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Olive oil is a wonderfully healthy oil. I always have some in the cupboard. And although I love to toss some with my pasta or drizzle it on grilled veggies, some of my favorite things to do with olive oil have nothing to do with food. There are many surprising benefits to using olive oil for the skin and hair, too.
Turns out, olive oil is fabulous for your skin and hair. Here are 10 of my favorite ways to use olive oil for the skin and hair.
Make a rich facial serum.
Olive oil makes a great facial serum for all skin types (yes, even oily skin!) It absorbs rapidly and leaves the skin feeling soft and supple. Just massage a few drops over the face before bed. Your skin will look great in the morning.
Shave with it.
Don’t spend a ton of money on shaving creams that end up drying out your legs (and are filled with chemicals you can’t pronounce.) Rub a bit of olive oil onto your legs and use it as a shaving oil. Your legs will be super smooth and moisturized at the same time.
Dress your hair.
Olive oil is one of only two oils (coconut is the other) that can actually penetrate the hair shaft. I like to run a few drops through my hair every day, keeping away from the roots, to add shine and tame frizz.
For a deeper conditioning, warm several tablespoons and coat your hair liberally. Let set for an hour and shampoo as usual. Regular use will strengthen your hair too.
Olive oil makes a rich, mild soap bar. Use the cold process method, all you need is olive oil, coconut oil, water (or milk) and lye. Add fragrance, herbs, and color, if you’d like. But even as-is, you’ll have a fabulous soap for your face and body.
Never made soap from scratch, you say? No worries, my friend. This article will teach you everything you need to know: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Making Soap from Scratch.
Make a simple cuticle cream.
It’s too easy. Add two teaspoons olive oil and one teaspoon beeswax. Warm gently until beeswax is melted. Mix and pour into small tin (I like these little cuties.) Let cool thoroughly and affix the lid.
Rub a small bit of this lovely cream into the cuticles whenever you need it. And although I don’t have any proof, I swear my nails grown in stronger when I’m using this cream too.
Stir up an inexpensive sugar scrub.
Mix 1 cup brown sugar with 1/2 cup olive oil. Massage over your body and rinse. Feels and smells great!
For some fun tips on how to dress up this sugar scrub, you’ll love this: Customizable DIY Body Scrub Recipe.
Add about 30 drops of rosemary essential oil to 1/2 cup olive oil. Mix well. Massage a few drops onto the scalp where dandruff is a problem. Let set for 20 minutes to an hour. Shampoo as usual.
Do this several times a week and you’ll notice a difference in your hair. (But do test to make sure this product won’t irritate your skin first.)
Use as a massage oil.
Sweet almond oil is the oil-of-choice of most massage therapists, but olive oil does a great job too. Plus, it’s less expensive.
Use straight from the bottle or add a few drops of essential oil of your choice for fragrance and therapeutic qualities. Some of my favorite essential oils for massage include lavender, clary sage, frankincense, or chamomile.
Pour into the bath.
If you love bath oils, you’ll love olive oil too. Pour a tablespoon or so into running bath water. Your skin will be silky smooth. (Again, add essential oils for a special treat.)
Remove eye makeup.
This is by far my favorite tip! Forget eye makeup removers that burn, sting, and leave your eyes red afterwards (and don’t do an all that great job of getting off makeup).
Use a bit of olive oil on a cotton ball or pad instead. It’s a super gentle way to remove makeup, and leaves the delicate skin around the eyes nicely moisturized too.
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Source: Budiyanto, A., Ahmed, N. U., Wu, A., Bito, T., Nikaido, O., Osawa, T., … Ichihashi, M. (2000, November 1). Protective effect of topically applied olive oil against photocarcinogenesis following UVB exposure of mice. Carcinogenesis, 21(11), 2085–2090