Skin Strengthening Complex
1.7 fl. oz. for $93
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

For the most part, the claims attached to this exceptionally well-formulated moisturizer are accurate. The ingredients it contains (with particular emphasis on myristyl nicotinate, Nia24’s version of niacinamide) are capable of repairing and replenishing skin’s barrier so that it can better withstand environmental damage and improve its own cellular repair processes. And, yes, to some extent, it will reduce the appearance of lines or wrinkles. Your skin won’t go from lined to lineless, but with ongoing use (and daily application of a well-formulated sunscreen) you should see some improvement.

Housed in an opaque tube is a skin-silkening combination of emollients, niacinamide, film-forming agent, cell-communicating ingredients, several antioxidants (including non-fragrant plant oils), and skin-identical ingredients. This contains fragrance in the form of methyldihydrojasmonate. Skin Strengthening Complex is best for normal to very dry skin not prone to blemishes. By the way, the amount of niacinamide in this moisturizer is likely capable of lightening sun-induced skin discolorations to a minor extent, so it can be particularly useful for sun-damaged skin (for best results, we’d suggest pairing this with a well-formulated sunscreen on a daily basis).


Fortified cream delivers continual moisture as well as barrier-building benefits of clinical strength Pro-Niacin. Reduces the appearance of discolorations and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.


Water, Myristyl Nicotinate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Olive Fruit Oil, Cyclomethicone, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Evening Primrose Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Apple Fruit Extract, Ranunculus Ficaria Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Safflower Seed Oil, Soybean Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Nutmeg Kernel Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Ceramide 2, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Phospholipids, Ceramide 3, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Tribehenin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 60, Laureth-7, Maltol, 1,5,5,9-Tetramethyl-13-Oxatricyclotridecane, PEG-8, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Polyacrylamide, Oxacyclohexadecen-2-one, BHT, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:
Updated Review

I wanted to do an update review because my skin changed a lot since my last. It's become dry,dull,bumpy textured,with deep cystic acne,it was looking terrible. I was curious to see if SSC would still do the great job it did me before. SSC works wonders! I wish my skin could tolerate retinoids,I've read they get good results together. Nia24 SSC is my HG moisturizer considering my skin completely changed types and it worked equally well with both. Has not caused breakouts or irritation on me.

Reviewed by
Christina J.
Why "avoid eye area"?

Dear PC team, This seems to be a great moisturizer but why do they mention "avoid eye area"? I'm confused since a good moisturizer should work well as an eye cream. I stop using separated eye cream thanks to your article. Does it mean that I have to spend extra money for another eye cream If I want to try this product?

Reviewed by
Vi Ng
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  They probably warn against use in the eye area due to several factors, including the fact that there are high levels of niacinamide (which could be sensitizing to the eye area) or possibly the fragrance ingredient methyldihydrojasmonate, which has the potential to irritate mucous membranes.

I hope this helped!  
-Beautypedia Team


I absolutely love this lotion. I originally bought it because I read it paired well with prescription retinoids, which it does, while maintaining max efficacy partly due to the myristyl nicotinate. I didn't pay the full price but to me might be worth it. I have oily, acnegenic, sensitive skin but have not had a single problem with this, it is a bit thick for daytime use on my skin so I use it most nights of the week and wake up with soft smooth skin. Will definitely continue to use.

Reviewed by
Christina J.
Great for lightening dark spots from too much sun!

Was recommended by my dermatologist, very pleased with results! Skin appears smooth and polished after a few applications. One caution - it can be drying.

Reviewed by
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

PCWEB-WWW1 v1.0.0.431 10/5/2015 5:25:13 AM