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Olive oil - your skin’s friend or foe?

Posted on September 30 2015

We have all heard it. “Olive oil is the best oil for your skin.” Is it though? Or is it by habit we put it in our skin care? The ancient Greeks used it for nearly everything food, fuel, cleansing, medicine even as currency. Cleopatra used it as hair treatment, and today we mix olive oil and sugar and use it as a DIY natural scrub. But is it really as nourishing for the skin as we think?

Perhaps not; research done in the last couple of years shows that olive oil can actually be irritating and delaying the skin’s healing process. The reason is olive oil’s high content of oleic acid (55-85%). Oleic acid has a damaging effect on the skin’s protective barrier. This is particularly important to consider if you have very dry skin. (Dry skin usually is caused by a damaged skin barrier).

On the other hand I have spoken to several who consider olive oil the omnipotent skin remedy. So I would not worry too much; a DIY scrub with olive oil will most likely not ruin your skin. However, if you have sensitive or very dry skin there are other oils you could try, such as sunflower or thistle oil. Both of which have a much lower content of oleic acid.

 

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