Is olive oil good for your skin?

Is Olive Oil Good for Your Skin?

Should you be smearing this pantry staple on your complexion? We have the answer

Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / September 04 2019

We love a good pantry staple that doubles as a beauty wonder ingredient, and olive oil has certainly gained quite the reputation as one. But is olive oil good for skin? Absolutely. As you’d expect from an oil, it’s a great moisturiser. “Olive oil is an ancient remedy used to help maintain a fresh dewy complexion,” says Palmer’s Australia Brand and Product Manager, Kimberly James. But it’s good for other reasons, too: “It is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidising and regenerative properties, and is easily absorbed for instant nutrition and protection,” says James. *Runs to kitchen and pours olive oil ALL over*.

Olive oil benefits for skin

“Olive oil softens and tones, and is highly beneficial to stressed or damaged skin. It’s rich in essential fatty acids including oleic, palmitic and linoleic acids, which protect skin against moisture loss, promote cell health and leave skin smooth and soft,” says James. Oh, and the antioxidants in olive oil also protect against free radical damage, resulting in brighter, more youthful-looking skin, adds James.

FUN FACT: Italian actress Sophia Loren shared with the Sunday Times that her trick to defying the ageing process was "a love of life, spaghetti and the odd bath in virgin olive oil." She swears by adding a capful of olive oil to a hot bath for nourished skin from top to toe.

Does it matter what kind of olive oil you use?

We're sorry to say that the olive oil in your pantry may not be up to scratch - unless you only stock the good stuff. If you’re going to apply olive oil on skin, the best olive oil for face use is organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. James explains that the reason why you should only use an extra virgin olive oil for skin is because “Extra virgin olive oil is the output of the first pressing of raw olives, and it retains the highest levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients compared to lower grade olive oil. These nutrients are what makes extra virgin olive oil so beneficial to skin and hair (and what you eat!), so it’s best to choose products that use the highest quality ingredients possible.”

Does olive oil clog pores?

Because olive oil is slightly comedogenic, there is a risk that it may clog pores. When applying it to skin, dab off any excess residue with a washcloth to help prevent breakouts. There's also a chance that olive oil may also cause irritation or an allergic reaction for sensitive skin types, so always do a patch test first. “Extra virgin olive oil in its natural state has a mild risk of causing skin sensitivity, so it’s best to use a formula that harnesses the emollient and antioxidant properties of olive oil with other additional skin beneficial ingredients. Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula also includes vitamin E and shea butter to nourish and hydrate skin and hair without irritation.”

Olive oil-infused skin care you should try

Olive oil has become such a popular ingredient that there are now numerous beauty brands who hero it in their formulas. Some of our top picks include Palmer’s aforementioned olive oil range, which includes a selection of skin and haircare products infused with extra virgin olive oil; Olive Oil Skincare Company, who is Australian made and owned and only uses cold-pressed and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil in their extensive range of skin, body and hair products; and Botani, which was founded by an Aussie naturopath and herbalist who has harnessed the power of extra virgin olive oil and olive squalene in most of her products. For more olive oil-enriched skin care products, check out these.

Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Olive Oil Hand Cream

Olive Oil Skincare Company The Original Soothing Balm

Botani Olive Skin Serum

5 ways to use olive oil in your skin care routine

If you fancy trying your hand at some DIY uses of olive oil for skin, try these:

#1 / As a moisturiser
Like we mentioned earlier, one of the top olive oil properties is its ability to nourish skin, which makes it an excellent moisturiser. You can use straight olive oil for dry skin, but just make sure your skin is damp first - it will help the oil to sink in deeper so it doesn't clog the surface.

#2 / As a cleanser
Actress Chloë Grace Moretz is a fan of using an olive oil face wash, saying in an interview with Allure, “I swear my skin is so much clearer because of it”. As oil attracts oil, it’s a good option for oily skin types. Top tip: Ensure you remove all oil residue after cleansing to avoid blocking pores.

#3 / As a cuticle oil
Treat your dry, cracked cuticles to the ultra-nourishing and easily absorbed benefits of olive oil. Simple massage a few drops onto your cuticles. You can also soak your nails in straight olive oil to help them grow! Leave them for 20 minutes and repeat weekly for best results.

#4 / As a lip treatment
Since it’s safe to consume, you can use olive oil for lips, both as a lip treatment and as a lip scrub. Smooth a drop or two over chapped lips, or mix with brown sugar to create a homemade lip scrub.

#5 / As a makeup sponge cleanser
We recently shared the simple steps it takes to clean your makeup brushes (hint: you’ll need baby shampoo). As for your makeup sponges, try this genius hack we uncovered on Reddit. Soak your sponge in a mixture of one part olive oil, one part dish soap and one part water, then run the sponge under hot water and squeeze to remove dirt and grime.

Want to know what other beautifying oils you have hiding in your pantry? Rachael Taylor swears by this oil, and here are six reasons to try coconut oil today.

Have you used olive oil in your beauty routine before? Any olive oil-infused products you swear by?

Main image credit: Getty

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.