Hi Nicki – Thanks for posting the recent review of The Ordinary by Deciem. What are you thoughts on their NIOD product “RE: Pigment” and the “multi-pathway approach” to treating melasma? Thanks! CherylPS Congratulations on your the birth of your son!
So this is a two-part question. I’ll cover the product first, and then the multi-faceted approach to melasma.
First, with regards to NIOD RE: Pigment, it’s a decent product with fairly high concentrations of peptides meant to treat hyperpigmentation (Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Tetrapeptide-30, Oligopeptide-68). But I’m not a huge fan of using Lentinus edodes mycelium extract, or Shittake mushrooms, as the most concentrated ingredient. The primary reason why is that I don’t believe Shittake mushrooms really do all that much for skin. Yes, they’ve been shown to have protective effects on liver cells when ingested (Biological Pharmaceutical Bulletin), and some antifungal properties (Current Medicinal Chemistry), but I’m altogether not super convinced Shittake does much brightening or sunspot-treating for the skin. The saving grace for NIOD RE: Pigment really is the peptides, but these take months to work, whereas acids like glycolic acid or L-ascorbic acid can work within weeks.
Now, as for the multi-faceted melasma approach, let’s first define it for everyone:
According to NIOD: This formula visibly counteracts uneven pigmentation, such as spots, as well as overall pigmentation issues through several pathways. This multi-pathway approach optimizes the synergy between the technologies in contrast to networked technologies that approach visible pigmentation through the same mechanisms.
There really are only 3 known ways that skin-lightening treatments can work:
- The first is by inhibiting (stopping) tyrosinase, the enzyme that transforms precursors of skin pigment (melanin) into melanin itself. This is the proposed mechanism of action of kojic acid and hydroquinone and vitamin C.
- The second is by increasing exfoliation in the skin, which makes sunspots generally look lighter. Agents like retinoids and glycolic acid work like this, as well as your standard physical exfoliants.
- The third is by acting as a toxic agent to the cells that produce melanocytes. Hydroquinone does this.
Of the ingredients in NIOD RE: Pigment, most appear to me to be suggesting that they inhibit tyrosinase, including gallic acid, beta alanine, and the peptides. Interestingly enough, this “multi-faceted” solution does not seem to contain any exfoliators or agents that are toxic to melanocytes. (The latter I’m not sure you want if you have darker skin). Instead, it has Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate (Azeloyl Glycine), which is anti-redness. Arguably, this could mean “anti-inflammatory,” but I’m not sure.
The thing here is, I’m not a big believer in reinventing the wheel. Until something is proven to be better than something else in peer-reviewed studies and/or the marketplace, I’m not eager to become an early adopter and jump ship from what I’m already using. But that’s just me. As someone who does get sunspots from time to time, I will tell you, I like 15-20% vitamin C and 2% vitamin E as my “tyrosinase inhibitor”; exfoliation through nightly retinoids or glycolic acid once/week; and, yes, hydroquinone when the spots get really bad (but only as an on-the-spot treatment). I’m less excited by products like NIOD RE:Pigment, but I’m also not someone who’s googly-eyed at what’s new and sexy. If you are, it’s certainly not a bad product to try, but I would supplement it at least with a good solid exfoliant (like a nightly glycolic acid) and a daily vitamin CE serum.
Hope this helps!
All the best,
Ingredients NIOD RE: Pigment
Lentinus edodes mycelium extract, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Propanediol, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl glycyl beta-alanine, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Tetrapeptide-30, Oligopeptide-68, Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Oleate, Disodium EDTA, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl glycol.