Extra virgin olive oil is so much more than a basic cooking oil. Here are 15 ways you probably didn’t know you could use EVOO!
We all love a drizzle of finishing olive oil on omelets, meats, and other dishes, but it turns out that extra virgin olive oil has all sorts of other uses. Did you know that you can use it as shoe polish, or even as a quick way to treat diaper rash?
Quality matters here. Make sure to find cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil that has not been heated or chemically refined. This processing can damage the delicate antioxidants that give olive oil its many benefits, so you don’t want to purchase anything sub-par. (1)
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Read on for 15 unique and genius ways to use olive oil. Some of these will seriously improve your life!
15 Genius Ways to Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Makeup Remover
You’ve probably heard that coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover – and olive oil works just as well. Just apply a little bit to a makeup remover pad or cotton ball and wipe your makeup right off your face. Best of all, it also contains wonderfully hydrating antioxidants that fight aging, like vitamin E and polyphenols. (2) Much better than the expensive commercial removers that dry out your face!
2. Massage Oil
Get a boost of moisture when you use olive oil to give a massage. Add one to two drops of your favorite essential oil, mix it well with olive oil, and rub generously over your partner’s back and neck. Then, it’s your turn!
3. Face Moisturizer
Olive oil contains abundant amounts of healthy fats to help keep the delicate skin on your face moisturized. Plus, EVOO has several anti-inflammatory compounds that are great for acne-prone skin, as well as anti-aging antioxidants. (3, 4) Apply a dime-sized amount of olive oil to your face at night, right before bed.
4. Pet Lotion
Olive oil works great as a natural lotion for pets, especially if they have dry, cracked paws due to cold weather or walking on rough terrain or concrete. Try rubbing a little olive oil into your dog’s dry spots to help moisturize and soothe their skin.
5. Hair Mask
Olive oil makes a wonderfully simple hair mask. The abundance of healthy monounsaturated fats deeply moisturizes your strands, while its antioxidant content also nourishes your scalp. (5) To make your hair mask, gently warm about a ¼ cup of olive oil in a small pan, then apply it to your hair, from scalp to ends. Let the oil sit for 15-20 minutes, then hop in the shower and shampoo as normal.
6. Furniture Conditioner
Even your furniture will enjoy a good dose of olive oil. Add a dash to a cloth or rag, then use it to polish wood surfaces until they shine. Go ahead and smooth it over any area that needs a little touch-up!
7. Exfoliating Scrub
Olive oil is a fantastic ingredient for a DIY exfoliating scrub. Its high antioxidant content delivers age-fighting compounds while you buff away dead skin, making it the perfect double-whammy for soft, glowing skin.
Simply mix 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with 2 tablespoons of honey and a ½ cup of sugar in a glass jar. Use it to scrub your body and face in the shower, then rinse clean.
8. Sunburn Lotion
Aloe isn’t the only way to treat a sunburn! The polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds in olive oil can also help soothe the pain and discomfort of too much time at the pool. (6) Treat your toasted skin with a dab of olive oil, or take your summertime skin care regimen to the next level and blend a ¼ cup of olive oil with a tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel. Your sunburn doesn’t stand a chance!
9. Zesty Salad Dressing
Believe it or not, you should always add a little healthy fat to your greens – it helps your body absorb the vitamins from the veggies. (7) Whisk up a quick vinaigrette by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, two teaspoons of honey, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. You can even jazz it up with a little sea salt, chopped herbs, and minced garlic. Then drizzle all over your favorite salad!
10. Moisturizing Bath Oil
You don’t have to wait to towel off before you moisturize. Simply add 2 tablespoons of olive oil right to your bath, along with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and soak. Your skin will love the moisturizing effects of the healthy fats since hot water can otherwise dry out your skin. (8)
11. Diaper Rash Soother
Oleocanthal, olive oil’s anti-inflammatory compound, may also help soothe a case of diaper rash. It can help bring down irritation in your baby’s skin, while also moisturizing the area to keep it hydrated and prevent further irritation. (9) Simply clean around the diaper rash, apply a dime-sized dollop, and gently rub in.
12. Lip Balm
You don’t need to venture to the store the next time you run out of chapstick or lip balm: simply wander into your kitchen and apply a small amount of olive oil to your lips. The oil will help deeply moisturize dry lips, while also giving your puckers a nice glowing shine.
13. Paint Remover
If you’re an artist, or you have kids that love to paint, olive oil can help remove those unwanted splatters. It works best for oil-based paints, helping to smooth and dissolve away the paint more thoroughly than water alone.
14. Shaving Cream
It might sound weird, but lots of people swear by using olive oil as a natural shaving cream. It may help your razor glide across your skin more smoothly, which will help you avoid nicks and cuts. In addition, the natural antioxidants in olive oil may also help soothe irritations from shaving. (10)
15. Shoe Shiner
Toss your old chemical shoe-shiner and give your dirty kicks top treatment with a little olive oil. Just like it buffs up tired-looking furniture, it can give your tired shoes a nice conditioning treatment. Simply add a teaspoon or more to a cloth and buff away.
The Bottom Line
Olive oil has such an array of unique uses, you’ll most likely be able to get rid of several products in favor of just one bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Try out the tips above and dole out a few tablespoons to spruce up your home or jazz up your bath time routine.
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