Olive oil could be the beauty elixir that your routine has been missing

Is the much ado about olive oil for nothing? Apparently not. This beauty oil deserves all the glory it basks in. Its inherent composition gives it a charmed positioning in every health fanatic’s kitchen and beauty cabinets. “In all oils, there is a ratio of oleic acid to linoleic acid,” explains Dr Satish Bhatia, Mumbai-based dermatologist and cutaneous surgeon. “Olive oil contains a high percentage of the good oleic acid and a low ratio of linoleic acid. This makes it’s a light oil which allows the skin to breathe if applied topically. It is medically proven to moisturise dry skin and even treat atopic eczema in kids.”

“When it comes to application on the scalp, all oils, whether coconut or castor, give sheen, volume and texture. But (warm) olive oil is the only one scientifically proven to penetrate the core of the hair fibre. This is because the oil has mono-saturated fatty acids (MUFA) in place of the poly-saturated fatty acids, which are commonly found in other oils. Deep penetration into the scalp increases blood circulation, thereby even preventing hair fall,” adds Dr Bhatia.

Being a storehouse of antioxidants, it is a favourite among wellness and beauty experts, who use it to balance the body and mind experience. At the uber-luxurious The Imperial Spa and Salon, New Delhi, olive oil is used for various treatments on a regular basis. “We blend pure olive oil with our finely-ground Sufi Himalaya Salts for detox and relax body scrubs. These salts are infused with therapeutic essential oils, that have specific healing properties. You can also make your own body scrubs at home with some natural sea salt, a few drops of your favourite essential oils and a 50 per cent ratio of olive oil. We also offer olive oil to those who prefer a massage without essential oils, as they may be allergic to them. Olive oil can be mixed with coconut or almond oil to make the blend lighter for massage application,” elaborates J Tara Herron, director at The Imperial Spa and Salon. Some of their Ayurvedic therapies also use beauty products that contain a percentage of olive oil, blended with therapeutic powders and herbal extracts to carry the ingredients into the targeted areas. “It is enriching, nourishing and healing for all skin types, but it’s especially great for those with sensitive and very dry or hard skin,” states Herron.

Try these DIY beauty recipes enriched with olive oil as part of your daily skincare routine to make most of the ingredient’s tender moisturising care.

DIY beauty recipe #1: Olive oil face mask

According to dermatologist Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, regular application of olive oil can reduce dark circles and give your face that much-coveted dewy glow. “A combination of honey, yoghurt and olive oil is my favourite weekly DIY mask. A thick solution of all three, applied on the face for close to twenty minutes, works wonders for the skin. Besides instant hydration, it also acts as a mild exfoliate and cleanses the skin.”

DIY beauty recipe #2: Olive oil body scrub

If you want to remove dead skin and brighten your complexion, whip up a detoxifying body scrub by mixing equal amounts of olive oil and sea salt. As a bonus, it leaves the skin supple and moisturised. You can also make a lemon-infused olive oil scrub by taking cues from film producer Deepshikha Deshmukh, creator of the niche beauty line, Love Organically. She shares her granny’s lemon oil recipe, which brightens complexion with continued use. “I infuse sun-dried lemon peels in extra virgin olive oil and store this decoction in an airtight glass bottle. Allow the lemon peels (make sure they’re completely dry, or the oil will turn rancid) to sit in for two weeks and then sieve. Discard the peels and store the oil again in a glass container. Its anti-cellulite properties help prevent stretch marks. I prefer to stir in some chunky salt granules whenever I want a detoxifying scrub.”

DIY beauty recipe #3: Olive oil hair mask

A head massage with olive oil improves hair texture and is great for dry ends. Or, you can just combine coconut, olive and almond oils in equal proportions for a nourishing beauty blend that works on all hair types. For dry and damaged hair, Sharmeen Fathima, founder, Chennai Soap Company, has an effective DIY remedy. “Blend 1 ripe avocado, ¼ cup olive oil and 1 tsp of honey. Apply this slightly slushy paste on the hair, concentrating on the roots and ends. Wash it off after 15 to 30 minutes for smooth, lustrous and baby soft tresses.”

DIY beauty recipe #4: Olive oil lip scrub

Just like body scrubs, exfoliating lip scrubs should also be an integral part of any beauty routine, especially for women who love their matte lipsticks. The intensely pigmented and long-lasting formulations end up dehydrating the lips. And an easy counter to chapped and dark lips lies in your lip scrub. Just mix a bit of olive oil in one tsp of sugar to get a grainy consistency, and apply this (before it dissolves completely) on the lips, gently rubbing in circular motions. Let it sit for a minute and then wipe off with a damp muslin cloth. For sensitive or sore lips, use super fine castor sugar. Add in a drop of vanilla or chocolate essence for a truly delicious experience.

The fine print when it comes to olive oil

There is no simple way to testify if your olive oil is pure or not, according to Shubhika Jain, founder, Ras Luxury Oils—a brand that specialises in pure and natural essences. To be considered extra virgin, an oil must be cold-pressed (at a temperature below 30°C) extracted without heat or chemicals. “Even the fridge test is flawed. Ideally, olive oil should start freezing when put in the fridge as it is meant to solidify at around 1 degree Celsius. But the results vary, depending on the external climatic conditions and the type of olives used. The fool-proof way to ensure that your olive oil is unadulterated is to buy directly from small growers.” That’s a challenge in India, as olives are not naturally found here—however, they are being cultivated in some parts of northern Rajasthan now. Or, just add them to your shopping list the next time you fly to Italy or Spain. Your skin and hair will thank you.

Article was published in vogue.in


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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