NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum Review

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate kit

What is it?
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum

Ingredients list
Star ingredients                        Possible Acne trigger/not so good ingredients

Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Pentylene Glycol, Copper Tripeptide-1, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, PPG-26 Buteth-26, PEG40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.
I don’t see any ingredients that cause for concern here. It’s also clean when checked with

Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: It’s derived from hyaluronic acid. HA has an unique ability to bind and retain water. “It’s water-binding and fills up the spaces between the connective fibers collagen and elastin in the dermis”. Therefore, in many studies topical application of LMWHA (low molecular weight HA) was demonstrated to improve skin moisturization and elasticity associated with significant reduction of wrinkle depth. HA is widely available in our body but decreasing rapidly as we aged.

Ethoxydiglycol: is a synthetic solvent with a low molecular weight. It helps dissolve and lower the viscosity of the products, making it thinner so it’s easier to absorb into our skin.

Pentylene Glycol: a solvent, with humectant and skin conditioning properties, can also serve as preservative. It’s low molecular weight therefore it can be absorb fast.

Copper Tripeptide-1: glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine copper cuprate, diacetate (GHK-Cu). Copper is an essential trace element important for many biological processes (hemoglobin synthesis, enzyme activation…). It is a key factor in the production of collagen and elastin. Its anti-inflammatory activity is well documented.

“Acute or chronic inflammation induces a net increase of total copper in blood, synovial fluid and inflamed areas, mobilized from endogenous stores. Chronic inflammation may lead to depletion of copper stores, implying the need for exogenous copper supply in order to effectively cope with the inflammatory pathologies. While copper complexes are commonly administered by injection, the Anti-inflammatory activity of subcutaneous administration of copper complexes in animals was also shown to be proportional to total amount of copper injected”

Studies showed that topical organic copper complex such as GHK-Cu may potentially providing a skin reservoir of copper to become available over time. They also shown that GHK-Cu is readily permeate skin barrier.

Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3: skin conditioning, a peptide that mimics retinoic acid (vitamin A) to increase cell turnover and collagen synthesis without causing negative side effects, such as irritation and stinging.

PPG-26 Buteth-26: it is a conditioning agent, reduce flaking and skin dryness, increase suppleness. According to International Journal of Toxicology PPG-26-Buteth-26 produced no skin irritation or sensitization and is considered safe to be use in cosmetics products.

PEG40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: derived from castor oil, an emulsifier, it’s not readily absorb by skin with the molecular weight of 40. EWG noticed the possibility of contamination with impurities.

“A dermal irritation test performed in mice concluded that a formulation containing 20% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil would probably not irritate human skin. A study of the dermal irritancy potential of a microemulsion gel system in rats concluded that the test formulation containing 20.66% PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil was not a skin irritant.”

“The CIR Expert Panel concluded that the 130 PEGylated oil ingredients listed subsequently are safe in the present practices of use and concentration in cosmetics when formulated to be non irritating.”

Ethylhexylglycerin: a synthetic compound derived from grains and plants. It’s serves as an emollient solvent and weak preservative. It’s often used as an alternative to parabens. It’s a weak allergen. Since ethylhexylglycerin is listed almost at the end of the ingredient list, the percentage is very minimal. You probably won’t get any irritation from it.

Chlorphenesin: a preservative. “It is used at concentrations up to 0.32% in rinse-off products and up to 0.3% in leave-on products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel (Panel) noted that chlorphenesin was well absorbed when applied to the skin of rats; however, any safety concern was minimized because available data demonstrated an absence of toxicity. The Panel concluded that chlorphenesin is safe in the present practices of use and concentration.”

Phenoxythanol: a preservative alternative to parabens. It’s approved to use at <1%.

“Undiluted Phenoxyethanol was a strong eye irritant, but was non irritating when tested at 2.2%. Phenoxyethanol at 2.0% was a slight irritant to rabbit skin, but was neither an irritant nor sensitizer to guinea pig skin. In dermal treatment studies, Phenoxyethanol was neither teratogenic, embryotoxic, or fetotoxic at doses which were maternally toxic. Phenoxyethanol was non mutagenic in the Ames test, with and without metabolic activation, and in the mouse micronucleus test. In clinical studies, Phenoxyethanol was neither a primary irritant nor sensitizer. Phenoxyethanol was not phototoxic in clinical studies. It is concluded that Phenoxyethanol is safe as a cosmetic ingredient in the present practices of use and concentration.”

Who is it for?

  • Any one who want healthier skin.
  • Who doesn’t mind synthetic products.
  • I know some of you might have problems with some of the ingredients in this product but those ingredients only cause harm if exceed the allowance dose. Everything will be problematic if use at toxic level; water is as safe as it can be but if you drink too much you will have problem too! So for instance in this product Chlorphenesin can be use up to 0.3% and it listed before Phenoxythanol, so that means Phenoxythanol can only be at 0.3% or below.

