Olive oil`s beauty power.
Don't just put it IN your body. Put it ON your body as well!
Sophia Loren, the gorgeous Italian actress, once shared her beauty secret – she loves taking olive oil baths (You can find out how to prepare your olive oil bath at the end of this article ***)
You may think of olive oil as a staple for your pantry, but it may also be a staple in your makeup bag as well. This vitamin E-rich beauty powerhouse can help you look younger, keep your skin feeling supple and even calm irritation. Keep a bottle in your bathroom cabinet to explore the benefits of olive oil in skin care as part of your daily beauty routine.
One of our favorite beauty "secrets" is using olive oil on just about every part of your body, inside and out.
Olive oil has been used for thousands of years in Mediterranean cultures. Ancient Greeks knew of its power to heal wounds, and eventually they used it to light oil lamps, for cooking, and for beauty.
Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids. It’s also convenient for a sensitive skin. Olive oil is a powerful ingredient of anti-aging skin care products; rich in antioxidants, it prevents skin aging, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, it also nourishes, rejuvenates and protects the skin.
Rich in vitamin E and A, olive oil helps prolong youth, hydrates the skin, maintains its elasticity and softness. Also, olive oil helps skin cells to regenerate.
Here are some of the reasons why olive oil is the "liquid gold" we should all have in our kitchens, bathrooms and medicine chests:
Here's what you can do with it ON the body:
Dry Skin: After exfoliating your body in the shower, take a little olive oil and gently massage it all over your body. Result? Skin like velvet. If your facial skin is feeling especially dry, take one drop of olive oil in your hands, and very gently tap it all over your face, making sure it doesn't look slick. Take a tissue and blot your skin just a little. You'll have skin that's soft and moist, but not greasy.
Extra-dry elbows and feet: First exfoliate both areas with white sugar. Then, massage a little extra virgin olive oil on your elbows and feet (especially the heels) every night. You will see an unbelievable transformation.
Sun Burn, Rash, Wound or Insect Bites: Gently apply a light layer of olive oil and leave uncovered. It helps with the itching and speeds up the healing. It's great for diaper rash, too.
Makeup Remover: This is the best and most gentle way to remove makeup from your face, even your eyes. Olive oil can remove the toughest waterproof mascara without harsh chemicals or soap that can irritate eyes. Allergic reactions to olive oil are practically non-existent.
Cuticles: Soak your nails in a little tray of olive oil. This will soften cuticles, making them easier to push during a manicure. Avoid cutting cuticles as that could cause infection or irritation.
Shaving: Whether shaving facial hair or your legs, putting a light layer of olive oil on damp skin first is a better option that shaving cream.
Dry hair: Olive oil is the most effective hair conditioner, especially for hair that's been over-processed by coloring and blowdrying. Massage some into hair, and wrap a hot towel around it. Leave on for an hour or so, and wash as usual. When your hair is completely dry, add a few drops in your hands, rub them together, flip your head over, bending down and scrunch a little olive oil in your hair. Result? Shiny (not greasy, unless you accidentally put on too much!) and healthy looking hair.
Dandruff: Massage a light layer of olive oil onto your scalp and leave it there for a few hours before washing. If your baby has cradle cap, a very common skin condition on the scalp, apply a layer of olive oil every day until it disappears.
IN the Body: Keep a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil in your kitchen for good health, as well as for cooking. Here's why:
Weight Loss: Many people, especially from the Mediterranean, drink ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil every morning, followed by a small glass of warm water mixed with fresh lemon juice. This helps to cleanse the body, and jump-start the system.
Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention: Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Stroke is the third. The FDA reports that by ingesting olive oil each day, you may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Olive oil contains up to 80 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, which helps to increase HDL, known as the "good" cholesterol, and decrease LDL, the "bad" cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil, the least processed form of olive oil, has additional antioxidant properties that have a protective effect against heart disease.
Gallstone Reduction: The consumption of olive oil stimulates the production of bile and pancreatic secretions that drastically reduce the formation of gallstones. An experiment revealed the actual weight of a gallstone was reduced by 68 percent after two days of being soaked in pure olive oil.
Colon Cancer Prevention: In the International Journal of Cancer has been stated that the consumption of olive oil may protect against certain forms of cancer, especially colon cancer. Olive oil contains oleic acid and other phenols that have antioxidant benefits in the body. Antioxidants rid the body of free radicals that cause cell damage and may even lead to some forms of cancer. The study showed that the phenols extracted from extra virgin olive oil inhibited colon cancer at different stages. Of course, consuming olive oil is not a substitute for getting regular colonoscopies.
Breast Cancer Prevention: It is reported that the second most common killer of women is cancer, with lung cancer ranking first and breast and colorectal cancer close behind. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 12 percent of women will at some point be diagnosed with breast cancer. Olive oil consumption was linked to a substantial decrease in breast cancer risk. The oleic acid and antioxidants in olive oil can help combat other cancers, as well.
