NIOD Survival 20 Review

(Not sponsored. No affiliate links.)

What is it?

NIOD sun protection. NIOD is Deciem’s brand I rather often mention and you can find that here and here.

Here is what Deciem says about Survival 20:

Medium UV protection silicone-dispersed UV minerals in a networked defence system.

Designed for medium and darker skin tones (III, IV and V within the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale) and when UV index is low or moderate (under 5). /Deciem/

Ok, what the heck is Fitzpatrick skin tone scale? How can you tell this Survival thing is for you?

Fitzpatrick skin tone scale is numerical classification of human skin phototypes, aka skin colours. It was devised in 1975 by Dr. Thomas Bernard Fitzpatrick, American dermatologist who conducted thorough researches on skin cancer (melanoma and UV exposure).

Find your Fitzpatrick skin tone here:

Picture source:

My Fitzpatrick skin tone is II, and according to that, I should use Survival 30 (higher UV protection), but I chose Survival 20 for wintertime when UV index is low.

NIOD Survival 20 comes in elegant typical NIOD glass 30ml / 1 fl.oz. bottle with the convenient pump (newer edition). It is not tinted, but it surely looks like it is because of the colour of its ingredients (Lutein, Fractionated Melanin and Pycnogenol®). That colour is something around neutral light beige.

NIOD Survival 20 Review

It smells of NIOD. I can’t describe it any different. This scent is typical for most of NIOD products and goes somewhere between the scent of  prescription medicine and hard candy.

Survival 20 is very thin, lean liquid, runny by its consistency. It reminds me of something, but I can’t remember what right now. Some liquid foundation I had, but can’t remember which one. But you get the picture, very thin liquid foundation. Except it isn’t foundation at all.

How to use it?

NIOD Survival 20 Review


Shake well before use. Apply to face liberally before UV exposure. If continued UV exposure is expected, to maintain protection, reapply every 2 hours or after material water exposure, towel-drying, swimming or extensive perspiration. Designed for medium and darker skin tones (III, IV and V within the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale) and when UV index is low or moderate (under 5). If your skin tone is lighter or in the presence of a higher UV index, we suggest using a formula offering a protection level of SPF 30. Avoid contact with light clothing as the carotenoids in this product can cause staining. /Deciem/

So, to recap, I use this after the last moisturizer of my morning skin care is finally absorbed into skin. Three pumps of this (minimum) for face plus two pumps more for my neck, ears, and décolletage.

Shake, pump, slather.

When UV index is low. And then only. For my Fitzpatrick II, higher UV index, higher UV protection.


NIOD Survival 20 Ingredients

Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua (Water), Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Propanediol, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Inulin, Alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Xanthophyll, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Polygonum Aviculare Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Squalane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Melanin, Sucrose, Tapioca Starch, Stearic Acid, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Ethoxydiglycol, Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

More on this technology and ingredients you can find on official NIOD website.

Rosacea safe?

Yes, but do the patch test first. There is handful botanical ingredients that aren’t supposed to be sensitizing, but you know, rosacea is crazy and can get mad to pure water. Sigh…

Who is it for?

All skin types

Does it work?

For those times I don’t want to smother my skin with very high UV protection on daily basis, and the UV index is really low (or moderate at best), this is the thing.

Although NIOD states this would fit the darker skin tones best, I really do find it very appropriate for my light skin tone. It does seem to leave something of a whitish, or rather very light beige cast on skin that very quickly disappears and leaves skin with matte, velvet finish.

If your skin is blemish free, nothing to conceal or correct, this Survival 20 would be perfectly enough for unified and velvety complexion. No need for BB cream or foundation as silicones in this formulation work almost as blur and skin enhancer.

Double cleansing is the only way to remove it completely off the face. It is very durable and resistant to daily skin challenges. It doesn’t settle into wrinkles or creases, it doesn’t oxidise or breaks into patches after couple of hours on skin.

NIOD Survival 20 Review
Completely dry

That cosmetically taken aspects are on the high end of perfect. The UV skin protection aspect, the very essence of this product, is taken to the level of damage prevention rather than damage control. But that is the point of this product. For very high UV index or actual sun exposure of the skin, SPF 50 is the way to go.

The last but not the least is the aspect of not breaking me out. Full stop.

For those days when all the cosmic forces align to be in peace with my hormones and my skin stays still, without mountains or hills on its surface, Survival 20 combined (not mixed) with NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 8%, is the winning formula to the best of my looks.

Winter skin made beautiful. This would be conclusion.

Gif source:

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