Glass Bottles
Credit: From stock.xchng uploaded by Egahen, Jul 17,2008.

As Lord Goring says in Oscar Wilde’s ‘An Ideal Husband’, there is only one thing to do with good advice, and that is pass it on.

My grandmother, who is now 80 something (it’s not polite to ask a lady her age, you know) has been giving me great beauty advice for most of my life. The majority of her advice has always centred on treatments that could be concocted from the kitchen pantry.

This is possibly because during her vain teenage years, this was really all that was available to a girl growing up on a farm in Queensland. It is a family legend the time she was going to a ball and stole one of her father’s beers to wash her hair, and the trouble she got into afterwards (there was some confusion over what she was actually using the beer for).

With such a great tradition of homemade beauty tips, I thought it was my duty to take some time and pass them on to the rest of the world.

So here they are, simmered and distilled over 80 years, the top 5 cheap and easy beauty tricks from my grandmother straight to you.

1.    Hair Treatment - Olive Oil.

Who needs expensive Moroccan Oil or hair treatments when good, old Olive Oil is in the cupboard? Take about a tablespoon and apply it to the middle and ends of your hair, brush through, and leave for 30 minutes. Wash your hair as normal and notice how brilliantly shiny it is.

2.    Active facial peel anyone? Try an aspirin.

Yes, applying crushed up aspirin to a wet face is one of the most effective, gentle facial peels you can get. The salicylic acid in the aspirin exfoliates the skin, and is great for clearing out pores and getting rid of acne.

But do be careful, it is rather strong so don’t leave it on too long or do it too frequently. Once a week is fine.

Just wet your face, crush up a few aspirin tablets, add water so they start to foam, then massage into your face with soft circular motions. Leave for about ten minutes (obviously wash off earlier if it starts to be painful in any way… please use some common sense) and then wash off. Will keep your skin clear and fresh.

3.    Nail Treatment - More Olive Oil.

So, my grandmother loves olive oil. Another good use is as a nail and hand softener during your manicure. As hair and nails are made of the same stuff, it does make sense that if it works on your hair it would also work on your nails.

For a great hand treatment, massage the oil into your nails and hands, then soak them in warm water with just a little bit of bleach. The bleach will help keep your nail ends nice and white, just don’t use too much. Wash your hands clean and finish with a good moisturizer.

4.    Facial cleanser – honey.

Yup, as a way of cleansing your face, my grandmother recommends taking about a teaspoon of honey and applying it over your face. You then tap your skin very lightly, to help the honey suck out any impurities from the pores. Then wash off with warm water.

It can be a bit messy, but also great fun. The honey has other proprieties that are meant to be good for your skin as well, so feel free to indulge as often as you like.

5.    Body scrub – salt and olive oil.

Are you getting a pattern here? Well, it is very economical and actually works. I was accosted in a shopping centre recently to buy a body scrub at $120, which was just salt and oil, and not even the goodness of olive oil!

Take some table salt, which is reasonably fine, and mix with enough oil to make a smooth, slightly runny paste. You then jump in the shower and get wet all over. Take the paste and scrub the skin in circular motions, working from the extremities in (this is meant to aid circulation, and at least it can’t hurt). Then rinse off and apply your normal body wash (to get rid of the attractive olive smell).

Your skin will be smooth and moisturizer, and your bank balance much happier. If you wish to apply it to more delicate skin such as your face, I recommend exchanging the salt for castor sugar or something even finer if you can find it.

As my grandmother is 80 something and still gorgeous, I have to say these remedies seem to work. So get some friends together, have a girls' night in and see what you can concoct.