Olive Oil

September 09, 2018

Olive Oil

A golden gift of nature, olive oil is food for your body, your skin, and your hair.

The olive tree is one of the oldest known trees in the world. Olives are a fatty fruit, and the oil is extracted from them by mechanical means, or a cold-pressing. This is a labor intensive task, and not inexpensive. Indeed, olive oil soap has been long heralded as the highest quality soap one can use.

Originally named for the region of Castile, Spain where olive's grew abundantly, 'Castile Soap' has become the generic term used for soaps made from 100% olive oil.  
Olive oil itself is made up of a small portion of saturated fats which contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, these fats (or oils) are great for the skin.

But the larger fatty acid ratio in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. Oleic acid has potent moisturizing qualities that help keep the skin soft and radiant. It also contains antioxidant compounds that help slow down aging and may help prevent premature wrinkles and fine lines. 
Because olive oil is made up of about 75% monounsaturated fats, it's liquid at room temperature. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, so it's not unusual to see partial solidification if you keep your olive oil in the refrigerator.

Fatty-acid ratios are important in soap-making, because different ratios, or profiles, result in different qualities in the end product. Balance is achieved by combining several oils together, depending on the particular qualities you're looking for in your soap bar.

For instance, soap made entirely from olive oil does not produce an abundant, big bubble lather, but more of a silky, low-sudsing lather that is very conditioning and provides gentle cleansing. This is great for young children, elderly skin or anyone who prefers mild cleansing.

Full of antioxidants, olive oil is always a beneficial ingredient in body creams and scrubs. Moisturizing, protective and vitamin-packed, applying straight olive oil to your hair and skin is a great treatment, but will leave a greasy end feel. In my opinion, it's much nicer, blended into skin and hair-care products.

Balanced with other oils, or all by itself, pure olive oil is an outstanding choice for skin and hair care.


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