Oil was once not only a healthy diet's greatest foe, but a total beauty faux pas. But now, more and more folk in the wellness community (from nutritionists and psychologists, to name two) are increasingly acknowledging the role that healthy fats play inside and out. Step forward the MacDaddy of the tribe, EVOO. We know that if it's cooked past its smoke point, it can actually rob the body of vital antioxidants. But applied topically? Now we're talking!
At this point, I should tell you that I was all aboard the coconut oil train: On any given day, I'd use it as a frizz-tamer, face wash, and on my roasted brussel sprouts. But when I heard that my go-to beauty guru Jessa Blades was using a different kind of "magic" oil—olive oil—to cleanse her face, I was intrigued. Could a pasta/pesto/salad dressing staple seriously really help keep skin clear and bright?
"The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores," says Blades. "Using oil to actually wash your face means that it will naturally dissolve the dirty oils on your skin without stripping it or using harsh chemicals." Not only is this method simpler, more affordable, better for your skin, and eco-friendly, but the oil-cleansing method is one of the best makeup remover I've ever found. It removes mascara, eyeliner, foundation, everything—all in one step!
In fact, cold-pressed EVOO is full of potent skin nourishing goodness. "Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols." says Blades. "Antioxidants, when topically applied, may help protect the skin from premature skin aging. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-aging benefits of olive oil because it helps restore skin smoothness and protects against ultraviolet light. Hydroxytyrosol, a rather rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin." Translation? All the things that help inflammaging (inflammation causes accelerated aging) and retaining the natural structure and beauty of your face!
EVOO Cleansing 101
If you are new to oil cleansing, it may take a couple of tries to figure out what blend of oils works best for you. I've been playing around with a 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 coconut oil mix, and it seems to work a treat cleansing my combination skin. But fear not, I've taken the liberty of breaking down what different skin types can use.
- Oily skin: 1/4 hazelnut oil and 3/4 olive oil.
- Combination skin: 1/4 castor oil and 3/4 olive oil.
- Dry skin: All nourishing oils like olive oil or a very small amount of castor/hazelnut oil added to the nourishing oils.