A good cleanser is the absolute cornerstone of any skincare regime: it gets rid of make up and grimy build-up from the day, and some also exfoliate dead and flaky skin.  My personal hero product is Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish.  The routine is simple: apply it onto a dry face twice a day and wash off with a face towel dampened with warm water.  I have also heard good things about Dr Manuka ApiClear foaming cleanser, available from Holland and Barrett’s, which contains bee venom, the latest ‘miracle’ ingredient that fools your skin into producing more regenerative cells (apparently).

I’ve always been rather skeptical about serums, partly because most seem to be targeted at those with aging or exceptionally dry skin.  The only ones I’ve found to have made a noticeable impact on my skin are by Crème de la Mer and SkinCeuticals, but both have also made a noticeable impact on my bank balance!

Even if you have oily skin, moisturiser is absolutely imperative for helping your skin keep smooth and hydrated, of particular concern in this weather, when changing quickly from harsh winds outside to warmer temperatures indoors.  For these, stick to big brands that can afford to keep products cheap, and still invest lots in their development.  I highly recommend the all-purpose Nivea Soft, which also stocks an oil-free version.  A recent discovery has been Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter, which is wonderfully rich, but didn’t cause any break-outs.  For those looking to splurge, Clarins’ Hydraquench range is fantastic: hugely moisturising and with a choice for every skin type.

Night Cream 
Night cream makes waking up every morning a treat, as you find your skin baby-soft.  Choose one that smells nice and let it waft over you as you go to sleep.  Dr Organic from Holland and Barrett’s stocks a good selection of different versions.  Ren Skincare does a blissfully silky Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream that also smells divine.  After removing all the day’s grease and build-up, there’s something very satisfying about slathering your face with lashings of luscious, softening cream.

Face Mask
I’ve got to admit, this isn’t something that I have the patience for every week.  There’s nothing like a face mask for lifting the spirits in a procrastination/pamper sesh, though.  My favourites are Ren’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and Elemis’ Papaya Enzyme Peel.  Papaya is a fruit known for its skin-repair properties…

Small but Potent Products
Indeed, pawpaw ointment is something of a cult product backstage at fashion week.  Its healing and moisturising properties make it a multi-tasker, acting as a lip balm, insect bite/eczema-reliever, and great spot-specific moisturiser.  The traditional version is Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment, but its high petroleum content crosses it off my list.  The ones to go for are by Phytocare and Suvana Beauty, both entirely natural and of good consistencies.  My second cult product is Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion; only a tiny amount is needed, but when put on almost all spots, they dry up and clear away overnight.