Is There Anything Olive Oil Can’t Do?

Not just good for pouring on bread..

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We’re all familiar with adding a bit of olive oil to spruce up our salads and stir fries, but have you ever considered adding it to your skincare and haircare routine?

For thousands of years, people have been reaping the benefits of olive oil through not only food, but health and beauty as well. So, how exactly can olive help us in those ways?

Antioxidant Properties

Olive oil is known to be an antioxidant, which means it prevents oxidation in the skin, a process that can damage cells. There is also some research to suggest that olive oil is a great antioxidant for preventing UV radiation damage, meaning it might be a good idea to apply it to your skin after being exposed to the sun for a while.

More research needs to be done into the effectiveness of olive oil in both of these cases, but it is a fact that the oil has a high concentration of squalene, an antioxidant property. 

Moisturising Abilities 

Many people use olive oil as a moisturiser to soften both their hair and skin. As a moisturiser on skin, olive oil falls into the emollient category, meaning it penetrates deep into the skin and forms a barrier. Well-made olive oils are full of fatty acids that are essential for a hydrating skin barrier, including oleic acid and stearic acid.

Basically, a small amount of olive oil on the skin should give you a soft, glowy look. Be wary though, olive oil is not suitable for everyone’s skin. If you are prone to very oily skin, apply a very small amount of olive oil if any at all. Also, olive oil is not recommended for very sensitive skin, and research suggests that olive oil can actually cause eczema in infants if over applied. 

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Hair Conditioning

Olive oil has long been used to add a soft sheen to your locks. It has the ability to deeply condition your hair, from your scalp right down to those split ends. Olive oil contains nutrients that can soothe and nourish our hair, tackling dryness, dandruff and itchiness. 

Repairs Damage and Reduces Breakage 

Just as the antioxidant properties in olive oil can heal damaged skin, they can do the exact same for your hair. Heat and chemical damage, things our hair is often exposed to daily, can be treated with olive oil. Rich in vitamins A and E, olive oil gives your hair the strength and health it needs, preventing dryness and breakage.  

How To Use Olive Oil In Your Routine

There are a number of ways to incorporate olive oil into your skincare and haircare routines. Here are just a few.

As A Moisturiser

There are loads of ways to use olive oil as a moisturiser. You can apply it directly onto your skin without any added ingredients. Make sure to wipe and blot away any excess oil afterwards to prevent clogged pores and breakouts. It’s recommended also to apply olive onto the skin after a long day out in the sun or a nasty sunburn. 

If you don’t want to use olive oil directly, worry not! There are plenty of moisturisers and serums that include olive oil in their ingredients, such as Ziaja’s Olive Oil Body Butter and Kiehl’s Creme De Corps.

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As A Face Mask 

There are loads of recipes on the internet for DIY natural face masks that you can make with olive oil. Other popular ingredients that work well with olive oil are honey, yoghurt and avocado. Again, if DIY isn’t for you, why not take a look at Minoan Life’s Face Mask With Moisturising Anti-Aging Factors.

For Your Hair

It’s very easy to use olive oil in your hair, and there are so many options. A drop or two of the oil will go a long way if you’re just looking for a quick smooth and shine, but you can also apply a larger amount of olive oil to your hair before showering for a deep conditioning treatment.

Olive oil is also very good for a dry or itchy scalp, so why not give yourself a little scalp massage, you won’t regret it! There are plenty of shampoos, conditioners and hair masks available in stores too, including the Dr.Organic Virgin Olive Oil Shampoo and the Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo.

If you do plan on using regular olive oil, make sure it’s good quality (pure or virgin), or you risk putting damaging chemicals and ingredients on your skin or hair. 

Words by Aicha Chalouche