There are so many different skincare products on offer these days it is difficult to know where to begin. Anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, fine line fighting, complexion boosting - so many miracles on offer it is tempting to buy one of everything for good measure. This is the intention of the clever marketing behind all these products, they pick on areas that are of most concern to women and target different lotions and potions at each area, enticing them to invest in the entire range of age-fighting products in their quest for youthful looking skin.

There is no doubt that a lot of these products really do help reduce the signs of aging and can help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but most of the effects of these creams only last as long as the product itself is used for, as once the active ingredients are no longer being applied to the face, they can no longer work their magic. This is where skincare products can start to get expensive, as keeping yourself in an ongoing supply of branded products is never going to be cheap.

This is where a good understanding of the active ingredients found in these products can be invaluable, as surprisingly many of the main ingredients can be found in your fridge in the form of fruit and vegetables! Let's start with a few basic ingredients that feature quite heavily in most anti-aging products - Retinol and co-enzyme Q10. These gems both help with skin repair and regeneration, with Retinol helping stimulate new collagen formation while preventing the breakdown of existing collagen. It also with helps release the thickness of the outer layer of the skin which results in a smoother texture and also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Q10 reduces free radical damage to the skin. Both of these powerful ingredients can be found in carrots, yes the humble carrot, so rather than spending a fortune on a posh face cream simply cook and mash some carrots to apply to your face once a week - it will work!

AHA's, full name Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are another highly publicised ingredient in many complexion improving creams. They work by removing the dead and dry skin cells on the outer layer of your skin revealing the new, fresh skin cells underneath which gives a wonderfully dewy, youthful complexion. AHA's can be found in great concentrations in strawberries, so once again it's a simple case of mash and apply, although maybe once a month rather than once a week as using AHA's on your skin too often can result in quite sore skin - when you think about it you are effectively removing a layer of skin, so doing this too often is never going to be a good idea!

Honey is another overlooked miracle worker that resides in most kitchens. It can be used as a gentle but very effective cleanser, or can be mixed in with other things (such as carrots or strawberries) in a face mask to add a moisturising element to the mix.

When you actually take the time to look at the amazing properties that fresh fruit and vegetables contain, it could well make you think twice before spending large sums on nicely packaged creams.

I write regularly about beauty products and facial skin care is one of my specialist subjects, with a particular focus on homemade skin care products.