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  5. Olive Oil For The Face: Benefits + How To Massage

Olive oil's benefits have been established by the health & nutrition industry already. But, did you know it can work wonders for your face too?

Yes, olive oil has a plethora of benefits for your skin! However, it's not as simple as just throwing dollops of it on your face. You need to take certain precautions and know how much and when to apply. Read on to know more.

Is Olive Oil Good For The Face?

Olive oil is great for the face, when used in smaller quantities and for specific results. It is effective in maintaining the elasticity of your skin, which helps it to stay firm.

Olive oil also boosts cell regeneration due to the flavonoids [1] and polyphenols [2] present in it. This gives the skin a younger looking appearance and reduces dullness. The Vitamin E present in olive oil is the main antioxidant that prevents premature ageing and repairs damage caused by free radicals.

However, it may not be suitable for all skin types. A patch test should be done to check for an adverse reaction or an allergy to olive oil if you have sensitive skin. After doing a patch test, if there is no reaction on your skin in the next 24-48 hours, then it is safe to use.

Olive oil is also not recommended for those who have very oily skin or eczema, as it may cause further damage to the skin according to studies [3]. That is because it is a heavy oil and may lead to clogged pores and acne [4].

How To Use Olive Oil On Face?

A multi-functional ingredient, olive oil is used across skin care products such as lotions, face washes, soaps and body washes. Some cosmetics too have olive oil as a base product with additional beneficial ingredients. If you want to apply pure olive oil from your kitchen, these are the steps to follow:

  • Take a couple of drops in your hands and rub them together.
  • Then massage it onto your face on slightly damp skin.
  • Remember, it is a heavy oil and a larger quantity may clog pores.
  • If you use make-up regularly, you can use olive oil as a make-up remover. It removes all remnants of cosmetics, without drying out your skin. It also helps seal in the natural moisture of the skin while removing waterproof make-up.
  • You must use a face wash after using olive oil to prevent clogged pores and to remove traces of any oil left over on your skin.

Benefits Of Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is beneficial for treating sunburnt skin, as the antioxidants in the oil undo the damage caused by the UV rays of the sun.
  • It is also known to slow down and prevent premature ageing.
  • Olive oil helps to hydrate and moisturise the skin due to its high content of squalene [5].
  • It contains fatty acids such as omega 6 and omega 9, which help prevent dry skin.
  • The linoleic acid present in it hydrates the skin by working as a barrier, sealing the skin’s moisture below the surface.
  • Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory [6] and antibacterial properties due to the chlorophyll present in it. It can help reduce pigmentation and redness. It may also help treat bacterial or fungal infections in the skin.
  • Olive oil is effective in treating wounds and scars.
  • It is known to have antioxidant properties as well as being a rich source of vitamins A, D, E and K. The vitamins help nourish the skin by seeping into the dermis.

Which Type Of Olive Oil Is Better For The Skin?

It is best to use the extra virgin variety of olive oil as the regular ones may be excessively acidic for your skin. Olive oil can be also used if it is in a blend of oils such as lavender and almond oils, made for the face, preferably with organic certification.

Precautions To Take Before Using Olive Oil On Face

1. If there is a history of eczema in your family, studies suggest you should avoid using olive oil on babies [7] as it may cause eczema on growing up.

2. Since olive oil does not get absorbed into the skin very easily, it can clog pores which can lead to acne-causing bacteria. After you have applied some on your face, always wipe off the excess oil.

3. If using olive oil directly on your face, it is best to choose a brand that contains no preservatives, additives and chemicals. Choose one that is pure, organic and extra virgin.

4. Olive oil is easily damaged if it is exposed to excess air, heat and light, and if improperly stored.

5. Olive oil gets spoilt if overripe olives are used to produce the oil. Since there is no way of knowing the quality of olives used from the finished product, check for certification from an international body monitoring olive oil production.

Wrapping Up

Olive oil can be beneficial for nourishing and moisturizing your facial skin. You can use it on its own or as part of formulations like soaps, face washes or shampoos. Like with other oils, it is best to check if your skin is not allergic to it before you use it. Oily skin people should especially avoid using olive oil.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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