Olive oil is a renowned symbol of Mediterranean cuisine. What's more, we all know that it has healthy properties which can be beneficial to us not only for the prevention but also the treatment of some diseases. But olive oil is useful in many other ways too: throughout history it has been used not only in cuisine, but also for cosmetic and medicinal purposes, in perfumes and for illumination. Here is summary of some of olive oil's lesser-known uses:

  • A natural make-up remover: Olive oil is suitable for all skin types and a few drops on a cotton pad, rubbed gently into the face will easily remove make-up. As usual, take care in the area around the eyes.
  • Cuticle conditioner: Moisturising the cuticles regularly with olive oil will help to strengthen the nails.
  • To help prevent acne: One of the causes of acne is an excess of grease on the face, which together with dead skin obstructs the pores. To alleviate this problem, we can use a facial scrub composed of 3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil and 4 of salt. This mixture should be gently massaged into the skin and left to act for a few moments before washing it off with warm soapy water. Try using it every day for a week when required.
  • A substitute for shaving foam: If you ever run out of shaving foam, you can apply olive oil directly to the skin. It will form a slippery film, allowing the razor to glide over the skin and avoiding skin irritation.
  • Hair conditioner: If you have very dry hair, warm up ½ a cupful of olive oil and spread it over all the hair, massaging it into the scalp. Then cover the hair with a towel or a plastic cap for 45 minutes, before washing it as normal.
  • To lubricate the throat: A tablespoonful of olive oil can alleviate the throat when it is irritated, and this will be even more effective when combined with honey.
  • As a laxative: Olive oil is powerful stomach protector and acts as a natural laxative.
  • To preserve food: Owing to its high antioxidant content, it is a potent natural preservative.
  • As a degreaser: Olive oil is a vegetable fat and, although it may sound strange, it can help to remove grease, including that found on cooking utensils. In order to do this, we apply a few drops to the object before scrubbing it. The item can then be washed with water and detergent as normal.
  • To remove chewing gum: Moisten a cloth with a little olive oil and leave it on the stuck-on gum. The gum will soften, making it easier to remove.
  • As furniture polish: Mixing 2 parts of olive oil with one of lemon juice is all you need to do to get a completely natural polish which, when rubbed into wooden furniture, will produce a great shine and act as the best polish that you can buy.
  • To protect leather garments: Leather, if it is not moisturised with dubbin or cream, will tend to dry out and crack. If we rub a little olive oil into the leather with a clean cloth, it will help it to keep its shine, prolonging the life of the garment.
  • To stop hinges from creaking: Olive oil, like 3-in-one oil, lubricates and stops creaking in rusty hinges.
  • To protect your cat's health: A little olive oil in cat food can help to prevent hairballs from forming in a cat's stomach, or to help the stomach to rid itself of them more easily.

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