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Both, Topical niacinamide and N‐acetyl glucosamine (NAG), individually inhibit epidermal pigmentation in cell culture. In small clinical studies, niacinamide‐containing and NAG‐containing formulations reduced the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
The goal of a study published in The British Journal of Dermatology was to assess the effect of a combination of niacinamide and NAG in a topical moisturizing formulation on irregular facial pigmentation, including specific detection of changes in color features associated with melanin. This was a 10‐week, double‐blinded, vehicle‐controlled, full‐face, parallel‐group clinical study conducted in women aged 40-60 years. Here, participants used a daily regimen of either a morning sun protection factor (SPF) 15 sunscreen moisturizing lotion and evening moisturizing cream each containing 4% niacinamide + 2% NAG (test formulation; n=101), or the SPF 15 lotion and cream vehicles (vehicle control; n=101), after a 2‐week washout period. Product‐induced changes in apparent pigmentation were assessed by capturing digital photographic images of the women after 0, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of product use.
The results revealed that by all four measures, niacinamide + NAG formulation regimen was significantly more effective than the vehicle-controlled formulation regimen in reducing the detectable area of facial spots and the appearance of pigmentation.
Thus, it was inferred that a formulation containing the combination of niacinamide + NAG could reduce the appearance of irregular pigmentation including hypermelaninization, providing an effect beyond that achieved with SPF 15 sunscreen.
Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014.70 (5)