Olive oil isn’t just something you cook with. Although using it in meals does offer plenty of health benefits, olive oil is also surprisingly useful when incorporated into your beauty routine. Along with its nutritional benefits, it also offers benefits for the hair, skin, and face.
While the idea of using olive oil as a cosmetic might seem strange to some people, there are many reasons to consider doing so. Unlike numerous other cosmetic products, it’s all natural. You can use it without exposing your body to potentially irritating or harmful chemicals. It’s also more affordable than its artificial counterparts, making it good for your health, your looks, and your bank account.
Want to learn more about the amazing benefits of this everyday item? Read on to learn how you can start using it today!
- 6 Nutritional Benefits of Olive Oil
- What Olive Oil Can do for Your Hair?
- How Olive Oil Keeps Your Skin & Face Beautiful
6 Nutritional Benefits of Olive Oil
Researchers have long understood that a healthy diet includes certain fats. Olive oil is one of the more nutritious sources of fat, and it’s versatile. People use it for everything from cooking their food to making salad dressings.
The following are just a few of the reasons eating more olive oil is good for your health.
Getting Monounsaturated Fats
Olive oil contains several fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3. However, its main fatty acid is oleic acid. Some research indicates that oleic acid works as an anti-inflammatory agent, and may even have positive effects on genes associated with cancer.
Reducing the Risk of Stroke
Next to heart disease, stroke is one of the most common causes of death in developed nations. Luckily, multiple studies have shown that olive oil (specifically when treated as a source of monounsaturated fats) may reduce a person’s risk of having a stroke. No other source of monounsaturated fats in the studies had this same effect.
Preventing Heart Disease
Again, heart disease is often regarded as the world’s number one killer. However, researchers and scientists discovered that people who live near the Mediterranean regions of the world are significantly less likely to develop heart disease than people from other parts of the world. Many concluded that this might have something to do with their diet, which includes substantial amounts of olive oil.
Olive oil (extra virgin olive oil in particular) has frequently been shown to help prevent instances of heart disease in those who consume it often. Primarily, it reduces inflammation and improves the function of the blood vessel’s lining. However, it may even be useful at reducing blood pressure. In one study, olive oil nearly nearly cut participants’ need for blood pressure medication in half.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Many people who try to limit the amount of olive oil they consume do so because they’ve been led to believe that eating fat causes a person to gain weight. This is a misconception. Although the average person should strive to maintain a balanced diet, the primary factor in regards to weight gain is calorie intake vs. calorie expenditure. If you consume more calories than you burn on a regular basis, your weight will increase.
Studies confirm this. Across the board, it appears as though consuming olive oil does not increase a person’s chances of gaining weight. You’re free to enjoy it with meals without worrying about the impact it will have on your fitness!
Fighting Free Radicals
Oxygen in your body is constantly splitting into single atoms. In these atoms are unpaired electrons, called free radicals, but electrons naturally seek out pairs. These free radicals roam throughout the body, looking for another electron with which to pair up. As they do this, they cause a lot of damage to cells, DNA, and proteins. Although free radicals do offer health benefits, when they start to pull electrons away from healthy cells, they cause chain reactions that result in overall cell damage.
Free radicals have been linked to major health issues like Alzheimer’s and some cancers. Luckily, antioxidants work to stop the harmful chain reactions in their tracks. Best of all, olive oil is a major source of antioxidants. Along with lowering your risk of developing serious health conditions, olive oil can also prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood, adding even more protection to your heart.
Certain compounds and nutrients in olive oil have natural antibacterial properties. Olive oil is especially good at killing or incapacitating the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause everything from stomach ulcers to stomach cancer. Some studies have yielded evidence indicating that regular doses of olive oil can actually eliminate the infection from a person’s stomach in only two weeks.
What Olive Oil Can do for Your Hair?
We’ve established that olive oil contains beneficial nutrients that make it an essential part of a healthy diet. That said, many people don’t realize that those same nutrients can still benefit a person when applied to the skin or hair.
Does the idea of adding a little olive oil to your hair care routine intrigue you? If so, give these remedies a try.
Olive oil contains a high dosage of vitamin E, which helps to reduce dandruff. To get the effects, mix about a tablespoon of olive oil with a squeeze of lemon juice, and apply it to your scalp during a shower. Let it sit for a few minutes to ensure your hair absorbs the nutrients it contains.
You may have to apply this treatment several days in a row before you start to notice any major effects, but once you do, you’ll realize that getting rid of dandruff doesn’t need to involve spending a lot of money on special shampoos. All you need to do is grab some olive oil from your kitchen.
