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WIN 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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S H A R I N G H E A L T H S E C R E T S Secrets Sharing Q: A: SHUTTERSTOCK Q: A: HEALTH I've heard that some movie stars swear by olive oil as a moisturizer. What's so special about it? No less than Sophia Loren, one of the most va-voom celebs of all time, has attributed part of her lifelong loveliness to occasionally bathing in olive oil. And there is some science behind the olive oil hype, says Carol Firenze, author of "The Passionate Olive—101 Things to Do with Olive Oil" (Ballantine Books, 2005) and owner of The Passionate Olive store. "Among all the natural lipids, olive oil has the most similar chemical composition to human sebum [the body's own natural skin lubricant]," she says. "Olive oil is an antioxidant … and it also contains squalene, a natural organic compound that improves elasticity, vitality and skin tone, and protects the skin from dehydration." What kinds of beauty treatments can I do with olive oil? You can use olive oil anywhere your body needs more moisture—face, skin, hair, lips, nails. It may take a little longer to absorb than a lighter commercial lotion, but the olive oil will also penetrate deeply to do its work. Try olive oil as a shaving lubricant, deep conditioner for hair, cuticle softener, lip plumper, eye makeup remover and, of course, as an everyday skin moisturizer. Firenze also suggests mixing one-half cup of olive oil with a teaspoon or more of coarse sea salt for an instant face scrub. The real truth about olive oil and beauty treatments Q: A: Q: A: Does it matter what kind of olive oil I use? Extra virgin olive oil is best because it has the largest amount of vitamin E and has not been refned with chemicals, advises Firenze. Is there anything else nonedible that I can do with olive oil? People have been fnding new uses for olive oil for the past 8,000 years—in fact, it has only been considered an edible oil since about 1000 B.C. You can also use it to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and acne scars. It's a perfect massage oil, and mixed with your self-tanning lotion, it will make for a smoother application to prevent streaks. Or, just follow Sophia Loren's lead and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your bath water for a natural whole-body moisturizing effect. To send a health question to "Sharing Health Secrets," please e-mail plawrence@spiritofwomen.com or write to Sharing Health Secrets, Spirit of Women, 2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 100, Boca Raton, FL 33431. w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 014 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 29

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