Most people only think of Olive oil as a culinary oil, but in fact it lends itself very well to natural skin care uses. It is rich and somewhat thick and fragrant rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is moisturizing and soothing and protective and benefits all skin types. In ancient Greece it was considered THE oil par excellence, not just for cooking, but as a base for all kinds of medicinal salves and skin care products. An un-oiled body or dry scaly skin was considered ugly and dirty.
In the Mediterranean region the Olive tree has long been regarded as a 'tree of life' that bestows health, wealth and fertility. Sacred to the Goddess Athene it also represents peace and justice.
Vegetable oils and butters are derived from seeds and nuts or very oily vegetables like olives or avocadoes. Just as such nuts and vegetables are healthy and nutritious for the body when included in the diet they also nourish and help to maintain healthy skin, nails and hair when used in cosmetic preparations. Each type of oil has its own specific characteristics, feel and consistency. Some are quite drying, while others are rich and thick. Some have a chemical structure that is very similar to the skin's sebum and are thus particularly healing. Some oils are particularly rich in unsaturated essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs, such as oleic or linoleic fatty acids) and vitamin E and other fat soluble vitamins, which are essential to our health and well-being. Such oils are considered vitalizing and rejuvenating and are thus particularly suitable for tired and worn skin.