You're already using olive oil in your Real Food kitchen, so why not make it work double-duty and use it for skincare as well? There are many oils suitable for skin care treatments, but olive oil stands out for a number of reasons:
- Tolerated well by most skin types and is even suitable for most sensitive skin.
- Readily available and affordable.
- Mixes well with other oils and can be used in many different skincare applications.
Be sure to use high-quality olive oil. Remember, much store-bought olive oil is cut with lower grade oils, which are not suitable for skin care
(or great for a healthy diet either!). These cheaper oils may also go rancid quickly. Wildly Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
is organic and non-GMO. It is produced by a co-op of small farmers and carefully managed and monitored. Here are 5 simple ways to use olive oil for natural skincare:
#1 — Makeup Remover
is an effective makeup remover all on its own. However, feel free to blend with other gentle oils such as sweet almond oil
or jojoba oil. To remove eye makeup and mascara, apply olive oil to a cotton ball and carefully wipe over the skin.
#2 — Facial Cleanser
Washing the face with oil is generally known as the Oil Cleansing Method. This method involves mixing oils such as olive oil
, castor oil, sunflower seed oil, hazelnut oil, and/or jojoba to create a custom cleanser for your skin type. This method works well to remove dirt and grime and is even suitable for oily skin. The main reason being: like dissolves like. Excess oil from the skin and oil-based makeup are effectively washed away with oil -- leaving skin clean, soft, and smooth. Many report more radiant skin and fewer breakouts with the Oil Cleansing Method. Finding the right combination of oils for your skin type may take a little tweaking. Here are general guidelines for making one cup of oil cleanser:
Oily skin: 1/3 cup castor oil and 2/3 cup olive oil
Combination skin: 1/4 cup castor oil and 3/4 cup olive oil
Dry skin: 1/2 tablespoon castor oil and 1 cup olive oil
- Massage approximately two teaspoons of oil into the skin
- Place a very warm (not hot) washcloth over the face for about a minute. The steam aids the oil in cleaning the skin and pores.
- Use the washcloth to wipe away the oil
The oil leaves skin so well moisturized that many people no longer need to use facial moisturizer.
#3 — Make A Simple Facial Scrub
The light nature of olive oil
makes it perfect for use in facial scrubs. Simply mix 1 teaspoon olive oil with approximately 2 teaspoons of a gentle exfoliant such as white sugar, rice flour, or ground oats. Add more or less oil (or exfoliant) to create the consistency you desire. Carefully massage into the skin, avoiding the eyes. Remove with warm water and a washcloth.
#4 — Make A Luxurious Body Scrub
is one of my go-to oils in homemade body scrubs. It adds beautiful color to scrubs made with white sugar. The general ratio for creating body scrubs is 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup oil. Stir until well-blended. Add 10 drops of skin safe essential oils, if desired.
#5 —Create A Nourishing Hair Mask
Olive oil is an excellent option for moisturizing hair. Apply directly to dry hair and leave for 20-30 minutes. Wash out with shampoo (be careful as shower may become slippery). Another fun method is to create your own "hot oil". In my younger years, I purchased moisturizing hot oils from a well-known company and used at least every other week to create smooth, soft hair. That stopped as soon as I started reading labels and realized just how many unhealthy ingredients I was putting in my hair! To make your own hot oil hair treatment, warm a small amount of olive oil (about 1.5 tablespoons) by placing olive oil
in a small heatproof measuring cup or canning jar. Set the jar in a saucepan and pour a few inches of water into the saucepan (around the jar, not in the jar). Warm over low-medium heat until the oil reaches about 100 degrees F. (I use a kitchen thermometer to check). Turn off the heat and remove the measuring cup from the pan of water very carefully. Add one drop of lavender or rosemary essential oil, if desired. Massage oil into your scalp and hair then cover with a shower cap or towel. Leave for 20 to 30 minutes before washing out with shampoo. There are many other ways to use olive oil in natural skin care, such as homemade lotion, facial serums, lip balm, and skin salves.
Do you use olive oil as part of your skin care routine? If so, I'd love to hear about it.