Alzheimer's Disease: The natural compound in olive oil -- oleocanthal -- may help treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease. Oleocanthal actually alters the structure of neurotoxic proteins believed to contribute to the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's.
Diabetes: Diabetes is a growing health issue in this country, especially due to the ongoing obesity issue. Many people aren't even aware they have diabetes. Diabetes can be complicated by menopause and bring about a host of other health problems such as eye, skin and foot complications. The American Diabetes Association recommends olive oil as a healthy, monounsaturated fat to manage diabetes and the European Food Information Council reports that olive oil can reduce blood glucose levels.
What olive oil should you buy? Definitely extra-virgin olive oil, although it isn't always easy to know if you're getting extra virgin, even if it says so on the label. (Note: olive oils that list "olive oil," "pure" or "light" do not contain oleocanthal. It, like other phenolics, is removed during the refining process. It must say "extra virgin olive oil" on the label.) Only extra virgin olive oil contains the all-important oleocanthal.
Adding olive oil to your beauty routine may provide immense benefits to your skin, hair, and nails.
MORE TIPS ON HOW CAN YOU USE OLIVE OIL FOR BEAUTY
Get Rid of Dryness
Use olive oil as a gentle moisturizer for dry skin. Apply it directly to your skin with a cotton ball or add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer to amp up its effectiveness. Olive oil has the same healthy fats as avocado, and plumps and moisturizes the skin with a combination of vitamin E and vitamin A.
Store-bought makeup removers can be harsh, especially when used around the delicate eye area. A bottle of olive oil, however, is one of the most effective and gentle eye makeup removers possible. The olive oil dissolves the makeup, even waterproof mascara, so it slides easily off of your eyes without the need for rubbing or scrubbing. Apply olive oil to a cotton ball, hold it on the eye area for 30 seconds and slide it downward for a makeup-free face at bedtime.
Relieve the Itch
Dry, itchy and inflamed skin is usually the sign of skin irritations, such as eczema and psoriasis. Instead of turning to prescription creams and home remedies, reach for some olive oil to relieve discomfort and irritation. Add a quarter cup of olive oil to a warm bath for all-over relief, or apply the oil directly to irritated areas.
Fight Aging Effects
Free radicals, sun and pollution can all take a toll on your skin. A study performed by dermatologist Leslie Baumann and published in a 2007 issue of "The Journal of Pathology" found that vitamin E was successful in fighting free radicals, photo aging and damage to maintain younger looking skin. Apply olive oil directly to aging and damaged skin to help maintain a youthful appearance and reduce the toll free radicals takes on your skin.
Here are some more of the olive oil skin benefits you may find surprising.
Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-aging benefits of olive oil because it helps restore skin smoothness and protects against ultraviolet light. Hydroxytyrosol, a rather rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin.
Doesn’t Clog Pores
Unlike commercial moisturizers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect. Try using organic olive oil at night as a substitute for your regular moisturizer. Apply a teaspoon of the oil to the face and neck. Gently pat the skin with a paper towel to wipe away any excess oil.
Another one of olive oil’s benefits for skin is its usefulness in exfoliating applications. A common exfoliating method using olive oil is to mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with natural sea salt, rubbing this mixture over the skin. The mild abrasive qualities of the sea salt, combined with the deep, penetrating action of the oil, will remove dead skin cells and leave the epidermis looking renewed and glowing.
General Beauty Booster
As we’ve already mentioned, olive oil is also used for nail and cuticle care, and many women use it as an eye makeup remover. Further applications include using it as an ingredient in homemade facial masks. One other interesting application for both men and women is the substitution of olive oil for shaving cream. Many men have abandoned shaving cream once they discovered how close a shave they can get with olive oil. Men and women alike have also found its refreshing qualities make it an excellent aftershave.
Because of the many skin benefits olive oil provides, organic skin care products often use olive oil as a key, active ingredient. Olive oil creams, cosmetics, and body lotions are more popular than ever for self-administered skin care, because more people are finding that it works better than commercial moisturizers.
The list of olive oil benefits can go on and on, but let’s talk about practical things. Do you use olive oil in your skin care routine? What tips or suggestions do you have? Please share with us in the comments!
***Olive oil bath
To prepare an olive oil bath, just add 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into your bathtub and you are done! (You can add more if you like). This simple, yet amazing beauty secret can make your skin soft and very smooth.
* Here is another variation of the olive oil beauty bath: massage your body with the extra virgin olive oil before hopping into your bathtub, after you finish taking your bath, pat your skin dry and wipe away the excess oil; you won’t recognize your skin! It will be amazingly soft and smooth, like a baby skin.