How do you use it?

  • CAIS should be use right after clean; give it atleast 10 sec before moving on.
  • If you use acid cleanser or acid toner before CAIS then you need to wait at least 30 min before putting on CAIS since CAIS will be destroyed by any trace of acid per Deciem.
  • You can put CAIS on right after cleaning and allow it to absorb for 30 sec then use your acid toner and the rest of your products.
    There is a very informative QA with Brandon from Deciem on Caroline’s blog. You should check it out!
  • CAIS is blue color and very light just like water.  So the way I applied it is tilling my face up, with one hand squeeze a drop straight on my face but don’t let the tip touching your skin! (you don’t want yucky things start growing in your bottle :/)  and smooth it out with the other hand. Repeat for other area of faces. Your skin will feel slightly tacky and smell faintly of vinegar but within 10s it will be absorbed and your skin will be so smooth!
  • I use CAIS for my eyelid and under eye area also.
  • I did a post on my instagram for how to mix CAIS if you’re curious 😉
check my instagram for mixing details
CAIS changed color after mixing with activator

Price & where to buy?

  • You can buy this from Deciem website for $60 for 15ml or $90 for 30ml.
  • Right now they’re having a promotion for 20% off with code ‘yearofthemonkey’ good until 2/21/2016. You can try the smaller size first to see if you like it 🙂

My results

My skin looks so much better, more brighter, even toned! I used to have pinkish skin tone from all the PIH but now they’re slowly fade away. This works better than Vitamin C and all the acid toners I had tried minus all the inflammation baggage associated with those! I saw better results when I incorporated MMHC with CAIS. My skin was in a bad shape so I can see a drastic improvement.  If you have healthy skin right now, you might not see any change 🙂 but with continue use it will just aid in your skin health in the long run. Also, I noticed the anti-inflammation effect with CAIS.  I had some pimples and with CAIS, the pimples came to white head, dried and fell off faster. No squeezing necessary to get the head out. The PIH area is much smaller!

Worth repurchase? Yes for me! I reorder both CAIS and MMHC in full size 🙂 If synthetic products are not your jam then don’t use it 🙂 it’s all base on personal preference.


Have you tried CAIS yet? What are your thoughts?


Ethylhexylglycerin—a Contact Allergen in Cosmetic Products by Andersen, Klaus E. MD, PhD

What's your favorite products? Check out mine above!



  1. Jamie
    March 13, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Just discovered these two products (and ordered the eye contour liquid recently) and am absolutely IN LOVE. I’m having bad pregnancy skin just like the first time around and these two products alone are giving me amazing results! Have had one active breakout and like you said it cleared up so quickly and I did not have a bright red spot like I normally would for about a full month! SO AMAZING hopefully I have found a holy grail because I’m in awe. But anyway my question to you was how do you like using the white rx active serum alongside these two? Are you having good results? I still have some blotchy areas where the bulk of my preggo acne once subsided and was thinking of trying this in conjunction with NIOD … Thoughts?

    • PUG
      March 18, 2016 / 10:41 am

      Hi Jamie! Sorry for getting back to you so late! I was away for work and did not have access to my site 🙁 I’m glad you’re getting good results with NIOD CAIS! I love it so much that I ordered the full size 😀 As for the White RX Activated Serum I had only been using it for about a week so I can’t really comment on its effectiveness :/ I have some sunspots on my cheek that refused to go away. But with lightening products it will take months before we see the results. It won’t hurt if you include it in your routine now 🙂 Its texture is a little thicker but absorb pretty fast! I’ll keep you update!

  2. Deion
    March 19, 2016 / 7:38 am

    Sorry I am confused
    Please advise if the castor oil in this product is different from the one you previously discussed in the splash mask post?
    Thank you

    • PUG
      March 21, 2016 / 11:54 am

      Hi Deion! They are not castor oil anymore but a derivative of castor oil; it had been process to become polyethylene glycol. and Yup they are both PEG 40 in NIOD CAis and the splash mask 🙂 it acts as an emulsifier, surfactant.

  3. Veronica
    June 21, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Hello – Just start using CAIS and wondering if you are still using it. If so, are you seeing further improvement? Thank you.

    • PUG
      June 22, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Hi Veronica! I finished 2 bottles of CAIS and about to open a 3rd one. As of now I’m using it for preventive/maintenance kind of thing because my skin reached the plateau. I haven’t seen any improvement nor I missed it but I think it’s still good for the health of skin. That’s why I’m still planning to open another bottle.

      • Veronica
        June 24, 2016 / 8:43 pm

        Thanks for your reply! I am almost done with my first bottle and thinking about getting a bottle of the 5% but not sure if it too much.

