While antioxidants from foods are excellent for our bodies, topical antioxidants are also great for our skin. There are quite a few effective antioxidant serums available, but NIOD (Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science) has formulated a showstopper. NIOD always surprises me with its formulas, including this antioxidant serum.
From The Ordinary’s sister brand comes an antioxidant serum unlike any other: NIOD Survival 0. This antioxidant serum has been created to protect the skin from daily environmental aggressors while preventing future damage and repairing the long-term effects of aging.
I am all for protecting and repairing the skin, but is it worth it? I will discuss my thoughts on the serum in this NIOD Survival 0 review.
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NIOD Survival 0
NIOD Survival 0 is an antioxidant serum that NIOD calls a Networked Defence System. Like other NIOD products, it is filled with skin repair technologies that will help protect the skin from oxidative stress and other environmental and lifestyle aggressors from factors like UV rays, pollution, smog, stress, infrared and blue light.
The serum contains the following ingredients and advanced technologies:
Yeast-Derived Superoxide Dismutase: Also known as SOD, this potent antioxidant is our body’s enzyme that protects our cells from free radical damage, which can lead to the visible signs of aging in our skin. In vitro testing has shown better antioxidant activity with SOD than with vitamin E or green tea.
Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol: This antioxidant protects against both reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), which age the skin. This super antioxidant is more potent than resveratrol and ferulic acid against free radicals, UV exposure, stress, and pollution.
Xanthophyll: Purified lutein is a strong antioxidant that protects skin from blue light and improves skin hydration and elasticity.
Fractionated Melanin: Our bodies produce melanin to protect our skin from UV radiation and other oxidative stress but have limited potency in respect to High Energy Visible light. NIOD Survival 0 contains a fractionated form of melanin designed to absorb light in the range of 400-500 nm wavelengths.
Pycnogenol: Also known as Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, this plant extract from maritime pine bark is rich in antioxidants like procyanidins and phenolic acids that protect the skin from photodamage. This ingredient also offers anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic benefits. This study found that pycnogenol increases skin hydration and skin elasticity.
Tomato Carotenoid Complex: Reduces redness that comes along with UV exposure.
Prebiotic Complex of Gluco-Oligosaccharides and Inulin: A skin prebiotic complex that supports healthy microbial skin flora without stimulating undesirable and harmful microorganisms.
Alteromonas Ferment Extract: Soothes the skin while helping to calm irritation. This purified deep-sea algae physically protects against pollution and smog.
Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract: Extracted from brown alga located in the Mediterranean sea, this extract, per the manufacturer, supports calcium bioavailability to protect against pollution.
Purified Knotgrass: Protects against infrared and reduces photodamage in the skin.
Squalane: A saturated hydrocarbon similar to the sebum (oil) in our skin. It moisturizes and helps maintain hydration.
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil: A lightweight wax ester. Jojoba oil balances, smoothes, softens the skin, and increases water-binding capacity.
The serum also contains moisturizing glycerin and several amino acids, which are building blocks for structural proteins like collagen and elastin in the skin.
NIOD Survival 0 Review
NIOD Survival 0 feels quite moisturizing, which I attribute to the formula’s glycerin, squalane, and jojoba oil. It is non-irritating and works well under moisturizers, sunscreen, and makeup.
This serum has a silky texture and a deep orange/brown shade. As you can see from the photos, the shade dissipates upon absorption into my skin.
Even so, NIOD notes that you should avoid contact with light clothing due to the carotenoid content. I haven’t had an issue with this since I use this during the day, so I don’t worry about it getting on my pillow or sheets at night.
I haven’t seen noticeable changes in my skin after using this serum, as it’s not formulated to smooth wrinkles or decrease hyperpigmentation. I use other targeted products for those skin concerns. This serum mainly provides protection and prevention. It has a calming and soothing effect on my skin.
I’ve used The Ordinary antioxidants, and while they are effective, I think this serum is probably the most potent antioxidant product I’ve ever used. It provides a nice radiance to my skin tone and smooths and softens the surface of my skin.
Another plus for this serum is the price. NIOD’s products can get a bit pricey, but I was surprised to see that this is priced at a very reasonable $25 for 1 fl oz (30 ml).
I appreciate the pump bottle because the serum has somewhat of a running texture, so the pump makes application quick and easy. It has a light natural, earthy, spicy scent.
Drawbacks? Survival 0 contains jojoba oil, so if you would prefer an oil-free serum, this may not be the serum for you.
How To Use NIOD Survival 0
NIOD directs you to apply this serum in your evening skincare routine and makes it clear that it does not protect against UVA rays or UVB rays. It is formulated for all skin tones. Apply it after your cleanser and toner but before your moisturizer.
You can also apply it during the day and follow with sun protection (which is what I choose to do – I use mineral sunscreens, as I prefer physical filters to chemical filters).
While this antioxidant serum does not provide sunscreen protection, NIOD offers three other formulations of Survival 0 that sun protection in the form of SPF 10, SPF 20, or SPF 30.
NIOD Survival 10, NIOD Survival 20, and NIOD Survival 30 provide mineral sunscreen protection from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If you are interested in purchasing the NIOD Surivial serum with sunscreen, be sure to buy NIOD Survival 30, which contains broad-spectrum sunscreen protection of SPF 30. Using a product with SPF 10 or SPF 20 is not enough UV protection.
This serum is formulated at a pH of 6.75 – 7.25. The pH level plays well with other many actives, unlike another potent antioxidant, vitamin C, which is very acidic in its pure form.
Survival 0 is non-irritating, making it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
NIOD Survival 0 and Retinol
NIOD recommends using Survival 0 and retinol on alternate, different nights of the week.
Where to Buy NIOD Survival 0
More NIOD Reviews:
Final Thoughts on NIOD Survival 0
Like all NIOD products, this serum contains many advanced technologies and ingredients that are science-backed and at the leading edge of skincare research to protect and support healthy skin.
I am very impressed with the formula and will keep this in my morning skincare routine to protect my skin from environmental stressors.