I have no idea what it is about olives that I find to impossible to get enough of--the salty, briny taste, the satisfying texture, the arguable health benefits--but I adore them. I buy them by the pound and eat them like most people eat chocolate.
So it should be no surprise that one of my most favorite oils is cold-pressed from this my most favorite of fruits: olive oil, long renowned for its (as of yet, scientifically unverified) health and skin benefits. Whether or not the claims surrounding its capacity to lower blood cholesterol and diminish stretch marks are true, it serves two very useful purposes in my beauty regimen.
Olive Oil As A Moisture Aid
One of the many nuggets of conventional wisdom that my mother gifted me as a child was to moisturize with olive oil. She'd always suggest that I mix it in with my lotion after taking a bath to help seal in moisture, as most lotions that weren't straight Aquaphor were too thin to do the job themselves. I naturally ignored her, due to my being a rebellious whatever-year-old. But in my adulthood I realized that she was completely correct: Adding straight olive oil to my lotion in dry, cold weather proved to be the difference between looking fly and being mistaken for a particularly salty patch of winter asphalt.
The most efficient way I've found to incorporate olive oil into my lotion is to add a few drops at a time to small amounts of lotion before applying, making sure that I stay in my steamy post-shower bathroom to keep my skin as hydrated as possible.
You can also pre-mix the olive oil into the entire container of lotion from the beginning, if you'd like to save a step. Both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks: pre-mixing the lotion ahead of time is perfect for lazy bums like me who hate extra work, but keeping an extra bottle in the bathroom makes it substantially easier to use the oil for other beauty applications, like makeup removal and hair treatments.
Olive Oil As A Makeup Remover
Using olive oil to remove makeup was also a bit of motherly advice, which I thankfully had the good sense to actually listen to when she offered it. I prefer using olive oil to most cleansers and wipes because I never have to stress about accidentally running out of it in a time of need. It's also much more moisturizing for my skin than any other product I've tried.
To remove makeup from my face, I put a quarter of a teaspoon of oil on either Kleenex or thick toilet paper, and gently wipe away the makeup. While I also use olive oil to remove eye makeup, because I evidently like to live dangerously, it's not something I'd recommend as a repeated practice until there's more information on how the eyes react to oils. When in doubt, leave it alone.
After that, I cleanse with a mild soap, apply my facial lotion (with a drop of olive oil), and turn in for the evening.
I know that many people have a ride-or-die relationship with coconut oil, but olive oil will forever be my one and only when it comes to my beauty regimen.
- What about you? Which oils pull double duty in your kitchen and your skin/hair care cabinet?
- Did you rebel against your mother's skin care advice only to finally see the light years later? Do share.
P.S. We're giving away free products in honor of xoVain Skin Care Week! Click here to enter.
Cover image: DUSAN ZIDAR