        • PUG
          June 28, 2016 / 1:41 pm

          Hi Veronica 🙂 Since you finished the whole bottle already. I wouldn’t get the 5% if I was you. I read a QA from Caroline Hiron blog with Bradon the founder of NIOD. He said 5% is only for the severe damaged skin, and after using that a while the results of that is the same as the 1%. They both will reach the same plateau 🙂 Hope that help!

  4. June 28, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    I have seen similar results to you using the copper isolate serum in combination with HA, love how you have Broken down each ingredient and made it simpler to understand.
    Thorough breakdown of the product period, thank you so much for this

    • PUG
      July 5, 2016 / 11:43 am

      Hi Esnath! Thank you for visiting 🙂 it means a lot coming from you 🙂 I’m glad you like the breakdown of ingredients! it takes forever to write it lol

  5. Nancy
    October 11, 2016 / 12:26 am

    Hi I have just started to use cais and I am wondering when do I use a vitamin c mask or aha mask should I do that after I’ve cleansed and applied cais or should I cleanse apply mask and wash off and wait 30min to apply cais. Confused if you could clarify please thanks Nancy

    • PUG
      October 12, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      Hi Nancy!
      I would apply Cais before applying the mask. Cais doesn’t take long to absorb. All it needs is 10-30s. If you wait 30 minutes after wash off the mask your skin might get dry therefore I’ll do it before 🙂 So cleanse, apply CAIS, wait 30s, then apply mask. Hope it helps!

  6. Cristina
    October 25, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Hello, i have acne prone skin and loving this serum ….Then i did open your site and says in red ACNE TRIGGERING PRODUCT… Not sure if i understand this right but I believe that the serum is oil free . C

    • PUG
      October 25, 2016 / 10:45 am

      Hi Cristina,
      I’m not sure where you read ‘acne triggering product’? Are you referring to the ingredients note? I always divided out green color text for good ingredients and red color text for possible acne trigger or not so good ingredients. So for this NIOD post there are no red highlight in the ingredients list since there’s no bad ingredients.

  7. Cristina
    October 25, 2016 / 10:46 am

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… i am so sorry, i misunderstood ;)))).. i can breathe now ;))) C

  8. Julio Diez
    December 16, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Hello. Cn I use White Rx Activated Seum with Niod Cais 1%?
    If the answer it’s yes, what’s the oorrect order of application’
    thank you very much.

    • PUG
      December 21, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      Hi Julio 🙂 You can definitely use CAIS and white Rx together in one routine, use cais right away after cleansing before acid, use white rx in the serum step 🙂

  9. Harri
    February 20, 2017 / 4:54 am

    Hi! I know I am a bit late to this post but I started using Hylamide products in January and have just got my first bottle of CAIS so just wondering what order to apply. I use Hylamide high efficiency face cleanser, Hylamide hydra density mist then subq anti age serum with subq eyes. When is best to add in CAIS?

    • PUG
      March 1, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      HI Harri! Sorry for the late reply. You can apply Cais after or before the mist 🙂

  10. Gillian
    April 25, 2017 / 5:07 pm


    I have just purchased a bottle of the 1% CAIS and the 5%. When I finish the 1% do I go onto the 5%. Can you use these in conjunction with prescription Retin A and if so in what order?

    I also use Zelens products, can I use these with the CAIS or do you have to stick with NIOD products only?

    • PUG
      May 8, 2017 / 11:04 am

      The 5% CAIS is meant to heal extremely damaged skin and will show results much faster than the 1% but eventually your skin will reach a plateau and won’t see much results. I would use the 5% CAIS first to help skin heal and then use 1% as a maintenance. CAIS is very easy to use, I would just use it right after cleansing before anything else. You sure can use Zelens product with NIOD products 🙂 Retin A is ok too but make sure you don’t use too many exfoliating products in conjuncture with it at first, let your skin get use to Retin A then you can incorporate other more active products.

  11. Cristina Risso
    May 9, 2017 / 5:05 am

    Hello, i just wanted to add that the monkeys at Deciem did suggest not to use any BHA or AHA alongside NIOD at all. If one “really wants to” , then to wait the 30 seconds period. C

    • PUG
      May 16, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      hi Cristina, you might not have read the post but I did include that 🙂 “If you use acid cleanser or acid toner before CAIS then you need to wait at least 30 min before putting on CAIS since CAIS will be destroyed by any trace of acid per Deciem.
      You can put CAIS on right after cleaning and allow it to absorb for 30 sec then use your acid toner and the rest of your products.
      There is a very informative QA with Brandon from Deciem on Caroline’s blog. You should check it out!”

  12. Cristina
    May 16, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Will do , thank you :))))

  13. Cristina
    May 17, 2017 / 5:39 am

    me (again, lol). I did look for that page, but i do not seem to find it . Help :)))) (pretty please)

  14. Cristina
    May 19, 2017 / 5:25 am


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