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Ode to Olive Oil

5 Jan

We spend a lot of energy looking for the next big thing to tame frizz or soften skin. However, nature often provides simple solutions to our beauty dilemmas. Let’s talk about olive oil… 

How it’s made

Olive oil is generated by grinding whole olives into a paste. Pressure is applied to the olive paste until oil separates from the paste. It takes an average of 45 pounds of olives to create 1 gallon of oil, depending on the size & type of olives used. “Extra virgin” refers to oil that is generated from the first olive press. It is the most expensive & highest quality olive oil because it has not been altered or refined. The delicate flavor of EVOO, makes it ideal for use in salad dressings, soups & stews.

Why it’s great

Olive oil is rich in vitamins & antioxidants. When used topically, it slows the aging process by defending your cells against free radicals. Studies show that replacing butter & animal fats with olive oil in your food preparation will help lower HDL (bad cholesterol) & raise LDL (good cholesterol) levels in your blood.

Beauty Uses

  • Exfoliator. Add ½ cup of brown sugar (or sea salt) to ¼ cup of EVOO. Use this all natural scrub to slough off dead skin cells.
  • Eye makeup remover. I have not personally used olive oil in this manner, but I’ve read rave reviews about the ease of makeup removal. Added bonus: EVOO will condition the sensitive skin around your eyes & with continued use, can prevent wrinkles & thicken your eyelashes.
  • Moisturize. Got scaly skin, ashy elbows, crusty cuticles or dry scalp? Don’t fret, it happens to the best of us… especially in the winter, LOL! Just rub some EVOO on any problem areas & you can kiss the dryness goodbye!
  • Pre-poo hot oil treatment. Warm desired amount of EVOO in a bowl or a cup. Massage the oil into your hair & scalp. Wrap your hair in a warm towel, or plastic bag & let it sit for up to 30 minutes before washing.
  • Deep condition. Add 1-2 ounces of EVOO to your favorite conditioner & apply to freshly washed hair. This is a cheap way to stretch out expensive conditioning treatments. The oil also provides additional slip, making detangling a breeze. Wrap your hair in a plastic bag for up to 30 minutes before rinsing w/ cold water. * NOTE: I wouldn’t do an olive oil pre poo AND an olive oil DC in the same hairwashing session.
  • Sealing ends. The tips of your hair are the oldest part, which means they’ve been exposed to the elements for the longest period of time & are more susceptible to damage than the rest of your hair. Using EVOO on the tips prior to styling gives your ends added protection against breakage.

Have you tried olive oil? How do you use it?

Sources: Choose Olive Oil as a Healthy Alternative by Laura Bofinger & The Passionate Olive by Carol Firenze

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2 Responses to “Ode to Olive Oil”

  1. pgrip January 6, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    co sign…I do love Olive Oil. I used to use it as my primary moisturizer but noticed that I smelled like a salad in the making! LOL! odd because I never thought to add to my condish (running for the salad dressing/moisturizer/cuticle saver Now!)

    • Sham January 6, 2012 at 5:18 am #

      I use olive oil on my legs after shaving & it really soothes my skin. I don’t use it on my arms & upper b/c I don’t like the smell.

      Perfumed lotions always seem to evaporate in a few hours & make it look like you didn’t even use lotion that morning. So what I do is take a brand new bottle of lotion (anything that smells really good) & pour it into a bowl. Add oil (olive oil, coconut oil, I’ve even used baby oil gel) to the lotion & stir until they’re completely incorporated. Then use a funnel & pour it back into the bottle. You’ll need an extra empty bottle to store the excess. Now you have a lotion-oil hybrid that smells good & lasts long.

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