Olive oil is a product of olive fruits harvested from the Olive tree whose botanical name is Olea europaea . The olive tree is an evergreen short squat gnarled tree. It has oblong-shaped silver-green leaves. During the flowery stage, the tree produces white feathery flowers that spring from the axils of the leaves. The fruit develops from this flower. It is ready for harvest in its green and purple stage.
The tree is native to the Mediterranean but has since spread to places as far as China and Japan. The Spanish Missionaries spread its cultivation to South America in Peru, Argentina, and Chile to as far away as California. These regions enjoy the Mediterranean like climate. There are over eight hundred million olive trees cultivated commercially in the world.
The olive tree gives fruits, leaves – used as incense in Mediterranean countries – and fine wood. The bulk of fruit harvested is crushed into oil and some used as table olives. Table olives are of three types, green olives picked when mature but still unripe. Semi ripe olives picked when they start changing color to shades of brown, and black olives, picked when fully ripe.
Olive fruits are crushed and kneaded to extract olive oil. Oil is highly nutritional and is rich in Vitamin E. It is seventy-five percent water, fifteen percent fat and four percent carbohydrates. The oil is used as a staple diet in the Mediterranean cuisine but has also been found to have multiple uses on skin, hair, and nails.
There are two types of olive oils available on supermarket shelves. One labelled Refined Olive Oil and the other labelled extra virgin olive. Refined Olive oil is industrially produced and may have a mixture of chemicals or other plant oils. Extra Virgin Olive oil is cold-pressed, squeezed from whole olives, making it more valuable. It is the most sought after olive oil.
Let’s look at how Olive oil is used as a skincare product. Here are 50 Uses of Olive oil on the skin.
1. Prevent premature ageing
Everybody wants to look perpetually young. Olive oil has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals that cause ageing. When applied to the skin it helps keep the skin young and supple, it also smoothens wrinkles and prevents signs of ageing from showing.
2. Protect against Ultraviolet Rays
UltraViolet rays come from the sun. They have scientifically been proven to cause tumours and in some instances skin cancer. Olive oils applied to the skin creates a permeable layer of protection and fights free radicals.
3. Skin Nourishment
The skin just like every other living organ needs nourishment. Olive oils contain several Vitamins that are beneficial for nourishing the skin. Vitamin E found abundantly in olive oil has been known for many years as a source of healthy glowing skin.
4. Treating Bacterial Infections
Olive oil has effective antibacterial properties that treat skin bacterial infection. A scientific experiment found that it was highly effective against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that affect the skin. Extra virgin olive oil was found to be highly effective in the treatment of bacterial skin infections.
5. Treating Foot Ulcers
The Antibacterial properties in Olive oil have been proven to be highly effective in the treatment of foot ulcers caused by type 2 Diabetes. Applying Olive oil on the affected part soon dries up the wound.
6. Skin Moisturizer
Dry skin is highly irritable and can easily get damaged. Olive oil has been known as a natural moisturizer that does not leave harmful residue. It’s more effective when applied directly to damp skin after a shower.
7. Hair Treatment
The ancient Egyptians knew the secret of using Olive oil in their hair. Olive oil shampooed in the hair treats the hair follicles, softening the ends. This results in softer healthier hair.
8. Skin Exfoliator
Exfoliating your skin to get that youthful baby look doesn’t need to be expensive. Olive oil mixed fine grain sea salt is a perfect mixture for rubbing away dead skin from the face and other parts of the body.
9. Makeup Remover
Olive oil is an effective makeup remover. It has properties that breakdown water-resistant makeup making it easy to wipe it all away. A cotton swab dipped in olive oil and gently applied on the eyebrows creates a great pre-cleansing step, which should then be followed up with warm water wash.
10. Face Mask
For healthy skin, mix Egg white, honey, oat flour, mixed in olive oil to make an ideal face mask. Olive based face masks cleanse, nourishes, reinvigorates and hydrates the skin.
