[By Sheila Wang]

True to its rich color and often hailed as“liquid gold”, olive oil has been revered since time immemorial for its outstanding culinary and health benefits. From the ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra to Hollywood screen siren Sophia Loren, olive oil was as much a staple in the powder room as it was on the dining table. With the current knowledge to steer clear of preservatives and additives in cosmetics and skincare products to protect our skin from chemically induced aging, here’s a look at the many ways touse olives for beauty purposes.

Makeup remover

Olive oil works great as a gentle makeup remover because not only does it remove the urban warpaint, it also helps to repair your skin and restore glow with its skin nourishing vitamin E. It works especially well on extremely dry skin as its fat composition is similar to that of human skin. However, it is important to be aware that not all olive oils are made equal. Higher grade olive oils have higher counts of polyphenols in the range of 100 while those of inferior quality often impressively labeled as “Extra Virgin Olive Oils” commonly found in grocery stores are not even rated. Use a small amount on a cotton ball and gently massage all over your face to remove the makeup, follow by a rinse with lukewarm water. It works by dissolving the impurities without any sort of harsh, chemicals or skin irritants and can calm and balance the pH of your skin.

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DIY Lip Scrub

Combining coarse sugar with a teaspoon of high quality extra virgin olive oil for a DIY chapped-lip fix. A splash of lemon juice not only add some flavor but has enhanced acidic exfoliating properties too. This scrub is literally good enough to eat and can be pre-prepared and stored in an air-tight container in a cool place and it’s possible to expand this simple recipe for a gentle but effective exfoliator for your whole body!

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Mouth wash

Oil pulling is an age-old Ayurveda practice that cleans teeth and gums by rinsing out the mouth with oil. Practitioners believe that swishing oil, such as organic coconut or olive oil, in the mouth cuts through plaque and removes toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums. Simply placed 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in your mouth and let it swirl around for 20 minutes. It may sound a tad lengthy, but the timing is crucial— long enough to break through plaque and bacteria, but not long enough for the body to re-absorb the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and should be creamy or white when you spit it out. To avoid choking up your sink over time, spit the residue into a waste bag for disposal. Rinse with warm water and end your oral ritual with thorough brushing to leave your teeth smooth and squeaky-clean!

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All-purpose moisturizer

Olive oil can nourish, hydrate, rejuvenate, soothe and protect the skin with its abundant stores of antioxidants— namely vitamin E, vitamin A, polyphenols and phytosterols. Unlike most oils which can clog pores and lead to comedones or acne, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin without creating any blockages. However, it’s not exactly the best thing to use before bedtime since it’ll rub off and stain your pillowcase and linens, often with a lingering smell. Consider instead the SW1 SKIN DRINK Softening & Replenishing Serum as an all-rounder moisturizer that packs an exceptional oomph. This 100% natural, preservative-free serum harnessed from pure naturally-sourced olives not only saturates skin with intense hydration, but also protects it from free radicals and repairs initial signs of ageing. Skin Drink works like a dream especially on sensitive skin and combination skin which is apparently dry yet breaking out, as it delivers vitamins and minerals to boost dullness to a healthy glow with its remarkable moisturizing properties, and yet remains defiantly non-comedogenic by deftly restoring the pH of dehydrated skin to an optimal level without causing outbreak.

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Hair & Scalp Health

Olive oil is a common component of shampoos and other hair products as it is well known as a hair treat for smooth and shiny locks. Actress Emmy Rossum uses Cold Pressed Olive Oil regularly to keep her skin and hair in tip top condition. “My moisturizing secret weapon. After a bath, I slather it on my skin and put a little bit in my hair for a subtle sheen.” A lesser known but nonetheless amazing benefit of olive oil is that it can improve the health of your scalp too. Especially if you’re suffering from a dry and itchy scalp, simply massage some pre-warmed good quality oil into your scalp with your fingertips and let it sit under a shower cap for 30 to 40 minutes. Rinse out with a sulfate free shampoo and condition thereafter. Be consistent and include this in your beauty regime as a weekly ritual to restore the health of your itchy scalp, and improve the appearance of your crowning glory.

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