NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex vs. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

NIOD…we have all heard about it…but it’s price tags leave us drawn towards the brand’s sister company, the notably less pricey, The Ordinary. I have finally pinpointed the problem with my current skin: It is severely dehydrated and that is having dire implications for the look of my foundation. Air conditioners, I am looking at you…Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one ingredient renowned for being able to quench thirsty skin. I also watched this video by Liah Yoo which discussed the efficacy of various forms of HA on offer and bolstered my understanding of this much sought after ingredient.

Although I had been using the Ordinary Hyularonic Acid 2% + B5 for several months (which was helping somewhat), I thought it was time to raid the bank and splash out on this pricier alternative, NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC2). MMHC2 is priced at an eye-watering £38 for 30ml, while the same size bottle of the Ordinary’s HA offering seems like spare change comparatively, at £5.90.




The NIOD serum is much lighter and quicker to absorb than its counterpart, and is almost water-like in its consistency. They both work fine under make up; but I imagine the NIOD version would work well with absolutely anything layered above as it seems to fully sink into the skin. One of the major differences between these two products is that while the cheaper offering has almost no scent, the NIOD serum has quite a discernible, unpleasant smell…In the product’s defence, however, this aroma does diffuse quite rapidly and I much prefer this to a firm’s attempt to mask funky smells with loads of skin-irritating perfumes.

They are both housed in glass bottles and have pipettes to dispense the product. The NIOD serum does look more lux in its tinted glass bottle and rather elegant pipette. Moreover, the box that the MMHC2 bottle comes packaged in is sleek…I, for one, was extremely excited to be trying this product.

The difference in the quality of the packaging mirrors the extortionate variation in price.



Price: NIOD £38 for 30ml (£25 for 15ml); The Ordinary £5.90 for 30ml

Consistency: NIOD is very thin almost water-like; The Ordinary is thicker and more tacky

Hyaluronic Acid: NIOD has an unparalleled 15 different forms of HA, including precursors; the Ordinary has 3

Eyes: Both can be applied around eyes

The NIOD serum is very runny, almost the consistency of water.
The Ordinary serum is a little more viscous in comparison.



NIOD – Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sodium Lactate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Algae Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Lecithin, Polyglucuronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Citric Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Silica, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Propyl Gallate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

The Ordinary – Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.


How I Use It

Like all serums, these are intended to be used before moisturiser; but after cleansing and toning.


My Verdict

My hopes that NIOD would be my answer to plump, hydrated skin were dashed almost immediately after the first application. My skin just does not agree with it. It seems I am allergic to something in the formulation, which comes as little surprise given its extensive ingredient list. It makes tiny bumps appear under my eyes and on my cheeks; it makes affected areas look uneven and puffy. These bumps seem to calm down as the day progresses, but are set off each time I reapply this serum in the morning. Needless to say, I have now accepted my fate and discontinued use. It does seem to quench the skin quite well as my skin seems plumper during the day, but the spotty rash it also imparts leaves me with no option but to discard it. My skin is extremely sensitive at the moment; but an allergic reaction to this serum is quite rare judging by internet reviews of this product, which are overwhelmingly positive. I purchased my NIOD MMHC2 serum from Look Fantastic; and luckily they do offer full refunds in the instance of an allergic reaction to a product.

The Ordinary serum had less visible plumping and hydrating results, but gave me no adverse reactions. So, although it may be less effective, I am left with this HA serum until I can find (if it indeed exists) a more effective but affordable HA alternative for my sensitive skin. Or perhaps, I should just drink more water…






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