11. Managing Wrinkles
A slap of olive oil on the face before bedtime reduces skin wrinkles. It can also be used when the skin is exposed to too much sunshine that causes wrinkles around the eyes.
12. Fading Scars
The antioxidants found in olive oils help the skin to regenerate. Mix olive oil with lemon juice and apply it to scarred skin. Over time the scar will fade away.
13. Erasing Stretch marks
Stretch marks, the unsightly marks that plague women or anyone who has had to lose weight, can be prevented with the use of olive oil.
14. Chapped Lips Treatment
Olive Oil mixed with coarse sugar with a splash of lemon makes an excellent lip balm for treating chapped lips.
15. Ear Wax Remover
Cleaning ears is a delicate process, olive oil helps remove ear wax that has clogged in the ear. A few drops in the ear overnight will loosen the wax.
16. Glossy Hair Shine
Glossy hair looks exquisite; the opposite is chapped hair which looks unkempt. Hair products that give your hair that glossy look may be expensive, but you don’t have to spend any money if you have olive oil. Just rub a few drops in your hair and the hair ends will have a natural gloss over.
17. Shaving lubricant
The skin is really sensitive to the effect of shaving. Shaving without shaving cream will cause painful skin bumps. To have a clean bump-free shave without expensive shaving cream use olive oil.
18. Treat Cuticles
Olive oil softens nail cuticles and helps the nails to grow stronger and longer.
19. Treating Eczema
Eczema is a skin condition that causes red itchy patches on the skin. The moisturizing properties in olive oil together with its antibacterial strength clear and treats eczema.
20. Treating Diaper Rash
Infants may suffer from diaper rash if not changed on time. Most baby’s skins are extremely sensitive to industrial compounds; olive oil is a soothing natural treatment for diaper rash.
21. Treat Cradle cap
Some Infants may suffer from cradle caps, a skin condition of the scalp that produces white flour-like dead skin in the baby’s hair. Applying olive oil to the baby’s scalp will take care of this condition.
22. Treating cracked heels
There is nothing as damaging to a new pair of socks as cracked heels, a condition caused by dry split rough heels that look unsightly in open shoes. Scrubbing the heels with a pumice stone followed by a heavy dose of olive oil applied to the area will erase the cracks from the heel.
23. Cleaning makeup brushes
Makeup brushes get dirty over time. Water doesn’t clean them properly. Olive oil and bacterial soap will do a perfect job of cleaning them.
24. Lightens dark skins
People with dark skins sometimes want to lighten them up a little. Chemically based bleaching compounds may be dangerous to the skin. Extra virgin olive oil has skin lightening properties as it helps to block hyperpigmentation. Caused by the sun.
25. Heals Inflammation
Olive oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in the body.
26. Natural Sunscreen
Olive oil is a natural sunscreen when applied to the skin it acts as a natural barrier to the sun’s Ultraviolet rays.
27. Stops Skin damage
Olive oil eaten in meals and applied on the skin cures the skin. The Antioxidants in olive oil stop skin damage from free radicals while cleansing moisturizing and encouraging new cells to grow.
28. Protects skin from excessive tanning
A natural tan of the skin is always welcome but too much tanning is dangerous. Olive oil applied to the skin will protect the skin from too much darkening.
29. Skin cleansing Agent
Olive oil is added to several cosmetic products, skin creams, cleansers, bath soap because of its natural cleansing properties.
30. Emulsifying Agent
Olive oil has many skincare uses, it is used as an emulsifier of cosmetic products, like lotions and shampoos.
31. Natural Sunblock
Olive oil has natural sunblock properties that act as a physical barrier against the sun’s harmful Ultraviolet rays.
32. Facial makeup
Olive oil is used in the manufacture of natural oil-based makeups. The antioxidants found in olive oil and the antibacterial properties make it ideal for makeups used by persons with sensitive skin.
