NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum review

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This effective new serum is sunny news for damaged skin!

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I was only in my mid-twenties when sun damage started rearing its ugly head on my head (and chest, arms, and so on). Those telltale signs; freckles, brown spots and uneven skin tone, only got worse with every summer I spent in the sun. The advent of prescription products like Retin-A was a godsend for me, but their exfoliating power came with a serious price: dry, flaky, itchy skin. Some of my problem areas appeared less damaged, but sometimes I felt I’d traded one problem for another. There was no way around it. Peeling was the price I had to pay.

Until this month, when NIA24 released their Rapid Exfoliating Serum ($75), a serious non-prescription contender that packs all of the punch and none of the irritation.

The NIA24 collection is billed as “the first niacin (nicotinic acid) based skin care line clinically proven to undo the visible imperfections sun damage can cause.” Their newest creation, Rapid Exfoliating Serum, is a leave-on resurfacing treatment that uses plant-based exfoliants and contains “clinical-strength Pro-Niacin, the patented Vitamin B3 (Niacin) molecule found in all of NIA 24’s products.”

Could a non-prescription serum really remove dead skin and make my face more luminous? Could this reportedly gentle product, created for people who cannot tolerate more intense exfoliation, make a difference for a hardcore skincare veteran like me?

I normally don’t use exfoliaters much during the summer because they make self tanners fade faster on my face then the rest of my body, but in the name of wht testing, I dove in. As instructed, I pumped the milky, soothing serum onto my cleansed face before bedtime.

The next morning, I wasn’t expecting much, as the packaging stated initial results could be expected within 14 days. When I looked in the mirror, I was shocked. Just one application of NIA24 completely removed my faux tan! My body was still bronze, but my face had been stripped back to its natural paleness. Whoa, I thought, NIA24 is some powerful stuff!

For two weeks, I relied on tinted moisturizer and bronzer to keep my face from looking ghostly next to my body, and used NIA24 morning and night. My results were nothing short of stunning: smooth, even skin texture, improvement in skin tone, even lightening of uneven pigmentation on my cheeks. And NONE of the dryness I’d expect to go hand in hand with such good results.

What else do you need to know? NIA24 does not test its product on animals (just humans), and does not add fragrances, colors or dyes. The key ingredients in this plant-based serum inlcude natural exfoliators Willowbark and Prickly Pear, brightening Red Algae and Rose Bud, as antioxidant.

Plus, all products are suitable for any skin type. In fact, the NIA24 literature suggests strengthening the skin barrier with niacin-based products can actually improves oily skin. I’d be interested to hear if any oily-skinned wht testers found this to be true.

The Rapid Exfoliating Serum really is a new, different approach to exfoliation. I will make it a regular part of my skincare routine, especially after the summer is over. I love this product so much, I’m thinking of investing in the NIA24 Discovery Kit, a sampler of their other skin care products. Any line that makes my skin look this much better in only two weeks is worth pursuing further. 5 seriously smooth stars!

Testers – did the Rapid Exfoliating Serum from NIA24 have give your sun-damaged skin a new lease on life?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare

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  1. I received the rapid exfoliating serum, NIA24 for Moderate to Severe Sun Damage to test out. I am one of those people that has never had a facial or any extreme procedures done. To that I am grateful. However, I do have several brown age spots on my face, arms, chest and shoulders that found this product to be miraculous in reducing their obviousness! The Red Algae is what helped brighten them. I used this in targeted spots on my skin with not even noticing it was on twice a day for the last week and will continue to work on them to see how we end up. I am impressed with how well it removed dead skin cells and made my skin look smoother and brighter again.. Thank you, it’s been years since I had such noted changes.. I very easily will give this product 5 stars!

  2. I have been using products from NIA24 off and on for years. They produce quality medical grade stuff and I have never been disappointed. I am currently using the skin strengthening complex with great results. This product is very concentrated. (When I first started using this product I did not get good results because I was using too much.) I also use the sunscreen every single day. It has never irritated my sensitive skin.

    I was not aware of this new product but, I definitely want to try it.

  3. I also received the Rapid Exfoliating Serum and honestly I had my doubts. I think the words “Rapid Exfoliating” kind of scared me because I have generally clear, sensitive skin and also try to avoid the sun unless I’m covered in sunscreen, so I was worried that this might be too harsh or on the flipside, not doing anything at all. But after a few days use I definitely noticed my skin looking fresher and healthier! And as @turboterp pointed out, there was no dryness. This is seriously good stuff. 5 stars!

  4. @irene, I never even thought of using this as a spot treatment, but that’s a great idea! And it will conserve serum, too. Thank you!

  5. Excellent review, @turboterp!

    I too, received this product for review, and while I am pretty partial to physical exfoliators (aka scrubs), I was pretty excited to try such a fancy product filled with good ingredients and even better promises.

    I’ve been using NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum for a little under two weeks now and I am extremely happy with the results. In fact, after getting a taste of what a high-end, serious product can do for my skin, it makes me want to rearrange my budget and try out what else they have to offer.

    While the results weren’t immediate for me, over the course of a few days (I use this morning and night) I am delighted to report that my skin just looks more luminous, more even, and much more glowing than before. I’m also thrilled that I haven’t experience a “skin purge” which can happen with certain chemical exfoliators. There’s nothing worse than getting new blemishes when you’re trying to IMPROVE the look of your skin, right? Not a problem with this product at all for me.

    Even though the price point is enough to leave my with sweaty palms (I am, after all, a drugstore gal) I can only remove one star for that. If it were a little less expensive I’d give it five stars, but I’m still happy to give it four stars because it’s just been incredible for my skin.

  6. I sampled the NIA24 Serum about the same time I decided I was going to juice veggies every day. I immediately saw my generally unlined, oily skin with ruddy patches and largeish pores take on a clear, pinky glow. NIA24 or the juice? Well, the 2nd week after vowing daily juicing, I got tired of carrying 20 lbs worth of veggies to and fro for juicing, and made it once or twice a week thing. The NIA24 I continued to use daily. My skin wasn’t as glowing or as pink. I thus came to the conclusion that the daily dose of vitamins in my fresh kale-carrot-celery-apple and occasionally beet-concotion was more responsible for my opalescent visage than was the NIA24. But I didn’t stop using the NIA24.
    I get freckles in the sun but when I haven’t much exposure they go away. With the NIA24, I didn’t see a freckle…until I spent a day at the beach swathed in 50 SPF head to toe. Freckles still appeared only to fade the next day (I applied NIA that night and the following morning). Was this the NIA24? I’m not sure, but I do think that the freckles and sunspots probably faded at a much faster rate do to the intense chemical exfoliation (which is totally unnoticable to the eye and can’t be felt). The sun usually makes my pores appear larger, too, but lately they’ve been looking less canavorous than usual. This I feel must be the NIA24.
    Overall, I think that my results were subtle but genuine. Perhaps this product would have more noticable results with someone who has more marked or obvious sun damage. For the rest of us, I’m sure it’s a good think to keep your sun damage in check before you must think about major correctives, and NIA24 is a good place to start.
    3 stars from me for price vs. visable results

  7. As I have said before,I really LOVE NIA-24. I have been using this for about two weeks or so. I thought my skin was getting clearer, smaller pores and less redness. However, my 67 year old male counterpart who normally does not comment on anything beauty related said– I do not know what you are doing but, your complexion looks incredible.

    Needless to say, I am giving this product 5 stars.

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