STYLE

Five-A-Day For Your Face

17/09/2010 18:25 | Updated 22 May 2015

tomatoesFlickr, Gutter

Unless you've been living in a cave, you'll know how important it is to get your five-a-day in your diet. But when it comes to beauty products, how often do you check for ingredients like tomatoes, carrots and avocados?

Well, you should, urges Sally Penford, education manager at the International Dermal Institute. She says, "Although we're used to finding herb, flower and fruit extracts in our beauty regime, you may not be aware that there are many beneficial properties in vegetables as well. So as well as making sure you get your five a day in your diet, some of your favourite salad ingredients could be great for your skin, too.

"The soothing properties of cucumber and the benefits of olive oil are most well-known, but look out for the following veg as well. Beta carotene in carrots is a fantastic antioxidant and is needed for healthy cell renewal, so check for that in face masks. Avocado oil is also rich in vitamins A, D and E, so it's great for moisturising. And even peas come with beauty benefits - pea extract is a great antioxidant that can also help boost collagen and elastin, so you may find it in anti-ageing formulas."

Discover Penford's top veggies to look out for on your beauty labels.

Carrots

It seems we should give rabbits more credit! Packed with antioxidant beta carotene, carrots are a great way to protect your skin and give it an overhaul. Back in the 80s, The Body Shop Carrot Moisture Cream (£3.99) was protecting our faces thanks to the reviving and conditioning carrot oil, and the store has now brought it back as part of The Originals range.

One of the original 'green' brands, Yin Yang has been using carrot seed oil in its hero product, Rich Skin Food (£19.50), since it was first created in the 70s. Burt's Bees Carrot Nutritive range includes Body Lotion (£9.99), as well as Day Creme and Night Creme (£14.99 each) with the vitamin A in carrot seed oil protecting and hydrating the skin.

Avocado

If you're not a fan of eating the green vegetable, try applying it to your skin instead. Rich in vitamins A, D and E and linoleic acid, avocado helps strengthen the skin and is ultra-moisturising. Try The Sanctuary's Soothing Milk Bath (£8.99), which contains avocado oil.

Tomato

The creators of the Yes To Carrots range have moved on with a new collection to get the most from tomatoes - yes, we know they're technically a fruit, but how often do you have tomatoes for dessert?! They're full of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect against damaging free radicals and also absorbs excess surface oil, making them ideal for combination and oily skin. As an added bonus, the natural Yes to Tomatoes range contains vitamins and nutrients from red peppers as well. In addition to skincare - a facial wash, hydrating lotion and mask - there's shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, too. Prices start from £7.99.

Asparagus

Asparagus contain a material known as asparagine, which can help break down waste products within tissues. They're also packed with the mineral rutin, which may help stop small blood vessels rupturing, say the natural beauty experts at Lush. Their Ayesha fresh facemask (£4.95) contains fresh liquidised asparagus for its healing properties.

Artichoke

Vegetherapy is better known in France, and the country's natural Vegetable(s) range incorporates a variety of familiar ingredients, from lettuce, carrots and tomatoes to artichokes. Try the Pure Sparkling Dew mist (£22.55), with extract of artichoke to hydrate, soften and purify the skin, plus celery extract for toning and stimulating. Use it in place of your usual toner. Available from Victoria Health.

Beetroot

Another love-it-or-hate-it vegetable, but beetroot has a string of health benefits and also helps detox the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties are ideal if your hormones wreak havoc on your complexion. Heaven Limited Edition Cleanser, (from £12.95), contains organic beetroot.

Mushrooms

Putting fungus on your face might seem an odd choice, but the humble mushroom has a surprising number of beauty boosters, from anti-irritant to revitalising properties. Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Collection includes extracts from four different mushrooms. Try the intensive Treatment Lotion (£23), or Skin-Calming Face Mask (£30), which reduces redness while repairing the skin. Or check out Lush's Full of Grace solid facial serum, £7.50, which uses fresh Portobello mushrooms for their anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties.

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