33. Hydrogenated Olive oil
Olive oil can be hydrogenated into a semi-solid state using pressurized hydrogen gas pressure. Hydrogenated olive oil has powerful antioxidants properties and is used as an ingredient in many skincare and conditioning products.
34. Treat Inflammation
Olive oil has many anti-inflammatory properties; the most active is oleocanthal, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that works better than many anti-inflammatory drugs.
35. Treats cancerous inflammation
Oleocanthal The anti-inflammatory compound mostly found in extra virgin olive oil together with oleic acid has been shown in scientific studies to reduce levels of inflammation in cancerous tumours. They act on the C – reactive protein and inhibit genes and proteins that fuel inflammation to reduce the swelling.
36. Hair Shampoo and conditioners
Hair shampoos and conditioners that contain olive oil are effective in treating scalp irritation and destroying dandruff leaving the hair glossed over and healthy.
37. Lighten Hair
Olive oil mixed with lemon juice is a natural hair lightener for dark hairs. It is used to bleach out the dark pigment in the hair and make it is colour lighter.
38. Clear dark Spots
Dark spots on the skin caused by scarring or skin damage can be easily cleared by olive oil mixed with lemon juice. The citric acid in the lemon acts as a skin exfoliator
39. Treats freckles
Freckles or brown spots found on the cheeks are caused by overexposure to the sun which stimulates the production of melanin, a skin darkening pigment. Olive oil applied on affected spots lightens up the area clearing freckles.
40. Clears sunspots Blemishes
Sunspots develop in areas of the skin exposed to the sun. they may look unsightly. To remove them fairly easily without causing damage to the skin, use olive oil that has skin lightening properties and is perfectly safe because of its antibacterial properties.
41. Treats Hyperpigmentation
When patches of the skin become darker in some place than the surrounding skin, the condition is called hyperpigmentation A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice will clear hyperpigmentation and even out the skin colour.
A skin pigmentation disorder also called melasma caused by gray patches that appear in the face. Olive oil is a natural remedy that clears melasma without adverse side effects.
43. Acne scars
When hair follicles are blocked with oil and dead skin, they cause blackhead and white head pimples which mostly appear in the face, shoulders, and back. Acne affects mostly teenagers but may persist into adulthood, applying olive oil on clean washed skin will clear acne.
44. Age spots
Dark flat small spots in specific areas of the skin are also called age spots or liver spots; they mostly affect areas of the skin exposed to the sun. Continuous application of olive oil after a shower eventually clears the spots.
45. Hormonal spots
Hormonal spots or hormonal acne affect mostly women; they form blackheads and whiteheads on the cheeks and the jawline, the antioxidants in olive oil will help clear the spots and clear out the cysts.
46. Firms breast skin
Olive oil has breast firming benefits for women. Applying olive oil to the breast every day will help firm the skin.
47. Body Birth
Olive oil mixed with lavender can be mixed with birth water to create an invigorating relaxing bath. The oil also acts as a moisturizer to the skin. It is especially beneficial to pregnant women.
48. Dark Circles under the eyes
Eyes sacs or the Dark circles that form under the eyes due to fatigue can be removed with a swab of olive oil. It helps to clear puffy eyes and remove the dark shadows.
49. Skin Cleanser
Olive oil mixed with parsley leaves can be applied on the whole body right after a bath to moisturize the skin and cleanse the pores. Its antibacterial properties make it an effective body cleanser.
50. Treat Nails
Soaking your nails in a mixture of Olive oil and lemon softens and strengthens the nails while nourishing them to grow.
51. Help to Manage Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a disease that causes patches of red or purple areas of affected parts of the skin. They are usually itchy and may become dry and scaly. Applying olive oil on affected parts helps to soothe and to clear the redness.
We cannot exhaust all the uses of olive oil, considering that humanity has been reaping its benefits for thousands of years, different cultures have discovered unique applications and uses of olive oil. Every time you reach out for a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, remember its other important uses as a dermatological agent.