Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) Benefits For Your Skin: Other Uses!

by | Soap Making

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Olive Oil Benefits For Your Skin:

Olive oil is a popular kitchen ingredient that is used all over the world and in many other different applications. It’s more than a simple food additive or used just in cookware devices and foods. Olive oil has been a staple of the beauty and wellness community for many years. In this post, we’ll dive into some of the specific olive oil benefits for your skin.

Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) and its Benefits in Soap Making, As Well As, Bath and Beauty Products blog 5

What is Olive Oil?

In order to make olive oil, olives are taken from olive trees and pressed. The result is extracted olive oil that can be used in many different ways. For example, cooking, food prep, cosmetics, moisturizing lotions and creams, etc.

Now, when it comes to nutritional value of consumed olive oil, you have probably heard about all of the potential or highly touted benefits. For example;

  • reduced inflammation,
  • beneficial effect on genes linked to cancer,
  • reducing the risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease, or diabetes),
  • favorable effects on body weight,
  • and even helping to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

For The Soap Maker In Mind:

However, for a moment, we’d like to discuss specifically olive oil and skincare. As it is related to our company, RN to Zen, we use olive oil in 95% of our soap. Olive oil provides a beautifully thick and moisturizing feel. In addition, adds slightly to the lather of cold process soap. Some businesses even make 100% olive oil soaps. These are called castile soaps.

Oftentimes, there are 2 variations that you will come across in soaps. “Pure” olive oil and olive oil “pomace”. The only real difference for soap making is slight color variations, and the latter creates a slightly harder bar.

Remember soap makers, not all olive oils are created equal. Check out this blog post from soap making giant Brambleberry. They discuss, but also show examples of the unpredictability of some olive oils in soaps.

Olive oil is such a versatile oil in soap making. For example, you can actually infuse herbs into olive oil (like chamomile). Then, use it to make your batter for your soaps. Thus, incorporating chosen herbs, into your final bar. Olive oil is just amazing for soap makers!

So, when it comes to your skin and soap-making, what should you know about the benefits of olive oil? Below we talk about what we found in research of olive oils & it’s potential benefits for the skin!

Olive Oil Benefits For Your Skin: Use In Bath & Beauty Products

As we discuss olive oils versatility, specifically to skincare, begin to ask yourself if it can be beneficial for your skin?

Above all, it’s important to understand your skin type. For example, dry vs. oily skin. The uses of olive oil are vast. Let’s talk, olive oil benefits for your skin!

Moisturizer/Rich in Skin Loving Vitamins:

Firstly, it’s helpful to know what types of compounds make up olive oil and anything alike. This can give you clues into whether it is safe for your skin. Secondly, the additional benefits it may offer to your skin care regimen.

Components within olive oil include vitamins. For example, vitamin A, D, K and E, according to International Olive Council. In fact, more then 200 different chemical compounds have been detected in olive oils, like sterols, and phenolic compounds, which we’ll discuss later.

Let’s continue this conversation in talking about it’s rich monounsaturated fatty acids. These types of fatty acids (that can also be found in avocados), are healthy fats. In addition, help maintain the water level in the epidermis. This in turn, helps keep the skin intact and helps retain a level of moisture.

Olive oil is safe for use on most skin types. However, if you are someone who is prone to acne breakouts with sensitive skin, this may not be the one for you. Olive oil is thicker then say, babassu oil, so more apt to clog pores and leave your skin more oily then you may like.

Plant based oils (specifically those high in monounsaturated oleic acids) have also been proven to increase skin permeability. According to research from 2018, olive oil was right at the top of the list for lipid penetration into the epidermis, as compared with all other oils in the study.

Skin Loving Antioxidants:

Olive oil is full of antioxidants. Phenolic compounds are a main antioxidant found in virgin olive oil. The main one(s) are called hydrophilic phenols, and found in abundance in olive oil(s). These phenols have an even higher antioxidative properties then vitamin E, according to research.

Due to some oxidative properties, there is research that suggests topically applied olive oil (after UVB exposure) may offer a protective effect and may help fight off cancer cells. Keep in mind this was an animal study, and not performed on human participants.

May Be A Factor In Wound Support:

Multiple studies exist which include olive oil as an ingredient or part of an ointment used to help treat wounds. One of these studies looked at olive oil and a honey topical ointment (2015). Concluding, the ointment could accelerate tissue repair, and facilitate debridement.

Other studies exist on topical treatment on animal burns, like this 2015 study. A mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil was used on canine 2nd degree burns. The results showed a decrease in wound healing time, and decrease in inflammatory reaction with use of the ointment, over silver sulfadiazine.

Another animal study completed in 2016 showed improvements in cutaneous wound healing of pressure ulcers in mice.

* In contrast of the positive results it has shown in wound healing, direct application to the skin for things such as dryness, or massage (related to infants), may not have the same results. We found a few studies in which the results discussed doing just these types of applications, like this one in 2013.

This research looked at both olive oil and sunflower oils on adult skin barrier, showing that the application on adult skin without a history of atopic dermatitis, actually caused a reduction in some skin integrity, and induced some mild redness.

This is just another important reminder, always know your skin. Do your research. Speak to a health care professional. Oils should never be used on infants, children or pregnant women without consulting an expert. 

Support Of Healthy Hair:

Olive oil is also used in many hair care products. Even being applied directly to hair to improve its shine, body, and softness. The compounds found in olive oil make it a wonderful emollient, meaning it can add softness. However best, when added to conditioners!

There seems to be far less research in relation to olive oil and hair care as to application in skincare and consumption of olive oil. Some say that it can also add strength to hair because of the ability to preserve moisture, but this is more anecdotal evidence, at best.

Final Thoughts!

Please share you favorite soaps, creams or lotions that contain olive oil. In addition, how they may have benefited your skin or hair.

Like with all the research we find about any ingredient, we emphasize the importance of knowing your own skin and skin type. We do not perform our own research studies, nor do we personally condone studies on animals.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to purchase items, then we may earn a small commission. Hope you find something that you like!
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