Alternatives to cosmetic surgery

We’re all under pressure to look good - there's no denying it. Of course we don't have to conform but with a media that’s saturated with images of 'perfect' women and men even the staunchest of self-believers might take a second glance in the mirror.

Alternatives to cosmetic surgery

Here are some simple steps to making you look and feel better without the need for surgery:

Changing your lifestyle

• Exercise is the best natural high, beating depression naturally whilst making you fitter and healthier. For those of you rolling your eyes and groaning, make it seem less of a chore by taking up something new. Ever considered: boxing, horse riding, street dance or surfing? Or how about a trial session in your local park with British Military Fitness? The whole point is to make fitness fun.

• Embrace the right types of food. Changing your diet doesn't have to be boring, take out some of the bad stuff and treat yourself with more of the good. Go to your local markets and shop for fresh produce once a week - you'll save money and give your body a treat. Why not experiment with soups? Or learn to make sushi? Invite friends round to show off your talents.

• Smoking, drinking and stress ages you. Cutting down on avoidable toxins will make skin look visibly better in the matter of days.

Non-surgical face lifts

• Acupuncture is proving an increasingly popular choice, Madonna is even rumoured to be a fan. The treatment is used to relax and stimulate muscles to produce more collagen and tone up the skin.

• Facial exercises are the free and simple way to keep sagging skin at bay. Get into a routine of spending 5-10 minutes on your facial workout (ie pulling funny faces!) Eva Fraser’s Facial Workout book is a recommended read or you could try Tina Richard’s Tua Viso facial exerciser.

• Massage is a good way of improving skin tone, relaxing facial muscles and increasing blood flow and you can even do it at your desk while you work.

Body boosters

• Body wraps comprise of clay and mineral coverings to detoxify skin, followed by a wrap to bind. Most treatments guarantee a minimum inch loss per session, however bear in mind this is only temporary.

• Pilates is a series of exercises that elongate, strengthen and restore the body’s balance. Accessible for everyone and a great way of improving posture and toning up.

• A spa weekend does wonders not just for body but for soul too. De-stress and unwind and give your body and brain a much needed boost.