Review: Niod – LOW-VISCOSITY CLEANING ESTER (LVCE) + What are Esters?

Where to purchase: Available at Look Fantastic: LINK / Beauty Bay: LINK / Cult Beauty: LINK / Skin Store: LINK

Price: ~£30

Volume: 240ml

Made in: Canada

What is it?: A Makeup Remover that’s basically a cleansing oil (Niod state that it doesn’t contain plant oils but this contains Inchi oil AND it uses Avocado + Sugar Esters to remove the makeup – but this feels like an oil to me so I basically call it a cleansing oil).

Aims to: Remove all makeup in 1 cleanse while not stripping the skin and regulating sebum production. The company state that this will also prep the skin for topical treatments after cleansing (but I’m pretty sure all cleansers do that so…hmm).

Supposedly Good for: All Skin Types

What I think: Dry + Dehydrated Skins would prefer this over Oily Skins, unless you are someone who has oily skin and enjoys cleansing oils, then this might be ok as it doesn’t feel like a thick, gloopy Cleansing oil, but is relatively lightweight. That being said, I do sometimes find that I have a slight oily slip/residue on the skin (if I don’t REALLY thoroughly wash the skin afterwards with multiple splashes etc), so oily skins may not enjoy that texture.


Packaging: As you can see from the below pictures – this is a plastic tub with a plastic screw-nozzle that allows you to close and open this product without the need for a cap. It’s very easy to squeeze this and dispense product (not left waiting).

Vegan?: Yes

Cruelty Free?: Yes

How long does it last after opening?: 6 Months

pH: N/A (No water).

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Directions: Massage a generous amount onto a dry face and then rinse with water. This can be used with or without water by just using a facial pad and wiping the face thoroughly.

How I use it: I wouldn’t use this without water as I would definitely be left with a greasy/oily feeling (even if this product doesn’t contain plant oils). So I wash off with water. This definitely isn’t good if water is added, so I massage this in dry first and then wash off (which is fine, this doesn’t seem to tug the skin). As this does not sting the eyes, I am able to use this to massage my eyeliner and waterproof mascara off. It doesn’t do the best job upon first massage, so this requires at least 2 cleanses. I also use this to remove foundation but this too also needs 2 cleanses.

What are Esters?: These are made by mixing alcohol and carboxylic acid via condensation (Also coined ”Esterification”). FYI condensation = the transformation of vapour/gas to a liquid. They produce a larger molecule (An Ester) and also a smaller molecule (usually water). Esters are insoluble in water (Just like how oil doesn’t mix with water) – which is probably how this product gets around not containing oils but uses Esters that mimic oils in order to dissolve/remove makeup (they are used as solvents). Esters can be used in the industry as Solvents (substances dissolve into solvents i.e. makeup).

You can spot Esters by the ”yl” and ”ate” in the ingredient name i.e. The Esters used in this product are: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate (a popular ingredient in makeup removers as it has high spread ability). Isoamyl Laurate (Yellowish + oily – velvety + non-sticky; it’s used as a natural silicone alternative AND is very good at dissolving pigments and SPF filters, so it’s good at dissolving makeup products. Isoamyl Cocoate (Derived from Sugar Beets + Coconut Oil – light + non-oily). Butyl Avocadate (Butyl Alcohol + Avocado Oil).


Key Ingredients: Inchi oil (contains Alpha-Linoleic Acid which is good to support the skin’s barrier and not dry out the skin). Vitamin E (antioxidant).

Full Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Isoamyl Laurate, Isoamyl Cocoate, Butyl Avocadate, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Propyl Gallate, Ethoxydiglycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Farnesol, Linalool.

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: Definitely a lightweight liquid that simply runs down the hand. It’s practically colourless too. No, this doesn’t have a sticky feeling; but it does give off a faint texture of oil i.e. if you left this on the skin, your face would feel like it has a lightweight facial oil on it. And I do feel that texture if I don’t wash this product off extra efficiently. This basically feels like a dry oil (Like The Ordinary’s Squalane Oil).

Also, this product doesn’t really emulsify like the Hylamide Facial Cleaner, so it doesn’t have that satisfying removal when washing off either.


You can see this has that sort of shine a dry oil provides on the skin.

Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: It didn’t sting mine. But it depends if you’re sensitive to Farnesol.

Summer or Winter?: This isn’t thick or heavy so it can be used in the summer.


Video Swatch + Makeup Removal Demo:

As you can see, this is good at dissolving pigments; I used 2 Liquid Lips and 1 Regular Lipstick and this product (after A LOT of massaging, managed to break down the products so I could gently swipe the skin with a tissue and have the makeup all removed).

Fragrance?: Yes this contains 1. Farnesol (Fragrancing ingredient that is listed in the EU 26 Fragrances that have to be labelled separately from the word; ‘Fragrance or Perfume’, due to its allergen potential. Therefore those with sensitised or skins that are sensitive to Farnesol, should possibly avoid this. And, this contains 2. Linalool (Common fragrance ingredient).

Good at removing Makeup?: This is decent if you double cleanse with this. Is it the best makeup remover I’ve tried? No. This has a difficult time removing waterproof mascara and liner; and I need to use this at least 2-3 times to get all the makeup off – BUT when it is off, it IS off i.e. no residue leftover makeup along the waterline etc. Also – I really make sure to massage thoroughly, and this still takes a while to fully dissolve makeup.

How long have I been using this?: 3 Months.

Will I use until Completion?: No. I just don’t find it as good as other makeup dissolvers/removers AND I don’t like the smell.

The Effect?: Decently cleansed skin (after 2-3 cleanses) after removing makeup. This also didn’t leave my skin painfully tight.

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What I like:

  • Good packaging i.e. easy to dispense product
  • Decent at removing base makeup
  • You get a lot of ml
  • Didn’t cause blackheads
  • Didn’t dry out my skin or cause painful tightness

What I don’t like:

  • Farnesol + Linalool (EOs added) and I don’t like the smell very much
  • Not magnificent at removing waterproof eye makeup (Need double to triple cleansing0
  • Leaves my vision a bit blurry after washing off (I have to keep and keep washing to try and remove this)
  • Leaves the skin around my eyes kind of red
  • Not the easiest to wash off

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3 (nearly 2.9) /5 – Not my favourite Makeup Remover. I like the packaging, I like that this still does remove makeup, but it just takes me longer than other makeup removers I’ve used. And for the price, I can find more efficient cleaners at a lower rate. Also, I’m really not a fan of the smell, and I also don’t like how it’s quite difficult to fully remove this off the skin, and I need to use this <1 to fully remove makeup and it also has irritated the skin around my eyes and left my vision a bit blurry so I’ve had to go in with some eye drops (this doesn’t usually happen with other cleansers).

Would I repurchase?: No. I would rather repurchase the Hylamide High Efficiency Face Cleaner if I had to get a cleansing oil.

Dupe?: The Hylamide High Efficiency Face Cleaner is similar, from the same company, cheaper and more efficient: LINK / My Review: LINK. I still think an excellent balm cleanser is the Juno Skin Cleansing Balm (Soft, luxurious texture).

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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