Benefits of Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the Face

Olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil can be used as a moisturizer for your face. (Image: dulezidar/iStock/GettyImages)

Extra-virgin olive oil is prized for its nutritional benefits when you drizzle it on a salad or use it in a saute. However, extra-virgin olive oil can also do wonders for your skin when using it topically. This little fruit’s versatility lends itself well to more than one use, so buy a small bottle and put it in your bathroom right next to your toothpaste and deodorant.

Cancer Protection

If you have a sunburn, apply olive oil to the burned skin. Doing so could potentially reduce UVB-induced skin tumors. As an antioxidant, olive oil helps protect your skin against free radicals, which can contribute to cancer formation.

Olive oil contains squalene, which gives it a little higher boost of antioxidants. A study published in Carcinogensis found that olive oil applied to the skin of mice that were exposed to UV rays help to fight off cancer-causing cells. Additionally, the rates of tumors were significantly lower in the mice that were given an olive oil application.

Moisturizing Benefits

Extra virgin olive oil penetrates deep into the skin on your face, providing needed moisture as well as a shield to protect your skin, keeping it smooth. When you use olive oil as a moisturizer, you massage it into skin that’s still slightly damp so that the remaining water on your skin can help keep your skin from feeling greasy.

If you suffer from dry, scaly skin, mix extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt together to make a natural exfoliant. Massage this exfoliator into the areas of your face affected by dryness and scaliness. It works to get rid of the old, dry skin, revealing new, younger skin underneath.

Take Precautions

Using olive oil on your skin might not be a good habit for everyone. If you have extra-sensitive skin or a skin condition such as dermatitis, you should talk to a dermatologist about the best products for your face. If you decide to try olive oil, do a patch test on your arm and wait 24 to 48 hours to see if there's a reaction.

When picking out olive oil as a beauty product, look closely at the list of ingredients. Low-quality olive oils often contain chemicals or additives that could be harmful to your skin. Search for a brand that's certified by the International Olive Council, so you can be sure that you're buying a high-quality product.

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