the more you know the less you need

the more you know the less you need

Making Sense of Science: Part 1

Making Sense of Science: Part 1

Skincare used to be straightforward—cleanser, toner, moisturiser. Was it Clinique that drummed that into our psyche with its three part system?

But Deciem, the Canadian Abnormal Beauty Company, is doing something different. NOID is their serious skincare division: it’s geeky, it’s scientific, and it takes p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e to figure out. Caroline Hirons’ post, A Guide To NIOD  is a good way through the thicket. As is Mira at Deciem Toronto HQ.

So here is what I’ve come up with for my new skincare routine:


What was once simple has become fraught with uncertainty:

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.


So what is the best way to wash your face?

  • Makeup Removers: great at removing cosmetics from the skin, but  leave the pores unclean of bacteria, dirt, and oils, and discourages the skin to behave optimally.
  • Aggressive acids, alcohols and exfoliants: cleans effectively but results in excessive dryness and a compensatory overproduction of oils, causes inflammation, and encourages excess exposure of the skin’s lower layers to the environment, allowing for premature ageing.
  • Not washing: the skin is a living organ and its function is to produce protective oils. To not remove oil, sebum secretions, and impurities means that the skin cannot perform its “job”.
  • Plant Saponins: are very good at cleaning the skin. They clean the surface of dead cells without peeling the skin. They delete dirt. They clean pores intensely. And they gently remove the skin’s own oils, allowing the skin to naturally replenish them.


SANSKRIT SAPONINS (SS) was created to clean bare skin. In listening to—and respecting—the past, NIOD has moved innovatively forward. Or perhaps more accurately, innovatively backwards. SS is a cleaning balm based on ancient Ayurvedic saponins which strikes the perfect balance between deep cleaning and respecting skin integrity.


With a light ,mousse-like texture, SS is not your typical beauty”cleanser”. It’s ancient in ancestry, it’s unrefined, it smells funky and natural, and yet it melts into the skin and leaves it feeling perfectly clean and fresh, yet soothed, soft, and hydrated.



  • Not meant to remove makeup. I use Bioderma (see French Pharmacy).
  • Use once every other day AM or PM. I use it in conjunction with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.
  • Wet face. 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.



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