Not just for salads.
Sure, it's a must on salad. But if you're relegating olives as lettuce toppers and olive oil as one half of your vinaigrette, you're missing out on some of its most potent benefits—the ability to make your hair gleam, skin glow, and even freshen up your manicure. As ancient as olives and olive oil are—archeologists believe that olive oil was produced as early as 6000 BC—there are probably a few ways you haven't thought to use it for head-to-toe gorgeousness.
"Like dissolves like," explains Manhattan dermatologist Whitney Bowe. "Many makeup formulas are made with oils and waxes that need an oil to break them up effectively." Even if you have acne-prone skin, Bowe explains, olive oil can give you a deep cleanse. And, yes, the stuff from your kitchen works just fine. "Use it straight up or dilute it with water, depending on how heavy the makeup is," says Bowe. Carefully massage the oil into your skin and then rinse with warm water or wipe away with a warm, wet towel. If you'd like, follow with your usual face wash. *Ding!* You're clean.
It's the time of year to let your hair down! Just make sure it's looking as healthy as can be (no matter how poorly you treated it this winter….) by stocking your shower with the right kind of hair care. To nourish dull hair, use products with olive oil and olive leaf extracts. Kick things off with Garnier Whole Blends Legendary Olive Shampoo and conditioner, sudsing your scalp with the combination of olive oil and olive leaf extracts, and then rinsing through the ends. Finish with Garnier Whole Blends Legendary Olive Replenishing Leave-In Conditioner, which makes hair ultra-soft and shiny without weighing it down.
Look like you just left the nail salon by conditioning your cuticles with olive oil. This not only makes your fingertips look shiny and tidy, it's way smarter than cutting your cuticles. "Your cuticles are there for a reason: to protect your nail beds from infection," warns Bowe. "For a neat nail, use olive oil to soften the cuticles, then you can gently push them back." Do the pushing carefully with an orange wood stick—a cheap find at the drugstore.
In a pinch, olive oil is "perfectly acceptable in place of a shave gel or cream," says Bowe. In fact, it can prevent razor burn. "Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties," she says. Don't hesitate to douse a little olive oil on your legs post-shave, too: Smooth it on right out of the shower, as damp skin absorbs oil best.
See, there are healthy hors d'oeuvres. "Olives are one of the best sources of fat soluble vitamin E, an antioxidant that can shield your skin from UV damage, fight free-radical damage both topically and internally, and protect you against disease," says Kimberly Snyder, a celebrity nutritionist in Los Angeles and author of the Beauty Detox Solution. "Look for those cured in natural sea salt, if you can."