As a long-term user of retinoids and alpha/beta acid products, I was intrigued by the Deciem NIOD Non-Acid Acid Precursor 15% solution ($55). Retinoids have helped my skin with acne and possibly reduced some fine lines, but after decades of use, I was concerned about conflicting opinions on its continued use and thinning of the skin. I generally switch back and forth from retinoids to using an alpha/beta acid product, but notice that in bright light, I have little bumps under my skin, possibly due to irritation. My skin just looks rough in bright light.
I’m in my 50s and have the usual skin issues that come with that age group. My skin is probably best described as combination/normal, and I do have sensitivities to fragrances and harsh chemicals in skin care products. I have also found that I cannot use retinoids and alpha/beta acids at the same time. So my main goal is finding something to brighten and smooth my rather sallow skin without causing any undesirable side effects.
This product arrives well-packaged in a dark amber glass bottle with a pipette for dispensing the product. I did notice that the pipette did not dispense enough product for a full application, and was also a rather wasteful method of dispensing it. As you dip the pipette back into the 30ml bottle, if you aren't terribly diligent much of the product on the sides of the pipette end up around the neck of the bottle. I do wish they would remedy this. Otherwise, I was surprised and very impressed with NAAP.
NIOD's claims for NAAP are as follows: "NAAP is a non-acidic alternative to acid-based epidermal resurfacing. Instead of using direct acids like AHA/BHA or retinoids that are common in skincare, NAAP uses fermentation bio-derivatives and amino isolates that act as precursors to skin-compatible acids, encouraging visible radiance and visible surface regularity without the redness and inflammation associated with acids. NAAP was found non-irritating in an independent Human Repeat Insult Patch Test." My explanation is that NAAP exfoliates the skin using probiotic bacteria, peptides and amino acids that will resurface the skin without causing any irritation. I have heard Marta tout the benefits of amino acids for her skin, and I definitely have to agree that almost any good product with amino acids is a boon to my skin as well.
Without further ado, I have to say I fell in love with NAAP after one use. The day following my first use, my husband asked why my face was flaking. I gently ran a finger across my cheek and it came away with dead skin cells literally flaking off yet no signs of irritation, breakouts or inflammation noted. I do note a slight tingling sensation after application, but no irritation ever developed. There is no notable smell in my opinion if that is a concern to you. It is recommended that you use it over NOID's CAIS (Copper Amino Isolate Serum), or as the next step after cleansing. I followed these directions, as well as using it over YBF Private Reserve Antioxidant Oil which claims to help increase the absorption of subsequently applied products. It worked well both ways. It can be used every night, but if you have extra sensitive skin or notice any irritation, the directions recommend only using it every other night until your tolerance builds.
It is a milky-white, creamy serum which easily spreads across your skin without piling, and in my honest opinion, actually adds extra hydration. After a little over a month's use, my skin actually looks much less sallow and has that clear-pinkish look like that of younger skin. I hate to use the term "glow," as it is such a cliché. But for the first time in years, I realized I did have a fresher, more glowing complexion. Additionally, it has lightened up my sun-worshiping dark spots somewhat, and I am going to continue its use in hopes of further lightening.
Of note is an experience that I cannot fully explain, but will try. I have had a what I thought was a slightly raised mole on my cheek — perhaps a keratosis — for over 15 years. It is obviously non-malignant and only slightly darker than the rest of my face. I have spot-treated it with retinoids and acids many times to no avail. After continued use of NAAP, I noticed one day about three weeks into my use that the mole looked crusty and slightly red. A horrid descriptive, but that is how it looked. To my surprise, the crusted area lifted easily when I cleansed my face. On close inspection, the mole looked smaller and closer in color to my overall skin tone after the initial slight redness faded a few days later. I started to spot-treat the area with a little extra NAAP product, and though it is still there, it is much less noticeable to me — and I am my own worst critic. I have no scientific explanation for this.
To sum it up, the product works very well at gently and very efficiently exfoliating your skin. If you have irritation with retinoids or glycolic acids, I would definitely give this a try. I no longer notice the rough texture and bumps just under my skin, and my skin tone is definitely brighter. Even my hair colorist asked what I was using on my skin at my last visit. I tested it for almost five weeks and can say that I will definitely keep this one in my skin care regimen. I have at least half of the 30ml bottle left, and this price, it fits better in my budget than other expensive retinoids and skin resurfacing treatments I have used. I would have never tried it on my own — thank you TIA for the introduction — but it's now a definite keeper!