Originating from the Mediterranean region olive tree where the people in that region became known for their luscious skin and hair, this staple ingredient in their diet began to gain attention. Created by the pressing of olives, the benefits of olive oil extend far beyond its use in cooking and foods to include pharmaceuticals, soaps and cosmetics. For centuries, olive oil has been included in beauty routines to help improve skin condition, and today is one of the most popular ingredients in beauty products. Olive oil has many potential benefits which make it an ideal addition to your beauty routine.
- Antioxidant properties: Oxidation is a process in which chemicals known as free radicals are produced in the body. These can potentially damage cells and contribute to the development of cancer. Olive oil acts as an antioxidant, preventing oxidation and promoting the production of phytosterols which promote the production of collagen, which decreases naturally as we get older.
- Vitamin content: Enriched with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, some of which provide great anti-aging benefits to the skin. Vitamin E in particular is found in many skin care products because it is useful in treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as repairing the cells from various harmful environmental effects.
- Exfoliant: The antioxidants in olive oil can penetrate deep into the pores to help remove dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria and even blackheads. As it removes excess oil from the face it can also treat acne and prevent it from returning.
- Moisturizer: Olive oil is an effective emollient, smoothing and softening the skin while restoring oils that have been lost due to the ravages of the environment as well as the ingredients in many of the products we use. Whereas the moisturizing ingredients in many commercial skincare products fail to penetrate the skin, olive oil forms a protective barrier over the skin, preventing moisture from being lost and allowing the skin to repair itself from the inside out, reducing wrinkles and healing any damage to the skin.
- Hair care: Many commercial shampoos contain sulphates which strip the hair of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry and brittle. To make the hair more manageable and give it a healthy sheen, use olive oil for a deep conditioning in place of products containing silicone. The difference will be amazing.
- Reduce the signs of aging: Olive oil prevents cell destruction, fighting the signs of aging to preserve a more youthful appearance. Regardless of whether you’re experiencing the first signs of premature aging or are dealing with deep wrinkles, olive oil is packed with vitamins and fatty acids which can repair damaged skin cells and restore youthful looking skin.
- Treatment for acne and other skin conditions: The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties found in olive oil can soothe inflamed acne-prone skin and improve the symptoms of eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and sun damage. By reducing the inflammation that triggers pimples and clearing away bacteria that causes acne from the surface of the skin, olive oil can give the skin a much-needed relief from various skin problems.
- Skin cleanser: Many facial cleansers and makeup removers strip the skin of its natural protective oils. Olive oil is extremely effective at breaking down and lifting up waxy substances on the skin, allowing it to target excess oil and stubborn cosmetic products, providing a deep, gentle nourishment for the skin.
- Healing wounds: Triterpenes are chemical compounds found in olive oil which play a key role in the biological reactions which occur in the skin during the wound healing process. It therefore speeds up the rate at which the skin is able to repair itself, thus speeding up the healing process.
- Fades stretch marks and scars: The Vitamin E content in olive oil can help to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks, especially when applied directly to the area over a period of time. It effectively aids in skin cell regeneration which causes scars to fade as new, healthy cells are produced.
This versatile oil is certainly a must for every beauty regimen, whether you choose to purchase products containing olive oil, simply add a few drops to your lotion, or use it as a replacement for conditioner or other cosmetic product. The benefits are numerous but be aware that it can clog pores so should be used sparingly, especially for people with sensitive skin. Don’t forget to include it in your diet as a replacement for cooking oil or in your salads and other recipes. The health benefits to your heart and cholesterol levels are well worth it.