After nearly a solid month of what can only be described as bad skin days (I blame the bottomless tins of Quality Street come December time) things have finally settled back into their normal state and as well as sticking with this year's resolution to drink more water - it really does work, keeping to a good regime of products has also been helping my skin feel better. In the evenings I'm used to taking the time to layer on all sorts of balms, oils and hydrators but I noticed that my morning routine was in need of a little improvement and after some trial and error I think I've finally found the right balance.

As someone that sits between dry and oily I like my skin to feel thoroughly cleansed after waking up but can't stand the 'squeaky clean' over-stripped feeling a lot of morning-targeted cleansers give. The Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser has recently been converted from its regular evening use and I've found it to be a great combination of a deep clarifying melt-in texture that's light enough to feel refreshing after a quick massage in and muslin off.

Toner is a step I've been trying to incorporate as much as possible (read: when I remember) and a quick spritz of the Elemental Herbology Flower Harmonizing Mist is enough to cover this step. Made from pure Rose Damask petals it's wonderfully soothing on just woken up, groggy skin - the scent is beautifully uplifting too, I usually like to spray liberally and give it time to sink in while I quickly slather on some body lotion.

When it comes to serums and creams, I like to think of it as a layering process with each product targeting a different concern. Pepta-Bright from Indeed Labs has been my first port of call in an effort to tackle some of the scarring left over from the afore mentioned blemishes. Big claim coming here but of all of the products I've tried that promise fading, this is the only one I've seen visible results from. There's also something to be said about the pure glow this gives - it makes my skin look luminous and yet sinks in in less than a minute. On top of that goes another gem from from the same brand and one you all know I can't be without - Hydraluron. Think of this as a magnet for moisture, making the most of any hydration layered on top of it and the key product for me in the quest for plumped, fresh looking skin.

Next it's on to moisturiser and now that I'm getting on a bit and turning 22 this year, oh God, I've started to pay more attention to my eyes. I've always suffered from small lines in this area which become particularly visible with the addition of concealer but skincare aside I've actually noticed these pretty much vanish since upping my daily water intake which goes to show what a visible effect dehydration can have on the surface. One thing I'll never be able to get rid of though is my dark circles - whether I drink four litres a day, sleep for ten hours or two they're constantly there making me look like I could do with a nap. Since using up the last dregs of one of my favourite eye creams from Bobbi Brown I've switched to old favourite that was once reached for daily - Origins GinZing. This stuff may not be the absolute best when it comes to hydration but oh my does it brighten. The peachy toned cream has just the smallest hint of shimmer which acts as a light reflective barrier against purple toned circles that, although may be no match for a good dose of concealer, definitely helps things along pre-make up application.

For a long time my day cream of choice was from the same Origins GinZing range. It's definitely still a firm favourite but since my skin has been craving more moisture in the Winter climate it's been shelved for the time being and instead I've been reaching for the more heavy duty Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. This one boggles my mind slightly as without a doubt it's incredibly rich and yet a minute or so after application it almost completely sinks in leaving a fresh feeling plumpness with zero greasy residue - definitely one for those who can't stand the feel of a heavy cream but want to amp up the hydration levels.

To finish everything off I opt for a pea sized amount of another favourite from Kiehl's - their Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50 PA+++ (now there's a mouthful). I could go on for hours about the benefits of SPF and am truly a believer in going as high as possible on a daily basis (let's fend off those wrinkles before they've started to appear please) and I'm amazed that this tube is still going strong after nearly six months of consistent use. This one seem's to be the exception to the rule that the higher the sun factor, the heavier the cream as it's sheer lotion-like texture sits weightlessly on top of any moisturiser.

So there you have it, a rather long winded account of my morning routine and although the application of a whole seven products before 9am may be a little daunting to some - the results I've seen are definitely worth the alarm going off a few minutes early.

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Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser
Elemental Herbology Flower Harmonising Mist

Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
Origins GinZing Eye Cream

Origins GinZing Moisturiser
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50 PA+++