June 29, 2010

Not Your Mother's Olive Oil

What do you use olive oil for? I use it to toss with my vegetables before they go on the grill. I mix it with vinegar to toss with my salad. I use it while cooking noodles to keep them separated once cooked. But the one use I have for olive oil that gets the most odd looks…in the shower.

After spending too much money on each new moisturizer that popped into the market, and never getting 100% satisfaction, I tried olive oil. I had heard about it once or twice in the past, but was a little hesitant to give it a try. I didn’t want to get out of the shower smelling like a salad. And, I sure didn’t want to finish my work out and smell like a cooked vegetable. But the more research I did on it, the more I wanted to try it. Finally, I bought a cheap bottle of regular olive oil from the grocery store. After bathing myself and shaving my legs, I slathered on about a teaspoon (it goes far) of olive oil on each leg, andrubbed the remnants of it on my arms and stomach. I did, however, have to use a little extra soap to get the residue off my hands to keep myself from accidentally getting it on my face. (Note: From what I’ve read, there is no harm in getting it on your face. Actually, it’s recommended. I just don’t think my acne-prone skin could handle it just yet.) It really had a very mild smell, almost unnoticeable. I finished getting ready, and before I left the house, I gave myself a quick sniff. Nothing. I smelt neutral, and my body was as silky as it had ever been.

From that day forward, I have been an avid user of olive oil. I’ve bought myself a chic glass bottle to store it in (which came strait from the kitchen section at Marshall’s), and I use it every day. I asked my hair stylist if it would be ok to use on my (highlighted) hair, and she said it would be best to mix it with my conditioner instead of using it along. It definitely has a tendency to stick. I work out (almost) every day, and, I smell just as fine after a workout as before. Well, I’m sure I smell a little sweaty, but not any different than I did while using regular lotion. And, I’ve asked plenty of honest friends and family if they thought I smelled any different, and they all said I smelled fine…even great. If you are extra worried about the smell, I’m sure you can add some sort of lavender oil, or whatever your preference, to it to give it a more spa-like smell.

This stuff is a gold mine! It’s extraordinarily cheap, and if you ever run out of it in the kitchen, you’ve got a back up! I have not had a dry patch of skin since I started using it - not even through the dead of winter. And, I love that I can use it in the shower, while my skin is super-absorbent, and don’t have to worry about my skin for the rest of the day. Why buy expensive oil-infused lotions from those fancy organic lines when you’ve got this stuff in your kitchen cabinet?

After my research, I found that extra virgin olive oil is better for moisturizing, because the regular olive oil is made with chemical refining and filtering, while extra virgin or virgin olive oil comes from the first and second pressing of the olives. The only thing I recommend, if you are trying to keep it away from your face, is to keep in mind while you’re drying off (after your shower) not to rub your towel on your face.

Some research shows that rubbing olive oil on a sunburn can help reduce the likelihood of cancerous growth, but don’t quote me on that. It can also be used as a shaving gel. There are an unlimited about of uses for olive oil, and
here is a website describing a few more.

I hope y’all find this information helpful and fiscally responsible. Happy showering!

Photo Credits:
Olive oil
Olive branch