NIOD’s Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (CAIS3) has been rotating in my skincare routine since the end of March. I thought it was about time to review this skincare product for you all!
Many beauty content creators convinced me to give NIOD CAIS3 a try. I decided to make a purchase on Deciem’s website during their Slowvember 2021 sale for various NIOD products. I also wanted to use a gentle well-aging active while my skin was recovering from CO2 Fraxel laser sessions. Copper peptides seem to fit this need, so I first started using The Ordinary’s “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% (Reviewed). I never tried copper peptides before, and it is an affordable option. After experiencing positive results and emptying that bottle, I continued on with NIOD CAIS3, the HG of copper peptide serums.
Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from NIOD CAIS3 itself. I’ve read and listened to rave reviews and lovely experiences – skin refining, firming, younger looking skin. I am in my early 30s, and I’d say my skin is doing pretty well. It looks healthy and there are no obvious signs of aging (pre-CO2 Fraxel Laser and microneedling sessions). I still wanted to give NIOD CAIS3 a go and see what this topical treatment could do for my skin.
Check out my review of other NIOD Skincare:
General Information About NIOD CAIS3
“…As a highly-focused effort to maintain healthy-looking skin, this pro-repair, pro-collagen serum offers a novel approach to target all visible signs of skin aging indirectly. This indirect approach departs from the traditional thinking of addressing visible aspects of skin aging individually and instead forms a foundation to respect skin health.”– NIOD CAIS3 overview on Deciem.com
Packaging: Dark glass dropper bottle
Price: $90 USD
Where to Buy: Deciem
NIOD CAIS3 Ingredients
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Tripeptide-29, Tripeptide-1 Copper Acetate, Tripeptide-1 Acetate, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycogen, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dextran, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Isoceteth-20, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
The following highlighted ingredients in NIOD CAIS3 make up ~24.1% of the formula. It consists of “PRO-HEALTH”, “PRO-COLLAGEN” and “INTEGRITY AND DELIVERY” technologies:
- 1% Pure Undiluted Tripeptide-1/GHK Peptide
- 1% Pure Undiluted Copper Tripeptide-1 GHK-Cu Peptide
- 9.0% Pure Undiluted Tripeptide-29/Glycine-Proline-Hydroxyproline – naturally occurring in our skin; may trick skin into thinking it needs more collagen
- 4.0% Complex of Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 and Trifluroacetyl Tripeptide-2 – support healthy collagen quality; makes skin look firmer
- 0.10% Pure Mono-Dispersed Plant Glycogen – protect the peptides formulation
- 9% Complex of Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3 – lipo-oligopeptide supports healthy skin renewal; helps maximize skin availability for technologies in the formula and any treatments following
- Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer – helps deliver water into the skin and water-soluble actives; Humectants glycerin and sodium hyaluronate are also in the formula.
Both GHK and GHK-Cu are found in our own bodies, originally isolated from human plasma. We lose on average a few ng/ml every year.
“The 2% concentration of GHK and GHK-Cu in CAIS 3 1:1 aims to target visible signs of skin aging, including textural irregularities, uneven tone, visibly enlarged pores and a general lack of healthy radiance normally present in younger skin. In short, the skin will look healthier with visible improvements with continued use.”– NIOD CAIS3 overview on Deciem.com
Texture & Application of NIOD CAIS3
The product is a beautiful deep blue colour and watery texture. I apply 4 drops directly on face and neck from dropper. The surface of my skin MUST be wet to get the mileage out of the 4 drops. NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM) is suitable for this or whatever watery hydrator you have on hand. I first used NIOD CAIS3 once every other day when I was still recovering from my last CO2 Fraxel Laser session. At the beginning of summer, I used it 2x daily until I received a fermented serum in the mail. From that point on, I only use it at night, and on non-tretinoin days (4-6 days).
My Experience with NIOD CAIS3
Upon first use, I felt a sensation on my skin, but not sensitizing like The Ordinary Buffet + 1% Copper Peptides (Reviewed). I noticed my pores looked small and overall complexion looked smoother. The skin refinement greatly reminded me of the effects I saw when I first started using 0.04% tretinoin. I was also surprised to feel some sort of tack after using it.
These changes took quite a while to see because I wasn’t fixated on NIOD CAIS3 improving something in particular. Hence why it took me almost 6 months to review it 😀
My skin is stronger/durable. During my time of month, when I breakout in cystic acne, my skin is not as noticeably impaired. It usually looks more textured, feels very sensitive and even my go-to moisturizer can sting my skin. I’ve noticed it’s not as sensitive, my breakouts are not as painful and not as big.
A dark spot on my lip that I’ve had for years has faded. Vitamin C didn’t even make a difference after using it for almost 4 years in a row.
***The following changes I’ve noticed may be a result from CO2 Fraxel laser.***
The little wrinkle between eyes seems to have slightly lightened. I’ve never noticed significant improvement until using NIOD CAIS3 consistently.
My nasolabial folds look nicer. They are the first area to look haggard after a long day, especially if I wore makeup. But I’m not noticing it as much and my face looks rather refreshed at the end of a long day.
As for my neck area, I frankly haven’t been paying attention enough to notice anything. From this point on, it’ll be in my mental notes to keep track of.
Watch my Summer AM Skincare Routine 2022
My Thoughts so far on NIOD CAIS3
After using NIOD CAIS3 for just over 6 months, I have to say I am quite impressed. Firstly, there is good mileage on this serum. Like I mentioned, 4 drops for face and neck (on wet skin) is all I need. If I use it once a day, I don’t need to concern myself about purchasing another bottle for another year. Secondly, it is a gentle active – very easy to use even twice a day without irritation. It also does not require a lengthy acclimatization period like tretinoin. Lastly, it does what it says it’s going to do; It targets the signs of skin aging indirectly and forms a foundation to respect skin’s health. My skin quality overall looks and performs better.
Although NIOD CAIS3 definitely performs, I still have some reservations about it as well as peptides in general:
- They are fairly new ingredients and technologies in skincare that still feel up in the air to me.
- Tretinoin, although requires more finesse to use – gives me the skin refinement like NIOD CAIS 3, has mileage, has acne control, and has years of studies to support it.
- I am heavily smitten with fermented serums – I actually am obsessed with them in fact, moreso than peptides. I have had one in my skincare routine for over a year now and use it twice a day. I mention fermented serums because they also make my skin stronger, healthier, plumper and refined. I also find it makes my skin brighter and helps reduce redness.
However, since starting my clear skin journey, I have become a lot more open minded to new ingredients. I have seen visible results since introducing peptides into my skincare routine. It seems to have improved when using more elegant formulations. Currently, Deciem is one of the main Western brands I trust to lead the way with innovative technologies in skincare.
Right now I can’t make a concrete decision as to whether or not I want to repurchase NIOD CAIS3. Although impressed, I find myself excited for other skincare. I started using a fermented serum again and I have noticed a difference in my skin after having a break from it.
Perhaps when the Black Friday Sales roll around, or when I’m almost done with the bottle of NIOD CAIS3, will I have a more solid understanding of whether or not I want to continue with it.
And that’s all, folks! As always, I hope you find reviews like this helpful and informative. Please let me know in the comments down below your experience with peptides, NIOD CAIS3 in particular!