Is Olive Oil Good For Your Skin? Who Should Use It

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 28th, 2023

Olive oil has been a household staple for cooking, but did you know it could be a secret weapon for your skincare regimen too? Its natural components offer numerous benefits for the skin, from hydration to antioxidant protection. However, it’s not as straightforward as slathering your face with just any olive oil off the grocery shelf. In this article, we’ll explore what type of olive oil is best for your skin, how to use it effectively, and who should be cautious while considering it as a skincare option.

The Origin of Olive Oil?

Olive oil is a nutrient-packed liquid gold derived from the olive fruit. Rich in antioxidants and beneficial monounsaturated fats, it has long been acclaimed for its numerous health benefits. Unlike other oil sources, olives are delicate fruits that bruise easily, compromising the quality of the extracted oil. That’s why it’s crucial to opt for bottles labeled with “hand-picked olives” to ensure you’re getting a top-notch product.

Olive Oil Good For Your Skin

The production process involves crushing olives into a paste and then blending this paste with water—a technique known as malaxation. Subsequent centrifugation separates the oil from the solid and water components. This meticulous method preserves the natural goodness of olive oil, making it suitable for cosmetic applications, such as moisturizing soaps and nourishing lotions.

What Makes Olive Oil Good for the Skin?

Olive oil is rich in squalene, a substance that mimics your skin’s natural oils. This compatibility results in a smoother, more hydrated skin barrier. Antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols protect your skin against environmental damage, making olive oil a multi-functional skincare ingredient.

Deep Cleansing Capabilities

Let’s face it—skin cleansing is a non-negotiable part of any skincare routine. Harsh cleansers may strip your skin of its natural oils, causing more harm than good. That’s where olive oil steps in, especially extra virgin olive oil. It is highly effective in breaking down stubborn makeup and sunscreen when massaged gently on your face. To remove it entirely, use a washcloth dampened with warm water, followed by a mild second cleanser to get your skin prepped for the next stages of your skincare ritual.

An Excellent Moisturizer for Most Skin Types

With its potent mixture of vitamins A, D, and E, as well as K, extra virgin olive oil excels in nourishing the skin. Use it as a last step in your night skincare routine or blend it with your current cream to enhance its moisturizing capabilities. However, if you have particularly oily skin, you might want to skip this oil to avoid making your skin greasier.

Repairing Damaged Skin

Given the skin’s role as our first line of defense against external aggressors, it’s only fair that we give it the care it deserves. The reparative qualities of extra virgin olive oil, such as its vitamins and fatty acids, make it excellent for treating areas with dry and cracked skin. Moreover, it helps control the spread of bacteria related to acne and can be beneficial for conditions like rosacea or psoriasis.

A Tonic for a Younger-looking Complexion

Extra virgin olive oil is not just for hydration; it’s also about revitalization. Its rich vitamin content can boost skin elasticity and encourage collagen production. The presence of oleic acid further assists in skin cell renewal, enhancing your skin’s natural glow and suppleness.

Antioxidant Protection Against Aging

Aging is inevitable, but why speed it up with exposure to sun, pollution, and stress? Extra virgin olive oil fights off free radicals that accelerate aging, thanks to its high polyphenol content. It can lighten dark spots and slow down the formation of fine lines, giving your face a youthful appearance.

Potential Side Effects of Olive Oil

Even superheroes have their kryptonite, and olive oil is no exception. It can clog pores, leading to acne outbreaks, especially in individuals with oily skin types. A 2012 study also indicated that topical application of olive oil might disrupt the skin’s natural barrier, causing issues like skin irritation and atopic dermatitis. Always conduct a patch test if you have sensitive skin, and never use it on newborns.

Who Should Steer Clear of Olive Oil?

If you have acne-prone or extremely sensitive skin, olive oil may not be the best choice for you. Its comedogenic nature means it can clog pores, inviting unwanted acne. But remember, everyone’s skin reacts differently, so a patch test is always a good idea.

How to Incorporate Olive Oil into Your Skincare Routine

Opt for 100% pure, cold-pressed, unrefined, extra virgin olive oil for maximum benefits. A little goes a long way, so start with a few drops and massage it into your skin, removing any excess with a cloth or cotton ball.

Beyond Skincare: Other Uses of Olive Oil

If you find that olive oil doesn’t suit your face, don’t fret. It can still be a useful ingredient in other aspects of self-care, like a cuticle softener, a hair conditioner, or a shaving lubricant.


Olive oil is an unsung hero in the world of skincare. Its natural ingredients, rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, offer a one-stop solution for most of your skin’s needs. While it’s generally safe for most people, it may not suit everyone. Hence, proper precautions are needed, especially for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. All in all, olive oil could be the game-changing addition you’ve been looking for to elevate your skincare routine.


Editorial Staff

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