Physical Cleansing Scrub
3.75 fl. oz. for $35
Last Updated:03.17.2011
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is a standard cleansing scrub that produces copious lather and polishes dead skin cells away with plastic (polyethylene) beads. The emollients and plant oils it contains make it best for normal to dry skin not prone to blemishes. For additional details on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, see the More Info section below.

The Pro-Niasomes referred to are of no use for washing away skin’s imperfections. Implying otherwise would mean you could scrub away whatever facial flaws you desire, and that’s definitely not the case. If anything, scrubbing flaws such as raised blemishes or discolorations will only cause problems and prolong the skin’s healing process. Niacinamide has its place in skin-care products, but it isn’t a magic wand for imperfections (plus it’s best used in leave-on products).

More Info:

Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyurethane beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).

Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyurethane beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).

Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.


All-in-one cleansing scrub gently removes dead skin cells. Pro-Niasomes, which are spherical jojoba beads infused with Pro-Niacin, help wash away skin's visible imperfections.


Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Polyethylene, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-2 Cocamide, Jojoba Esters, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Coconut Acid, Triethanolamine, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Polyquaternium-39, Myristyl Nicotinate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Glycerin, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Disodium Edta, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Pentadecalactone, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Dodecahydro 3a, 6, 6, 9a-Tetramethylnaphtho(2,1-B)Furan, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Extract, Maltol, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

Nia24 At-A-Glance

Strengths: Good cleanser and scrub; some very well-formulated moisturizers for use on face or body; company provides complete product ingredient lists on their Web site; there is legitimacy behind most of their claims for nicotinic acid (a derivative of niacinamide).

Weaknesses: Expensive; very small line of products, which limits its appeal; no AHA or BHA exfoliants; no anti-acne products; sole sunscreen contains irritating fragrance chemicals; some jar packaging.

As you may have guessed from this line's name, Nia24 is all about the B vitamin niacinamide. We have written about niacinamide extensively in the past, and without question it is one of many valuable ingredients for skin. Topical application of niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, September 2000, pages 524–531; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2004, page 88).

Niacinamide also has been shown, in studies from Procter & Gamble (whose Olay brand sells several niacinamide-rich products), to be an effective option for lightening sun-induced skin discolorations, both on its own and when combined with acetyl glucosamine (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 20–26; and British Journal of Dermatology, July 2002, pages 20–31).

Nia24 is working hard to position itself as the superior, doctor-designed choice for those seeking niacinamide. To that end, the two physicians behind this brand (Dr. Myron Jacobson and Dr. Elaine Jacobson) tout their years of research on niacinamide and how this led to their development of a patented niacin molecule, which they have termed Pro-Niacin. Both of the Jacobsons have published some of their research on the Pro-Niacin ingredient, which is listed as myristyl nicotinate, but as it turns out, how it performs on skin isn't fundamentally different from how "regular" niacinamide functions.

Myristyl nicotinate is a derivative of nicotinic acid, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin). It isn't the same ingredient as niacinamide, but functions in nearly the same manner (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Just like niacinamide, there is research on myristyl nicotinate's ability to improve skin barrier function, mitigate signs of sun damage, and reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis, commonly known as dry skin. Niacinamide and myristyl nicotinate are both compatible with several prescription drugs used to treat various skin conditions and are believed to enhance their efficacy and/or minimize the negative side effects. Myristyl nicotinate is stabilized to prevent the release of, or quick conversion to, nicotinic acid, which can cause facial flushing, particularly in those dealing with rosacea (Sources: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, February 2007, pages 893–899; Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, November 2007, pages 1176–1182; and Experimental Dermatology, November 2007, pages 927–935, and June 2007, pages 490–499).

So why should consumers choose Nia24's patented version of niacinamide over other products (particularly those from Olay)? Well, according to the company, their version of niacinamide penetrates skin better than other forms. It stands to reason that getting niacinamide further into the skin means the benefits it provides will be that much greater. Of course, these allegedly enhanced benefits come with enhanced price tags. This isn't an affordable line by any stretch of the imagination, though at least most of the formulas are good.

We would love to see published, peer-reviewed research that compares the Pro-Niacin molecule with other forms of niacinamide, such as what Olay or the Estee Lauder companies use. Because such comparative research doesn't exist, you're left to take Nia24's word that their form of this B vitamin is the one to beat. We wouldn't bank on that, but on the other hand, the research on niacinamide in general is strong enough to support its use for a variety of skin concerns and conditions. Bottom line: Nia24 isn't the only game in town when it comes to niacinamide and its derivatives, and their claims of superiority aren't supported in peer-reviewed, published studies. You'll very likely see your skin improve from using Nia24 products, especially if you're dealing with an impaired skin barrier, dryness, and discolorations. However, you're just as likely to see the same benefits from using less expensive products that contain efficacious amounts of niacinamide. Although Nia24 deserves credit for not resting solely on niacinamide, the Nia24 products are also further proof that expensive products don't necessarily mean better or more effective products.

For more information about Nia24, call (866) 642-3963 or visit www.nia24.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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