Who doesn’t have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in their kitchen pantry? I mean it’s incredibly versatile and it boasts a number of health benefits, ranging from beauty and skincare to heart health.
With the lockdown and quarantine laws implemented to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, a lot of us are now spending our time indoors, and our usual routines have been turned on their heads. For instance, a lot of us visit various beauty salons to help us maintain the health of our skin and hair. Unfortunately, as a result of the quickly spreading COVID-19 virus, a lot of these places have closed down, leaving us with an array of beauty concerns. Luckily, a quick trip to the kitchen can help to address a lot of these issues. In fact, olive oil could be exactly what you need to cater to your skincare woes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Beauty Secrets
The various components found in extra virgin olive oil make it a great addition to your beauty tool kit.
For one, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is high in antioxidant content, and this means it can help to protect the skin against premature aging by fighting off oxidative stress. Also, research published in the journal PLOS ONE found that olive oil can also help to prevent aging and even sun damage.
EVOO also has a high vitamin content, containing vitamins A and E – both of which can be beneficial for the skin.
Lastly, EVOO also contains antibacterial properties and this can also help you combat bacteria on the skin.
It’s clear that EVOO is the ultimate beauty powerhouse, and if the state of your skin and hair is getting you down, here’s how you can use EVOO to control it, all in the comfort of your own home.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quarantine Beauty Hacks
For your hair
Our locks go through a lot, from environmental factors such as the sun and pollution to chemical processing, heat tool as well as the use of the wrong hair products. As a result, our hair begins to suffer damage, losing both moisture and nutrients. Thankfully, EVOO can help to counter these effects and keep your hair healthy, even on the inside.
For one, being a monounsaturated fat, EVOO and once it’s been absorbed, it can then help the hair retain, or rather ‘trap’ the moisture placed in the hair by any water-based hydrating hair cream.
As mentioned, EVOO contains vitamins E, and this nutrient can help to keep the hair healthy. For instance, according to research published in the Tropical Life Sciences Research journal, vitamin E can help to prevent hair loss.
How to use EVOO for hair
As a pre-shampoo treatment
As some shampoos can cause more harm than good, so before you shampoo your hair, massage a few tablespoons of EVOO into your hair and leave on for 30 minutes before hitting the shower. Doing so will help to strengthen and protect your hair.
As a hot oil treatment
A hot oil treatment can help to encourage healthy hair by boosting scalp circulation and addressing any hair damage.
– Warm 3 tablespoons of EVOO in a container. Don’t heat it, simply warm it up.
– Apply the lukewarm EVOO to your hair, root to tip.
– Wrap your hair with either a plastic cap or a warm, wet towel and leave on for 20 minutes.
– Wash it out with shampoo when finished.
For your face
As mentioned, EVOO contains both vitamins A and E, both of which provide anti-aging, hydrating and protective effects for the skin.
How to use EVOO for your face
As a face cleanser
Now it may sound counterintuitive to wash your face with oil, especially if you have oily skin, but this could be exactly what your skin needs. This is because an oil cleanser can help to gently remove excess oil, makeup and any other dirt by dissolving the molecules. The best part about oil cleansers is the fact that they are free of the usual harsh ingredients found in many conventional cleansers.
As a makeup remover
There’s nothing wrong with trying to hold onto a sense of normalcy by putting on your makeup every morning. However, it’s also important that you remember to take it off in the evening. Going to bed with a face full of makeup can irritate the skin, resulting in inflammation, breakouts and even infections.
Thankfully, EVOO is an effect makeup remover as it helps to break down even waterproof makeup. To remove your makeup using EVOO, simply mix two parts EVOO and one part water. Then, simply use a cotton pad to gently massage the mixture to your face, removing your makeup.
As an eye cream
The area around the eye is the most sensitive, which means it’s the first to show any signs of aging. Thankfully, gently dabbing some EVOO around the eye are before bed can help to reduce puffiness around the eyes and even alleviate the appearance of fine lines.
As a face mask
You can’t exactly call up your salon and book a facial. However, you can still give your skin that much-need boost with a homemade facial using three simple ingredients – EVOO, egg, and honey.
Honey contains antibacterial properties, and it also helps to keep your pores free of oil and dirt. Egg, on the other hand, can help to moisture the skin and it can also help to tighten pores.
– Whisk together all 3 of your ingredients
– Apply the mixture to your face, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes
– Rinse it off
For your hands
Practicing proper hygiene is pivotal to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, and it involves regularly washing our hands and using hand sanitizers. Unfortunately, these actions can leave our hands dry and cracked, and our nails brittle.
However, EVOO can help to moisturize our hands and maintain healthy nails, encouraging growth.
To treat your hands, rub them in EVOO and then cover your hands with plastic wrap, wearing the wrap for a few hours before removing the wrap and wiping away any excess oil.
For your nails, try soaking them in warm EVOO for about 10 minutes once a week.
Precautions about EVOO
If you have sensitive skin, it would be advisable to do an allergy test before using EVOO. Simply rub a small amount of EVOO on your forearm and wait for a reaction in 24 to 48 hours.
EVOO is also quite heavy, and it can clog pores. As such, it’s important to use it sparingly, or you can add a few drops to your moisturizer.
Lastly, make sure that you opt for extra virgin olive oil. Using a low-quality version can irritate and damage the skin, so it’s best to opt for a high-quality, certified olive oil.
Beoy, L. A., Woei, W. J., & Hay, Y. K. (2010). Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers. Tropical life sciences research, 21(2), 91–99.
Latreille, J., Kesse-Guyot, E., Malvy, D., Andreeva, V., Galan, P., Tschachler, E., Hercberg, S., Guinot, C., & Ezzedine, K. (2012). Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids intake and risk of skin photoaging. PloS one, 7(9), e44490. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044490
Media, E., Romero, C., Brenes, M., Castro, .A. (2007). Antimicrobial Activity of Olive Oil, Vinegar, and Various Beverages against Foodborne Pathogens. J Food Pro; 70 (5): 1194–1199. doi: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-70.5.1194