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Start the new year with perfect skin

GIVING up booze, cigarettes and anything even vaguely nice to eat tends to top most people's to-do list at this time of year. Personally, I think committing to getting the best skin you've ever had might be more enjoyable. Here's some tips and some beauty treats absolutely worth their price tag.

For spots

The minute you feel a spot coming on apply a dab of Dermalogica's Special Clearing Booster (€49.20) three times a day to the area. This controls bacteria, reduces irritation and scavenges free radicals while helping to accelerate breakout clearing. But don't have a heavy hand as apart from the price tag if you over use, you will dry out that area of skin.

For general skincare

I've tried everything from unfeasibly expensive creams (La Prairie, for example) to high-end (Dr Murad, Perricone MD) to mid-range (Clinique, Clarins, Estee Lauder) and I can say that my skin has reacted just as well to cheap-as-chips solutions.

Aldi's cult Lacura range has face creams for under a fiver that I am happy to use and recommend, while for just a few more euro Olay have a range that has proven the test of time. I'm currently using their Regenerist Regenerating Serum (€22.99) and it's super hydrating, make sure you always apply your serums and creams to the decolletage area.

For pigmentation

I always keep an eye out for newcomers to this area of skincare but for a tried and tested solution choose Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector (€58). As it's so pricey just use it on the areas that concern you -- it's as good as it gets without forking out for laser.

Sun protection

I don't care what SPF I use, brand-wise, so long as it's Factor 30. Several daily applications and a peaked hat in strong sun are definitely top of my skin care resolutions for 2013.

And the rest...

Drink water, eat well and nab as much sleep as possible, too, throw in some fresh air daily and you should see a change in your skin.

For purely psychological reasons I do use face masks each week. I've never been convinced that they actually do anything but they make me feel better and that's gotta count.

get fit on a budget

Of course, if you are the super-motivated sort and thus intent on getting the body to go with the skin then do it in style by checking out the rather nice and affordable workout gear from Penneys. The range includes this jacket (left), €12. Sports vests, €8, cropped leggings, €9, trainers €9 and work-out bras, €6.

>Dee O'Keeffe

PS -- send on any of your cost-saving beauty tips to deeokeeffe@herald.ie.