Often times, in a “beauty” context, oil can be a bit of a “four letter word” (think oily skin and hair). However, natural oils (several types) can actually be true beauty and health secrets. Throughout the week, I’ll discuss a few of the oils that I use on a regular basis and some of the excellent beauty and heath benefits of each.
Ah yes, the elixir of the Gods. Not only is olive oil incredibly delicious, the positive health effects are astounding. Olive oil is the only oil that can be consumed as is- it can be freshly consumed after pressing from the fruit. Olive oil has a very high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. I know what you’re thinking, AHHH FAT! This is the good fat. This type of fat offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Research has also shown that people who incorporated Olive oil into their daily diet had significantly less cases of colon cancer than others. More about types of Olive oil and its beautifying properties after the jump…
There are 4 main types of Olive Oil:
Extra Virgin (or as Rachel Ray calls it EVOO): It is considered the best (least processed) and comes from oil after the first pressing of the olives. It is also the highest in antioxidants (especially vitamin E and phenols).
Virgin: From the second pressing
Pure: Undergoes some processing (aka filtering/refining)
Extra Light: Considerable processing and retains only a light taste (Keep in mind this is a marketing concept, particularly in the US, and is not monitored and classified like traditional olive oil.)
Ok, so now you know what to buy. How much should you eat? Unfortunately, you only really need a couple tablespoons a day to obtain the nutritional benefits (think salad dressing or sauteeing veggies). Yea, yea, everything in moderation (except for lipgloss 😉 It’s kinda like when I first heard bout the Mediterranean diet– considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. Of course, I’m thinking– Gelato + Pasta = Longer Life? SCORE! Actually, it’s more like fresh veggies, fish, nuts, seeds, oil etc. Still good stuff, but not the good stuff 🙂
Now, onto the vain stuff! When ingested, olive oil is high in antioxidants which contribute to defense against free radicals which cause early aging. Also, the healthier your body is internally, the shinier your hair, skin, eyes, etc will look and the better you will feel.
Olive oil can also be used as skin and hair treatment:
Hair: When warmed and put on the hair/scalp it serves as a natural hot oil treatment and makes hair incredibly shiny and full. (I swear it works- I’ve done it and it smells amazing).
Face: It can be used as a moisturizer- but particularly for those with drier skin. Those with combination to oily skin can benefit from something a bit lighter, like jojoba (I’ll get to that later). Some women even use it as a cleanser. The oil cleansing method is actually more ideal for those with oily skin. Counter-intuitive right? Actually, oil placed on top of the skin works to draw out oil deep in the skin (like for like) to help the skin reach a normal ph balance. (Think about how oil and water don’t mix…)
Let me know if you want more information on oil cleansing in general. I’ve dabbled with it and can make some recommendations.
Face Mask: Mix Olive oil with honey and sugar to make a natural (and delicious) exfoliating scrub.
Makeup Remover: Olive oil on a q-tip can actually be a great makeup remover while conditioning skin at the same time.
Bath Oil: Drip some olive oil into your tub to help soften skin.
Shaving Cream: Use Olive oil in the shower as you shave- it makes skin baby smooth.
You can also rub olive oil into your elbows, lips, cuticles- anywhere you want a little extra moisture, glow, and Mediterranean flava.
So get glowing and add a little Olive Oil to your salad and cheeks!
Stay tuned for more posts on other oils with hidden beauty properties.