Everyone's heard of The Ordinary. Whether you're skincare obsessed or not, chances are you've incorporated at least one of its Instagram-worthy dropper bottles into your beauty routine. Perhaps you've heard friends and colleagues extolling the virtues of a particular product (the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is excellent) or maybe you've pored over the countless five star reviews online. However you've become acquainted, there's no denying The Ordinary takes pride of place under the Deciem company umbrella. But there's one brand which doesn't seem to get as much love and attention (though it's totally worth the hype).
The best way to describe NIOD (which stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science) would be The Ordinary's much chicer older sister. Just like it's viral counterpart, NIOD boasts serums, masks and moisturisers among other skincare staples, utilising proven ingredients like moisturising glycerin, healing amino acids and pollution-busting antioxidants such as resveratrol. Though housed in very similar dropper bottles, the formulations are a little more sophisticated, and therefore yield unrivalled skincare results. You could argue that the price reflects the transformative powers, as they are slightly higher compared to The Ordinary. That said, products start at a fairly affordable £19.65.
NIOD is arguably one of skincare's best kept secrets. Beauty industry insiders, dermatologists and makeup artists all have their favourite finds and it seems the brand is slowly but surely growing in popularity among skincare lovers, with Google searches increasing steadily. But out of everything, what's worth your hard-earned cash?
Here are the very best NIOD skincare products, according to R29's beauty editor.
The best NIOD skincare product for healthy, glowing skin: Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1, £38, available at Cult Beauty.
Refinery29's beauty columnist Daniela Morosini is a fan of NIOD's copper serum, which is jam-packed with peptides (essentially proteins) to support the skin's structure and to promote healing. If your skin appears dull and is prone to patches of redness, give it a go. Apply after cleansing and before moisturiser.
This non-drying face mask does two things: it turfs dirt, oil and makeup out of pores so they don't get clogged and it protects skin against dulling environmental factors, such as pollution. Skin is soft, not stripped, but be prepared for a slight tingle.
The best NIOD skincare product for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: RE: Pigment, £28, available at Cult Beauty.
Try this if you're trying to fade dark spots and skin staining left behind by blemishes. Diglucosyl gallic acid is the star ingredient but don't let the complicated name put you off. According to NIOD, it has incredible skin brightening properties over time, but it's also anti-inflammatory, and works to quell redness. The texture is slightly thicker than your typical serum (more like a facial oil). To protect your skin from UV rays while using it, always wear sunscreen during the daytime.
The best NIOD skincare product for tight, dehydrated skin and fine lines: Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, £25, available at Lookfantastic.
The five star reviews for this hyaluronic acid serum speak for themselves. If your skin feels tight and uncomfortable after cleansing, apply a generous glug and follow with your favourite moisturiser. Hyaluronic acid hydrates deeply, making skin look plump and glowy and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The best NIOD skincare product for removing makeup: Sanskrit Saponins, £20.90, available at Feelunique.
This is NIOD's most underrated product. The face-firming, glow-boosting results are instant and while the effect may not last forever, it's a great mask to use before a special occasion. Skin appears facial fresh.
The best NIOD skincare product for all skin types: Hydration Vaccine Moisturiser, £55, available at Lookfantastic.
NIOD's wordy product names can throw you off, but this is a fuss-free moisturiser that works for most skin types, from dry to combination. It has a silicone feel to it (that'll be the dimethicone) but boasts pore-blurring properties and sits beautifully under makeup. Moisturising glycerin and squalane make skin soft to the touch.
The best NIOD skincare product for exfoliating: Non-Acid Acid Precursor 15%, £32.42, available at Feelunique.
The best NIOD skincare product for uneven skin tone: Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8%, £20.50, available at Feelunique.
Makeup artists adore Photography Fluid, which can be used alone or mixed into foundation. The light-reflecting pigments make lacklustre skin gleam and have an almost airbrushing effect over blemishes, dark circles and pigmentation. There are two shades to choose from depending on your skin's undertone.
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.