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Olive Oil for Skin: A Long, Rich History

When I was a child, my aunt always told me that I should always put a few drops of olive oil in my face and body creams. It was her secret to beautiful, healthy, youthful, poreless skin. But where did this practice come from and why?
Olive Oil for Skin: A Long, Rich History

Dear Kosterina Family,

When I was a child, my aunt always told me that I should put a few drops of olive oil in my face and body creams. It was her secret to beautiful, healthy, youthful, poreless skin. But where did this practice come from and why?

We did a little research to discover how the people of the Mediterranean have been using extra virgin olive oil on skin and hair for literally thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans all used olive oil as a magical elixir for both food and beauty. Did you know...?

Early Mediterranean cultures used olive oil as a cure-all and even prescribed it as medicine.

  • Greeks and Romans, before the advent of soap, would bathe using olive oil lather, scraping it off with a strigil (a small handheld curved blade). Wealthier households would scent the olive oils with perfumes before bathing.
  • Olive oil was used by Olympians (especially wrestlers) to slicken up the skin.
  • Even Cleopatra famously used olive oil on her skin. She would bathe with it and use it in her hair.
  • In Greek mythology, we learn that the city of Athens was named for the Goddess Athena who defeated Poseidon by offering up the finest gift to mankind - The Olive Tree. Poseidon offered the horse, but the people of Ancient Greece understood the true value of this panacea plant.

Ok, so do the beauty benefits come from ingesting it on our daily salads and burrata or from applying it topically? 

The short answer: both! Extra Virgin Olive Oil works its magic as a nutritional powerhouse on the inside but provides the same antioxidant and hydration benefits when applied on the outside. EVOO is known to help reduce wrinkles and heal dry skin and itch. It also has anti-oxidative and free-radical fighting properties and contributes to the cell renewal process. Today, scientists are catching up to what the Greeks already knew, with experiments and studies that show just how useful the olive fruit is. From taste to the skin, hair, and more -- dare we say it again -- it truly is an ancient ingredient with modern superpowers. 

Our advice? Double down on olive oil for health and beauty from the inside and the outside. Just make sure it’s good, premium, pure, high phenolic EVOO. 

Peace, love & EVOO,

Katerina

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