The effects of myristyl nicotinate (MN), a nicotinic acid derivative designed to deliver nicotinic acid to skin without vasodilatation, on subjects with photodamaged skin have been studied. MN increased skin cell nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) by 25% (P = 0.001) demonstrating effective delivery of nicotinic acid to skin. Relative to placebo, MN treatment of photodamaged facial skin increased stratum corneum thickness by approximately 70% (P = 0.0001) and increased epidermal thickness by approximately 20% (P = 0.001). In two separate studies, MN treatment increased rates of epidermal renewal by 6% (P = 0.003) to 11% (P = 0.001) and increased the minimal erythemal dose by 8.9 (P = 0.07) and 10% (P = 0.05) relative to placebo. MN treatment resulted in reductions in the rates of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of approximately 20% relative to placebo on cheeks (P = 0.012) and arms (P = 0.017) of study subjects. Results of a tape stripping challenge before and after MN treatment demonstrated a significant correlation (P = 0.03) between increased skin NAD content and resistance to changes in TEWL for MN treated but not placebo subjects. Rates of TEWL changed more rapidly and to a greater extent in atopic subjects compared with normal subjects. The results indicate that MN enhances epidermal differentiation and barrier function in skin, suggesting that this method of nicotinic acid delivery may prove useful in limiting progression of actinic skin damage and possibly in treating other conditions involving skin barrier impairment.