Want your hair to maintain a lustrous shine without spending a lot of money on chemical-based pre-shampoo treatments? Opt for olive oil instead. For this remedy, you should warm the olive oil first. Olive oil has a high smoke point, so you should be safe, but make sure it’s not too hot before you apply it to your hair. To warm it quickly, use a microwave or hot water.
Massage a generous amount of olive oil into your scalp before showering, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then, simply rinse it away with shampoo and water. Doing this every day before a shower helps to keep your hair vibrant, especially if you tend to use shower products that dry out and dull your hair.
How Olive Oil Keeps Your Skin & Face Beautiful
If olive oil is an effective hair care product, it’s practically essential as a skin and face care product. Again, because it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, you can safely apply it to your body without worrying about irritation or harmful side effects. Consider using it in the following amazing ways!
You can purchase moisturizers that already contain olive oil, add some to your favorite moisturizing cream, or apply it to your hands before applying moisturizer. Experts recommend using olive oil as a hand moisturizer because it holds water against the skin, helping you get the maximum benefits of hydration.
In fact, olive oil alone is also a useful facial moisturizer. You don’t need to buy any separate products to get the benefits. All you need is a spoonful of olive oil. After you’ve showered, let your face remain a little damp. Massage the olive oil into your face, wait for 15 minutes, then rinse it away with lukewarm water. Doing this on a daily basis will help your skin preserve hydration.
Similar treatments are also useful for dry, cracked heels. Start by exfoliating your heels with pumice stone or or hot (but safe!) lemon water. After you’ve exfoliated them, rub some olive oil into your heels to moisturize. To get the most out of this remedy, apply the olive oil at night, right before going to bed, and wear tight socks to trap in as much moisture overnight as you can.
Vitamin E protects the skin from inflammation, acne, and even skin cancer. Because olive oil contains a high amount of it, incorporating olive oil into a general face treatment is a very good idea.
For the best results, you should mix two teaspoons of olive oil with a quarter cup of honey and one-third cup of plain yogurt. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly until you get a fairly thick paste. Apply the paste to your face, leave it on for about 20 minutes, then rinse it away with comfortable, lukewarm water.
Although olive oil on its own is useful for maintaining your skin’s health, for the full benefits, you should remember to include the honey and yogurt. Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it preserves moisture. Yogurt has gentle exfoliating properties. It removes the upper layer of dead skin cells, allowing the healthier, more vibrant skin below to stand out.
It isn’t necessary to apply this paste every day. Once a week is often enough to see the benefits.
Is any area of your skin particularly irritated? It may be dry, inflamed, or itchy. If so, olive oil offers a range of health benefits. Again, it contains a number of compounds that serve as anti-inflammatory agents. Buy a natural skin cream with a high concentration of olive oil, or add a few drops of it to a warm bath to see the effects. Olive oil is especially effective at reducing the irritation caused by eczema rash.
Trying to find an effective makeup remover that doesn’t cost a lot of money and won’t irritate your skin? Don’t waste your cash on useless, potentially harmful products. Olive oil is a much smarter option.
For this remedy, use the exact same ingredients you used for the facial treatment paste. However, instead of applying the paste to your face and waiting for your skin to absorb the nutrients, simply dip a cotton ball into the paste and smear it across your face to remove your makeup.
That said, although all these natural ingredients are safe, you should still take care to not get any of the paste in your eyes. They won’t cause harm, but they could result in some minor irritation.
Trying to make your lips look as lustrous and supple as possible. As it turns out, olive oil is also useful in this respect.
To take advantage of this remedy, mix a few drops of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice in with some brown sugar, enough to form a gritty paste with all the ingredients. Before going to bed, scrub your lips for about five minutes with the mixture.
The olive oil will smooth out your lips, especially if they’re chapped. The lemon and sugar exfoliate your lips, removing the dead cells on the top layer. When used together on a regular basis, these ingredients will keep your lips looking healthy and attractive.
Fighting the Signs of Aging
As was mentioned above, free radicals can cause damage to your body in a range of different ways. Along with contributing to the development of illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, they also harm your skin cells, hastening the aging process.
That’s why cosmetic specialists often recommend purchasing face creams with high amounts of olive oil, and applying them on a regular basis. Again, the antioxidants in the olive oil will stop the chain reaction linked to free radicals, slowing down the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Nutrients like vitamin E will also soak into your skin, further boosting its overall appearance.
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When it comes to boosting both your health and your appearance, it isn’t always necessary to spend a lot of money on products that may not be as effective as something you already have in your cupboard.
Olive oil is rich in nutrients, inexpensive, and effective at everything from reducing your blood pressure to improving the natural shine of your hair. While some of these remedies may take some time to work effectively, others could lead to fast results. Give them a try, and see what you can do with this simple product.