One of the super-calming face mask ingredients that soothe winter’s dry skin is olive oil. “EVOO is so great for skin because of its high levels of polyphenols, vitamin E, and phytosterols, which function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories,” says Jessa Bades, a natural beauty expert and makeup artist. “The oil helps to protect against sun damaged skin and increase the moisture retention capacity of the skin. To use as a moisturiser for the face, I like to spray a toner or hydrosol to the skin first, and then massage the oil into that.” Olive oil can be used as an all-over body moisturiser, too.
Improved brain function
Science just proved olive oil can stave off Alzheimer’s. “A recent study of mice found that regular consumption of extra-virgin olive oil can aid in learning ability and memory by protecting brain tissue from toxic substances, called amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, that are believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Shipley says. Although this study was in rodents, it’s hopeful that more research will verify the findings in humans.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Although olive oil should be consumed in moderation, it can help you keep the scale at a healthy number by replacing other, unhealthier oils, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Not only does fat not make you fat, but it is essential in maintaining a healthy weight, and is even a necessary part of a weight loss protocol,” says Dr Frank Lipman, bestselling author and founder of Be Well and the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. Studies have shown a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil doesn’t lead to weight gain – and can even lead to weight loss. Plus, “healthy fats allow you to feel satiated from a meal, which prevents overeating and binging that we often see on low fat diets,” he says.