Summer is just around the corner and now's the time to prepare for skin that's supple, silky and healthy.

A well-balanced diet is essential and you can't go wrong if you stick to a low-fat diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean meat.

Supplement this with eight glasses of water a day and you'll be well on your way to a glowing skin.

Your skin-care routine can be simple but must be thorough. Cleanse, tone and moisturise every day and because of our harsh climate pay particular attention to protection against strong, drying winds and harmful UV rays.

Sun screen should be applied under make-up all year round - not just in the summer months.

When it comes to cleansing the skin, it's fine to use a mild soap on your face so long as you rinse off all traces. But if you find your skin is feeling dry and tight, it's wise to switch to a cleanser.

One drawback of soap, apart from the dryness it can produce, is that it's not particularly good at removing all traces of make-up. In this case, should you prefer that ìjust washedî feel, opt for a cleansing bar such as Neutrogena.

Toners should not be too astringent because they can also dry the skin but a mild one is great.

Moisturisers are almost one of life's necessities in WA - they not only make your skin look and feel silkier but also provide a barrier against the drying effects of sun and wind.

With all of these products, there's no need for a huge monetary outlay, as you'll see from our product list. Before you start on your cleansing, toning and moisturising routine, though, you may need to exfoliate to lift the dead, dry cells and impurities which often clog the pores.

Exfoliation stimulates the circulation and promotes faster cell renewal, leaving the skin soft and smooth.

A word of warning, though: exfoliation is not suited to all skin types. If your skin is dry, it's wise not to exfoliate more than once a week and you should never exfoliate areas covered with acne. Bearing this in mind, the following products give excellent results:

When it comes to skin-care products it's very much a matter of trial and error - sample as many products as you can until you find one that suits both your skin type and your budget. To help you on your way, we asked Aherns Perth for a list of its top-selling products - the ones that are requested by customers again and again. These cover low, medium and high price ranges.

DORIS DAY is supposed to swear by Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. She apparently smears it from head to foot before retiring. Great for keeping the wrinkles at bay if Ms Day is anything to go by - so long as you don't mind looking like an oil slick.

SORBOLENE cream with 10 per cent glycerine is an excellent all-over moisturiser when applied to damp skin straight after a shower. It comes in tubs, can cost as little as $3 and is available from supermarkets and pharmacies. For extremely dry skin try Alpha Keri Oil (available from pharmacies, about $13 for 375ml).

MOISTURISER from Mother Nature: avocado oil is supposed to be an excellent moisturiser to use under make-up. And the flesh of half an avocado - mashed to a pulp, spread on the face and left for 20 minutes - is very nourishing for the skin.

© The West Australian