Olive oil can do wonderful things for your skin, hair and nails, not to mention it has other practical uses for around your home. When used in an oil sprayer it can be used as a substitute for WD-40 and it can also be used to polish wood furniture in small amounts. The uses for olive oil seem to be endless, so why not use it in DIY skin care recipes as a cheap alternative to expensive commercial products. 
   Unfortunately, skin care companies often make claims that their products will do 'this or that' for you, only to leave your skin the same, only slightly better, or sometimes worse than before. All products are not useless, but as consumers, we're left gambling our money on products that may or may not do what they say they will. Also, some products contain skin irritants like certain fragrances and preservatives that people with sensitive skin or allergies can't use (not to mention there are certain chemicals we're not positive don't cause cancer). So, adding olive and other oils to your hygienic routine could dramatically improve your skin/hair problems while reducing your budget. 
   Using oils such as olive, tea tree, sesame, almond, sandalwood, chamomile, lavender, and sunflower oil can bring back the moisture balance for really dry spots on your body, soothe sunburns, strengthen damaged hair, treat acne, treat dandruff and more! Many types of oils have been used for centuries in countries all over the world. Perhaps you've heard of Cleopatra? 
   The Egyptian queen was famous for her beautiful complexion  and the regimen she used to maintain it. Honey, apple cider vinegar, milk, clay, aloe, various fruits and vegetables, and numerous oils were included in her beauty rituals. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and people of the East were just a few cultures that used these methods. Many of those same ingredients are used today in DIY recipes and even in commercial beauty products.
   Provided that your individual skin type responds well, plant based oils can be used as all over moisturizers using numerous methods. You can add them to a hot bath, rub them on your feet and wear socks for an overnight treatment, use them to soak your fingers to soften cuticles and strengthen nails, use them in place of shaving cream for soft and luxurious legs (really soft!), an (if you want to go natural all the way) use "The Oil Cleansing Method" for all over skin cleansing and moisturizing.  

Olive Oil as Shaving Cream
   I recently started using olive oil for shaving cream and I've experience awesome results! You can rub plain olive oil on your legs by itself, or add other ingredients to suit your needs.   I want to note that, while I've experience slightly dry skin in the past year, I am prone to breakouts and oily spots on various areas of my body. I have breakouts on my legs, back, and arms most of the time no matter what I use on my skin or what I do to it. So, at first, I tried this with skepticism and curiosity.

    Much to my delight, the skin on my legs is actually less broken out and my skin looks healthier with no overly dry or oily spots! As long as you don't use too much as a moisturizer on dry skin, it actually does not make your skin greasy like you might think. 

   In addition to using olive oil as shaving cream, I recommend exfoliating with at least a shower poof when you wash your skin to remove any dead skin cells/residue and to improve your sins circulation. 

   The first test batch I made, has lasted me longer than I thought it would because you don't need a lot of oil at one time, so I've only made one recipe thus far. I made a hybrid recipe from a few recipes circulating around the internet using olive oil, sesame oil, and almond extract. I first used it to wash my face using the "Oil Cleansing Method", but it's harder (takes longer) to use the steam of your shower and a hot wash cloth to get the oil out of your pores than I thought it would be. Then I used the batch to moisturize my dry ankles overnight. Now I'm using it for shaving cream. Here's my hybrid recipe.
                                                                  2 Tbs olive oil
                                                                  1 Tbs sesame oil
                                                                  3-5 drops almond extract
I put the ingredients in an extra small tupper-ware container, and shook it to mix the ingredients. Remember to shake the mixture before each use in order to make the ingredients evenly distributed.
Sesame Oil - Like many oils, it contains vitamin E, A, and B complex vitamins. These work together to moisturize and repair damaged cells, repairing dry skin and fine lines. It's easily absorbed.
Almond Extract - Softens skin, soothes and remedies flaky skin. Especially good for facial skin. The extract is great to add to other oil recipes, while almond oil can heal and soften skin on its own.


  There are also lots of natural alternatives for darkening and lightening hair color, both natural and dyed. I'm going to try out a deep conditioning treatment with cinnamon, which surprisingly lightens hair. I'll update you on the results later.

   I hope you enjoyed this topic and I plan on sharing more information with you! Have fun pampering yourself naturally! 

Photo Credits 
Italian Olive Oil And Bowl Set by Shari Weinsheimer
Almonds by Peter Griffin
Photo of Ingredients by Elizabeth McCallum