Most people who enjoy whipping up a little something in the kitchen have their staple spices and cooking aids that they like to use. For me, olive oil is definitely a staple when I’m preparing my food. I use it for everything from sautéing veggies for my eggs in the morning to seasoning chicken and seafood, to using it as a dressing for my salads. These uses are pretty common knowledge, but did you know that olive oil has WAY more uses than just a cooking aid? Here are some benefits of olive oil that you may have never even guessed!

Beauty: During the cold winter months that we in the Midwest have been experiencing, our bodies can take quite a beating. Many of us find our hair and skin extremely dry during the winter… and some of us really “lucky” ones get to experience this lack of moisture all year round. According to the beauty experts at Allure.com, olive oil can serve as a remedy for dry hair and skin. In fact, people have been using olive oil as a hair treatment for hundreds of years. All you need to do is warm a bit of olive oil up, apply to hair from roots to tips, let sit for 15-20 minutes, and voila! You’ll give your hair a bit of shine and life again, all with a bottle from your kitchen cabinet. And the same goes for dry skin. Olive oil is a completely natural remedy for dry skin, and you can be certain that if you are purchasing from The Tea Tree, it is free of any hormones. I don’t know about you, but beauty can be expensive, so I am all about natural beauty hacks, and this is a great one!

Soothing Skin Solution: We have already discovered the moisturizing properties that olive oil has, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well. According to naturallivingideas.com, olive oil can be used to treat or prevent diaper rash. Combine a teaspoon of olive oil with two teaspoons of warm water to create a creamy texture and apply directly to the skin to comfort the little ones! In the same way, olive oil can comfort those of any age who forgot the sunscreen. The oil contains compounds that act as an antioxidant to combat the stinging skin. Are you ready to keep a bit of olive oil on you at all times yet? If all that wasn’t enough for you to go stock your pantry, please read on.

Weight Loss and Heart Benefits: These examples show us that olive oil can benefit the external body, so just imagine what consuming olive oil might do for your insides as well. Olive oil is the go-to for many when cooking, and using it is one of the most deliciously healthy decisions you will make. Extra Virgin Olive Oil in particular, contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats and omega fats, which is basically a fancy way of saying that it is very good for you. Besides being good for your heart, these fats cause you to feel full for a longer period of time, so consuming them on a regular basis may even aid in your road to weight loss. The power to help me lose weight and take care of my ticker at the same time? Sign me up!

All these benefits, as well as endless recipes are just a few reasons why you should consider making the use of olive oil a part of your regular routine. The Tea Tree carries 20 different kinds of olive oil. My personal favorites are the Butter Olive Oil (um, hello… delicious when making popcorn), the Basil Olive Oil (which I use whenever we are cooking Italian), and the Lime Olive Oil (which makes for a fantastic component to dress your salad). Not only does The Tea Tree carry a sizable selection of olive oils, but the possibilities to combine said oils with the vinegars that Missi has on hand at the shop are endless.

So, go ahead- look outside of your cooking box, and enjoy all the other benefits that olive oil has to offer!

Liz Hartmann is a DIY blogger from North Aurora. You can find more of her work at www.misslizdidit.com and on Instagram and Facebook @misslizdidit