What is it about olive oil that makes everyone love it? To begin with, the use of olive oil dates back to ancient times. It is now known to have been extracted as early as 6000 BC. While its culinary utility and health benefits are widely known, its cosmetic uses are relatively lesser known. However, that doesn’t mean that this natural emollient isn’t a wonder cosmetic also. Here are some ways in which olive oil will help your skin glow and be healthier.
First, an antioxidant
Olive oil contains antioxidants, which are well-known natural healing agents. Olive oil is a fruit fat. It is not manufactured, but extracted and refined into its finished form.
The polyphenols found in olive oil act as antioxidants. Furthermore, Vitamin E and phytosterols packed into this oil help the skin produce collagen (essential for the strength of muscle, skin and tendons) and improve overall skin tone.
But be careful…oleic acid present in the olive oil may worsen an already present skin condition. It is best to check with your dermatologist if you have a prior skin condition.
In this dry season, and especially in the coming winters, olive oil can be a friend to your skin. This light oil gently hydrates the skin without clogging the tiny pores, which are actually hair follicle openings, and which produce the skin’s natural oils. Applying a layer of olive oil can leave your skin soft and supple, without the greasy feeling.
Olive oil can be supplemented with coconut or almond oils to give it a thicker texture, especially for dryer skins and for exposed skins.
The purer, the better
Olive oil is an expensive oil. It is therefore often sold as combined with other (cheaper) oils. However, the purer and fresher the oil, the better it will be for your skin. Choose extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic oil when you can. The ‘cold pressed’ refers to the treatment of the oil when it is not heated beyond 80.6F. Heating destroys the delicate aromas within the oil and tends to denature it. Remember, the rule of thumb is, the purer, the better.
On its own
The best part about using olive oil on its own is the absence of any synthetic chemicals. The chemical residue from artificial creams are often harmful for the skin. The added color and fragrance are actually chemicals which the body has to eventually deal with. Especially when applied to the
Olive oil is a good alternative to skin creams and lotions when used in moderation on healthy skin. However, as with any emollient or lotion, be careful to avoid allergic reactions by consulting your dermatologist.
Reviewer: Dr. Omar Khan