Feb 172015

Olive oil was the first oil I started using alone as a skin care product back in the day. It was sometime between my surgery under my arms due to antiperspirants (that was over 15 years ago) and another surgery a few years later on my eye lid – severely clogged pore due to eye shadows and mascaras containing toxic ingredients.

My left side of the face started itching really bad. I noticed some blisters. And I scratched and scratched, until it hurt. Then it started burning. A day later, my skin was really dry and it peeled like the skin peels after being sun-burnt. It hurt, it itched. I had no idea what was going on. I started searching on the internet for the symptoms. Contact dermatitis. Oh, great. As if constant problems with acne were not enough, now I had contact dermatitis as well. One of the “cures” mentioned were steroid based creams. There’s no way I’d put that on my skin! One of the possible cures mentioned was olive oil.

Having oily skin and acne, I’d been hearing about how oils are terrible for such skin and would only clog pores even more. But, it was a steroid cream or… olive oil. I went to the drugstore and bought olive oil. I feared my skin bursting out with acne the next day, but at that point, I was desperate to treat dermatitis, regardless if acne would be a by-result. I kept applying olive oil for a week, and there was no sign of acne. Dermatitis was flaring out, the skin was no longer dry, itchy  but instead – it was soft, nourished. I still expected an onslaught of acne any moment now, although it was taking them a bit long, I thought. Still, too tempted by the results on my skin where contact dermatitis appeared, I slowly started applying olive oil all over my skin.

So, about two weeks passed, and I was still using olive oil. All over my face. There were no acne in sight, the skin was getting more and more softer, nourished. Healed. Hmmm. I started searching for face oils. Carrier oils. There were so many carrier oils, which could be used for skin, one having better skin-beneficial properties than the other, and all can be mixed together. Back then, it wasn’t as easy getting any beauty product over the internet as it is today, so my journey of collecting all sorts of carrier and essential oils and body butters was a bit more difficult as it is today. But nonetheless, after discovering what olive oil did for my skin, I never looked back – carrier oils have been my main skin care products ever since.

It took me another surgical procedure – this time on my eyelid –  a few years later to finally and completely switch to natural organic cosmetics. Olive oil is still on my cosmetic shelf after all these years. And since then, I’ve never had a contact dermatitis episode again. Acne, too, were nearly completely gone, with one every now and again due to hormonal changes.

What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is obtained by pressing olives’ flesh. As with all vegetable/carrier oils, cold pressing is best as it doesn’t strip the oils of valuable minerals, vitamins, fatty acids. Make sure you use, whether for culinary or cosmetic purpose, an extra virgin cold pressed Olive oil, as opposed to refined.

If unsure which vegetable oil to use for your skin, Olive oil is the best way to go, as it is the most versatile and most used oil on its own or in numerous combinations with other vegetable oils, essential oils, butters etc. Known for its excellent properties, it has been used for skin care as well as for cooking for thousands of years.

Olive oil is easily absorbed by the skin and does not leave either a heavy or greasy feeling; on a contrary—Olive oil leaves the skin soft and smooth.

Olive oil is rich in fatty acids, such as oleic and palmitic acid. Olive oil also contains squalane, which not only acts as an natural silicone –  squalane closely resembles skin’s own lubricant—sebum. In fact, it was this compound – squalane – in Olive oil, which healed my dermatitis.

Why use Olive Oil?

Olive oil is a great natural lubricant, which leaves skin smooth and soft. It’s very nourishing and acts as a great protector against weather and pollution effects on skin, especially if skin is sun damaged. Alone or in combination with other vegetable and essential oils and butters, it’s great for chapped lips and chapped and hardened skin on hands, feet, knees and elbows. Alone or in combination with Almond oil, it works great as a make up remover. Due to being rich with antioxidant Vitamin E, Olive oil helps reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and replenishes moisture as it penetrates deep into the skin.

It can be used for facial skin care or as a massage body oil, alone or with other carrier oils and/or essential oils and butters.

