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What Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Do for Your Skin

Extra virgin olive oil hasn't been a very popular ingredient for our skin lately because there are a ton of natural oils in the beauty community that are more commonly known, like coconut oil and argan oil. However, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a common kitchen staple, can provide as many benefits as other natural oils, with its rich, skin-anti aging properties. 

What does extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) do to our skin?

First, let's quickly review extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil  is the highest quality olive oil that you can buy. It contains almost all of its natural vitamins and minerals because it’s not processed with chemicals, making it much safer for skin than refined oils! As an unprocessed, natural oil, extra virgin olive oil contains hydrophilic phenols and squalene, one of the best ingredients for fighting oxidative stress of the skin. Additionally, it’s very hydrating and provides moisture for the skin (3). Here are some ways that extra virgin olive oil can benefit your skin (1)

Protect from sun damage  – Going out into the sun isn’t all fun and games. You’re also exposing your skin to harmful chemicals, known as free radicals, that aren't good for your skin. Over time, as you accumulate free radicals, you might develop wrinkles, discoloration, and even skin cancer. Luckily, the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in your kitchen acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals and help minimize sun damage (2). 

Provide hydrationEvery time you take a shower, you strip your skin of moisture. It’s important to keep your skin well moisturized and hydrated so that there's no inflammation. The squalene found in extra virgin olive oil works with your skin’s natural squalene to help prevent our skin from being thirsty by retaining hydration and providing a barrier (3,4). 

Promote wound healingHave you ever had an accident where you hurt yourself so badly and all you wanted was the pain to go away? Well, extra virgin olive oil can help shorten the healing process (5). Whether applying extra virgin olive oil directly onto the skin or consuming extra virgin olive oil in your diet, many studies have found that it actually helps wounds heal faster due to its high content of fatty acids that tells our immune system to quickly heal your wounds (6,7). 

Relieve muscle tension – Many people never think to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on their skin. Well, the ancient Greeks have been using extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for decades to bring out the best performance in athletes during the Olympics. When you rub and massage extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) onto skin, it’s long believed, and now proven, to help relax the muscles by increasing blood flow (8). It also helps reduce hydration loss during exercise.

It’s amazing how this oil from your kitchen can also be a key ingredient to keep your skin healthy. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be very beneficial in protecting from sun damage, retaining hydration, relieving muscle and skin inflammation, you can start incorporating extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in your diet and your skincare routine for the best results. 

If you’d like to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on the skin, here are some ideas: 

  1. To relax muscles after a long tiring day, massage a few drops of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) onto the affected area in a circular motion with a bit of pressure for a few minutes – you’ll likely feel much better 
  2. Before heading to bed, try one of these 3 amazing do-it-yourself  facial masks to give your face the best treatment
  3. When the stubborn scar never seems to fade away, try massage some of Olivaio’s extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) onto it daily

Written by Nitchamon Chuajedton
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.