The Beauty Secrets of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Beauty Secrets of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The benefits of olive oil extend far beyond the kitchen, branching into the realm of skincare and cosmetics. Throughout history, various civilisations recognised the beauty benefits of olive oil and incorporated it into their skincare routines.

In ancient Egypt olive oil was highly prized for its moisturising properties, used as a base for perfumes, as well as in skincare formulations to nourish the skin. In ancient Greece, it was cherished and used as a moisturiser, cleanser and massage oil. Whilst, in ancient Rome olive oil was used in a variety of beauty treatments, including balms, ointments, and masks, to cleanse, hydrate, and protect the skin.

Olive oil has remained a cornerstone of skincare in Mediterranean cultures to this day. Many people in countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece continue to use olive oil in their beauty rituals, passing down age-old traditions from generation to generation. 

A case in point would be my grandma, who until very recently crafted her own soap bars made with olive oil. Greek olive oil soap is renowned for its gentle and moisturising properties, making it suitable for everyday use on the face, body, and even hair. It is often prized for its ability to cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling soft, hydrated, and nourished.

In recent years, olive oil has experienced a resurgence in popularity as a natural and versatile ingredient in modern skincare products. From moisturisers and serums to cleansers and hair treatments, its enduring popularity speaks to its effectiveness and versatility as a natural beauty elixir.

Moisturising Marvel 

Olive oil is a natural emollient that helps lock in moisture and prevent dryness. Whether you have dry, sensitive, or combination skin, incorporating it into your skincare routine can help hydrate and nourish your skin for a soft, supple feel. 

Glowing Complexion

Its regular use can help promote a glowing complexion by improving skin tone and texture. The abundance of vitamins and fatty acids nourishes and rejuvenates the skin, resulting in a smoother and more youthful appearance. Regardless of the application method you choose, it can help you achieve the desired luminous glow. 

Antioxidant Arsenal 

Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols, olive oil fortifies the skin against damage inflicted by free radicals, environmental stressors, and UV radiation. This defence shields against premature aging and maintains skin elasticity. 

Anti-Inflammatory Wonders

The phenolic compounds found in olive oil also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin. Olive oil may be beneficial for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne by reducing redness and inflammation.

We have repeat customers who attest to the soothing and healing effects of early harvest extra virgin olive oil, which they incorporate into their holistic approach to managing their eczema. Being early harvest, means its concentration of the sought after phenolic compounds is higher.

Not only can olive oil be used as a standalone skincare product, but it can also be incorporated into a wide range of DIY beauty recipes. Two of my preferred methods for using olive oil topically include making a face scrub and a hair mask. 

My Favourite DIY Applications

1. Face & Body Scrub

In a bowl, I combine five tablespoons of granulated brown sugar with three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. I apply it to my skin, gently rub in circular motions, rinse off with water and pat dry. It's great for the face and lips, as olive oil doesn't clog your pores, but also serves as an excellent scrub for the entire body. 

Given my normal skin type, it takes to oil really well. However, since everyone's skin is unique, results may differ among individuals with varying skin types. I would encourage you to explore various combinations and formulations, in order to discover what works best for your skin type and specific needs.

If you use the scrub in the shower, remember to be careful as it can get slippery!

After drying, I like to use cold rose water (I usually keep a bottle in the refrigerator). I apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe my face with it. This acts as a refreshing toner and removes any remaining oil on my face. I like to incorporate this into my weekly skincare routine or whenever time permits.

2. Hair Mask 

Oleuropein, a compound found in olive oil, has garnered attention for its potential benefits in various aspects of health and wellness, including hair growth. While research on oleuropein's specific effects on hair growth is limited, some studies suggest that it may contribute to improved scalp health and hair follicle function, which could indirectly support hair growth. What I personally love about applying olive oil to my hair is its hydrating qualities and how it leaves my hair feeling soft and looking shiny.

For the hair mask, I whisk one or two eggs (both the yolk and the egg white) along with four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, adjusting the ingredients according to hair length. If I have any on hand, I will occasionally add a few drops of rosemary essential oil for its anti-microbial properties, which can assist in combating dandruff. 

Once I have applied the hair mask to my roots and ends, I secure my hair into a bun and wrap it with cling film. This prevents any from dripping and enhances the treatment's effectiveness by increasing absorption. I typically leave it on for at least four hours or very rarely I opt for an overnight treatment. When it's time to wash it out, I rinse thoroughly with tepid to cold water as this prevents the eggs from coagulating, and follow up with a shampoo and conditioner. 

Using the hair mask once or twice a month will generally suffice to achieve noticeable results, as overusing it may lead to buildup or weigh down the hair. Therefore, it's important to find a balance that works for your hair type and needs.

If you're short on time to experiment with any of the DIY recipes mentioned above, a quick and effortless alternative is to add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to your daily moisturiser. Simply mix the olive oil into your preferred moisturiser before applying it to your skin. This convenient method allows you to enjoy the benefits of olive oil without the hassle of preparing homemade skincare blends.

Tips for Optimal Application:

Extra virgin olive oil is a natural and safe ingredient for skincare and cosmetic use. It's free from harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives, making it suitable for sensitive skin types and those with allergies or sensitivities. However, performing a patch test prior to use can help verify its compatibility with your skin.

With its antioxidant-rich formula, moisturising properties, and versatile applications, extra virgin olive oil certainly merits a place in your skincare routine. Whether you're looking to hydrate dry skin, improve skin tone and texture, or achieve a radiant glow, this one ingredient can help you unlock the secrets to achieving beautiful skin and hair.
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