Uses of Olive Oil:

  • skin serum
  • body massage
  • nail cuticle oil
  • make up remover (alone or with other carrier oils, such as Almond oil and Coconut oil)
  • face mask with clay
  • soap
  • hair treatment, hair conditioner (heat the Olive oil in a double boiler, apply it all over your hair and wrap the hair with a warm towel; wash with natural organic shampoo and rinse with apple cider vinegar. You can also ad an egg yolk and lemon juice to the hair mask)
  • dandruff (used alone or with Tea Tree essential oil and/or Rosemary essential oil)

Olive Oil in Beauty Products

1. Badger Balm body oil 2.Badger Balm balm for sensitive skin 3. John Masters Organics lip balm 4. Acure Organics seriously firming facial serum 5. Odylique by Essential Care Avocado replenishing cream 6. Acure Organics facial cleanser 7. Suki hydrating body oil 8. Suti facial cleanser

Olive Oil is recommended for:

  • mature skin
  • dry skin
  • sun damaged skin
  • chapped skin
  • undernourished skin
  • dehydrated skin
  • irritated and itchy skin
  • psoriasis, eczema/dermatitis
  • dry and damaged hair

Caution when buying Olive oil or There’s an Olive Oil mob

Unfortunately, Olive oil is not exempt from dishonest business practice – adulteration. Some sellers adulterate Olive oil with various other, cheaper oils, such as Sunflower oil and Soybean oil, or sometimes, completely different oils, such as Sunflower and Avocado oils are sold as Olive oil.

Tom Mueller in his book “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil” talks precisely about this issue, how Olive oil industry is corrupt.

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Do you use Olive oil? For either cooking or for cosmetic purposes or both? Which are your favorite natural beauty products containing Olive oil?



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  4 Responses to “Olive Oil”

Comments (4)
  1. Very interesting post, you may recall I have oily skin (which I dont mind – no wrinkles yet) but I am a little bored with my spots and open pores. I have various facial oils that I use mainly at night – I have one by Indie Lee – Squalane oil which is a word you mention above. I have had a 2 week break from my non-green foundation to see if my spots improve but they didnt, although I have been suprisingly comfortable without my daily mask on…….have I reached that age when I am finally comfortable in my own skin? i wonder……what a revelation thay would be :-) :-) :-)

    • True, with every skin type come positive and negative aspects; oily skin is self-moisturizing one, but usually comes with acne and spots. Which non-green foundation do you use? Maybe you could switch to a green one instead? And yes, with maturity comes being comfortable in one’s own skin. If earlier you tried to cover everything up, now it’s more like an addition to being put together, but not necessary at every step of the way. Maturity sure does bring many a revelation, doesn’t it? :)

      • I currently use foundation from Boots No 7, they have an electronic colour match thing and its the first time I have had a colour that looks good and lasts all day – not sliding off the oilyness – saying that – these days without foundation – I havent seemed as oily as normal….? I have just sent off for a sample pack of ‘The Green People’ DD cream in Ivory. I just purchased a hamper from them for a friend who is about to have a baby and their products have a very high percentage of organic ingredients – couldnt see the % on the DD cream but I can investigate when I have tested the colour. Its so great being able to communicate with someone as knowledgable as yourself :-)

        • Yeah, ’bout that, we need to have a little chat. I was o_O when I saw the ingredients of the foundation you’ve mentioned; nearly ran for the hills! I could tell you for nearly each ingredient why I wouldn’t put it on a bottom of my shoes, but since it would have taken too long, I’ll just say – throw it into the nearest garbage can. Electronic matching of the color or not.

          I am testing 100% Pure foundation (will post a review next year; I know, sounds so far away, hehe, but it will be either in January or February), and aside from one ingredient which I am anything but fond of, the foundation suits my oily skin. It’s not oily, the finish is matte and has quite a staying power. I am debating whether I should have chosen the lighter color, but all in all – I think it’s quite matching my skin tone.

          I’m glad you’re spreading the knowledge how important it is for babies and kids to also use natural products; it’s not just us, adults, but also babies need to avoid harsh chemicals in hygiene products.

          I feel blessed and grateful to be able to share my experience regarding green beauty I’ve acquired during all these years; via trials and errors and all. :)

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