Another post inspired by a search topic – Olive Oil and Epidermal Suffocation

No, it won’t kill you. Not even Olive Oil. Olive Oil will moisturize the heck out of you.

I’ve already discussed how people once thought it was possible to suffocate if the skin was completely coated with a non-breathable, or non-porous, substance.  That has been completely debunked.  While the skin does ‘breath’ to an extent, it has nothing to do with the respiratory system that keeps us alive.  Frequent coating with latex, gold paint, or grease paint may make the skin itself a little less healthy if a person does not take care of it properly in the first place.

As for olive oil —  even if you put yourself in a vat of the stuff, the only way you will suffocate is if you forget to come up for air.  Its breathing through the mouth and nose that keeps us alive.  It is the work of the lungs, not the skin, to pump oxygen into the blood stream.

In fact, olive oil was used as soap by the Romans.  They poured it over themselves, rubbed it in, and scrapped it off with a special tool called a Strigil.  This was a slightly curved wooden blade.  Sometimes salt was mixed with the oil to produce an exfoliating oil.  They might also crush herbs into the salt before mixing with the oil to produce a pleasant, scented exfoliant.  Sometimes, this mess that was scrapped into bows.  I call it a mess because it was full of sweat and dirt.  If the person was famous, like a gladiator with a large following, these bowls would be labeled and perfumers would purchase them.  Then they would make perfumes, aphrodisiac scents to be more exact, that people would buy to try to attract whomever they were interested in.

I imagine that the people who used less salt probably had amazing skin.  Olive oil is great for the skin.  In the winter, if you are having trouble with dry skin, the best thing to do is put a cap full into a warm bath.  Too hot dries the skin more.  Washing in slightly oily water is great for dry skin. 

Some people prefer to wash in the shower and then take a bath.  They don’t want to soak in dirty water.   I do see the logic in that but I also see the huge wastefulness of water.  I, myself, find that the water doesn’t start to get too dirty until I actively start washing.  So a pre-soak to relax before I scrub always feels good.

A little oil in the bath water will leave a bit of a residue on the tub.  So you want to be careful getting in and out.  But Olive Oil is a great moisturizer and you don’t ever have to fear that you may die if you cover your body in it.

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