Olive oil is an amazing food not only because it tastes good in dishes but it can also offer a number of health benefits if applied externally. Olive oil is rich in many nutrients including Vitamins E and A. Less well known is that olive oil is rich in many of the antioxidants that can help prevent skin aging and maintaining skin softness and suppleness as well. Besides just massaging it into the skin, there are several other ways to use olive oil for skin.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin
The health benefits of olive oil are very well documented and may include decreasing the risk of cancer and hypertension. Olive oil is also great for the skin when taken internally or massaged into the skin.
1. Anti-inflammatory Effects
If you are troubled by psoriasis, eczema, skin dandruff or dermatitis, olive oil may be able to help. The inflammation of these inflammatory skin conditions can be relieved by the oleocanthal in olive oil. This substance has anti-inflammatory effects much like ibuprofen. Eat about 2 ounces of olive oil each day to help the inflammation.
2. Protection Against UV Rays
If you spend time in the sun, the exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to certain types of skin cancers due to damage from free radicals. Animal studies have shown that olive oil applied to the skin AFTER sun exposure can help neutralize the free radicals through the powerful antioxidants that are in olive oil. These same antioxidants can help protect your skin from loss of the collagen that helps maintain the elasticity of your skin.
3. Moisture for Chapped Lips
Olive oil can help provide needed moisture for the thin skin on your lips. If you spend time in hot or cold climates, you know that chapped lips are the result of these harsh climates. If you use a small amount of olive oil on your lips a few times a day, the oil and antioxidants will help keep your mouth smooth. Adjust the amount of olive oil you use according to your skin type. If your skin is naturally oily, you should use the olive oil less often.
4. Antimicrobial Benefits
The polyphenols in olive oil are very potent antioxidants that may help protect you against stomach ulcers and skin infections caused by bacteria and yeast. The olive oil should be taken internally for protection against stomach ulcers and should be applied topically for protection against skin infections.
5. Deep Nourishing for Skin
In addition to providing moisture for chapped lips, olive oil can also be used for nourishing and hydrating your skin. Squalene is another antioxidant in olive oil that can help relieve dry skin and repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier. For this purpose, olive oil can be eaten or applied directly to the skin. Again, if you have naturally oily skin, be sure to use less olive oil to prevent acne breakouts.
3 Ways to Use Olive Oil for Skin
Topical use of olive oil is one of the quickest ways to get the oil to the driest areas of your body. Knees, feet, elbows and hands can get very dry – massage some olive oil into these areas to make a quick impact on these areas. For more general body use, there are several ways to use olive oil on your skin.
1. Olive Oil Bath
If you enjoy a warm bath, add olive oil to your bath to get all-over smoothness. Start by adding 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil as you are filling your bathtub. Experiment with more or less olive oil until you find the exact amount that leaves your skin feeling smooth and supple. After soaking in the bathtub, gently pat your skin dry. If your skin is not smooth after this treatment, add a little more olive oil to your next bath.
2. Olive Oil Cleanser
For those with an acne problem, try an olive oil cleanser to treat an outbreak. Start with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3-4 tablespoons of table salt. Mix these two ingredients until you have a thick paste. With your fingers, apply the mixture to your face and leave it in place for two minutes. Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. The salt will help dehydrate and exfoliate the acne sores and the olive oil will replenish the nutrients in the skin of your face. Use this treatment every day or two until the acne is improved.
3. Olive Oil Mask
An olive oil mask with lemon juice and honey will protect your skin by adding nutrients and acting as an astringent to clean your skin. To make an olive oil mask, start with a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix these two ingredients together and then add 1 teaspoon of honey. Once these are all combined, put the mixture into the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. When you take the mixture out of the refrigerator, it will be firm and can be applied to your face as a mask. Massage the mixture into your skin and leave it on for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, wash off the olive oil mask with warm water and pat your face dry. After several days, you should notice that your skin is smooth and soft.
Here is another way to make an olive oil mask with honey.