Tuesday,18 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1398, (21 - 27 June 2018)
Tuesday,18 June, 2019
Issue 1398, (21 - 27 June 2018)

Ahram Weekly

As beautiful as Cleopatra

As beautiful as Cleopatra
As beautiful as Cleopatra

No doubt olive oil is a healthy kitchen staple. But instead of just using it in cooking, as an easy salad dressing, or even for dipping your favourite breads, you can also add it to your beauty routine for benefits to your skin, hair and nails. It’s been rumoured that the Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra, one of history’s great beauties, used olive oil in her many beauty routines.

According to the International Olive Council, an industry body, olive oil is rich in many vitamins, including A, D, K, and E, that play an important role in enhancing beauty. Olive oil is also packed with anti-aging antioxidants that work to fight free radical damage and protect the skin against harmful UV rays.

With its antioxidant superpowers and moisturising benefits, olive oil is already used as an essential ingredient in several facial-cleansing products, hair-care products, soaps, body washes, and lotions.

Here are some ways you can use olive oil as part of your beauty routine:

To keep skin moisturised: If your skin is feeling dry, olive oil can be your best friend. It easily penetrates deep into the skin and keeps it soft and smooth for a long time. After taking a shower or bath, lightly pat dry your skin. Use olive oil as a moisturiser and massage it into your skin when it is still slightly damp. Alternatively, apply the oil to your face, hands, and legs at bedtime to enjoy moisturised and supple skin in the morning. For really dry patches, use a combination of olive oil, sugar and a little lemon juice as an exfoliator for your lips and heels.

To fight aging: Olive oil can keep your skin’s aging signs at bay. It contains potent antioxidants that include Vitamin E and polyphenols to help to gather and neutralise free radicals that can otherwise damage the skin and advance the appearance of aging. Plus, the monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil can rejuvenate your skin to help you enjoy younger-looking skin. For daily treatment, gently massage some lukewarm olive oil into your face, neck, hands, and legs for at least five minutes. Do this every night before going to bed.

Another option is to put two tablespoons of organic raw honey, one tablespoon of olive oil and half a cup of ripe papaya pulp in a container. Mix well and apply it to your face. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Use it once or twice a week.

To promote healthy hair: Be it hair loss or thinning hair, olive oil can be the answer to many hair problems. It has been used as a hair treatment since ancient Egyptian times.

To promote healthy hair growth, warm some olive oil in the microwave or in hot water, then apply it generously to the ends of the hair and scalp. Leave it in for up to 20 minutes, and then shampoo it out. To treat inflammation, massage your scalp with some lukewarm olive oil in circular motions for five to 10 minutes. Leave it on overnight. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this a couple of times a week.

The Vitamin E found in olive oil can also help reduce dandruff. Just mix a teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and apply to the scalp. In drier months, you can add olive oil to your hair to help smooth away split ends. Olive oil can be a super-powerful hair-conditioning treatment as well. Apply it to the scalp and hair for 10 to 20 minutes after you shampoo. A few drops can be applied to freshly blow-dried hair for a bit of shine.

To strengthen weak nails: On top of keeping the cuticles healthy, olive oil can help your nails to grow. Its moisturising property helps repair damage and softens your nails and cuticles to keep your nails healthy and strong. Soak your nails in olive oil for 20 minutes once a week to feel its full effect. Olive oil can also prevent hangnails, the small bits of skin that hang off the cuticles and that can cause pain and discomfort. Before going to bed, massage a few drops of warm olive oil into your nails for a few minutes. Slip on cotton gloves, then go to sleep. The next morning, wash your nails with warm water. Repeat daily.

Healthy tips: Choose a high-quality olive oil that doesn’t contain additives or chemicals. Don’t use olive oil for beauty purposes if you have sensitive skin, oily skin, or suffer from itching, redness, swelling or blistering. Avoid exposing olive oil to excessive heat, light or air. And don’t forget to add olive oil to your diet, as beauty starts from within.

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