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Olive oil for skin, Olive oil for hair.

Wednesday 9th March, 2011 by Daniel Johnson

Olive oil, away from the thoughts of cooking with it, it’s a very useful substance. Considered to be liquid gold by Greeks who would reward athletes with vast quantities of the highest grade stuff (worth a fortune at the time) and even Cleopatra – the definition of ancient world beauty – used it. Olive oil can be used for a myriad of different things and research from healthcare experts around the globe has shown the benefits of olive oil, it even helps prevent cancer & heart disease. Graduates from the online university Saint Peters Online know all too well the significant health benefits of olive oil and in terms of taking care of yourself the benefits come when you use olive oil for hair & olive oil for skin. If you’re hard up or looking for a natural product for skin care then olive oil can be used every day to take care of your skin & hair, rather than shelling out on expensive moisturisers & face scrubs.

About Olive oil

First let’s come to terms with what we’re talking about. Olive oil comes in a variety of different grades. ‘Extra Virgin Olive oil’ is the best – roughly the meaning can be read as ‘untouched’ because extra virgin olive oil is taken from the first press of the olives which is generally thicker, unprocessed and unrefined. By not processing the oil it retains its best contents and the most natural substances.

Olive oil is composed of many different things of benefit to humans; monounsaturated fatty acids, polythenol antioxidants, Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids & oleic acid just to name a few. The lower grade oils such as virgin olive oil or simply olive oil contain less of these beneficial substances, so from now on let’s just rely on the fact that Extra Virgin olive oil is the best.

The benefits of olive oil

The Human body naturally produces oil to lubricate the skin and this is called a ‘sebum’. If your face or your hair is dry then the body naturally produces its own sebum to help protect the skin. Olive oil its self is closest to natural human sebum. Off the shelf products (such as soap) can strip the skin of it's natural oils, so the body compensates by producing more oil, leaving you with greasy skin or an outbreak of acne or blackheads.

Many people think that using olive oil for skin and olive oil for hair will leave a greasy look or cause an outbreak of spots. However, by applying extra virgin olive oil to your skin and hair your body doesn’t have to apply its own sebum & is allowed to function as normal. So by working with the body then you’re more inclined to see benefits in your skin and hair rather than battling a self induced oil slick.

Olive oil for skin

Olive oil penetrates deep into the skin & locks in natural moisture and works at its best when mixed with carrier oils such as Canola oil, coconut oil or avocado oil. By being able to penetrate into the skin olive oil can target a fundamental part of your skin called keratinocytes.

Keratinocytes make up the majority of the upper layer of human skin (the epidermis). This part of the skin makes up basal layers of skin that protects against pathogens (bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses), free radicals, heat, UV radiation and water loss. The Keratinocytes form very strong bonds with each other to form the barrier against all the nasty’s your skin doesn’t like and olive oil helps to protect this barrier of keratinocytes, this not only prevents things entering, but also helps to prevent water leaving your skin, keeping your skin moisturised.

Another benefit of olive oil is that when it’s penetrated the skin it helps to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, these two chemicals work to maintain firmness and to keep your skin supple.

Olive oil for Hair

Just as the skin on your face produces oil to protect its self so does your scalp, this is the reason that if hair is left unwashed it becomes incredibly greasy within a few days. So again, the reasoning here is simple; by adding a small amount of oil to your hair and scalp, your body doesn’t have to, greasy hair is prevented. Simple.

However, aside from the above, olive oil also helps to maintain the condition and appearance of hair, and in some cases helps to prevent hair loss. Hair loss can occur for many reasons however one of the main reasons is a hormone called DTH which causes the hair follicle shaft to decrease. Olive oil is a big help in preventing the production of DTH which consequently slows or prevents hair loss.

How to use olive oil.

So, now we understand the benefits of olive oil you’ll need to know a few methods on how to use it. It’s worth mentioning that you should keep a small amount of olive oil in your bathroom, just as you would keep shampoo and soap. Olive oil works best when it has been warmed slightly, so keeping it near a hot shower works great.

Olive oil for Skin

Olive oil is best used after a shower for a number of reasons; the heat of the shower warms the oil, and by applying the oil when your skin is still wet you’ll avoid any unwanted greasiness. Here’s how to use it;

As a moisturiser - simply rub on the skin – just use a small amount, about the amount on a tea spoon. Pour the oil on to your palm & rub it gently on to your upper torso (chest, arms and face). You’ll notice the difference instantly & especially when you get dressed, fabrics won’t feel as harsh on your skin.

As a facial scrub – mix olive oil with salt or sugar and use as a scrub (if you like you can add parsley as a natural antibiotic, but you might smell of parsley which is a bit weird) and a squeeze of lemon, the acidity of the lemon juice helps to remove dead skin cells. Lemon juice can also be used to add a zingy freshness, use only a squeeze though as the lemon juice is acidic.

Oil cleansing method (OCM) – This is a very simple method, very much like the Romans used oil and a strigil to scrape the oil and impurities from their skin.

1. Pour olive oil onto your hand – about half a table spoon full

2. Rub the oil between your palms to heat the oil and gently rub it into your face

3. Get the hot tap running, the water needs to be hot enough to steam your face, but not too hot to scald or too cold to close your pores.

4. Soak a wash cloth with the hot water and squeeze out the excess water.

5. Lay the cloth across your face for 20 seconds or so. The oil will purge the impurities out of your skin as your pores are opened by the steam.

6. Wipe your face clean with the wash cloth. Job done.

Olive oil for Hair

 

Before you get in the shower work a small amount of olive oil into your hair by gently massaging with the palms of your hands, don’t spend too long doing this just make sure you get an even coverage. The idea is to let the olive oil soak into your hair, some people will say this takes about 20 minutes depending on the length of your hair, but even if you leave it for 5 minutes you’ll see positive effects. Make sure the last thing you do before getting out of the shower is to just wash your hair normally with your regular shampoo. The benefit of the olive oil is that the olive oil softens and coats your hair, like an off the shelf conditioner would but without the added chemicals.

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