When it comes to winter beauty bothers, most of us struggle to escape dry skin! Cold weather and central heating can leave our skin feeling tight and in desperate need of a hydration hit. Could the NIOD Hydration Vaccine help to seal in that precious moisture as we brave the cold weather?

The Claims

We’re always intrigued when skincare promises both instant and long-term effects. With ingredients that apparently mimic the skins own barrier against water loss, this product claims to immediately seal in moisture while supporting the skin’s production of its own ‘natural moisturising factor’. Let’s see how the science fares!

The Science behind the Bottle

N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG)

N-acetyl glucosamine is found naturally in the skin, and it is used to make hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps to keep skin hydrated because it is hydrophilic, meaning it loves water, so it can hold onto moisture in our skin! The NAG in this product will help to increase levels of hyaluronic acid, so our skin can hold onto vital hydration, helping it look plumper and firmer with wrinkles being less visible. So far so good for the product claims!

Leontopodium Alpinum Callus Culture Extract (Edelweiss)

Edelweiss is a rare alpine flower and is now being grown in cultures to produce substances especially for skincare. Edelweiss stem cells have been shown to have a high level of antioxidant activity, so can mop up damaging free radicals that could lead to premature skin ageing if left to roam free! Edelweiss extracts have also been shown to have promising anti-inflammatory activity, which could potentially soothe the red and chapped skin some of us suffer in the winter months! This isn’t quite the ‘novel innovation for visible skin repair’ that NIOD have advertised on their website, but antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents are a welcome addition to any skincare product.

Xylitylglucoside Complex

According to the website, the Xylitylglucoside Complex in the formula combines with humectants (water-loving molecules) to trap water in the skin. This is supposed to mimic how natural moisturising factor, a combination of amino acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol and fatty acids works. As our skin relies on water to function as normal, when levels drop our skin can feel tight and uncomfortable and may even start to appear flaky. By including the amino acids proline, alanine and serine with xylitylglucoside, NIOD is trying to mimic the benefits of NMF. We did find some research to suggest that xylitylglucoside and other NMF-based ingredients can give ‘intense hydration’ to the skin, but we wish NIOD would include links to their own research, as we can’t vouch for their bold claims until we see those lab reports!

Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract

You’d probably be surprised if we told you that skincare products now use ingredients derived from bacteria, but it’s true. Pseudoalteromonas is a bacterial species that thrives in freezing conditions and its extracts have been shown to cling onto water and improve the moisture levels of the skin, particularly in cold conditions. It does sound like it could help the product to deliver on its moisturising claims, but being savvy scientists, we love independent evidence and this proved hard to find.


Emollients coat the skin and form a seal to trap any moisture to provide instant relief from that itchy dry-skin feeling, while preventing more water loss. And there are plenty of emollients to be found in this product, including mango seed butter (Mangifera indica), which has recently been compared to cocoa butter, a long-loved skincare favourite. It is packed with fatty acids and triglycerides, which effectively moisturise the skin by repairing its barrier to prevent water escape, leaving it looking ‘silky smooth and hydrated’. This fruity ingredient, along with other emollients squalane and babassu oil, should help to ‘seal in moisture’ as the product claims, while immediately making the skin feel smoother.

The Verdict

With N-acetylglucosamine driving hyaluronic acid production and a blend of emollients working to prevent water loss, science does back up some of this product’s claims. Unfortunately, the lack of independent evidence supporting the more innovative ingredients, such as the xylitylglucoside complex and edelweiss extracts, makes them seem a bit gimmicky for us. At a price of £35, the NIOD Hydration Vaccine hasn’t quite got our seal of approval yet and we’ll continue our search for the perfect hydration hit.

You can find NIOD Hydration Vaccine HERE

Aqua (Water), Hexamethyldisiloxane, Titanium Dioxide, Hylocereus Undatus Fruit Extract, Methyl Methacrylate/PEG/PPG-4/3 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Mica, Propanediol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Polypodium Vulgare Rhizome Extract, Cetraria Islandica Thallus Extract, Sphagnum Magellanicum Extract, Allantoin, Trehalose, Urea, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, VP/VA Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Amodimethicone, Tin Oxide, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Metabisulfite, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorophenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose.