Olive Oil Benefits for Your Skin

Trying to keep up with what’s hot in skincare is like trying to keep up with the Kardashians. It’s impossible (not that I’ve tried, with the Kardashians, that is.

Then how are you to know what are the latest and greatest ingredients? Well, you could listen to your grandmother.

Some of the newest discoveries in skin care aren’t new at all: Olive oil may seem hot now, but countless Mediterranean grandmothers, including mine, have sworn by its skincare benefits for centuries. Were they right? Olive oil contains caffeic acid, oleic acid, and oleuropein, all potent antioxidants. Unlike berries or teas, these antioxidants are already in oil, allowing them to be directly applied to the skin.

Topically applied olive oil helps dry skin, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrhea, burns, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, hand dermatitis, and eczema.

Here are some ways to apply olive oil to your body:

  • Rub it into your scalp and wrap your head with a warm towel.
  • Rub it in your cuticles and nails to moisturize dry, brittle nails.
  • Make a body scrub with olive oil and sugar.
  • Coat your skin with olive oil, then take a warm, not hot, bath.
  • Massage it on dry hands or feet before bedtime and wear cotton gloves or socks. Note: It can stain your sheets.

Consumed olive oil is also healthy for your skin. Eating 2 tablespoons a day might help reduce your risk for heart disease as well. (I could eat 2 tablespoons straight from the bottle on a crusty piece of bread.) If you’re not so daring, you could use it in salad dressings, add it to pasta, vegetables, and soups and even drizzle a little on meats such as grilled chicken. 

Remember, only virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are unprocessed. Other olive oils are refined or chemically treated. Use extra virgin, which has the best flavor, for eating, and save the lesser expensive virgin olive oil to apply to your skin. Well, unless you’re a Kardashian.

What skincare tip would your grandmother recommend?

17 thoughts on “Olive Oil Benefits for Your Skin”

  1. Is it okay to use olive oil on your face, though?

  2. I’m sure olive oil works well-ish but what would have to be better is 10% urea cream, any brand. Ive been using it for about a week and a half and it is AMAZING. my skin has improved so much, I don’t know why it hasn’t come up more often on your blog!

  3. Isn’t topical Oleic acid (a major component of Olive Oil) a comedogenic ingredient? Wouldn’t this contribute to acne?

  4. I now use olive oil to remove eye makeup and don’t go anywhere without it. I use it to heal my dry cracked hands in the winter, but I no longer use it on my face because it seemed to dull my complexion. I wrote several blog posts on my experiences in trying out olive oil:


    Thanks for covering this topic!

  5. My grandmother would also recommend olive oil. Although I’m from the caribbean, I always remember that people who had babies had a small bottle of olive oil that they used on their babies – not johnson’s baby oil (only if you had money you used that). my mother recently bought it and encouraged us to use it because one day she remembered how her mother’s skin was glowing – and that was due to the olive oil that she had been using for years. olive oil is some potent stuff!

  6. My Grandma Pavlick used Ponds cold cream to remove her makeup at the end of the day, wiping it off with a dry cloth, then would put Oil Of Olay on. If I didn’t break out so easily I’d be following in her footsteps because her skin was baby smooth until the day she died.

  7. How would olive oil help to prevent acne in the face? Does soaps made from olive oil helps?

  8. Olive Oil is considered to be a highly comedogenic ingredient and should not be used on oily or acne-prone skin.

  9. I thought Olive oil clogs skin pore?
    myths ? or facts ?

  10. @ Maggie, you are correct. Olive oil will clog pores on skin that is prone to clogging or acne.

  11. Thanks for this post exploring some potential benefits of olive oil for the skin. I think the tips you listed could be quite helpful to some folks.

  12. didn’t do much for me i am 54 guess i started to old using – but, did not clog pores and absorbed somewhat fast

  13. I would also suggest Argan oil, it contains a large amount of vitiman E, which has a list of benefits of its own. By doing some research of my own I found that one benefit of using argan oil, that because olive oil does not have, is that it protects the body against ultraviolet radiations which leads to skin cancer. As a personal recomendation I would suggest Soellbeauty’s argan oil, simply because it is sold at Whole Food’s Mart, which I am loyal to.

  14. I have been using vaseline on my skin since very young,and I’m sure that helped my skin, because at my age now I dont have half the wrinkels as ladies my age.I always get asked if I had a face lift!

    I would just like to ask if I may,I have a problem with my nose,now how can I explain it,I got lots of oil on my nose (only part of my face thats oily)so,under the skin there is a accumalation of white stuff.It is very noticable I’m lost tried everything very self-conscious about it. Please can you help!

    Yours sincerely

    Ms SC von Ruben
    South Africa.

  15. No…actually olive oil has been known to reduce acne! Go figure, as oily as it is. I am sure the ‘secret’ is good olive oil. Carothers’ olive oil is all I use on my skin and it does not seize to surprise me how quickly my skin absorbs it.

  16. Indeed! I could not agree with you more!

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