Olive oil is derived from olives and is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. The oil has many nutritional benefits when consumed, but it is also frequently applied to the skin and hair.
Learn more about the benefits of using olive oil on the face, and discover how to use it for the best results.
Benefits of olive oil for the skin and face
Some of the potential benefits of olive oil for the skin include:
1. Antioxidant content
Olive oil in a bottle which may be used on the face
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Olive oil may help prevent premature signs of aging on the skin.
Olive oil acts as an antioxidant, which is a substance that prevents oxidation. Oxidation is a process that can produce free radicals, which are chemicals that can potentially damage cells and may contribute to cancer development.
When applied to the skin, antioxidants may prevent premature aging. Also, some research suggests that putting olive oil on the skin after sun exposure may fight off cancer-causing cells.
In the study, scientists applied the oil to the skin of mice that had been exposed to potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Tumor growth was significantly lower in the mice that had olive oil on their skin compared with those who did not.
Scientists need to carry out more research in this area to understand the effects of olive oil’s antioxidant properties on human skin.
2. Vitamin content
Olive oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Some of these vitamins may be beneficial for the skin.
For example, people have used vitamin E oil topically throughout history to treat a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.
3. Antibacterial effects
Olive oil has been shown to have antibacterial properties. However, there are very few studies on olive oil’s ability to control bacteria on the skin.
One small study looked at the effects of using olive oil and coconut oil on Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin. The results found that both oils exhibited antibacterial properties, but virgin coconut oil was more effective at eliminating the bacteria.
Nonetheless, olive oil may sometimes be used to treat bacterial infections of the skin. It may also improve healing in people with foot ulcers caused by type 2 diabetes.
4. Moisturizing effects
Olive oil is a popular natural moisturizer that is often used to soften both skin and hair. However, there is very little research on its effectiveness.