StriVectin makes a big deal out of their NIA-114 ingredient, which is patented and used 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 it, but it isn't proof of anything except acknowledgment that you have laid claim to the use of an ingredient for a specific purpose.
Back to the NIA-114: It's the exact same ingredient (listed as myristyl nicotinate) used in the Nia24 brand of products reviewed elsewhere on this site. StriVectin claims they're the only ones using 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 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).
Is there any research proving NIA-114 can tighten or lift skin on the face? No,… none. It's a very good ingredient for all skin types, but it isn't the solution for a thinning, lax neck or sagging jawline. And, given that this ingredient functions identically to niacinamide, which is used 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 what you can do to ensure your skin-care products are helping your skin look as young as possible.
Although the lifting claims won't come true to the extent you may be hoping, there are reasons to consider this serum, although they’re not quite compelling enough to go ahead with a purchase. Beyond the NIA-114 ingredient, most of the other anti-aging ingredients are present in tiny amounts. Meanwhile, this contains lots of film-forming agents to make skin feel tighter (but keep in mind that skin feeling tighter is not the same as loose skin actually becoming tighter). It has a lightweight texture and silky finish, but it also contains hidden sources of fragrance (such as methyldihydrojasmonate) as well as fragrant orange oil, which poses a risk of irritation (see More Info for details).
- Silky texture makes skin look and feel smoother.
- Expensive and cannot lift or re-contour sagging skin on the jawline.
- Contains fragrant oil and fragrance ingredients that put skin at risk of irritation.
- Many of the important anti-aging ingredients are present in tiny amounts.
Help for Sagging Skin and Loss of Firmness
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. This combination of products (remember, one product doesn't do it all) has extensive research showing how 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.
Irritation From Fragrance Ingredients
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (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).