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You may already know about the many benefits of eating and cooking with olive oil, from protecting the healthy heart and fighting cancer to the improvement of mood disorders. But this remarkable substance can help you in many ways even without consuming it. Here are 5 of them.

Skin care – Olive oil is rich in antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamins A and E. This makes it a potent topical application for moisturizing, exfoliating and cleansing the skin, while also ridding it of free radicals that may cause premature aging.

Shaving – Olive oil stimulates the hair follicles so that they’ll “stand up” for the razor. This means that both women and men can actually use olive oil as a substitute for shaving cream. At the same time, the shaved skin is receiving the oil’s soothing moisturizing benefits.

Tincture dilution – Many essential oils are quite powerful in their raw form – so powerful, in fact, that you shouldn’t use them without diluting them first. Olive oil is commonly used as a

safe, healthy base for pre-formulated tinctures of these oils, but you can also use it to dilute an “uncut” product for safe use.

Hair and scalp treatment – Olive oil’s fatty acids convey significant health benefits to hair, especially hair that has been damaged, or is at risk of damage, from stress, salon procedures or environmental irritants. In addition to providing a protective barrier for the hair shafts, the oil also passes vitamins and antioxidants into the hair and scalp.

Pain relief – Olive oil possess anti-inflammatory properties that make it as effective as some pain medications. One study found that women who rubbed their joints with it got better pain relief than they did from the medicated cream piroxicam.