Homer once described olive oil as ‘liquid gold,’ a term that still resonates with many. Fortunately, we do not have to fight wars over olive oil anymore as it is abundantly produced in many parts of the world and readily available. We all know that olive oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils, along with coconut oil. Not only can you consume this nutritious food and receive numerous benefits, you can also use it to boost the nutrient value of your beauty products.
4 Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin
Adding olive oil to your beauty routine may provide immense benefits to your skin, hair, and nails. Here are some of the olive oil skin benefits you may find surprising.
1. Antioxidant Protection
Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. Antioxidants, when topically applied, may help protect the skin from premature skin aging. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-aging benefits of olive oil because it helps restore skin smoothness and protects against ultraviolet light.  Hydroxytyrosol, a rather rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin. 
2. Doesn’t Clog Pores
Unlike commercial moisturizers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect. Try using organic olive oil at night as a substitute for your regular moisturizer. Apply a teaspoon of the oil to the face and neck. Gently pat the skin with a paper towel to wipe away any excess oil.
3. Enhances Exfoliation
Another one of olive oil’s benefits for skin is its usefulness in exfoliating applications. A common exfoliating method using olive oil is to mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with natural sea salt, rubbing this mixture over the skin. The mild abrasive qualities of the sea salt, combined with the deep, penetrating action of the oil, will remove dead skin cells and leave the epidermis looking renewed and glowing.
4. General Beauty Booster
Olive oil is also used for nail and cuticle care, and many women use it as an eye makeup remover. Further applications include using it as an ingredient in homemade facial masks. One other interesting application for both men and women is the substitution of olive oil for shaving cream. Many men have abandoned shaving cream once they discovered how close a shave they can get with olive oil. Men and women alike have also found its refreshing qualities make it an excellent aftershave.
A Final Thought
Because of the many skin benefits olive oil provides, organic skin care products such as O2-Zap often use olive oil as a key, active ingredient. Olive oil creams, cosmetics, and body lotions are more popular than ever for self-administered skin care, because more people are finding that it works better than commercial moisturizers.
Do you use olive oil in your skin care routine? What tips or suggestions do you have? Please share with us in the comments!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Ruta Ganceviciene, Aikaterini I. Liakou, Athanasios Theodoridis, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Jul 1, 2012; 4(3): 308-319. doi: 10.4161/derm.22804.
- D’Angelo S, Ingrosso D, Migliardi V, et al. Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Apr 1;38(7):908-18.