Q.I am 50 and have very dry skin, which is getting worse as I get older. I now have eczema and open pores, which is a nightmare as the thick cream for dry skin makes the pores worse. I have been using Dermalogica but my skin is still so dry – can you recommend a range that may help me?
A.Firstly, working outside in, Liz Earle formulated her Naturally Active Skincare range to help her troublesome skin so we suggest you try the sample versions of her products, which have scored highly with testers in all our surveys. Particularly Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and her Skin Repair moisturiser, as well as the toner. Sarah had open pores on her chin area which responded amazingly well to Liz Earle’s Brightening Treatment Mask, which contains purifying white clays and camphor oil;. It’s also vital to oil your skin from within with ‘good’ fats, medically called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), which we need to consume as our bodies can’t make them from scratch. So make sure to eat plenty of oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 (the most important EFA), also walnuts and dark green vegetables, and consider a supplement such as IdealOmega Ideal Omega3, from Victoria Health, which is the one we personally can’t live without.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14.25 for a starter kit with two muslin cloths at www.johnlewis.com; buy here

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, £18.75 at www.johnlewis.com; buy here

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask, £13.50 for 50 ml at www.johnlewis.com; buy here

IdealOmega Ideal Omega3, £23.70 at www.victoriahealth.com; buy here (NB you’ll get an exclusive 5% discount on this, deducted at the checkout)

Q.I have always tried to look after my skin with various different products over the years but for the past year I have been using Elemis. I love their range and have had very good results but in this current financial crisis I am feeling the expense of it! I am 31 and have fairly dry/sensitive skin; I have been cleansing day and night with Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser, then Tri-enzyme Face Wash, followed by Ginseng Toner and then Pro-Collagen Marine Cream or Oxy Night cream. I also use the Tri-Enzyme mask and the Papaya Enzyme once or twice per week. Can you advise any other products where I might get similar results but at a lower cost? Thank you kindly for your time. PS I love your website and books, and am wondering what kind of a world it would be without all of your great advice and tips, especially during the credit crunch?!! 

A.Thanks for the lovely comments – and we’re happy to help.  Our first tip is that actually, you’d save a lot of money if you just streamlined your Elemis regime.  (You might also find that your skin became less sensitive, because that is a LOT of products…)

If you’re cleansing correctly with the rose product – and we recommend using it with a muslin cloth and hot water to remove it, rather than cotton wool – you’ll be helping to ‘resurface’ skin by gently buffing away the dead skin cells which make complexions look dull, so you don’t need the facial wash to follow.  And again, by cleansing in this way – which gets skin truly clean – you can probably skip the toner step.  That’s two superfluous-to-requirements products gone from your regime already!

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, we know from our Tried & Testeds, is a fabulous and effective product – but again, why two night creams?  (We know you’re doing either/or rather than both, but still:  buy one pot, use every last smidgen and then switch if you’re suffering from skincare boredom.)  If you were looking for something more affordable that’s good for dry/sensitive skins, check out Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream, which did very well in the Miracle Creams category in our Beauty Bible Beauty Steals book, and is lusciously rich (and very popular).  Meanwhile, with your sensitive skin, you shouldn’t really be using two ‘resurfacing’ products – like the mask and the scrub that you mention.  If you want a fabulous skin-brightening mask and exfoliator in one, go for either The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask if you click here (it scored an incredibly impressive 8.87.10 from our testers), or their next-favourite, Yes To Carrots C The Difference Exfoliating and Soothing Mud Mask.

Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream, £20 for 50 g at www.victoriahealth.combuy here (NB you’ll receive an exclusive 5% discount, deducted at the checkout, as a Beauty Bible ‘insider’)

The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask, £10 for 100 ml at www.thebodyshop.co.ukbuy here

Yes To Carrots C The Difference Exfoliating and Soothing Mud Mask, £11.99 for 48 g at www.victoriahealth.com buy here