I cook a lot. Being Italian, olive oil is a staple in my kitchen. Although I do like soap made with olive oil, I cannot bring myself to using straight Tuscan/Ligurian/Abruzzese whichever oil I have in the house on my face and body. Although I love the flavours of olive oil ranging from mild to peppery depending on the region it is from, and taken internally drizzled on some crusty Italian bread and ripe Roma tomatoes, it is just what the doctor ordered for healthy skin, hair and clear blood vessels (it lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol and boosts HDL "good" cholesterol) I cannot stand the smell of it in my hair, and on my skin.
I read some reviews on how versatile olive oil is as a beauty product. It is winter here in Chicago, and I've been having some dry flakey patches around my mouth and chin that really didn't go away with lotion. And the lotion was making me break out really bad, so it was a no win situation. I tried a little bit of EVOO (out of my pantry) on a tissue and dabbed it on my face, let it sit for a sec, and swiped off the excess. Its only been one day, but I think it feels great. The flakeys are definitely gone, and my chin really isn't oily at all like I thought it would be. I will totally try olive oil for other uses now.
I put extra virgin olive oil in my hair last night -- I rubbed it in my scalp (I have a very dry scalp that gets itchy) and smoothed it on my hair. I left it on all last night (slept with a towel on my pillow :) and washed my hair this morning. Result -- beautiful, gorgeous hair that's really shiny, soft and it added more volume. Will be using this treatment once a week!
I have used extra virgin olive oil as a moisturizer for a few years, now, and I love it! Overall, my skin generally looks and feels great, but I do have sensitive, sometimes dry, sometimes combo skin that can be susceptible to clogged pores. I don't like most moisturizers, as they either feel like they are simply sitting atop my skin or they irritate me or they clog my pores. Olive oil does none of these things. I apply it a few mornings and a few evenings each week (more or less depending on my skin's needs), while my face is still damp from just being washed. It does not leave my skin feeling or looking greasy or oily at all. I don't often wear makeup, but when I do (usually just some cream or gel blush), I can use it over the olive oil and it still looks great (sort of gives a nice, clean dewey finish).
I also, now and then, make a scrub of olive oil and sugar. This works incredibly well for my face (though I do have to be gentle) and body!
08/2007 UPDATE: I won't change the rating, as I still think that olive oil is a great moisturizer, etc. I don't think that it completely agrees with my rosacea these days, though, so I rarely ever use it, now.
I use my cooking Extra Virgin Olive Oil to take off my eye mu everyday before shower. No break-out. Wash w/ foaming cleanser afterwards. (I fill my used DHC cleansing oil bottle with the olive oil)
EVOO, you can get them at the grocery store for about 8$/200ML, they are one of the most helpful beauty product ever!
This is my favourite product to fight frizz, soften and add some shine for your hair. After shampooing, towel dry your hair, take about a dime size amount of EVOO, rub in your hands, and comb through your DAMP hair with fingers, from half way of your hair to tips, style as usual. It has to be DAMP hair, dry hair will give you the oily/"I don't wash my hair" look. Wet hair dosen't absor that well, because water dosen't blend with oil.
The best makeup remover! Makeup comes right off with oil, and EVOO is the best oil for that purpose! When I have problem removing waterproof mascara, EVOO gets the job done! If you think it's too oily, rinse with some cleanser and water afterwards.
I love to mix this with my body lotion, it moisturizes my skin like dream! Canadian winter is always extremely cold, so a great moiturizer is always a must, but sometimes body lotions are just not enough! EVOO will help! After I shower, I mix body lotion with EVOO(2:1) massage into my skin, and I put one my pj. that's been in the dryer for 5 minutes, and the warmth of the PJ just "pushes" the moisture into my skin, leaves my skin soft and smooth when I wakeup next morning!
As a makeup remover for your face
This trick works extremely well for dry skin girls. It's better than anything! As I said above, makeup comes right off with oil; so for this, I'd suggest about ten drops of EVOO, and massage onto your face, you can see your makeup coming off with the oil, and rinse with a mild cleanser, for dry skin girls this will also perform as a moisturing mask, it makes your skin feel very soft and moist. continued >>
I'm Italian and I love it!
I use it mainly as body scrub with salt before my shower or as a hotpack, but only on my brittle hair ends. EDIT: I tried to use it as an eyemakeup remover and it stings like hell!
I only use good quality extra-virgin olive oil you can easily find in Italy, but honestly it has such a strong smell I can't think of using it for any kind of leave-in on skin or hair without washing it away before stepping out of the house!
I am lucky to have some family members produce olive oil from their small plantation here in Croatia. The oil is of excellent quality and I use it for various purposes, as a base oil, for hair treatments, masks etc.
I wholeheartedly agree with the review below. This is a miracle find for me. Since I started using EVOO in my cleansing routine, my skin has calmed down. My skin is smooth and clear. If it hadn't been for one of these message boards I would have only been using this as a conditioner for my hair. This is a miracle oil. It reduces breakouts, evens skintone, reduces oil shine breakthrough (imagine that!) and shrinks pores. I can't say enough about this oil. It's amazing!