By Leah Fletcher
The use of olive oil for skincare is nothing new. In fact, it’s an ancient beauty secret. Discovered over 5000 years ago, olive oil quickly became an essential component of skin and hair care. The ancient Egyptian, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans all took full advantage of this prized oil. Today, it is gaining increasing popularity as an all-natural beauty product.
What it does as a nutritional product on the inside of your body, it does for the outside of your body as a beauty aid. Using olive oil externally on your body has benefits. It is found in many hair and skincare products.
What can olive oil do? Olive oil will promote a smooth, radiant complexion; help maintain elasticity of skin; heal dry, brittle nails and soften cuticles; and condition and add shine to hair. To receive the full benefit of olive oil, don’t limit it to external care. Incorporate this healthy oil regularly into your diet. It will enhance your health while improving your appearance.
Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamin E, which are nutritional powerhouses charged with protecting against age-accelerating free radicals. When purchasing this product, choose Extra-Virgin olive oil because it is the least processed and retains the highest nutrient value.
Olive Oil Skin Treatment—Straight From the Bottle
If you are open to experimentation and also saving a few pennies, you can create simple skincare recipes in your own kitchen. Try creating and incorporating the following beauty treatments below into your standard routine. The results will surprise you.
Bath: For a moisturizing soak, add about ¼ cup olive oil and several drops of essential oil to your bathwater. Lavender oil will help you relax before going to bed.
Dry Skin: Gently massage a small amount of olive oil on extra dry areas such as elbows or heels.
Hands: Formulate a quick sugar scrub for rough, dry hands. Combine two tablespoons of oil with two tablespoons of sugar. Rub the scrub on your hands until the sugar begins to dissolve. Rinse with warm water. The result will be silky-smooth hands.
Feet: Apply a liberal amount of oil to your feet at bedtime. Cover them with cotton socks and wake up with soft feet in the morning. This will also work magic for your hands, which should be covered with white cotton gloves.
Face: Create a moisturizing facial mask with olive oil, honey, and an egg yolk. Beat until well blended and then apply to your face. Leave the mask on your face for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
Nails: To soften your cuticles and strengthen your nails, warm a small dish of olive oil with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Soak your nails in the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. The results will be amazing.
Lips: Avoid chapped lips by dabbing olive oil on your lips. This could also be a great addition to your nighttime beauty program.
Olive Oil and Your Hair
When used to condition hair, olive oil adds moisture to both your hair follicles and your tresses. The application of olive oil on the hair is simple, but the benefits are rewarding.
Application: For a simple oil treatment, warm several tablespoons of olive oil. Place a small amount of olive oil in the palm of your hand and massage it into your hair. If you have a dry scalp, massage a small amount into your roots, as well. Repeat the process of massaging small amounts at a time into your hair until it is entirely covered with olive oil.
Conditioning: Apply to your hair and scalp and then rub vigorously. Cover your head with a shower cap or small plastic bag. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. For extra conditioning, mix an egg yolk with the olive oil, but do not warm. This is great for dry hair and split ends. It may even help with dandruff. After this treatment, shampoo twice to avoid the telltale smell of raw eggs.
Shampooing: Remove the olive oil from your hair with a mild shampoo. Use your favorite conditioner to re-hydrate your hair and then rinse completely. The treatment will make your hair softer and more manageable, while giving it some added shine.
Why it works: Olive oil contains vitamin E, which is often used to reduce hair loss. Honey ensures the hair is moisturized. It also contains other nutrients like magnesium, zinc, sulfur, calcium, and B vitamins that aid hair growth. The egg yolk is rich in protein, a nutrient that is the primary constituent of hair.
Olive Oil Skin and Hair Products
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own homemade hair and skin products, never fear. Manufacturers have discovered the power of this ancient beauty gem and they are producing an assortment of olive oil skin and hair care products offered online, at local department stores and beauty retail outlets. They include:
• Olive oil body butter
• Luxurious olive oil soaps
• Rich olive oil body lotion
• Moisturizing olive oil cleanser
• Olive oil hair products
Take a hint from those who used this beauty regimen centuries ago. Try incorporating olive oil into your skin and hair care routines. And, this anti-aging, antioxidant-rich oil can become your special beauty secret, too.