Nia24 claims this skin-lightening serum contains "clinical strength Pro-Niacin," but no matter the form, whether it's myristyl nicotinate (as found in this product), niacin, or niacinamide, these ingredients do not have clinical or medical strength designations of any kind. So, while the claim may make this product sound special or more potent, it's ultimately meaningless because there are no regulated standards for "clinical" niacin of any kind.
What's important is that this product contains an effective amount of myristyl nicotinate, an ingredient that's not the same as niacinamide but that functions in a similar manner and is helpful for skin lightening. This also contains vitamin C (in the form of ascorbyl glucoside) and a handful of other ingredients with research showing they can interrupt the process by which skin discolorations form and take hold (meaning they stick around when you want them gone).
One of the lightening agents—nutmeg oil—deserves further discussion. Nutmeg oil contains volatile fragrance components that can be irritating, yet there's also compelling research showing it interrupts the cellular process by which excess pigmentation forms. As a result, discolorations that would ordinarily show up don't, and those already visible begin to fade.
What's more, nutmeg can also stimulate collagen production and reduce MMPs, which are destructive enzymes generated by sun exposure that cause collagen breakdown (Sources: Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, volume 35, May 2012, pages 1669–1775; volume 34, May 2011, pages 748–754, and volume 31, May 2008, pages 986–989; Phytotherapy Research, December 2011, pages 1891–1894; and naturaldatabase.com).
Although this skin lightener for normal to oily or combination skin is expensive, if used daily as part of a skin-care routine that includes broad-spectrum sun protection, you should see notable improvement in dark spots within 2 to 3 months, which, depending on your viewpoint, may or may not be rapid.
Note: This product missed earning our top rating due to concerns over nutmeg oil being a potential source of irritation, plus the inclusion of fragrance.
- Contains an excellent mix of skin-lightening ingredients in a lightweight texture.
- Formula treats skin to anti-irritants for additional benefits.
- When used daily along with a sunscreen, stands a good chance of improving brown discolorations.
- Contains fragrance ingredients, including nutmeg oil, that pose a risk of irritation.
Rapid Depigmentation Serum with clinical strength Pro-Niacin that diminishes the appearance of spots and discolorations.
Aqua (Water, Eau), Myristyl Nicotinate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Isostearyl Alcohol, Nylon-12, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Betaine, Squalane, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Hexylresorcinol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Maltol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Decyl Glucoside, Ethylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Bisulfite, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Ethylene Brassylate, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Limonene.
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.