Don't knock it 'til you try it.
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Credit: Getty Images / Burcu Atalay Tankut / Tuomas A. Lehtinen

Growing up in Florida, the land of year-round humidity, those Neutrogena oil blotting sheets were a backpack essential for me. Then, I moved to Alabama where I began experiencing all four seasons—though our winters may be laughable to some—and felt like I could never moisturize enough. My teenage self would have laughed if someone told me one day I would be trading those blotting sheets for the biggest tub of Belif Aqua Bomb Sephora offers. Makeup would never go on right in the mornings because my skin was so flaky, and I was desperate for a solution to this chronic dryness. Little did I know, the solution was an everyday pantry ingredient.

A few months ago, I came across a series of Instagram Stories from one of my favorite food influencers, Anastasia Ganias, of @fancypeasant, where she talked about the wonders of using good-quality olive oil for your skin (Ganias sells amazing Greek EVOO in super-chic bottles). I later read that beauty icons such as Cleopatra, Sophia Loren and Julia Roberts also swore by this hack for glowing skin. While I wanted to save my Fancy Peasant olive oil for cooking and drizzling (it's not cheap!), I found a massive $10 bottle of Premium 100% Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Trader Joe's and began experimenting.

I decided to start a nightly double cleansing regimen, which is a two-step process where you first wash your face with an oil-based cleanser before using a more traditional soap-based one to ensure all those pesky makeup products and pollutants are gone for good before smushing your face into a pillow for eight hours. I simply used a small palmful of the TJ's olive oil as my first step and then finished with my usual nightly cleanser, serum and moisturizer lineup. It was an instant hit for my skin. Since my skin is pretty sensitive, I started doing this every few days and have scaled up but never encountered any issues. If you also have sensitive skin, you may want to consider trying it out on a week where you don't have any big events coming up just in case.

I have also started applying a small palmful of the olive oil on my face before I get in the shower about once a week (more if it's been especially cold and windy) and let my face steam for several minutes before washing it off. It feels like my own luxurious spa treatment and my skin looks and feels amazing afterwards.

Curious journalist that I am, I began researching to see if there were any other potential benefits I could reap from adding high-quality EVOO to my skincare routine. Turns out, this Mediterranean elixir is just as beneficial for your skin as it is the rest of your body. Good-quality olive oil nourishes the skin with healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. This not only keeps your skin glowy and supple, but can also help prevent sun damage and tamp inflammation with all that antioxidant power. Just make sure you do the research to choose a high-quality EVOO that is 100% from organic olives and meets purity standards—like my big bottle from Trader Joe's—so it's safe for your face (and will make for extra-tasty meals).