Official statistics tells us that we spend a staggering £15 billion a year on beauty products.
While I would never suggest that you give up your tried and tested favourites, there may be times when your budget just won’t stretch to another tube of face cream.
Many rich and famous women are making the headlines by using everyday food as part of their beauty regime to keep them looking good. So why are the rest of us forking out millions of dollars a year to achieve the body beautiful?
So, to fill the gap, why not opt for a cheap and sometimes free, beauty regime, with the first stop being your local market. It’s here that you will find lots of fruit and vegetables that contain the vitamins and minerals, all of which are found in manufactured skincare products.
Most creams and lotions use natural ingredients as a base. The large companies make the essential properties last a lot longer, and the beautiful packaging provides the feel-good factor.
To improve your skin from the inside out, it’s vital to get the right vitamins and minerals. Here are the ones with the best face value.
Vitamin A — It helps skin to grow and replenish. Good Sources: Egg yolks, oysters and non-fat milk.
Beta-carotene — It can help fight sun damage, and sensitivity to sunlight. Good sources: Dark-colour fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, watermelon, broccoli and spinach.
B vitamins – The B vitamins, especially B2 and B6, play a vital role in helping skin regenerate. Good Sources: Fish, bananas, liver, dairy produce, eggs and wholegrains.
Vitamin C — It helps maintain collagen, the support structure of the skin. Good source: Citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes.
Vitamin E — Because of its antioxidant activity, vitamin E is vital in protecting skin cells from ultra-violet light and pollution. Good sources: Salmon, beans and nuts- particularly almonds.
Selenium — It has skin-rejuvenating properties and may protect against skin cancer. Good source: Tuna, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds and wholegrains.
Zinc — This mighty mineral helps to maintain collagen, which gives skin its firmness. Good sources: Turkey, soy products and mushrooms.
Quick Fruiting Body Tips
l Mash a banana and mix it with a tablespoon of honey, then apply it to your face and leave it for about 20 minutes.
l Watermelon juice makes a refreshing toner, and an effective body scrub can be made out of a handful of crushed nuts and porridge oatmeal.
Mix both ingredients together with runny honey and a spoonful of milk to bind them into a paste, and then rub it vigorously wherever you would normally use a manufactured body scrub.
l Fresh lime juice can be squeezed onto dark marks or blemishes left as a result of a spot or zit.
The trick is to apply the juice with a cotton bud directly onto the areas immediately after the pimple has subsided. It acts as a natural lightener, without the side effects of many chemical based products.
Mix an avocado with a little olive or vegetable oil, and rub it into your heels, elbows and knees. As a treatment it works, but be sure it’s thoroughly absorbed by the skin and no traces are left to stain clothes.
Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well – the healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look.
The less attention we pay to what goes in our mouth, the more problems we may see cropping up with our skin. Eating a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables helps skin stay firmer for longer.
The antioxidants and other phytochemicals can protect the cells so there is less chance for damage and disintegration, you also guard against premature ageing.
The skin-deep diet helps you to look younger and healthier – plenty of essential fatty acids help firm the skin, while tucking in to a range of fruit and vegetables can clear up breakouts.
The best known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health and good skin.
Although we all seem to get enough omega 6, many people lack omega 3 – fish, walnut and flax seed oil which are among the best sources.
Try these fabulous homemade face masks that are good enough to eat.
To treat oily skin: Mix half a teaspoon of lime juice with one teaspoon of cucumber juice and a few drops of rose water. Apply to the face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
To soothe dry skin: Combine an egg yolk with a few drops of lime juice and olive oil. Spread on the face and leave it until the skin feels dry. Wash off with lukewarm water then splash on cold water.
For Smoother Skin: Add a few drops of warmed honey to a tablespoon of oats and a tablespoon of natural yoghurt.
Apply to the face and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
For softer skin: Mash half an avocado and apply evenly to your face. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water or a soft wash cloth.
The avocado is a wonder food when it comes to anti-ageing and longevity as they are filled with all sorts of great nutrients that help your body make repairs and live longer.
Just remember to count the calories — a cup of avocados has about 235 calories.
To cleanse your pores: Mix one teaspoon of natural yoghurt with the juice of a quarter of an orange. Soothe onto skin – leave for five minutes then rinse with cool water.
To tackle acne: Grate a medium-sized apple and mix with five tablespoons of warmed honey. Pat onto clean skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Most of us are still unprepared to make the change from the packaged product, with its advertising guarantee for our own home remedies, unless you are really forced to.
Yet, home remedies can come in surprisingly handy.
Until next week. Stay fabulous.