THE BLOG
11/24/2014 03:14 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2015

Beauty "Tricks" From My Grandmother's Garden

These "tricks" are really not tricks at all. My grandmother and her neighbors all gathered beauty supplies from their local farmers market long before it was trendy to do so. They picked fruit from their gardens and used it as masks and creams. Doctors would prescribe various teas as remedies. And worried mothers would keep cinnamon and garlic nearby for sick children. Bosnia healed itself with the stickiness of honey, the crunch of dried herbs and the slipperiness of oils.

Twenty-two years ago, I flew across the Atlantic and away from my grandmother. I left her garden filled with fruit, oils and honey and entered a world filled with chemicals and formulated creams -- where toothpaste and mayonnaise were regarded as home remedies. As a young child, I remember returning to my grandmother's arms and back to her lush garden. Each day, I watched her refill her medicine cabinet with things I had only seen used as food in America. Her face would turn from red to green to purple to yellow as she sliced fruits of the season and rubbed them into her skin. With each beauty remedy, she morphed from being my familiar grandmother into a strange magician. Before my grandmother left her garden forever and joined the rich soil, she gave me her book of magic.

Now, I am giving it to you.

These products are nature's healing elements. They can be used to clean, brighten, tighten, soothe, replenish and hydrate our skin and hair. This list reflects the capabilities and best way to use each product. Enjoy!

Olive oil - a powerful moisturizing and cleansing product for your hair and skin. Use it as a hot oil treatment by heating some oil and massaging it into your hair. Keep it in for at least an hour for shiny moisturized hair. You can also use it as a facial cleansing oil by putting a small amount onto a cotton swab and rubbing off any dirt or make-up.

Grapes - a lot of water is packed in a single grape. Slice one in half and use it as a natural moisturizer. Simply rub it onto your face and wash it off after ten minutes.

Tomatoes - a miracle food that can brighten and soothe the skin. It clears acne, deeply cleans pores, fights premature aging and soothes sunburns. No need to buy cleansers or masks that use tomatoes. Just puree a tomato and apply it to your skin for fifteen minutes.

Lemons - a natural toner and antibacterial agent. Lemons can be used to brighten and tighten the skin simply by using a cotton ball and a few drops of lemon juice. Squeeze it into your hair and watch it lighten in the sun.

Avocados - a fruit that is packed with minerals and vitamins. It not only is good for you to eat, but is a great mask as well. It is suitable for all skin types and help to nourish and hydrate the skin. Just scoop out the avocado from its skin and apply it onto your face for fifteen minutes. Wash it away with warm water and feel your skin become clean and soft.

Apple cider vinegar - an acidic natural toner that helps prevent acne and skin infections. It's best to use organic apple cider vinegar by applying some to a cotton ball and wiping it onto your face. At the same time, use a water soaked cotton ball and wipe over the areas you just cleaned with apple cider vinegar. This helps to remove excess vinegar. Afterwards, your skin will be thankful for its deep cleanse.

Raw honey - a powerful natural medicine that can be used both for your hair and skin. Local and raw honey is great to help with allergies, because it exposes the body to local pollen. It also has strong anti-bacterial properties that are good for our bodies both inside and out. Combine with a pureed banana and natural oils such as coconut oil for a great hair mask. Or, spread a thick layer onto your face to fight acne and improve the tone and softness of the skin.

Raw clay - a deep cleansing element for the skin. Clay makes a great face mask for extracting any unwanted dirt or oil. There's no need to buy fancy clay masks, when you can find pure powdered clay at several health stores. Combine a couple of tablespoons of clay with a little bit of water and a teaspoon of yogurt. The yogurt is a naturally thick product that helps enhance the power of clay. Rub the mixture evenly onto your face and leave it on until it is all dry. Once you wash it off, use some moisturizer and enjoy your glowing skin.

Egg yolk - a protein rich product that helps to relieve thirsty hair and restore its shine. Adding some olive oil to a whisked egg yolk. Let the mixture soak into your hair for at least an hour. Wash it out and be amazed with your new silky and shiny hair.

Chamomile tea - a daisy-like flower that is more than just a tea. It is a herbal medicine that can be used for anxiety, stress, headaches, insomnia. In addition, it can be used to alleviate swollen eyes. Seep two teabag of chamomile tea and then let them cool completely. Lie down and place the teabags over your eyes for a calming and soothing effect.