Beauty Clinic: Help for dull skin

Q. I am age 42 and recently my skin has started to look dull. My moisturiser has recently changed formula and I think this may be partly the problem. My skins feels dry and I have had some horrid breakouts. I do NOT use a night cream...I would not know where to start! I am not sure if I need to be using sensitive, anti aging, combination products or a little of all three. I assume my skin is combination as I have the dreaded T- zone issues with blackheads on my nose and chin, and often breakouts occurring on my chin. A. We think you probably need a bit of a rethink. You say you are using a cleanser and toner but are still getting blackheads and that suggests your cleansing programme is not working efficiently.

Elemis Tri-Enzyme Facial WashTo make life simple, you could expand your Elemis range. You say you are already using their sensitive cleansing wash and toner but bearing in mind your dull skin, perhaps you could consider swopping to the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash that's designed to smooth and refine skin, while gently sloughing away dead skin cells, which dull the complexion. Use along with the Soothing Apricot Toner, which contains no alcohol and is ideal for delicate and hormonal skin.

We suggest you add in a gentle facial scrub and follow with a mask, at least weekly. Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator, is, they claim, gentle enough to be used daily (not that we would suggest that). For combination skin, Elemis suggests their Herbal Lavender Repair Mask.

Elemis Maximum Moisture Day CreamFor a moisturiser, if you want to stick with Elemis, their Maximum Moisture Day Cream adjusts to your skin’s needs, and is suitable for all skin types.

Now, night-time: to be honest we are not certain how your skin is managing without a little help overnight. But we are wary of you suddenly starting to feed it with a rich cream. Rather, we think you could see how a facial oil helps first.

One of our favourites is Liz Earle’s Superskin Concentrate, a blend of pure plant oils which can help balance combination skin at the same time as softening and plumping dry or mature skin. It smells quite delicious! If you look on the website,, you will find ‘how to use instructions’. You use a very few drops, daily or if you are adding in a moisturiser, two or three times a week.

AA Enzyme PeelFor a quick fix, meanwhile, nothing beats a mask.  We've tried two lately which we're seriously impressed with:  Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (really does live up to its name), and Aromatherapy Associates Essential Enzyme Peel - actually, a face mask you leave on for 5-10 minutes, after which our skin's really much 'zingier'.  We think you'd see some pretty fast results with either of these.

Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash/£37.80 for 400 ml at

Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner/£21 for 200 ml at

• Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator/£27 for 50ml at

Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask/£28 for 75ml at

Elemis Maximum Moisture Day Cream/£38 for 50 ml at

• Liz Earle’s Superskin Concentrate/£40.50 for 28ml at

• Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask/£39.90 for 100 ml at

• Aromatherapy Associates Essential Enzyme Peel/£39 for 50 ml at