The countries around the Mediterranean Sea are known for their weather, their beaches and their diet. The Mediterranean diet is today considered as one of the healthiest diets. The modern lifestyle is so full of stress and chemicals that the Mediterranean diet plays an important part in fighting ageing and other lifestyle problems.
One of the reasons why Mediterranean diet is so healthy is because of the liberal use of one the gifts of mother nature- Olive Oil. Olive oil has been known to man since 4500 BC and areas which fall in the modern day Israel have documented the use of Olive oil in their cooking. Today Spain and Italy are the largest producers of olive oil accounting 60% of the world’s olive oil production.
Olive oil not only plays a major role in cooking but has many beauty care and skin care applications. Olive oil has been used for thousands of years for skin care.
Olive oil is very high in monosaturated fats especially Linoleic acid which is considered very good for the skin. Olive oil also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin K. One recently done study on the impact of olive oil on the skin says that Olive oil has squalene which is very similar to the oil produced by the human sebum. It helps in skin regeneration and treatment of diseases like acne and dermatitis.
Types of Olive Oil:
Extra Virgin Olive oil: This is considered as the most superior quality of Olive oil. It contains Oleic acid level of below 1%. It is made only with cold compress process mechanical extraction method.
Virgin Olive oil: The production process to make virgin olive oil is similar to the extra virgin olive oil, but allowed oleic acid level for virgin olive oil is 2%.
Refined Olive oil: Refined Olive oil is made by refining process with the objective to make the oil acid free. It has a maximum oleic acid level of 0.3%.
Olive Pomace oil: It is a blend of virgin olive oils and the oil extracted from the pomace of the olive. Pomace is that part of the olive which is left in the end after extracting the oil from the oil. Further extraction of the oil from the pomace is called olive pomace oil.
Olive oil is excellent massage oil, people have used olive oil to strengthen and energize young children by massaging their bodies with Olive oil. Olive oil is also used as a massage oil for adults. It is excellent for body massage as well as head massage.
Olive oil is an excellent source of mono-saturated fats which are good for the heart and help in fighting cardiovascular diseases. As a salad dressing olive oil not only adds taste to the salad it is very good for the body.
In beauty care olive can be applied directly on the skin as mentioned above. It is also added in many major cosmetic brands for its obvious benefits for the skin. Here are 5 benefits of olive oil for the skin.
- Wrinkling: Long term exposure of the skin to the sun and its UV rays creates free radicals; these free radicals not only cause skin dryness but also cause chapping and wrinkling and may lead to many cancers of the skin. Olive oil moisturizes the skin and since it a lot of anti-oxidants and vitamin E and K it helps in controlling the production of free radicals and hence prevents wrinkles from occurring.
- Anti- Ageing: Olive oil contains linoleic acid and squalene – two compounds produced in the human skin and instrumental in the production of the natural collagen of the skin. Olive oil is high in linoleic acid and squalene and helps in replenishing these vital compounds for the skin’s natural anti-ageing properties and the production of collagen which is the protein which tightens the skin.
- Hydration of the skin: Exposure to cold air especially in the winter season dehydrates the skin. Dehydration is the primary cause of skin chapping and ageing. Olive oil is an excellent moisturizer, since it is high in vitamin E and K, two vitamins which are good moisturizers and anti-oxidants. Simple application of olive oil over the skin, and lips shall make the skin look radiant and soft.
- Anti-bacterial protection: Olive oil protects the skin from bacteria as it contains oleic acid which helps in controlling certain types of bacteria. Recent scientific findings suggest that a combination of olive oil and beeswax works as an excellent anti bacterial skin lotion.
- General skin and hair care: Olive on the scalp is not only prevents dandruff but also gives luster and volume to the hair. Regular massage of the scalp keeps the scalp moist and hydrated. Use of olive oil on other parts of the skin like nails help in strengthening the nails as olive oil contains a good value of vitamin D and Calcium it helps in improving bone health and density.
Olive oil is a truly a gift of mother nature and has helped mankind for thousands of years to lead a healthy disease free lifestyle. The only difference now is that we have discovered scientific evidence to corroborate what our forefathers always knew.
Olive oil is rich in Vitamins E and K and many other nutrients for the skin. It is generally used as a salad dressing and cooking medium but using it directly on the skin for beauty applications is an equally important usage of Olive oil.
Here’s an interesting recipe called Ayurvedic olive oil facemask.
Ingredients: 1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil. 1 table spoon turmeric powder. 1 table spoon Sandalwood powder.
Method: Mix the ingredients well to make a paste.
Application: Apply on the face. Leave for 20 minutes. Wash off using lukewarm water.
Benefits: Sandalwood and Turmeric cleanse and remove dead cells from the skin and Olive oil moisturizes and replenishes the lost nutrients. This mask can be used virtually every day without any side effects.
By Kleem Organics
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