OLIVE LOVE

Olive oil is highly-regarded for its “good” mono-saturated fats which can help to lower cholesterol, prevent stroke, and improve overall digestive health. But its beauty perks are also significant.

A natural conditioner that contains high amounts of vitamin E, it can be used for everything from removing eye-makeup to adding shine to dull hair. Substitute some of your current beauty products with olive oil and you would immediately cut out the chemicals found in most drugstore brands (and imagine how much more space you’d have in your bathroom with just a single bottle of oil instead of all those creams and serums!). It is believed that ancient trendsetter Cleopatra swore by olive oil, utilizing its fatty acids to moisturize her skin and hair in the hot, Egyptian climate.

When incorporating olive oil into your skin and hair care routines, you can go as simple or involved as you’d like. Working straight from the bottle:

* Lightly saturate a cotton ball and sweep across lids to remove eye makeup 

* Moisturize dry hands and cuticles by rubbing a quarter-sized amount of olive oil onto your palms and around your nails, slip a pair of cotton socks onto your hands, and go to bed. In the morning, remove socks and rinse off excess oil off with cool water. Your hands will be smooth and soft.

* You can also use it as a hot mask for your hair. In a small bowl or mug, warm up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in microwave (heat on high for roughly 45 seconds). Work it through your hair, focusing on dry ends. Leave in for 15 minutes and rinse.

If you enjoy concocting your own spa-like treatments at home, try out this scrub which will help slough off dead skin cells and reveal brighter, younger skin. It’s adapted from a recipe published in the Natural Beauty Book from DK Publishing.

1. Place one avocado into a bowl and mash well with a fork. Place aside.

2. Warm up 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses in the microwave (on a high setting for about 20 seconds).

3. Blend the honey along with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil into the avocado.

4. Add in 1 tablespoon of ground white rice and mix until you’ve formed a paste.

5. Massage the scrub onto your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for roughly two minutes. Rinse off and pat dry with a soft, clean towel.