I started with Deciem’s The Ordinary brand first which led me to branch out into more Deciem brands. NIOD is the next brand I’ve been playing with. I got NIOD Sanskrit Saponins in one of their Black Friday sets. It wasn’t something I would have bought on my own but I was happy to try it. Details per NIOD:
SS is a viscous and intense cleaning balm for the face formulated with highly-concentrated, very-unrefined Ayurvedic plant surfactants unsupported by any modern cleaning technology. SS contains no purified or synthetic surfactants, sulphates, oils, esters or micellar technologies. It is a pH-balanced suspension of the amino acid, Lysine, in saponins from the Ayurvedic plants shikakai and sapindus mukorossi.
This is an interesting product. It has quite a long story behind it, which I copied at the bottom of this post if you want to read it. The texture is very light, airy and mousse like. It has a shimmery bronze hue. The scent is a very earthy, woody, warm & almost resin like or something kind of like that. It’s really hard to describe as I’ve never smelled anything like it.
The product comes packaged in an aluminum tube. SS does come bursting out for a while as it’s under pressure. This is an unique product because it is meant to be a second cleanser, not to remove makeup. It’s meant to deep clean the skin–after cleansing. It does lather up on application and rinse clean. My skin does feel like it’s been deep cleaned after using. It also feels like I’ve used bar soap when I’m done using this. My skin feels tighter and drier after using similar to bar soap.
I know the description says the dryness is normal and it will go away after time, but who sits around after cleansing to see if it goes back to normal? I’m applying toner and serums right after cleansing. So I have no idea if it goes back to normal or not after. This tightening feel combined with the really odd scent made this not my favorite cleanser, despite how interesting the story is.
Use once every other day in the AM or the PM. SS can be used more frequently if desired. SS is not intended to remove makeup. If makeup is present, remove first with LVCE or a suitable makeup remover before using SS. Wet face thoroughly. Massage SS between your palms for a few seconds to form a paste-like lather. Apply to the entire face and massage gently, avoiding the eyes. Rinse thoroughly, keeping your eyes closed. Dry with a towel.
1. While SS is pH-balanced, plant saponins (and plants in general) can mildly irritate the eyes. While this sensitivity can be avoided by keeping your eyes closed during cleaning, if you develop any mild sensitivity around the eyes, it will disappear within a few minutes.
2. Within the first few minutes after using SS, you may feel that your skin feels mildly dry. This temporary feeling is a direct result of SS having removed skin oils gently to encourage recycling of these oils. This feeling is very short-lived and, within a few minutes, you’ll notice your skin returns to normal.
3. For committed users of SS, the product can be applied for a deeper cleaning treatment as follows: Remove any makeup. Clean the skin with water and dry with a towel. Wet the palms of your hand. Massage a generous amount of SS into your palms until a mild lather forms like a paste. Apply to dry skin, avoiding the eye areas entirely. Leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with your eyes closed. Dry with a towel.
Cleaning started with water. Its evolution brought soap. It was later presented that soap was harsh and soap-free surfactants were introduced. Those surfactants became questionable and newer sulphate-free surfactants were introduced — while, in fact, some sulphate surfactants were far gentler and more effective. It was then suggested that surfactants were bad in general and that oils should be used for cleaning the skin instead. The modern day has gone farther to introduce micellar waters and water-free cleaning systems suggesting that water-cleaning should be less frequent to preserve skin integrity — what has become the beginning of questioning the very thing that started both life and the meaning of being clean: water.
The truth is that every advance in the journey of cleaning deserves respect. Each step criticized the previous step more so that it praised itself — but the truth is that water is good, soaps are good, surfactants are good and what there is today is good — each in its own way.
Today, cleaning — or its unnecessarily-privileged language form, “cleansing” — seems to be more focused on removing makeup than actually cleaning bare skin — of dirt, of dead cells, and of oils. While many modern products remove makeup and surface dirt very effectively, they largely leave the pores unclean of bacteria, dirt and oils. Such products also leave spent cells more intact than even through water-cleaning, discouraging the skin to behave optimally.
The alternative to these gentle cleaning products (or makeup removers) is the use of aggressive acids, alcohols and exfoliants. Products with these technologies go to the opposite extreme — they interact with the skin’s bonds to peel the surface and/or specifically dry out as much oil as possible. This approach does clean the surface well but causes inflammation and encourages excess exposure of the skin’s lower layers to the environment, allowing for premature ageing.
In our distant past, plant saponins were used to clean the skin well — and they did so very well. These saponins clean the surface of dead cells without peeling the skin. They delete dirt. They clean pores intensely. And they remove the skin’s own oils — yes, the skin’s very own oils and sebum secretions that everyone is so fearful of removing. The skin is not a cover. It is a living organ. Its function is to produce protective oils. To never clean these oils discourages their natural recycling — in a way, it would discourage the skin to engage in “exercise”. And removing these oils too aggressively results in excessive dryness and a compensatory overproduction of oils.
SS is a cleaning balm that concentrates Ayurvedic saponins. They’re unrefined and messy. They borrow their colour and smell from a place far away from today’s madding crowd of refinement. But their near-perfect equilibrium between deep cleaning and respecting skin integrity is evidence that — somehow, somewhere — they connected to humankind.
With continued use, SS visibly targets all forms of build-up, blemishes, congestion and impurities. It is suitable for all skin types. After the first use, SS leaves the skin looking nearly pore-free and its surface exceptionally cleaned — as if it’s radiating from within.
Aqua (Water), Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Stearic Acid, Arginine, Glycerin, PPG-26-buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Polyacrylate, Acacia Concinna Fruit Extract, Balanites Aegyptiaca (Desert Date) Fruit Extract, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.