Why Olive Oil Is Your New Beauty Bestie

With all the new exciting research being done on topical oils, there's an old favorite that is probably off sulking in a corner, wondering what happened to all the love. Although olive oil makes for healthier cooking with butter, it's still higher in calories than other oils. But don't throw out that bottle in your cabinet just yet — olive oil can still be a major player in your quest for healthy hair and skin.

Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, and you can reap the benefits not only by not only eating it but by putting it in your hair and on your skin as well. Olive oil can prevent and cure hair loss, plus sooth dry scalps and banish dandruff. In addition, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is great for combating especially dry skin and can protect against cancer-causing sun damage. This is one of the pricier oils, costing up to $12.99 per bottle but a tiny drop goes a long way and, let's be real, we're worth it.

Mixed with a few other awesome natural ingredients, EVOO makes for some seriously amazing beauty products. Here are three of my favorite recipes to make when my strands and skin are feeling a little fried.

Deep Conditioner

One of my favorite recipes from Curly Nikki's blog, this conditioner will be especially beneficial to my curly-haired cousins out there. It's a rich, inexpensive, deep conditioner that will actually hold in between washes. But, don't you dare use this one as a leave-in! Trust me, the results won't be pretty.

You'll need:

  • 1 extra ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup plain oatmeal (another great hair ingredient packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C)
  • 1 cup milk (I like to use unsweetened coconut milk as an alternative)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp vodka (If you're out of vodka from the weekend, feel free to use vinegar as an alternative)
  • A bottle to house your new deep conditioner

To start, mix the milk and the oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl (if you don't own a microwave, a stove top will do just fine). Heat for about 30 - 60 seconds, then drain the milk into your bottle, tossing the oatmeal.

Next, mash your avocado up in your bowl, getting it as smooth as possible. Feel free to add a little bit of hot water to speed up the process. Add the olive oil and vodka to the avocado mash and pour into the bottle. Put the cap on and give it a good shake. Apply on freshly washed/wet hair by combing or finger-combing through your locks. Leave in for 20-30 minutes and rinse well.

Hair Mask

I found this amazing hair mask on Chalkboard and it's great if you have finer hair and includes one of my fave natural ingredients for skin and hair care — raw honey. This mask works great on all hair types but remember, chances are if any of these ingredients don't agree with your body when you ingest them, they won't work topically either.

For this mask, you'll need 6 tablespoons of EVOO and 4 tablespoons of raw honey — the liquid form works best. Mix your ingredients in a small bowl and apply to clean wet hair. Leave in for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse.

Skin Moisturizer for Very Dry Skin

Let me clear, that EVOO on its own is meant only for severe cases of dry skin — I'm talking a serious flaking situation here. EVOO can definitely clog your pores, so if you have light to moderately dry skin, this is not the oil for you. I suggest using this super simple recipe on dry feet and for what I like to call "Winter Face."

Simply fill a small bottle up with EVOO and add a few dashes of lemon or peppermint oil just to get a nice, clean scent. Since olive oil is a natural SPF, you can ditch over-the-counter sunscreens and apply this mixture instead.However, if you have fair skin that burns easily, check out Living Pretty Natural's site to find another oil with a higher SPF that could be right for you.