Mediterranean women have long attributed the glowiness of their skin to the richness of good olive oil in their diet. In the last few years, science has backed up their long-held belief (and, indeed, that’s why we’ve also added to our versatile beauty balm Calendula Repair).
Olive oil is considered a “good fat,” and eating it with food is associated with a strong heart and a healthy complexion. Cardiologists and dermatologists alike have encouraged a Mediterranean diet, complete with foods joyfully drizzled with olive oil.
But the directive shouldn’t stop there, because not all olive oils are alike. To choose a bottle of good olive oil that will bring out your natural radiance, inside and out, it’s worth paying attention to the labels and terms.
Look for extra-virgin olive oil. Bottles marked simply “olive oil” are made from late-harvested olives—the black kind. They produce more oil, but that oil has a milder taste and lower levels of skin- and heart-healthy antioxidants. In contrast, the higher-grade extra-virgin olive oil doesn’t undergo the processes that would strip its flavor or health properties.
Opt for early harvest. These tend to be a bit pricier because it takes more early-harvest olives to produce the same amount of oil as with late-harvest oils. But you’ll also get more peppery kick, thanks to the higher levels of oleocanthals, an antioxidant in the polyphenol family that’s also a great anti-inflammatory.
Choose oils stored in a dark bottle. This prevents the olive oil from disintegrating as it sits on store shelves (and then your pantry).
Check for a sell by date and the mill where it was produced. The more recent the date the fresher the oil and the more potent the antioxidants. Quality oils are likelier to label its bottle with details of its origin.
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