The Beauty of Olive Oil

olive oil
Olive Oil

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2009-2016

Olive oil is a natural remedy for many of your skincare needs; it contains vitamin E which is excellent for maintaining healthy skin. Less costly than what you may be accustomed to, it’s quite effective, easy to find and even easier to use.

You probably have a bottle in your kitchen or decorating a table or shelf. This 5,000-year-old Mediterranean staple is all natural and has many uses. Olive oil is one of the safest fruit oils to use internally and externally. Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Tunisia are the largest olive oil exporting and producing countries in the world. Olive oil can be used as a natural moisturizer for your skin and hair. It can be used to remove makeup. Rough elbows and heels? Soften them with olive oil. The same goes for those chapped lips. You don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive department store moisturizers and creams if you have access to olive oil.

Why is olive oil so beneficial?
Olive oil contains natural vitamin E which is excellent for maintaining healthy skin. This is especially prevalent in the extra virgin grade of olive oil. It helps protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents breakdown of body tissues.

Shelf Life:
Buy small quantities of olive oil for purposes of skincare. The bottle needs to be tightly sealed, and make sure it is stored in a cool, dark location. Do not store next to your stove or oven as that can cause your olive oil to oxidize. Refrigerate if necessary. A sell by date should be on the bottle, along with the year it was harvested. Unlike wine, olive oil does NOT improve with age!

Cold Pressed is Best?
Cold pressed refers to the temperature during the extraction process and that no nutrient-draining heat has ruined the olive oil. A bottle of high quality olive oil will cost a little more than your grocery store brand. With olive oil you get what you pay for. If a bottle of olive oil from California bears a seal from the California Olive Oil Council [COOC] you can be sure it’s of top quality. If seeking olive oil from the European Union, look for a guarantee of quality. For each country it goes by a different name, and for Italy is known as Denominazione d’Origine Protetta [DOP].

Simple Recipes:
Hair Conditioner: Pour a small amount of olive oil into your hands so you’ll soften your hands and your hair at the same time. Massage oil gently into your scalp and work down to the ends. Put on a shower cap to trap in the heat and moisture. This can be done for about 30 minutes. Shampoo well to remove.

Lips: Olive oil makes an instant and 100% natural lip balm.

Nails: Dip your fingers in a bowl of warm olive oil for several minutes.

Skin: Apply olive oil like you would any other lotion or cream. Always start with a small amount, increasing as needed. It’s a quick and easy makeup remover. Olive oil is particularly soothing for your heels, elbows, and knees. For an instant sugar scrub, mix equal parts olive oil and brown sugar in a bowl, rub on your hands, and rinse clean.

Bathing: Mixing a teaspoon or two of olive oil with a few drops of your favorite essential or fragrance oil is a great way to smell good, relax, and have soft skin. Recommended scents: orange, rose, patchouli, lavender, and rosemary.

Olive oil is a natural remedy for many of your skincare needs. Less costly than what you may be accustomed to, it’s quite effective, easy to find, and even easier to use.

Use olive oil in this melt and pour  Seaweed Soap Recipe.

To read about another beneficial oil, here’s Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle.

Article was originally published in the September 2009 issue of Long Island Woman on page 24 .

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It’s Lip Balm Season!

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2008-2016

Did you know that our lips don’t produce any oil? That’s why they are can get dry and chapped. You’ll probably notice this during the wintertime or if you live in a dry climate. However, many of us have chapped lips no matter what season. In severe cases lips can become cracked and bleed. Licking your lips actually makes the problem worse.

Several years ago, I had unsightly, chapped and dry lips for no apparent reason. My diet hadn’t changed, I wasn’t under too much stress, and I was in the same location. I’d been using a natural brand of lip balms that I’d purchased from a health food store. It contained almond oil, lanolin and other natural ingredients. On closer inspection, I reread the label. “Active sunscreen – PABA.” Doing further research, I learned that lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool, is a known sensitizer. One or both of these ingredients was responsible for irritating my lips.

I decided to try applying a small piece of cocoa butter I had that was being used to formulate lip balms, body balms and massage bars. Within 24 hours, my lips softened and turned from flaky white back to natural pink. I began exploring ways to make my own lip balm that would contain skin-loving cocoa butter.

Cocoa butter was nice, but after a while, I wanted to go back to using a stick or small pot of lip balm that I could carry around with me. I read several books and researched many recipes I found online. For over a year, I experimented with the recipes until I was happy with the results. In my quest to make natural lip balm I gave away small pots of shea butter lip balm to testers, which had been sweetened with white chocolate. Only one problem occurred – after a week the lip balm turned grainy! I also found another way to naturally sweeten lip balm, because I didn’t want any grains in my balms. I ordered unrefined shea butter and after reformulating my recipe, the problem was solved! Since 2004, I’ve successfully made lots of luxurious shea butter lip balms and have continued to experiment with different exotic oils and butters.  I’m proud of my lippy creations and next year I hope to write an e-book that will share many of my original recipes.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to buy a lip balm, make sure you carefully read the ingredients.

You only have one set of lips and can chose what goes on them—a synthetic stew of chemicals or an all-natural product that will smooth and soothe them!

Pictured below is the Java Kisses lip balm I used to make and sell. It contains natural coffee butter.

java kisses lip balm coffee butter lipbalm