NIOD is a Deciem (main-company of Hylamide and the Ordinary) sub-brand I was first very impressed by, but after testing most from the line I noticed I wasn't too keen on some of the products. Not because they were necessarily bad, but just didn't do it for me. I was dubious if I would have enough to say for publishing a proper review of this mask, but weeks after starting the draft I decided to bite the bullet and finish typing. I hope the review of this mask, FM aka Flavanone Mud, appeals to your interest.
Flavanone Mud is a wash-off mask – or like NIOD defines it: "a three-phase rinse-off decongestion system" with a purifying, protective and responsive phase. I'm openminded to the results of this mask, but I must admit the description sounds a bit like 'science-washing' to me. You can read the lengthy description of the approach on the NIOD website, but basically what I've understood the benefits of the mask is removing surface impurities (oil, sebum, pollution, cosmetics etc), creating a physical shield against external buildup and promoting health and longevity by fighting against environmental congestion.
FM should be applied as a thin layer on cleansed face and rinsed off after ~10 minutes. The mask starts to tingle within one minute after the application. It's a stronger tingle than I've used to, but not an unmanageable burning sensation like I've experienced with some exfoliants. It's more like a very, very cooling feeling. As if I was having a facial massage with needle thin icepicks. I let the mask dry for about 10 minutes and rinse it off. After washing my face does feel slightly cooler and the tingling continues for another ~10 minutes. After multiple uses the tingling feels significantly lessened, at the 3rd application it was barely noticeable. I find "if it tingles it's working" as a common misconception: redness, tingling and burning sensations are all signs of irritation. However, FM doesn't feel that harsh to me, but does raise some minor concerns.
There are a couple of cons in this mask: first, the packaging. It's a glass jar with no spatula, what I'm supposed to do - stick my finger in it? Yikes. I don't consider myself as a bacteria phobic, but even I have my limits and it's sticking my fingers into a jar. Secondly, it's mud. Mud dries. Every time I open the jar I'm letting in some unwanted air inside and any product near the jar's rim starts drying, which worries me. Wouldn't a tube packaging would be potentially more effective and clean? It might ruin NIOD's glass bottle aesthetics, but I'd convenience over pretty packaging.
My second issue with this masks. To me it smells like green olives and salty brine. I detest olives. Fortunately the scent isn't strong, but takes getting used to.
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.
According to COSDNA analysis, most of the ingredients are safe and non-comedogenic. Many of the ingredients are viscosity controllers and preservatives with a couple of solvents. To name a few: kaolin clay is a colorant and bulking agent - I would imagine it gives NIOD FM its clay-like consistency. There is a couple of moisturising ingredients, which make NIOD FM not very drying despite having a lot of kaolin. Bisabolol is anti-inflammatory ingredient and isodecyl neopentanoate a synthetic ester and emollient. If synthetic or preservatives ingredients are a concern to you, then Flavanone Mud might not be a product for you.
Result & overall thoughts
After a couple of uses I couldn't tell if my skin looked much different, but it felt. Very smooth, clean and balanced - as if I had just had a small facial. No signs of extra redness or irritation, except my usual redness on the cheeks and around my nose. No tightness or feeling of drying either, which I've experienced with most mud or clay masks. FM is on the nicer side compared to similar masks and a potential pick-me-up for your skin. However I didn't find the results too significant each time so I doubt I would repurchase it. Also the packaging might give a headache to fellow bacteria phobics.
What's your favorite mud mask? Would you be intrigued to try the NIOD FM?