My family grows olives trees in North Africa and produces our own olive oil. My father would swear by the healing propreties of this golden oil. From sore throat to skin rashes, his answers were consistent: “take a spoon of olive oil, of course!” So is olive oil good for hair and skin too? Can we add it to our skin care routines and other DIY product?
Where does olive oil come from?
Olive oil comes from the olive fruit mostly grown in the Mediterranean Basin, in countries like Italy, Spain, Greece or Tunisia. It is obtained by pressing whole olives, thus providing the oil it contains.
Used in cooking, olive oil is the base of the mediteraneean diet, it has also been used since the ancient time in soaps, pharmaceuticals, but also cosmetics from facial cleansers to serums
The olive oil composition can vary depending on where it has been produced, the harvesting time and extraction process.
It consists of Oleic acid, as well as fatty acids (linoleic acid and palmitic acid). It also contains squalene, which is lipid also produced by our skin cells but which declines with age. Here you have an interesting article from healthline.com if you want to find out more
Is olive oil good for your hair and skin?
Olive oil benefits for hair
Oleic acid, palmitic acid and squalene are emollients, meaning they have softenting qualities, giving Oil oil moisturizing power. The olive penetrates the hair shaft and preserves the moisture resulting in stronger and softer hair. The shine is the result of the oil smoothing the outer cuticle of the hair
- Hair mask before shampoo.
Warm the olive oil and apply to the scalp and hair ends. Leave for 30 to one hour before washing your hair with your usual shampoo.
After the resting time, use a comb to prepare your hair before the shampoo. It will make the hair styling exercise easier after washing them.
You might need to shampoo twice to remove any excess, depending on how much you have applied and your hair texture.
Once a week should suffice to soften and give your hair some proper TLC with olive oil.
- On split ends
Apply olive oil on your split ends it will help treating them, and protecting them from further damage
- On treated hair
Hair treated with perms, relaxers or bleach, will benefit from extra moisture the olive oil can give. Wait 3-4 days after treatment and test first before applying everywhere
Using olive oil on hair or not, and the quantity and frequency will depend on your hair type. It might not be right for hair that naturally retains oil longer than others. Coarse and curly hair will likely benefit from it more than thin, straight hair. If applied when not needed it will end up with greasy results instead.
Olive oil benefits for skin
Rich in antioxidants, Olive oil can help fight free-radical damage and inflammation.. It also contains Vitamins A, D, K, and E and squalene which is a strong moisturiser component. With that combination, Olive oil on your skin can help prevent signs of premature aging, as well as reduce signs of redness or irritation.
You can use it pure directly on your skin or use it as your carrier oil and combine it with your favourite essential oils. We have written on how to keep your skin looking healthy all day long using olive oil.
You can also use it for the following:
- Lip scrub
Add olive oil, sugar and lemon, and rub on your lips for soft and beautiful lips
- Make up remover
Olive oil breaks down water resistance substances in makeup.
Apply on a cotton pad and use on your face to remove makeup.
- Cuticle conditioner
Apply directly onto your hands and nails. Massage gently to soften the cuticles.
- Cracked Heel
Soak your feet in warm water for about 20mn, once your skin is soft use a pumice stone to exfoliate, and apply olive oil to moisturise
- After sun treatment
Applied after sun exposure, Olive oil is the ideal moisturizing solution for a beautiful looking sun kissed skin
Olive oil with its vitamins and antioxidants, can help the skin cells to regenerate. Massaging it on your scars can help them fade away. It could also be used to prevent or treat stretch marks.
Olive oil is safe to use on a daily basis
For acne prone skin, the oil might not be suitable because the fatty acids it contains can exacerbate the bacteria causing acne and favour the growth of yeasts.
Buying and storing your olive oil
Go for the extra virgin oil as it is the purest label you can find for it. It is the highest quality and unrefined oil. Extra virgin is a regulated label which guarantees it is not treated with chemicals or heat
Olive oil, unlike wine, doesn’t get better with age. It needs to be kept away from oxygen, excessive heat or light and store it with a tightly sealed lid in a cool area
Some people can be allergic to olive oil. Always do a patch test before using the olive oil on your hair and skin.
Consult your doctor or a dermatologist without delay if there is any allergic reaction