Why? When it comes to skin-saving wonder ingredients, niacinamide is up there with *bows down* retinol. In other words, it's a dermatologist's dream, one that boasts anti-ageing, acne-eradicating and redness-reducing properties all in one hit.

"Niacinamide is a powerful multi-tasking ingredient for anyone struggling with enlarged pores and uneven skin tone," says Paul Begoun of Paula's Choice. "It's also packed with anti-ageing properties to reduce fine lines and wrinkles." Perhaps because it's near impossible to pronounce, niacinamide hasn't enjoyed the same PR as the likes of retinol or AHAs. But that's all set to change, thanks to a slew of new products naming niacinamide as the star ingredient.

It's used in anti-ageing products to target fine lines, blemish control gels to regulate sebum production and anti-redness creams for - you guessed it - anti-redness. But what exactly is it? "Niacinamide is Vitamin B3," cosmetic physician Dr Geoffrey Heber, founder of Ultraceuticals, explains. "It has numerous effects in the skin including increasing cellular energy production and increasing ceramides that help form the lipid barrier that keeps moisture in the skin."

The new retinol: why niacinamide should be part of your skincare routine

L-R: Aesop Blemish Control, Ultraceuticals Ultra Red-Action Moisturiser, Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster, Rationale Immunologist Niacinamide Serum.

It's suitable for all skin types and won't clog pores if applied via a gel or liquid product (steer clear of heavy creams). "There's actually a growing body of research showing it can help mitigate acne," says Geisler. "Niacinamide is one of those hero ingredients that you can benefit from even in small doses, but if you really want to get the most out of it, go for a 10% concentration. This maximised amount will have a more pronounced effect on visibly improving pore size and function."

Paula's Choice have recently introduced the first 10% Niacinamide treatment in Australia, in the form of a concentrated booster you can add to your serum or moisturiser. Shop four of our favourite Niacinamide-rich skincare products above.

The new retinol: why niacinamide should be part of your skincare routine