Can olive oil or EVOO be used for skincare?

Created on 7th Feb 2018

Whilst we prefer to drizzle, dress and splash Pomora extra virgin olive oil over meat, fish and pasta, it transpires that olive oil has been used for skincare for centuries. In ancient times, Cleopatra was a big advocate for her beauty remedy apparently – and olive oil still has a very common cosmetic use today.

The key reason why olive oil can be used for skincare is because olive oil is naturally crammed full of fatty acids (mainly unsaturated fat), minerals and vitamins (mainly A and E). These attributes make olive oil great for use on skin, hair and nails. Important to note here that we are only talking about Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) which has undergone the least amount of processing and so still has the highest nutritional value. Please see What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?.

The smooth, silky texture of olive oil slowly seeps deep into the skin, which hydrates, softens and creates elasticity to the skin, in effect acting as a natural moisturiser. As extra virgin olive oil is 100% natural you know what you’re getting so there should be no reactions, whereas some skin beauty products may contain artificial ingredients. This is why is olive oil good for your skin.

There are plenty of suggested beauty treatments using olive oil on your skin as detailed below:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is rich in fatty acids, particularly oleic acid, which can help moisturize and nourish the skin. Applying a small amount of EVOO to the face or body can help combat dryness, especially in areas prone to rough or dry skin. Sophia Loren swore by taking olive oil baths to keep up her beautiful looks. Simply add 5 tablespoons (or more) of olive oil to the bath and away you go, silky smooth and soft skin!

Makeup Remover
EVOO can be an effective and natural makeup remover. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and gently wipe away makeup. The olive oil can help break down and lift away makeup, even waterproof products.

Cuticle Care
Rubbing a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into the cuticles of your fingers and toes can help moisturize and soften them. This is particularly useful for those with dry or damaged cuticles. Vitamin E especially helps prevent cell damage.

Hair Treatment
EVOO can also be used as a hair treatment. Apply a small amount to the ends of your hair to help condition and reduce frizz. Some people also use it as a scalp treatment, but be cautious not to use too much to avoid a greasy appearance.

Exfoliant Base
Mix Extra Virgin Olive Oil with sugar or salt to create a natural exfoliating scrub. The olive oil provides moisture while the granules help remove dead skin cells.

Anti-Aging Treatment
The antioxidants present in EVOO, such as polyphenols and vitamin E, can help protect the skin from oxidative stress and contribute to a more youthful appearance. These antioxidants may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Sunburn Relief
In the case of mild sunburn, applying Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the affected area can help soothe the skin and provide some relief. Vitamin E protects the skin from ultraviolet light - the oil within the skin creates a natural shield which helps protect the skin in the sun - however, it's essential to note that EVOO does not replace proper sun protection, and sunscreen should be used to prevent sunburn.

So, yes, olive oil or EVOO can be used for skincare due to its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. However, when using EVOO for skincare, it's important to be aware that everyone's skin reacts differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's advisable to do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying it more broadly, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

However, we prefer to reserve Pomora’s extra virgin oil to accompany our food – get the skin, nutritional and taste benefits of olive oil all in one go!