Review: Niod – Non-Acid Acid Precursor 15% (NAAP) – Does this replace Exfoliating Acids and/or Retinoids?

Where to purchase: LookFantastic (US): LINK / LookFantastic (UK): LINK / Beauty Bay: LINK / Selfridges: LINK

Price: £35

Volume: 30ml

Made in: Canada

What is it?: A serum that’s meant to exfoliate the skin without using acids (i.e. AHA/BHA/ Retinoids) – it uses Amino Isolates (Small Proteins) + Fermented Ingredients (Probiotic bacteria) to match the effect of exfoliating acids by providing clearer skin and radiance WITHOUT the redness or inflammation associated with acids.

The probiotic bacteria (cut up, so it’s teeny tiny) supposedly matches (like a jigsaw puzzle) the same shape as a precursor to the skin’s natural acids. So, it’s supposed to stimulate ”natural” exfoliation that the skin undergoes anyway, without the use of AHAs and BHAs – hence why this removes the irritation (and low pH) associated with exfoliating acids.

Supposedly an Oligopeptide (long protein) is meant to exfoliate the skin even better than AHAs (not enough studies to confirm this).

This also contains a Sugar which improves the skin’s ability to retain water (i.e. it acts like a humectant), thereby hydrating the skin which helps skin focus on shedding and replenishing itself.

Brand Description: NAAP is an alternative to Acids to exfoliate the skin. It uses Probiotics + Amino Acids that seemingly match skin-compatible acids in the skin, encouraging the skin’s natural shedding + exfoliation – to clarify the skin and boost radiance, thus avoiding Acid-induced irritation + inflammation (due to their low pH etc).

Supposedly Good for: All Skin Types (especially for people who can’t handle Acids and/or Retinoids

What I think: I would agree that all skin types can use this, particularly Normal / Combo + Dry.


pH: 4-5 (Skin is ~5.5)

Vegan?: Yes

Cruelty Free?: Yes

Packaging: Glass Bottle with a glass dropper (I have screwed on the Niod Pump onto my bottle so I can simply pump out the product).

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Directions: ”Apply a few drops at bedtime (avoid the immediate eye area). If you use Niod products, apply this after their Copper Amino Isolate Serum and their Hyaluronic Acid Serum (as this is creamier/thicker), but apply it before the Hydration Vaccine. If you’re using a Vitamin C (like the ELAN from Niod), then apply after. If there is sensitivity, apply this every other night until tolerance is achieved (More information on the Website Here).

How I use it: I apply this in the PM after my more-watery serums OR as this is more of an emulsion, I can even use it as my last step (this is moisturising). I didn’t find this irritating so I didn’t need to spread out the use of this However, as I use Retinol, I do use this every other day so as not to interfere.

Key Ingredients:

  1. Lactococcus Ferment Lysate – Lactococcus Ferment Lysate – This is a relatively new Probiotic Ingredient (It’s cut up Lactococcus lactis – a bacteria). The Manufacturer states that this increases skin resurfacing (by matching the shape of proteins in the skin that stimulate skin exfoliation) + leads to better Skin barrier function, overall improving the skin. The Manufacturer did tests in tubes (not on human volunteers) to see how Lactococcus Ferment Lysate works – and this seems to be one of the few tests done in terms of using LFS in skincare.
  • Basically Lactococcus Ferment Lysate seems to stimulate the breaking of bonds between dead skin cells, therefore encouraging skin shedding (natural exfoliation). It also seems to encourage the binding of live skin cells together, hence why it works to improve skin thickness + epidermal growth. It also seems to increase production of antibacterial peptides on the skin, therefore keeping non-skin friendly bacteria out of the skin. The manufacturer did do a study on Human skin (5 volunteers) and basically found that 3% of LFS applied on the skin 2x a day (for 4 days) led to a thicker skin (2 µm difference), and reduced levels of water loss from the skin. So therefore, LFS basically needs more studies.
  • It needs to be clinically verified (and not just experimented with by the Manufacturer, and use independent scientists to test) in order to prove that this mimics the behaviour of AHA/BHA and Retinoids fully to achieve the same results. This ingredient however definitely seems promising in terms of improving the health of the skin, the quality of the skin, reduce water loss and keep the skin’s barrier healthy. That’s why it seems to be good as a supplement to one’s skincare routine and definitely (for me at least), not a replacement to exfoliating acids + retinoids.

