My Skin: Oily with a congested T-Zone; fair skin that tans moderately well
My Hair: Oily scalp; colour-treated, dry ends; long and brown with blonde highlights
When I was a teenager, I had rubbish skin. And the worst part was that I didn't really how to change that. Over the years, I have got to know my skin better, and picked up a few tips along the way!
Try to determine your skin type. What is vital for my skin can be totally the wrong thing for another. You can get skin type consultations done at places like Trueskin clinics and various websites such as Sanex offer them for free online. It can then be really useful to search for blogs aimed at your skin type. Check out Sophia's #mylittleskincareproject at Tattoed Tea-Lady for tips directed at dry, oily, sensitive, normal and combination skin. Assistants at skincare and make up counters can be fab too - very knowledgeable and can suggest products to suit you.
Shop around for bargains - buy at sites such as www.fragrancedirect.co.uk, save Boots points, look for 3 for 2 offers and trawl blog sales. I have found so many high end products for much cheaper prices, making a great skincare routine much more affordable. Find products that work for you - you will soon find companies and ranges that make your skin the best it can be.
Drink plenty of water. Sounds simple, but it really makes the biggest difference to your skin and is the cheapest product of all!
L'Oreal - thorough and gentle £3.33 Bioderma - the best - even removes waterproof mascara £10
Clean and Clear - refreshing and creamy £3.50 Murad - great for clearing acne-prone skin £20
Toning refreshes the skin after cleansing and ensures all scraps of cleanser are removed. Most toners also offer further benefits such as tightening pores but beware - alcoholic ones can strip the skin, stimulating over-production of sebum (ie make your skin even more oily!). Salicylic acid is a great ingredient to reduce pore size, and some toners contain essential oils to nourish or hydrate.
When your skin is clean and refreshed, this is the perfect time to apply a serum. There are hundreds out there, for every skin problem and every budget, so shop around for what suits you.
La Roche-Posay - this has cleared up my skin more than anything else ever! £13
I use a different cream for morning and night. I prefer a light texture for day time use and a richer one for overnight. Don't underestimate the benefit of using an SPF in your day cream or on top - as a 30 year old, I speak from experience when I say your late 20s/30s comes around quickly even if you can't imagine it! The technology out there now is so amazing, you won't even feel like you're wearing an SPF.
Tea tree & Witch Hazel - great for oily skin £2.39 Botanics - boosts moisture, brightens £3.33
Bioderma - rich yet light £10 Origins - super nourishing and brightening £34
This is a VITAL step for me - without it, my skin is congested and full of yucky blackheads. I use an exfoliating wash/scrub or mask every couple of days. Try to resist the temptation to exfoliate every day as it can damage the skin.
I have found that the best thing out there for clearing up the odd spot is some simple antibacterial cream eg Savlon! Some treatments work well under make up but others are best put on overnight if they don't blend in fully to the skin.
Savlon - removes bacteria and reduces breakouts £2.44 Origins - great overnight treatment £14
I use a mask at least once a week. I incorporate it into a bathtime ritual, or put one on in front of the TV. I like to follow Anna's advice and go for a 'Triple-Threat Facial' every now and again!
Boots own - basic clay mask to detoxify £1.50 Origins - deep cleansing £10
Quick Fix Facials - contains £3.33 Soap & Glory - gentle peel effect £10
What are your top three skincare tips?
What are your favourite skincare products?