The skincare routine that has transformed my skin

skincare routine 3 weeks ago my skin was the worst it's ever been in my whole life. I've always been lucky with my skin - apart from a couple of dry patches in winter and the odd spot every now and again, I've never had much to complain about.

But on Boxing Day I woke up with a spot the size of a boil on my cheek - it was painful and red and has now forever been immortalised in all of the Christmas photos with Sam's family. Nice. My skin was also dry and flaky and really uneven, if that makes sense? And to top it all off, it just looked dull. My colouring was off and I had really bad dark circles and the glowy skin that I'm usually so grateful for was long gone.

I knew that all of the Christmas booze and food would be having an effect, but it had also been a long time since I had had any sort of committed skincare routine. So I did some research, talked to some friends, bought some new bits and pulled out some old favourites to put a morning and evening skincare routine together. Combining that with quitting sugar for a while means that my skin has honestly never looked so good - I haven't had even the hint of a blemish for two weeks. So I thought it only fair that I share with you all what I've been doing and using...

Morning routine

I've been starting the mornings with Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish - to be honest I don't know why it took me so long to buy this product as I've read so many great reviews of it, but anyway, I'M IN LOVE. I love that it's so creamy and feels like a proper treat for my skin, and using the hot muslin cloths makes it feel like a really luxurious cleanser. FYI, I've been using the cloths about 2-3 times before popping them in the wash.

After that I've been using La Roche-Posay's Serozinc Spray - I was introduced to this by my friend Sarah (who I swear knows more about beauty and skincare than most beauty bloggers!) and I'm really enjoying using it. It feels really hydrating, and apparently the zinc helps to kill off any pesky bacteria, hence preventing spots. Plus it has the added bonus of helping me feel a bit more awake in the mornings!

I then follow that up with a liberal coating of La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo (+) - this is an anti-blemish cream that also claims to refine skin texture. I've been using this in place of a morning moisturiser and I swear it has helped improve the evenness of my skin and give it a bit more of a dewy glow. It's also a great base for make-up which is why I've been using it in the morning.

Evening routine

In the evenings, I start again with the Cleanse and Polish - I usually use it twice to ensure any trace of make-up is removed.

I've then been using my Clinique Clarifying Lotion (I use number 2, but they have 3 different options depending on your type of skin). I've been using this product for a couple of years  now and find it really effective at getting rid of any last bits of grime and also for removing any blackeads. It can be quite drying, so I follow it up with another spritz of the Serozinc spray.

After that, I use the two most bargainous skincare products I have ever owned - Aldi's Multi Intensive Renew Serum (£3.49!!!) followed by their Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream (£1.99!!!). When I first used these I was dubious as to how effective they could really be for that price, but honestly I SWEAR by them now. The serum is super smooth without being too greasy, and the night cream is so thick and lovely and luxurious. I credit both of these products to getting rid of my horribly dry winter skin and keeping my face baby soft. Seriously, just try them.

What does your skincare routine look like? Do you have any other fab products that I should check out?