StriVectin is making a big deal out of their NIA-114 ingredient, which is patented and included in this and a few of their other products. First, in terms of patented ingredients, a patent has nothing to do with efficacy. A patent is obtained without any proof that what you're patenting actually works. The "patented" claim always sounds impressive to unsuspecting consumers, which is why lots of companies use that claim, but it isn't proof of anything; it merely means that you have laid claim to the use of an ingredient for a specific purpose. Whether or not the ingredient works as stated doesn't impact whether a patent is granted.
Back to the NIA-114: It's the exact same ingredient (listed as myristyl nicotinate) included in the Nia24 brand of products reviewed elsewhere on this site. StriVectin claims they're the only company that uses this ingredient, but clearly that's not true.
Here are the key details: Myristyl nicotinate is a derivative of nicotinic acid, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin). It isn't the same ingredient as niacinamide, but it functions in nearly the same manner (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Just like niacinamide, there is research on myristyl nicotinate's ability to improve the skin's 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).
Is there any research proving NIA-114 can tighten or lift facial skin to reduce signs of sagging? No,… none. It's a very good ingredient for all skin types, but it isn't the solution for a sagging jawline or loss of definition as fat pads beneath skin shift out of place and bone loss occurs. And, given that this ingredient functions identically to niacinamide, which is included in other products from Lauder, to Olay, and Paula's Choice, you don't need to spend this kind of money to get the benefit from this ingredient.
Please see More Info to learn why products claiming to lift sagging skin don't work, and what you can consider to improve other signs of aging.
Without the claims coming true to the extent you may be hoping, is there reason to consider this moisturizer? Although it has a silky, rich texture and is packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients it contains stable, we cannot recommend this facial moisturizer. This is primarily due to the inclusion of potent irritants menthol and menthyl lactate. Both produce a tingling, cooling sensation likely meant to convey to the consumer that the product is "working" to tighten and lift the skin. Instead, these ingredients cause irritation that actually hurts your skin's ability to look and act younger. See More Info to learn why irritation is a problem for everyone's skin.
Note: The amount of corn starch this contains lends a slight clay mask-like tightening effect as this product absorbs. Do not for one second interpret this as your skin actually being tightened. Sadly, that's not what's happening.
- Contains an impressive amount of a type of niacinamide that offers anti-aging (but not lifting or tightening) benefits.
- Silky-rich texture.
- Cannot lift or tighten sagging skin or in any way shore up "facial contours".
- Contains two potent skin irritants: Menthol and menthyl lactate.
Products Claiming to Lift Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
Why Irritation is a Problem for Skin: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).