Despite all the recent-ish drama surrounding the future of The Ordinary, DECIEM is taking the world by storm. Here in NYC, there are now seven locations—I still remember there were only two stores around a half year ago (~March or April), when I first visited the location in SoHo. Here’s a drive-by picture of the new Upper West Side location:
You may or may not know that DECIEM is the parent company of several beauty brands, ranging from the budget-friendly The Ordinary to the more $$$ NIOD brand. Maybe this is something people learn in business school, but I always wonder why companies choose to make two products that claim to provide similar benefits, but sell them at drastically different price points. Aren’t they afraid that everyone will just default to the more affordable option? This is actually a long-winded introduction to today’s post, which will aim to answer a very interesting question from a My Dad the Chemist reader.
Eva was having trouble deciding between two similar products from DECIEM: The Ordinary EUK 134 and NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharine Mist. She left the following comment on my comparison of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% vs. Paula’s Choice RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster:
Here is another dilemma of mine, which of these products would your dad recommend; NIOD's SDSM2 or The Ordinary's EUK 134?
As explained by their support team: ”The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1% is a water-free formula for highly potent antioxidant support; EUK 134 (a mimetic of superoxide dismutase and catalase) is one of the strongest antioxidants available and has been shown to improve visible redness and protect against the appearance of UV damage. NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM2) is a dermal treatment mist that acts as a fundamental daily force against oxidative stress, water loss and the look of inflammation, all of which contribute to loss of visible skin quality over time; contains a very high concentration of superoxide dismutase, an extremely strong antioxidant naturally found in the body.
EUK basically mimics the behaviour of superoxide dismutase. Hence, we recommend choosing one as using both can be fairly repetitive.”
Let’s unpack a few ideas from the support team’s response before we go any further.
What is superoxide dismutase?
I did a bit of digging about superoxide dismutase, and discovered that this is actually a class of antioxidants that fight superoxide radicals by converting them to oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Superoxide radicals are responsible for bad things like inflammation and damage to DNA (hence, the support team’s suggestion that this compound can help improve the quality of your skin by fighting inflammation and other signs of stress.
How does EUK 134 compare to superoxide dismutase?
EUK 134 is a “mimetic” of superoxide dismutase, the potent antioxidant found in NIOD’s dermal treatment mist. What is a mimetic? A mimetic is basically a substance that mimics the actions/properties of another naturally occurring substance (in this case, the antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase). In fact, there’s a whole field known as biomimetic chemistry, which focuses on creating new compounds modeled after naturally occurring biological compounds and processes. Like how snow machines mimic real-life weather. Kinda. You can probably think of a more fitting example…but I digress.
The question is, can a mimetic like EUK 134 be just as effective as superoxide dismutase, the antioxidant it’s designed to mimic? Let’s dig deeper.
The Ordinary EUK 134 ingredients
propanediol, ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol manganese chloride
NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist ingredients
water, superoxide dismutase, malachite extract, pseudoalteromonas exopolysaccharides, mirabilis jalapa extract, polypodium vulgare rhizome extract, cetraria islandica thallus extract, sphagnum magellanicum extract, arginine, propanediol, glycerin, pentylene glycol, butylene glycol, sodium salicylate, gellan gum, sodium chloride, ppg-26-buteth-26, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, citric acid, tromethamine, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin
My Dad the Chemist’s review of The Ordinary EUK 134 vs. NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist
Dear Emily, good question! I never worked skin care products with superoxide dismutase, therefore I cannot make recommendation.
I did some research on some clinical test results on EUK 134 it proved to be effectively protect the skin issue against tonic compounds, reduced skin inflammation and redness, protects the skin against UV induced DNA damage, reduces and limits premature aging caused by UV exposure.
I would choose EUK 134 over NIOD’s SDSM2, Get the desired efficacy and results with 75% Discount.
It looks like my dad hasn’t worked with any skincare products that contain this key ingredient, superoxide dismutase. But he was intrigued enough to do some research (not every question of mine inspires him to take action, so this is saying something!), and he thought that the clinical test results indicated that EUK 134 was an effective alternative to superoxide dismutase. Therefore, he recommends trying The Ordinary EUK 134 over NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist. Yay for saving money but still getting results!
You might still have one question lingering in your mind, though…
Is The Ordinary EUK 134’s low percentage of EUK 134 something to worry about?
I asked my dad about the low percentage of ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol manganese chloride (EUK 134). I also wanted to see if he thought it was a problem that the rest of this serum (99.9%) consists of propanediol. Here was his response:
Dear Emily, superoxide dismutase is a very potent anti-oxidant , the recommended use level is 0.20-0.50%, EUK 134 isn’t exactly same material , if this formula is more potent and stable, it should work well even at 0.10%. Propanediol is a nature derived humectant almost not toxic and will provide long lasting moisturization, which will help anti-aging function.
My dad thinks that superoxide dismutase is very potent, so it generally isn’t used at high concentrations to begin with. Since EUK 134 is a mimetic of superoxide dismutase (again, a very potent compound), it could even be more potent and stable than the compound it’s meant to mimic. Therefore, he thinks that The Ordinary EUK 134 may be effective even at a low concentration of 0.1 percent. Plus, the rest (99.9 percent) of the formula isn’t bad for you either. It turns out that propanediol is also a beneficial ingredient, since it’s a naturally derived humectant that’s effective for providing long-lasting moisturizing properties.
So there you have it. In this case, it pays to “save” rather than splurge: Try The Ordinary EUK 134 before you shell out the big bucks for NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist. If you don’t see results from this mimetic form of superoxide dismutase, then, by all means, try out the more premium “dermal treatment mist” (even the name sounds pretty frou frou) from NIOD.