After chatting about chemical exfoliants I've been preparing a post with all the current exfoliants I've tried, but meanwhile I'm reviewing the NIOD NAAP or Non-Acid Acid Precursor 15% in a dedicated post. I've never tried any alternative products for acid exfoliants before and I was curious if NAAP would help with my skin concerns in a gentle way without redness or excessive peeling. Thank you Laura at NIOD for sending me this product to try!
Alternative to acid exfoliating?
NIOD NAAP is called a non-acidic alternative to epidermal resurfacing - like AHA, BHA or retinoids. If you're still unfamiliar with AHAs or BHAs I highly recommend you checking out my earlier 101 post! Instead of these acids, NAAP uses fermentation bio-derivatives and amino isolates that should have the benefits of acids without the inflammation, irritation or redness some acids may cause to sensitive skins. This redness does pass, but especially if you're a newbie or very sensitive to acids, you should start with a low dosage and apply only ~every other day. Personally I don't remember having very significant redness issues while using acids, but I have experienced strong tingling from glycolic acid (an AHA) and sometimes my skin does flare up just from my cleansing/skincare routine - which I'd like to avoid. NIOD NAAP retails on their website 42€ for 30ml and has a worldwide delivery.
Packaging and product
NAAP is a semi-opaque white liquid packed in a brown glass bottle with a pipette. The pipette gets all soaked in the product but distributes only little product, so I feel like applying some on my hand by touching the pipette - not good for hygiene. But double dipping the pipette back to the bottle is a nuisance to me. Can I get this in a pump?
Aqua (Water), Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Bisabolol, Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Yeast Extract, Soy Amino Acids, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Lecithin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Isohexadecane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Salicylate, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Pentylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
According to COSDNA there is no irritants or acne causing ingredients, the ingredients are listed mostly just as emulsifiers, viscosity controllers with a couple of preservatives. Niod explain some of their technologies on their website: Basically, the 2nd ingredient is a suspension of a probiotic bacteria purified through lysis and acts as a precursor. The amino isolates and oligopeptide are their alternatives for retinoids and AHAs, paired with ingredients to support hydration and make the product more comfortable to use.
After using NAAP once or twice I noticed my skin flaking. I didn't get any nasty dry patches, but the outermost layer started peeling when applying foundation with a duo-fibre stippling brush. As my skin is overall dry, I need to refrain from using a stippling brush for my foundation for now and stick with softer natural hair bristles. I've had the same experience with a BHA, Benzyl Peroxide and Retinol products, but I expected the NAAP to be more gentle. The instructions do advice you to use the product every other night to build up tolerance, but since there was no stinging, redness or other irritation, I proceeded with using it every evening (vs BHA two times a day). I've used NAAP in my evening routine like this:
1. Double cleansing
2. Vitamin C serum (currently Niod ELAN) + 15 min wait time
3. NAAP + 15 min wait time
4. Retinol serums
5. Hydrating toners and the rest of the routine
My skin concerns and results
I didn't use any chemical exfoliants while I was on Accutane, and after the medication ended I was left with annoying bumps and texture issues on my forehead. I'm happy my break-outs are drastically reduced, but looking at the mirror with uneven skin still bothers me a ton. There's also a couple of stubborn blackheads on the side of my nose that won't go away.
After ~a week of using the NIOD NAAP the texture and my forehead 'bumps' were clearly diminished, which I almost find hard to believe. I had already tried one of my topical acne medications with benzyl peroxide and prescription retin-A, retinol serums, etc., but none seemed to have an effect on the bumpy texture. There hasn't been difference to the stubborn comedones on the side of my nose, I might have to go see a professional about those or just wait a little longer. But overall my skin looks so clear and smooth after using NIOD NAAP. No signs of bumpiness on my forehead and make up applies beautifully. I wish I had taken a before and after pictures, but honestly I was sceptic and didn't expect results so quickly.
The flaking has decreased over time I've used the product, but hasn't completely disappeared. I'd like to add the season is changing to colder and I do also use a gentle retinol serum in the evenings, but I don't think it has lead to over exfoliating. The peeling won't occur if I skip a night using NAAP, but I love the results it gives me. If I need my make up to apply extra beautifully I gently remove the dead skin cells by using my Cure Natural Aqua Gel (reviewed here).
I'm pretty impressed with the results I've got with NIOD NAAP. I honestly expected the product to be on the more milder side and show only subtle changes over time. For me, the results were quick. If you're not used to medium-strong acids (like BHA 2% or AHA 10%) I recommend you start using every other night or so. NAAP would be a dream product if there was zero flaking, but I doubt the results would be as effective. I'll try to update this post after I'm nearly finished my bottle and tell if did the flaking totally diminish. I'm also thinking of incorporating a bit of BHA into my routine and see if it has any effect on the stubborn comedones as NAAP isn't designed to control acne issues. Considering everything, I love how smooth and radiant my skin has looked lately and I will purchasing a second bottle.
Have you tried any NIOD products? What's your current exfoliant?
This post contains product(s) that were generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.