You may have heard that a daily dose of two tablespoons of olive oil may reduce heart disease risk, but did you know that applying olive oil topically also has powerful benefits?
Olive oil contains polyphenols—found highly concentrated in extra-virgin olive oils—and oleic acid which, when applied directly to skin, provide anitiaging benefits such as preventing free-radical damage and oxidation, minimizing lines and wrinkles, and brightening skin tone.
Slathering yourself in extra virgin olive oil, however, may not be the way to go. "Pure olive oil can be a bit too much oil for your skin to absorb, not to mention give you a funny smell!" says Lori Schmidt, esthetician at The Oaks at Ojai, an award-winning spa destination in Ojai, California.
Instead, try using the antioxidant-rich ingredient with only two simple additions for a luxurious at-home spa treatment. Schmidt prepared this do-it-yourself beauty recipe specifically for Delicious Living readers. "It's sort of a two-for-one deal," she says of the olive oil face mask and body scrub, which is suitable for all skin types—even oily.
A note before you start: When using fresh ingredients in skin care, make them in small batches. "I like to use and clean the container for a fresh batch each time," recommends Schmidt.
DIY: Olive Oil Face Mask
For this mask, a little goes a long way. The honey is a humectant and hydrates the skin, while the extra virgin olive oil seals in the moisture and softens the skin even more, says Schmidt.
1. Pour about 2 tablespoons organic honey in a blender. Schmidt used Trader Joe's, but any natural brand will work. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. If you want to create more, keep the ratio 2 parts honey to 1 part oil. Add a few drops of any essential oils you like.
2. Whirl in the blender until the mixture becomes soft like whipped butter.
3. Apply the mixture to your face for 7 to 10 minutes. Rinse off.
DIY: Olive Oil Body Scrub
1. With the leftover face mask mixture, stir in by hand about 1 spoonful of regular table salt for a gritty paste consistency. "This exfoliates the body and leaves a luscious light coat of oil on the skin for softening and hydration," says Schmidt. Make larger batches for an entire body scrub.
2. Apply the scrub immediately to wet or dry skin, then shower and finish with a natural lotion. If you let the scrub sit too long, the salt will dissolve.