The noAcid Pads from Indeed Laboratories also contain Lactococcus Ferment Lysate! Watch My Youtube Video Below if you’d like to check it out 🙂

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2. Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3 – is supposedly an ingredient that mimics the effects of Retinol, without the irritation. It’s meant to stimulate collagen and improve skin shedding without inflammation. The only tests done with this ingredient so far are in test tubes and not on live human volunteers, so it’s hard to clinically verify that this ingredient does what it says on the tin. In tubes however, this seems to stimulate collagen (at 10% concentration) by 43% (however 0.1% Retinoic Acid did better at 50%).

3. Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate – is a tripeptide (big peptide) that supposedly reduces the signs of ageing on the skin. It’s meant to improve Skin renewal and reveal more radiant skin and improve the skin’s texture. Once again, this ingredient has only been tested by the company that’s made it – so it would be nice if more independent scientists tested this.

Other Notable Ingredients: Bisabolol – Soothing / Chlorphenesin – Antibacterial / Glycerin, Amino Acids, Yeast Extract + Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides – Moisturising/Hydrating


Full Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Yeast Extract, Soy Amino Acids, Bisabolol, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Lecithin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Salicylate, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Pentylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: This is NOT Oily or Greasy. It’s lightweight yet moisturising at the same time. It’s also not sticky or tacky and layers fine. It doesn’t make the skin feel like it can’t breath, but simply moisturises + hydrates it.

  • This definitely has a moisturising/Hydrating texture and finish.

Layerability: Yes this layers fine

Stings the Eyes?: No, but I don’t put it near the eyes

Summer or Winter?: I think Oily Skins could use this as a Summer Moisturiser and Dry Skins could use this any season as it’s not thick.


Face Video Swatch

Fragrance?: No added fragrance and/or essential oils. This doesn’t have a strong scent either – it actually smells similar to the Hydration Vaccine from Niod.

Good Under Makeup?: Can be used under makeup and not ball up but it’s quite emollient so be weary oily skins on the T-Zone.

How long have I been using this?: I have 1/5th of product left and I’ve been using this every other PM for 2 months.

The Effect?: Moisturised skin that didn’t sting and wasn’t irritated by this product. Has it helped with the overall radiance + texture of my skin? Not as drastically as using something like an Exfoliating Acid / Retinoid would provide (But I do think for people who can’t use acids, this is one of the few non-acid exfoliators I would recommend, if you have the funds because let’s remember, this is Niod £££).

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What I like:

  • No added fragrance and/or essential oils
  • Didn’t sting or irritate my skin
  • Moisturising
  • Lightweight
  • Layerable

What I don’t like:

  • It’s hard to tell if this actually exfoliates the skin, especially to the same effect as AHAs/BHAs + Retinoids, like it’s claimed to.

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3.9 (almost a 4) / 5 – Is this product a necessity? No. Is it a nice supplement to a skincare routine which doesn’t disrupt one’s routine or cause inflammation? Yes. I think the ingredients seem interesting – is this product proven to really mimic AHAs/BHAs/Retinoids? I don’t think so (yet). So that’s why I call this a good supplement to a routine rather than a replacement of those ingredients, because this definitely improves the look and feel of the skin as it’s both moisturising and hydrating, but I don’t find that it’s drastically altered my skin the way a Retinol would. I’m happy that this didn’t itch or burn and that it has provided some benefits to my skin without being entirely useless.

I would for instance, use this over the Indeed Labs NoAcid Pads as I find this seemed to do more for my skin (also seems to contain a higher % in this product which the manufacturer’s studies show – works better). I would only recommend if you like supplementary products to your regime and if you want to try out Probiotics for your skin and see if they do anything.

Would I repurchase?: I would repurchase in addition to an exfoliating routine containing AHAs + BHA + Retinol etc, because I love adding supplementary products to a routine that can help boost the look of the skin + skin radiance, and also the texture of this is non-offensive. It’s both moisturising + layers fine (doesn’t get in the way of my other products), and doesn’t irritate the skin. However I’d only repurchase this as a supplement BUT if I had to choose between repurchasing this or, let’s say, buying a Retinoid – I would go for the retinoid (more proven to work clinically).

Dupe?: Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% (My Review HERE) OR the 0.2% Retinol in Squalane – Both I find are gentle and don’t seem to irritate the skin, while using proven Retinol (Retinol is in both products).

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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