Despite its modest place on your grocery store shelf, olive oil has cultivated a long and storied history. Mediterranean cultures have coveted it for at least 10,000 years, and Greek mythology holds that the worlds first olive tree was given to us by Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Its no wonder that Ancient Greeks believed olives were gifts from the gods. The trees themselves are supernaturally long-lived, with some specimens surviving for over 3,000 years. Their versatile fruit has been harnessed for a wide range of purposes, from cooking and cosmetics to medicine and fuel. Kings and queens were anointed with an olive oil pour, while Greco-Roman athletes (and even Cleopatra) used the oil as a nourishing skin treatment.
These days, olive oil isnt reserved for godheads and royalty, but it still packs a powerful punch. The thick, silky liquid is a natural cleanser, removing dirt, dissolving build-up, and fighting off free radicals when applied to both skin and hair. It also serves as a powerful moisturizer, providing deep hydration and an infusion of Vitamin E, which supports the healing process. Try rubbing the oil into your roots as a scalp treatment, on your cheeks as a natural shaving lubricant, or on cracked heels and hands for radical skin repair.
If DIY grooming isnt your style, the oil is also featured in a range of skin and hair products, like Brickells Purifying Charcoal Face Wash. Its formula uses olive oil to break down heavy grime, replacing it with a lightweight oil to keep skin from getting greasy. Other products tap the fruit for a variety of applications, from lubricating preshave scruff to exfoliating skin. However you choose to use it, be sure to show respect: Youre dealing with one of the greats.