Extra virgin olive oils make wonderful moisturizers for both the face and for the body, especially during the winter months. A key benefit of these completely natural moisturizers is that you do not have to worry about any of the potentially harmful or allergenic ingredients that can be found in some commercially prepared creams and moisturizers available today.
Among all the natural lipids, olive oil has the most similar chemical distribution to human sebum (for non-biology majors: sebum is the body’s own natural skin lubricant). This similarity gives olive oil a strong affinity to human skin. Olive oil is completely safe, easily absorbed and has a cell “re-fattening” capacity.
Olive oil both softens and smoothes the skin, leaving it very supple. It has exceptional penetrating ability, as is able to lock natural moisture in, thus preventing dry skin. In addition, it is high in well-documented antioxidant properties. Olive oil has the natural ability to target epidermal keratinocytes (the basic cells from which the upper layer of skin is made) and can stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, thus encouraging firmer and healthier skin.
- Use olive oil on your face (and body) straight out of the bottle. (That’s what I do!)
- Make a simple emulsion (equal parts water and olive oil). This creates a perfect balance between water and oil; water rehydrates the skin and olive oil protects the skin from delipidification or losing its own natural lubrication. (Use a hand-held frother to create the emulsion.)
- Add another ingredient – Italian parsley to the emulsion. Parsley is an “antibiotic” that is thought to combat lurking germs. Water releases the parsley’s benefits and olive oil locks in the moisture. (The caveat: you will need to blot off the parsley!)