British men and women spend billions on beauty treatments every year – but taking care of our skin doesn’t have to stretch your finances.
From lathering yourself in cactus juice to knocking up a DIY body scrub, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your skin in top condition.
Consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesman Dr Anton Alexandroff, 36, said: “Our skin does amazing things and it is crucial to look after it. It helps us regulate our temperature and protects us against infection.
“Skin has a remarkable ability to regenerate, but it can be easily damaged if you do not look after it properly.”
Here we share our top tips on how to give your skin a healthy glow this summer:
Ditch the razor
Getting your legs out for the first time can be a daunting prospect, but don’t reach for the razor at the first sign of sunshine.
Shaving irritates the skin and can lead to ingrowing hairs or bumps on the skin surface.
Waxing is another hair removal option, but Dr Alexandroff warns that ripping the hair from the roots can lead to folliculitis, a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed.
“Laser removal is best as it doesn’t damage the skin – it only harms the hair follicles,” he said.
“And it’s semipermanent so it’s a better solution instead of shaving every two days.
Eat your sprouts
A healthy diet is the key to a healthy body but it can also affect the quality of your skin.
Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant present in the skin and found in foods such as vegetables, seeds and meat. It helps the skin look younger by boosting collagen production and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
“Food with antioxidants can help your skin stay healthy,” said Dr Alexandroff. “Sprouts and green vegetables are high in anti-oxidants.”
Raid your cupboards
Looking after your skin does not need to cost the earth. From making your own exfoliating skin scrub to creating a DIY moisturiser, you can rustle up something out of your kitchen cupboards.
A simple scrub can be made by mixing one cup of granulated sugar with half a cup of coconut or olive oil. This can be used in the shower whenever needed.
“Your skin grows very fast and as it does, it sheds a lot of tiny flakes,” said Dr Alexandroff.
“It’s important to keep your skin subtle and remove all the wrinkles and dry skin that have built up over the winter.”
Reach for the cactus
We all know how important it is to wear sun cream to protect our skin from the damaging UV rays, especially as blistering sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma skin cancer.
But if you have turned a shade of lobster, then it’s important to soothe the skin as quickly as possible.
One of the most natural remedies to bring down redness and soothe burnt skin is the aloe vera plant. Although putting your burnt skin anywhere near a cactus might make you wince at the thought, the clear, jelly-like stuff inside the leaves is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Glycoproteins relieve pain and inflammation while reducing swelling. The polysaccharides in the plant help repair damaged skin cells and trigger new ones to form.
So lather yourself in cactus juice at the first sign of a sunburn.