Olive Oil Benefits for Your Skin

Trying to keep up with what’s hot in skincare is like trying to keep up with the Kardashians. It’s impossible (not that I’ve tried, with the Kardashians, that is.

Then how are you to know what are the latest and greatest ingredients? Well, you could listen to your grandmother.

Some of the newest discoveries in skin care aren’t new at all: Olive oil may seem hot now, but countless Mediterranean grandmothers, including mine, have sworn by its skincare benefits for centuries. Were they right? Olive oil contains caffeic acid, oleic acid, and oleuropein, all potent antioxidants. Unlike berries or teas, these antioxidants are already in oil, allowing them to be directly applied to the skin.

Topically applied olive oil helps dry skin, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrhea, burns, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, hand dermatitis, and eczema.

Here are some ways to apply olive oil to your body:

  • Rub it into your scalp and wrap your head with a warm towel.
  • Rub it in your cuticles and nails to moisturize dry, brittle nails.
  • Make a body scrub with olive oil and sugar.
  • Coat your skin with olive oil, then take a warm, not hot, bath.
  • Massage it on dry hands or feet before bedtime and wear cotton gloves or socks. Note: It can stain your sheets.

Consumed olive oil is also healthy for your skin. Eating 2 tablespoons a day might help reduce your risk for heart disease as well. (I could eat 2 tablespoons straight from the bottle on a crusty piece of bread.) If you’re not so daring, you could use it in salad dressings, add it to pasta, vegetables, and soups and even drizzle a little on meats such as grilled chicken. 

Remember, only virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are unprocessed. Other olive oils are refined or chemically treated. Use extra virgin, which has the best flavor, for eating, and save the lesser expensive virgin olive oil to apply to your skin. Well, unless you’re a Kardashian.

What skincare tip would your grandmother recommend?

Fall Is Here, Time To Change Skincare Products In Your Vanity

What I Wore: The Editor

Fall is finally here. It’s time to change the clothes in your wardrobe to knee-length pencil skirts, motorcycle leather jackets, and animal print handbags, says Vogue. It’s also time to change your skincare products, says @dermdoc.

Most of us associate changing seasons with changing wardrobes, but it’s also the time to evaluate your skincare routine. Humid, warm air will change to dry, cool air like greens to reds on maple trees. Your skin is a living organ and actively responds to these environmental changes.

  • Dry air means your skin will produce more oils to protect itself.
  • Cool air means that previously flushed skin will pale.
  • Less sun means that thick skin will shrink.
  • Less ultraviolet B light means that tanned skin will fade to allow for maximum vitamin D production.

When you start packing away your shorts and spaghetti strap dresses, remember that your skin needs you to pack away some of your summer products.

  • Dryer, thinner skin is more sensitive; consider exfoliating less frequently. Some scrubs or at-home microdermabrasions should be reduced to once every few days or week.
  • Some retinoids like Retin-A or Renova, can be reduced from every day to every other day to minimize irritation in fall and winter.
  • Listen to your skin. Is it increasingly red and stinging as the weather changes? You might have to stop some peels or toners completely until springtime.
  • Consider switching soapy facial washes to soothing or creamy facial cleansers.
  • Change from a lotion moisturizer to a cream moisturizer. If you haven’t moisturized every day, then you should start now.
  • Use a facial moisturizer, particularly if you’re prone to acne or have excessively dry facial skin.
  • Depending on how far north you live and on your skin tone, you might be able to cut back on sunscreen for winter. Although complete sun protection is the best way minimize all damage to your skin, wearing sunscreen year-round may not be necessary. If you’re not sure, talk to your dermatologist.
  • Remember that even in winter, at high altitudes and where the ground is covered with snow, ultraviolet light can be strong, more like summertime sun. So you always need sunblock when skiing or snowboarding.

Photo credit: FCC, Jessica Quirk

Behold, The Copper Pillow

Copper is beautiful, but can copper make you beautiful?

We have a 10,000-year-long history with copper. We’ve used it to make jewelry, tools, plumbing, wiring, roofing, coins, cookware, and even the Statue of Liberty. Now we’re using copper to make pillows.

Why? Why make a copper pillow? Two reasons:

First, copper is antimicrobial. Putting copper in fabrics or on surfaces has been shown to reduce bacteria. If your partner is a serious night drooler and you’re afraid that the pillows might get accidentally switched, then a copper pillow might reduce your exposure to some of his (yes, I’m assuming here) germs.

Second, copper induces collagen production and promotes healing. The idea is that if you sleep on a copper pillow some of the copper will absorb into your skin, induce collagen, and smooth your wrinkles; it’s also supposed to have other anti-aging effects.

Published company data showed that wrinkles improved after 2 weeks of sleeping on copper pillows. This is interesting, but it would be helpful to see the results replicated outside of the company. Wrinkles are caused by loss of tissue under the skin, fragmenting of collagen, loss of elastin, and muscle activity (i.e., smiling, talking, etc.).  It’s difficult to understand how sleeping on copper (or gold or silk) would have a significant impact, especially in just a few weeks. If additional studies support a cosmetic benefit, it might be worth the $40.

For now, you might want to simply mark your pillows “His” and “Hers” and save the money for a good copper peptide cream instead.

Has anyone used copper pillows? What was your experience?

Photo: Annia316

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Glossy Lips Might Increase Risk of Cancer

Shiny lips are beautiful. Lip glosses bring out the natural color of your lips, and the shimmery light gives you an irresistibly-kissable look. Lip gloss also, however, allows ultraviolet radiation to penetrate the delicate skin of your lips, increasing the risk for sun damage and even lip cancer later in life.

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