Throughout history, men and women from the Mediterranean region have turned to olive oil to treat various ailments. Referred to as “liquid gold” by Homer and “the great healer” by Hippocrates, the kitchen ingredient also boasts an array of beauty benefits. Packed with antioxidants and vitamin E, the all-natural substance can be applied to hair, skin, and nails for an instant beauty boost. Here, we reveal five surprising olive oil beauty benefits.
IT TAMES SPLIT ENDS
Olive oil is a natural solution to plenty of hair woes. The moisturizing household ingredient can be slathered onto hair to promote growth, massaged into the scalp to fight flakiness, or applied to strands to tame split ends and add shine. Olive oil is also a rich emollient that conditions the hair and prevents breakage.
For a DIY hair treatment, mix two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil in a bowl. Using your fingers, distribute the mixture throughout the lengths of your hair, and allow it to sit for a couple of hours before rinsing.
IT’S STIMULATES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Spiked with vitamins A and E, olive oil penetrates deep into the dermis to soften skin and lock in moisture. Brimming with antioxidants, the liquid stimulates the production of collagen and elastin while fighting free radicals (which are responsible for premature wrinkles. In other words, there are plenty of anti-aging benefits to be reaped. Unlike many commercial moisturizers that actually clog your pores, olive oil is non-comedogenic—which makes it a go-to for those with sensitive skin.
IT’S AN EFFECTIVE MAKEUP REMOVER
To remove all traces of mascara and eyeliner, saturate a cotton pad with extra virgin olive oil and use it in lieu of your eye makeup remover. Because the greasy substance boasts a similar chemical structure to the ingredients used in your favorite makeup products, it can also be used to dissolve them—which leads us to our next point.
IT’S A MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANSER
Olive oil dissolves foundation, eyeshadow, and other makeup products, making it extremely effective as a makeup brush cleanser. Your makeup brushes should be cleaned thoroughly every month. For a DIY makeup brush cleanser, mix two parts anti-bacterial soap with one part olive oil in a bowl, and voilà.
IT SOOTHES DRY FEET
The household ingredient soothes sore, cracked heels and painful calluses on the feet. For instant relief, exfoliate with a pumice stone before gently massaging olive oil into your feet. It’s important that you don’t rinse it off immediately in order for the substance to penetrate your skin.
IT’S A SUBSTITUTE FOR SHAVING CREAM
If you run out of shaving cream, reach for a bottle of olive oil before running the blade over your legs. The slippery substance acts as a natural lubricant, and prevents unwanted razor burns or cuts.
Homepage image: Photographed by Arthur Elgort, Vogue