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5 Reasons to Consider Adding Olive Oil to Your Beauty Routine

This superb natural ingredient has performed for generations and deserves a spot on your vanity.

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With so many chemical-laden creams, gels and lotions on store shelves, sometimes it’s best to stick with the basics. Used for centuries, olive oil isn’t just good for cooking. Thanks to its large amount of powerful antioxidants and squalene, a natural lipid also produced by your skin, olive oil can deliver amazing beauty benefits, from a softer pout to stronger nails. Regular olive oil will do the trick, but extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the real MVP. As the least processed variety, cold-pressed EVOO retains more nutrients, making it pricier, but worth it. Read on to find out how you could turn this kitchen staple into a beauty multitasker.

Use as a pre-poo treatment

While every sister’s hair needs are different, olive oil tends to work well as a pre-poo treatment if you’re looking to up the moisture, revive dull strands or make detangling easier. “Pre-pooing, the process of prepping your hair before you shampoo, can act as a protective base to avoid stripping the hair during the shampoo process by helping the hair retain its natural oils,” explains Mindy Green, a licensed cosmetologist and owner of MG Beauty.

Before your next shampoo, divide your hair into four sections, or however many are needed, before wetting and detangling. Next, apply a generous amount of olive oil to each section, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then proceed to shampooing and conditioning your mane as usual. 

Pro tip: Warm oil allows for deeper penetration into the cuticle. “I recommend heating water in a bowl or cup and then placing an applicator bottle filled with oil in the hot water for about five minutes to warm up the oil,” Green says.

Want to incorporate aromatherapy applications like a relaxing scalp massage? EVOO may also be used as a carrier oil to dilute any essential oils you’re using, such as rosemary and lavender.

Make a lip scrub

Why pick up an overpriced lip scrub when you can create your own using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen pantry? Turns out, olive oil is a great base for scrubs since it’s naturally moisturizing. Just add brown sugar and a few drops of lemon juice to gently remove dead cells a couple of times a week.

Good to know: Exfoliating regularly creates a smoother canvas for lipstick, especially matte formulas, which tend to be drying.

Keep your makeup brushes soft

Cleaning your makeup brushes on a weekly basis is a beauty must, but dish detergent can be drying. To keep the bristles looking and feeling soft, add a few drops of olive oil to your detergent to counteract its drying effects. Doing so can also help extend the life of your brushes. Long-term, though, Green advises using a cleanser specifically designed for brushes, especially if they contain natural hair rather than synthetic.

Condition your cuticles

As we get older, we’re more prone to dry, brittle nails, a condition that is often exacerbated by washing the dishes, getting gel manicures, using acetone-based nail polish remover and other external factors. The secret to growing healthy, longer nails? Well-hydrated cuticles and nail beds. Skip the pricey branded cuticle oils, and opt for olive oil instead. Using your finger pads, gently massage a couple of drops of olive oil directly onto your nails and cuticles before bedtime for an overnight treatment.

Substitute for shaving cream

Don’t fret the next time you run out of shaving cream! Because olive oil is a natural lubricant, it can help prevent razor burn and bumps. Consider purchasing a nonslip mat, and thoroughly rinse out your bathtub after using oil to avoid dangerous slips and falls.