Updated: Aug 27
Did you know that the world grows more olives than apples, oranges or grapes?
That’s a startling fact for those of us who take olive oil for granted. I think we don’t realise just how popular it is or how highly rated it is all over the globe.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a 100% natural product with nothing added or taken away. It’s produced simply by pressing the olives, which are the fruit of the olive tree, and so it can be thought of as a fruit juice, literally!
Other grades of olive oil, such as “light” or “pure” are made from poor quality olives. The oil they produce is not marketable. Therefore it has to be highly refined in an industrialised process that strips most of the nutrients, colour, taste and aroma.
For thousands of years, mankind enjoyed EVOO as the only type available. That’s why it won its superb reputation as an all-around useful substance for everything from health to beauty and polishing household utensils and furniture.
A very short history of the olive
It all began around the Mediterranean Sea about 7,500 years ago. That’s when olive trees, which can last for 200 years, were first cultivated. Olive oil was such a valuable commodity that it brought wealth to regions that produced it. That was enough to ensure the spread of olive groves throughout the region where it is still a major crop and source of income.
Only wealthy people could afford it in the beginning and used it for a wide range of purposes and not just for cooking. In fact, cooking was down the list after religious, ceremonial and medicinal uses. It was even used as very valuable prizes for winners of athletic and other contests in ancient Greece.
Enjoy beautiful hair by using extra virgin olive oil
Proven over thousands of years as a natural conditioner, olive oil is marvellous for hair care. It's a moisturiser that also works on your scalp with its antifungal effect to minimise conditions that lead to dry and flaky skin tissue.
For centuries, women and men from the Mediterranean basin relied on the nutrients and healthy compounds in EVOO to moisturise their hair and scalp. I bet by now you must be wondering how EVOO can help you get shiny hair so here’s my favourite Top 7 ways you can use EVOO as a beauty aid.
7 ways that olive oil beautifies hair
On its own . .
Managing. Great for untangling and managing hair – just work it in before combing out the tangles or just to make frizzy hair softer, flexible and more manageable
Repair. Kinder than chemicals, which are often harsh on hair – use it to avoid hair damage
Seal and shine – apply it after moisturising to seal in your hair’s natural keratin
Colouring. Darkens greying black hair gradually because it contains pigments
Deep conditioning. As a deep-conditioning treatment: Treat your hair to a 4-hour or overnight olive oil beauty therapy. Work a liberal quantity well into your hair or scalp. Then put on a shower cap and heat it with a hair dryer. Leave it for the olive oil to work its magic. Wash with a mild shampoo.
In combination with hair products . .
Shining. Make black hair eye-catching by adding it to your usual hair products – it also helps to apply products more evenly
An even better conditioner. Enhances conditioners when added to them
Skin care and beauty tips with extra virgin olive oil
Just a few drops once a week on clean, damp skin adds a natural glow to it. Some people like to consume it frequently too by including it in their diet to trigger that beautiful glow from inside.
Be sure to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil and not the lesser quality refined oils that contain practically none of the beneficial nutrients of EVOO.
EVOO is rich in antioxidants that fight damage caused by weather, light and pollution. It also has squalene that acts just like sebum to add smoothness and softness.
Dermatologists approve of using it on your skin, so you can be confident that it is beneficial.
5 ways to beautify your skin with extra virgin olive oil
Cleansing. It was used as a skin cleanser and exfoliant since ancient times. People rubbed a mix of salt and olive oil into their skin and then scraped it off to remove dirt and dead or flaking skin cells. Olive oil penetrates into your skin, making it silky smooth without any greasy feeling.
Anti-aging. Keeps your skin looking young because of its vitamin E and an antioxidant called hydroxytyrosol that prevent your skin cells from prematurely oxidising.
Anti-sagging. Use it as a skin anti-sagging treatment because the squalene in it helps maintain your skin’s elasticity.
Moisturise dry and flaking skin. Use it on your elbows, hands and feet (or anywhere, in fact) to replenish your skin’s natural oils and restore the healthy appearance.
Bring extra virgin olive oil into your life for added health and beauty
The lists I wrote above are just some of the many ways in which people use olive oil in their daily routines. Try it! There are many other uses too that can be easily found using online searches.