Olive oil is probably the most well known oil. Most people think of cooking when olive oil is mentioned but it has much more to offer than just that. Olive oil consists of oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, linolenic acid, polyphenols, Vitamin E, carotenoids, and squalene. All of which provide great benefits to our skin. Greek poet Homer referred to olive oil as “liquid gold”, so lets see what properties it can offer when used in skincare.
- antioxidant. Olive oil helps to prevent and reverse damage caused by sun and other environmental factors. In fact, a study has been made to research olive oils antioxidant properties. Researchers applied olive oil to the skin of mice and exposed them to UV rays. This study showed that olive oil was effective in fighting cancer causing cells and lowering a chance of tumors. Olive oil can be used not only as a protective measure but also to heal and restore already damaged skin.
- Moisturizer. Olive oil can penetrate and moisturize outer layers of skin. It also provides a protective film on the skin protecting it from moisture loss. Olive oil contains squalene, a lipid that is also found in our skin cells. This helps olive oil to be accepted by the skin well and helps to boost it moisturizing properties.
- Hair growth and conditioning. When used on scalp olive oil provides it with necessary nutrients including antioxidants, which stimulate hair growth. Oils moisturizing properties also help to treat dandruff. When used on the ends, olive oil seals hair cells with moisture and makes hair softer and more manageable.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Healing properties. Good fats and antioxidants found in olive oil help to fight free radicals and promote healing
Both refined and unrefined olive oil is suitable to be added to most beauty applications: skin care, hair care, etc. However, only unrefined oil will possess all the nutrients and provide the most benefits.
Note to soap makers: refined olive oil is better for making soap as it has better saponification properties.
Color: gold to green in color, depends on the batch. Refined oils will be lighter and less green.
Smell: unrefined - fragrant and fruity, reminds of olives (obviously), could have a hint of spicy/pepper smell. Refined - depending on the refinement process but usually odorless.
Viscosity/texture: heavy, oily
Absorption: penetrating the skin at average speed, leaving a slightly oily film
Shelf life: 1-2 years
Comedogenic rating: 2, which means this oil may slightly clog pores.