I’m sure you’ve heard how healthy extra virgin olive oil is, especially when consumed in moderation-but how about using it topically?
Like any other 40+ year-old woman, my main quest in life is to find the “magic pill”! You know the one, the pill that will turn back the clock, take away those hours of sun worshiping we did in our teens, and make our skin young again.
My “olive oil experiment” lasted one year, and it was marked, very publicly, by my first fitness competition as a 40+ year-old in 2007 and my return to the stage in 2008. When I decided to come out of “retirement”, I became concerned about how my skin would look after weeks of extreme dieting and dropping my water weight. At two weeks out of my show, my worst fears came true; I noticed that my skin was beginning to develop a crepe-paper-like effect. With that, I decided to stop losing weight and not to drop my water weight for the contest. (Yes, the fear of ageism won out. I decided I would rather look “fat” than “old”!) After I saw the pictures from the contest, I knew I had to do something about my skin, so I did a little research on aging skin.
From my research, I learned that free radicals were accelerating the signs of aging in my skin. Free radicals can be formed by normal metabolic production, but they are also believed to be formed by pollution, radiation (from the sun), cigarette smoke, and other environmental factors. Fortunately, the body is designed to eliminate free radicals, but if the production becomes excessive, or antioxidants aren’t available, damage can occur-which accumulates with age.
With all the reports of how high extra virgin olive oil is in antioxidants, I thought I would give it a try. Strangely enough, I must be the only woman in America that doesn’t like the taste of olive oil, but I desperately needed the protection of the antioxidants against the damage of those pesky free radicals in my skin. So, I gagged myself with the sprinkling of olive oil on my salad, YUCK! While I sat staring at the giant, $35 bottle of extra virgin olive oil, I debated what would kill me first, wasting the $35 or sucking it up (literally) by adding the oil to my diet. Then it occurred to me, “What if I pour it on my body like lotion?”
My major concerns about this experiment were: will it stain my sheets, will I be slimy, and will I smell like a salad? (Lucky for me, my husband is a firefighter, so I can engage in these “scientific” experiments while he’s working his 48-hour shifts.) As it turned out, none of those things happened. By the time I got into bed, my skin had already absorbed the oil; the only evidence that I had put the oil on was that my skin was silky soft! So, for my experiment, my bedtime routine was the same for one year: I showered, toweled off, coated myself in extra virgin olive oil, and slipped on my nightgown.
I’m happy to say that, one year later, for that same contest, I dieted all the way down to a much leaner physique, I dropped my water weight and my skin looked 5 years younger! Now, for those darn crows feet around the eyes.