Olive oil is full of nutritional benefits when consumed in food, but it also has a lot of benefits when applied to the skin and hair. Olive oil contains naturally occuring nutrients which can help your skin look and feel younger.
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is produced by pressing the oil from the olive fruit. It is a powerful emollient which has made its way into high priced serums and cleansers, with its promise of protecting against premature ageing, moisturising dry skin and its ability to safely use with other ingredients.
Benefits of Olive Oil for your Face and Skin
Contains antioxidants which fight free radicals and protect against premature ageing and sun damage
Free radicals are molecules which are unchained (missing electrons) and cause damage to our cells. Because they’re looking for another electron to pair, free radicals cause oxidative stress which can damage our DNA and cells – leaving you prone to other health issues. The biggest threat of free radicals to our skin is – acceleration in skin ageing.
Olive oil contains naturally occurring antioxidants which can help provide a layer of protection against the external triggers of free radicals – namely Sunlight (UV exposure).
Rich in Nutrients
Olive oil contains key nutrients Vitamins A, D, E and K each of which have benefits for your skin.
- Helps normalise oil production of the skin and can help reduce the appearance of acne, speed up healing and moisturise the skin giving it a natural glow
- It can help reduce the appearance of pigmentation by controlling the enzymes responsible for producing melanin
- Vitamin A also helps promote collagen and elastin, leaving skin looking more supple and younger
- Exposure to sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for many
- Vitamin D, where applied topically, can have photoprotective properties leading to reduced DNA damage and increased Cell survival [source – orgeon state]
- Vitamin D may also help promote wound healing and tissue repair by controlling inflammation and promoting the process of restoring the skin layers [source]
- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which contains both anti-inflammatories and antioxidative properties and can help prevent aging and wrinkles
- Can help treat hyperpigmentation (dark patches on your skin produced by melanin) by controlling when paired with Vitamin C
- Vitamin E can help treat scarring due to acne with its repair properties and further strengthen your skin barrier to prevent against future scarring [source – Nivea]
- Primarily used to help heal wounds, Vitamin K can help protect your skin against damage and promote wound healing
- It reduces inflammation, and can be useful to against eczema by keeping your skin protected and hydrated [source – Elle]
Potential Side Effects of using Olive Oil on your skin or face
Olive oil is rich in fatty acids, making it naturally heavy and therefore a perfect food source for acne causing bacteria to grow. Use of this oil may also clog your pores and cause breakouts.
If you’re using Olive oil as an antibacterial solely by itself, you may be better off using a Coconut Oil.
There are also some doubts as to whether olive oil is as truly moisturising as made out to be by some [source].
How to use Olive oil on your face and skin
As a moisturiser
If you’re comfortable with using Olive oil on your skin / face (and, unless you suffer from dermatitis or acne, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be), then the best way of using this is as a moisturiser.
Apply a few drops of olive oil after washing your skin, while it is still damp / wet. Olive oil is not a hydrator itself, which means unless there is water underneath the oil for it to lock in, it won’t do anything other than block your skin from outside damage.
Olive oil is full of nutritional benefits when consumed in food, but it also has a lot of benefits when applied to the skin and hair.
The core benefits are that it contains antioxidants which fight free radicals and protect against premature ageing and sun damage and key nutrients Vitamins A, D, E and K each of which have benefits for your skin.