When you think of natural skin care it may conjure images of incense, lengthy underarm hair and baggy happy pants, but the truth is, the best skin care is often the purest skin care.
And I’m the proof.
As a thirty-something blogger, I have been writing about Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the Everyday website since its launch late last year.
During this time, I have not only learnt a lot about the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), its great flavour profile, how to cook with it, and the fact that some EVOO’s can taste peppery – I’ve also learnt a lot about the sheer number of antioxidants and vitamins you can find in EVOO.
As a writer, keeping on top of my budget is important, but so is looking bright, fresh and awake at work events and interviews and when indulging in after work drinks with my girlfriends.
So, while I’d like to save money on my skin care regime, my bi-monthly stock-up on moisturisers, foundation and other make-up essentials (that keep me looking fresher than I feel) means I end up spending a near fortune on my face…just to save face.
And while that’s a social debate in itself, let’s just deal with the problem at hand…
Skin care is expensive!
From the many Australian olive producers I’ve met over the past few months – who seem to slosh EVOO on just about everything – I’d heard that EVOO was good for your skin. But having combination skin (dry with oily patches) I was concerned that it might add to the generally shiny forehead and chin I sport during the summer months.
Then a friend introduced me to Zoe Foster Blake, and her Amazinger Face skin care philosophy, and natural oil-based Go-To skin care range.
Without even blinking I purchased The Lot, (I wonder why I never have any money) and fell in love with the feeling of oil on my skin.
In fact, I loved it so much, that I ran out of the three predominately oil-based products, Face Hero, Very Useful Face Cream, and Exceptionoil within a month!
Now, as this was just before the Christmas break and there was no way I had the cash or the time to purchase any more, I did what any normal blogger would do – I improvised for the sake of a good story.
Before boarding a plane for my Christmas holidays, I quickly filled Zoe’s cute little Face Hero bottle (with a handy pipette for portion control) with the fresh Australian EVOO I had in my pantry.
I then proceeded to use a squirt of EVOO on my face, before applying my foundation (which includes SPF) every day for my entire summer break – without any additional moisturisers or face creams.
And you know what? I haven’t stopped.
It’s a fantastic base for foundation (which always tends to dry out my skin), it has visibly reduced my pores (which is a monumental achievement) and as a result I’ve almost completely stopped getting pimples, and when I do they heal quickly.
The EVOO has also led my skin to look really light and dewy fresh rather than oily, and it lasts and lasts…making my skin literally glow all day long.
I’ve even started using EVOO on my décolletage, my arms and legs and feet, which are usually crazy dry at this time of year and now they’re not.
Long story short – I’m a convert.
Now, I want to give a huge shout-out to Zoe (not that she needs it) for introducing the concept of oil-on-skin to me. Her products are also 100% natural, they smell amazing, and I would highly recommend them – if for nothing else than the hilarious copy on the packaging.
But for those like me, who want to try something new for a fraction of the price, I can’t recommend my new EVOO skin care regime highly enough.
To get the lowdown on why EVOO is making my skin feel and look so good, I had a chat to our resident nutritionist and dietitian Jacqui.
She said that when you look at the chemical makeup of EVOO, it makes complete sense.
“With more antioxidants than any other oil on the market and high levels of vitamin E – which are known to strengthen hair and assist in skin repair – EVOO is a natural source of all the things lab produced skin care products claim to have, without the added nasties,” she said.
But don’t just take our word for it… apparently, everyone is talking about the glowing skin they’re getting from applying, and consuming EVOO.
In a recent article from Diana Jenkins at Body and Soul, she lists a number of beauty benefits from using EVOO, including age defying benefits from the vitamin E (I do feel like the small lines on my décolletage have reduced, although I may be hallucinating), deep conditioning for hair, nails, and a natural alternative for minimising stretch marks during pregnancy.
Kristin Granero from Women’s Health Magazine has also been spouting the wonders of EVOO to her readers, with the help of a few beauty experts.
“As if you needed another reason to love the healthy fat, it also happens to be pretty great for your appearance. From moisturizing your skin to helping you fight the appearance of aging,” she writes.
The Dermatology Review also backs the benefits of EVOO.
“The benefits of olive oil for skin care are numerous. This oil is loaded with vitamins E and A, fatty acids, and antioxidants, which moisturize the skin and help neutralize free radicals,” the review states.
“Many people find that olive oil calms irritated and inflamed skin, which is due to a compound called oleocanthal. This chemical inhibits an enzyme called Cyclooxygenase, which is responsible for causing inflammation in the skin and body.”
According to Dawn Davis at Today, Miami-based dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, also recommends EVOO as a moisturiser and to fight the signs of aging.
“Not only is it super moisturizing, olive oil is also rich in compounds like polyphenols, squalene, and fatty acids – all of which are nourishing and help fight aging.”
As with everything it’s important to understand that some people may have better results than others, so I’d recommend trialling EVOO on a small part of your skin before jumping into lathering it all over your body.
And while I’m not a scientist, and this is obviously all anecdotal evidence, what I do know is that the only moisturiser I’ve applied to my skin for the past three months is EVOO, and as a result, my skin is glowing… and my savings account is growing!