What You Should Know About Olive Oil Skincare
When you think about using olive oil, you probably imagine it in the kitchen for cooking. This incredibly popular liquid fat is widely used because of its ability to add just a touch of extra flavor and substance to a meal while simultaneously offering a ton of health benefits. Including olive oil in your diet may:
- Reduce inflammation. Some scientists say 50 ml of olive oil (3.4 tablespoons) is equivalent to 10% of an adult dose of ibuprofen.
- Help prevent strokes. Correlational data suggest that olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of strokes and heart disease
- Fight Alzheimer's disease.
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. One Mediterranean study showed over a 40% reduction.
- Help treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Olive oil is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and is even an antibacterial. These characteristics make the idea of olive oil skincare seem like an obvious choice. But is it really good for your skin? The science so far says yes! (probably) The number of experiments strictly studying the relationship between skin and olive oil is limited, but the results of these studies are promising.
Applying antioxidants to the skin may prevent premature aging. One study showed that olive oil applied after sun exposure could fight cancer-causing cells from forming. Olive oil skincare also means the addition of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K to the skin. These vitamins have been used throughout history to aid in a variety of skin conditions. Olive oil skincare can take many forms including these:
- Moisturizer/after sun treatment: Apply a small amount in an even layer on damp skin.
- Exfoliator: Mix coarse salt and olive oil to make a scrub, for more scrub ideas check out this link!
- Eye make-up remover: Apply a few drops to a cotton ball, and wipe. Olive oil will break down water-resistant substances allowing them to be easily wiped away.
- Face mask: Mixing olive oil with ingredients like honey, egg whites and oats could give your homemade face mask that perfect consistency.
Most dermatologists agree that applying olive oil to the skin daily is safe. Olive oil is also known to mix well with humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids. It is also shown to not react with any other skincare ingredients.
Possible side effects of olive oil skincare
With the introduction of any new product to your skin (yes even olive oil) it is wise to perform a patch test to make sure that your skin doesn’t have a negative reaction. If used in excess, olive oil skincare can be a comedogenic or pore-clogging ingredient. Using too much olive oil can create a layer over the skin that traps dirt and bacteria causing acne, especially if you are prone to acne. A thin layer of olive oil will be able to be wholly absorbed by the skin.
When storing your olive oil, make sure to keep it in an airtight, cool, and dark place. Excessive sunlight, heat, and oxygen can cause it to become rancid. It should also be noted that olive oil skincare might not be the best for those with dry skin. Olive oil contains oleic acid which can break down our natural moisture barrier and cause further drying.
How to Use
Today olive oil can typically be found in serums and facial oils. Dermatologists recommend including olive oil in the final steps of your skincare routine after you have trapped the most moisture possible, applying either before or mixed into your moisturizer. You also want your skin to be slightly damp ensuring for a more even layer. Remember less is more with oils, a little will result in fresh, moisturized skin, however, too much could lead to a breakout.
If you’re not convinced olive oil is the best skincare option for you then there are a few very similar options:
- Coconut oil: A natural antibacterial and antifungal, this oil helps to protect skin and hair from the elements. Coconut oil acts as a barrier over the skin, keeping moisture locked inside. It is also full of moisturizing vitamin E. Use it in the shower as a hair conditioner, moisturizing shaving cream, or use afterward as an all-natural replacement for lotion or leave-in conditioner.
- Argan oil: Packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids this oil is light enough to use as an everyday moisturizer but is strong enough to treat more severe skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea. Argan oil works to improve skin’s elasticity by protecting against free radical damage. This oil is not just for dry skin, it can also help control oil production by reducing sebum for those with oilier skin. This nourishing oil can be used daily under makeup or at night for a more restorative treatment. It’s also suitable for use on nails and dry hair.
- Marula oil: I actually just started using this oil after I found it at Trader Joe's. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized without that greasy feel. It is rich in fatty acids and is said to contain 60% more antioxidants than most other oils, meaning it acts as an incredible defense against aging and sun damage. The oil also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it ideal for irritated or acne-prone skin. This multipurpose oil can be used on skin, hair, and nails. It’s ideal to use under makeup or even mix with foundation for a luminous sheen because of its light texture.
While olive oil might be J-Lo’s skincare secret, it might jot be the one for you. Depending on your skin type this oil could be beneficial or it could cause breakouts. If you end up trying olive oil or any of these natural oil moisturizers, remember to use small amounts so your skin can fully absorb the oil and not clog your pores. Adjust the frequency and amount as necessary and keep checking out our blog for more skincare tips!
Written by Kiana St Onge