a hydrating serum, so the plumping effects are temporary.
  • The natural smell of this serum isn’t the best.

Who Should Use This?

Everyone can use it, but dry and dehydrated skin will benefit from it the most (they need all the moisture they can get!). Also, if you have wrinkles and fine lines, you’ll love how much this minimises them.

Does NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex Live Up To Its Claims?

The formula offers a multi-dimensional approach to topical hyaluronic supplementation by combining 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system. It offers water-based hydration and helps skin surface look plump, elastic, comfortable and uniform.  True.
The formula also contains a hyaluronic support system of adaptogenic water-starved clary sage flavonoids, phenylethanoid glycosides from narrow leaf plantain and several dermal amino acids. This complex system acts as a non-clogging, water-protective barrier to optimize the function of hyaluronic compounds and help support dermal water retention. True.

Is NIOD Cruelty-Free?

Yes, NIOD is cruelty-free. They don’t test on animals and don’t outsource the process to a third party.

Price & Availability

15 ml, £25.00; 30 ml, £38.00 at Beauty Bay, and Cult Beauty

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

Yes! If you’re looking for a Hyaluronic Acid serum, this is the best I’ve found so far (and I don’t use the word “best” lightly).

Dupes & Alternatives

  • La Roche Posay Heal B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£27.75): A simple, no-frills Hyaluronic Acid formula to deeply hydrate skin. Available at Look Fantastic and Sephora
  • Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($34.00): Hyaluronic Acid deeply hydrates skin while ceramides create a barrier on the skin that prevents water loss. Available at DermstoreNordstromPaula’s Choice and Selfridges
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90): A simple, hydrating formula for anyone on a strict budget. Available at Beauty BayCult Beauty and Feel Unique
  • Vichy 89 Mineral ($29.50): Very lightweight, it boosts your skin’s hydration and makes your skin softer. Available at Dermstore and Feel Unique


Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sodium Lactate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Algae Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Lecithin, Polyglucuronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Citric Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Silica, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Propyl Gallate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.