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Niacin Sunscreen: 11 Reasons Why You Must Start Using It

Niacin-Sunscreen, a beach in the background

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. Its active and useful form is niacinamide. Both are the same, except niacinamide has fewer side effects.

According to medical research, Sun’s UV rays can damage the DNA of the skin cells resulting in the darkening of the skin, called melasma, sunburn, rashes, swelling, and various other skin problems.

Niacin is a magical ingredient that can change the dynamics of skincare completely. It provides research and medically proven solutions to all these problems. Let’s look into the benefits of using Niacin in sunscreen and why you should consider it.

1. Niacin Sunscreen Reduces Dark Spots and Pigments

Niacin contains the enzyme for DNA construction.

Since Niacin naturally contains DNA building materials, Niacin sunscreen helps with damaged DNA and cell repair.

Healing of damaged DNA reduces skin darkening, dark spots and melasma.

A study showed after four weeks of 2% niacin application, it increases skin lightness and reduces skin darkening and spots.

The study compared simple sunscreen with niacin-containing sunscreen, and the results were stunning.

The sunscreen containing Niacin showed a significantly improved reduction in dark spots and pigments. It also lightened the skin tone.

However, the reduction in skin darkening was limited to a maximum level, after which Niacin did not show any more effect. It was because the dark pigment in the skin became resistant after a certain range.

The study also showed after four weeks of treatment with Niacin, the skin didn’t improve much afterward. Still, the treated side of the face remained lighter and better for a long time, even after the stoppage of treatment.

2. Reduction in Swelling, Redness, and Inflammation by Niacin Sunscreen

Niacin helps release anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body. It controls the release of cytokines that are the cause of inflammation. This helps reduce inflammation and swelling after sunburn or any skin rash.

Niacin improves blood circulation by widening the blood vessels, reducing skin rashes and redness.

3. Niacinamide Improves Skin Barrier

Niacinamide in Sunscreen upregulates ceramides.

Stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin. Ceramides are important for maintaining it.

This skin layer prevents any external damage and germ attacks. It acts as a natural barrier between the skin and the harsh environment. It also prevents sunburn and UV damage.

Niacin in sunscreen heals the already damaged skin by sunburn, acne, rashes, or other skin conditions.

Benefits-of-Niacin-Sunscreen infographic

4. Niacin Heals Skin as an Antioxidant

Sunburn damages the skin through oxidation. Oxidation is destructive damage to the skin cells.

Niacin has amazing antioxidant properties.

Sunscreen that contains niacinamide protects against sunburn and sun damage and helps heal previous damage caused by the sun.

5. After Sunburn Skin Repair by Niacin

Research shows that niacinamide is a wonderful solution for skin damage after sunburn.

Niacin use on the skin increased stratum corneum (outermost skin layer) thickness by 70%.

It also increased the renewal rate of the skin dermis.

Important skin barrier components, like ceramides and skin proteins such as keratin, were also enhanced.

Niacin decreased the swelling-causing chemicals called cytokines.

6. Prevents Reduction of Skin Immunity by UV Rays

Sun’s UV rays can not only cause cancer but also reduce the immunity of the skin. Hence, cancer can make its way into the body easily.

If our skin’s immune response is normal, it fends off possible cancers caused by UV rays.

Research showed that sunscreens with Niacin can effectively prevent immunosuppression (reduced immunity).


7. Get Firm and Flawless Skin

With aging and the passage of time, the levels of natural Nicotinamide Co-enzymes reduce in the skin.

These co-enzymes are vital for skin health. Niacin sunscreen helps replenish these levels.

Niacin helps in new skin fibroblasts and elastic tissue production, which improves skin elasticity and gives it a firm and flawless texture.

8. Great for Acne Reduction

Niacin Sunscreen reduces acne and swelling on the face.

A drug called clindamycin is extensively used for acne treatment.

A study was conducted to find out how Niacin is compared to clindamycin in treating acne. Niacin has similar results minus the possible microbial resistance and other side effects. It reduces acne, redness, and swelling of the skin.

After 8 Weeks of 4% niacin application on the face, acne was significantly reduced in more than 80% of the participants.

The great thing about using niacinamide is it doesn’t develop resistant strains of microorganisms compared with clindamycin and other antibiotics used for acne treatment.

9. Reduction of Large Skin Pores

Another study revealed that Niacin helps reduce large skin pores to some extent.

5% Niacin improves overall skin texture and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. This study also found Niacin cures dark spots and pigmentation.

2% Nicotinamide application has also been proven to reduce sebum production in the facial skin.

10. Niacin Sunscreen Treats Skin Yellowing

Sugars and proteins in the skin cause the skin to become yellow over time due to oxidation.

Niacinamide acts as an antioxidant and returns the skin to its normal color.

11. Beneficial in Various Skin Diseases


In those with rosacea, the anti-inflammatory properties of Niacin can help calm and soothe the skin. It could lessen the noticeable blood vessel appearance, redness, and flushing caused by this disorder.

Eczema and Dermatitis

Niacin can help people with eczema and dermatitis by strengthening the skin barrier and improving moisture retention. It assists in lowering dryness, irritation, and inflammation, enhancing the general health of the skin in the process.

Best Niacin Sunscreens

The best results are obtained when Niacin is combined with zinc oxide in sunscreen.

This combination provides a skin lighting effect and high protection against UV rays.

How to Use

  • Clean your skin with facewash
  • Take a teaspoonful of niacin sunscreen after you’ve applied other skincare products
  • Gently apply on the skin in a circular motion 20 minutes before going out in the sun
  • Re-apply every 2 hours for full UV protection

Related: How To Choose Safe Sunscreen

Our Recommendations


EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen, SPF 46


Supergoop! Glowscreen – SPF 40-1.7 fl oz – Glowy Primer + Broad Spectrum Sunscreen


Geologie Broad-Spectrum Face Sunscreen SPF30 with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide | 75ML | 100 Day Supply


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50 with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide & Aloe Vera (50ml)


Niacin sunscreen can be the solution to skin darkening and pigmentation caused by the sun. It also helps reduce redness, swelling, inflammation, and skin damage by UV rays.

It improves the skin barrier and strengthens the outermost skin layers.

It acts as an antioxidant and prevents skin aging. Fibroblast production gives smooth, firm, and clear skin.

Niacin effectively treats acne-prone skin and minimizes large pores.

Dr Ahmed

Dr Ahmed is a medical graduate of National University of Medical Science. He has 7+ years experience in medical writing.

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