Olive oil is not as good for your skin as you may think. In fact, in spite of what the many olive oil and “natural” websites claim, olive oil and skin care go together somewhat like, well… oil and water.
Olive Oil Can Cause Acne
Olive oil is moderately comedogenic. Applying olive oil to your skin can trap dirt, other oils and bacteria and cause comedones or acne pimples.
Olive Oil Is Not Easily Absorbed by Skin
While some non-medical sites state that skin does not readily absorb olive oil, most natural-remedy sites claim olive oil is easily absorbed. While it is true that “squalene is quickly and efficiently absorbed deep into the skin,” the study in no way suggests olive oil is “quickly and efficiently absorbed deep into the skin.”
Squalene in Olive Oil is Not Easily Absorbed by Skin
In fact, olive oil molecules do not effectively penetrate the skin and need a “suitable carrier” to get them past the skin’s protective barrier. Human skin comes equipped with a protective barrier that will not readily permit the passage of most lipids (fat) soluble portions of plants and oils. This protective barrier more readily permits the absorption of carefully formulated water-soluble products with special carriers. To get the squalene in the olive oil absorbed into the skin takes more than smearing on some olive oil.
The folowing pdf offers an excellent look at how squalene can work in skin care — when it is used in the right formuations and with the right carriers. That study determined the optimal composition of a squalene mixture in an oil-in-water emulsion, using a design of experiments to elaborate the experimental strategy. See:
Biological and Pharmacological Activities of Squalene and Related Compounds: Potential Uses in Cosmetic Dermatology
Olive Oil is a Poor Substitute for Efficacious Skin Care
Sadly, in one of the discussions I read, someone posted that a professionally trained and educated dermatologist stated “olive oil will clog pores” and then took advice from an untrained herbal home-remedy “specialist.” Really? Would YOU pick a witch doctor over the Mayo Clinic? Because that’s pretty much what you are doing when you let some natural remedy proponent tell you that your doctor or dermatologist is wrong. Oh, but the greedy dermatologist just wants your money! (Or so you will be told). Really? Doesn’t the person who writes the “natural remedy” articles, runs the websites, makes the soap, or other hebal or natural products etc. — doesn’t that person have a financial motive in mind with their “natural” advice?
Dangers of Olive Oil
If you run to Google instead of your dermatologist or doctor for health advice, try Googling “olive oil dangers.” You will find over 1,310,000 results.
Bacterial Infections & Death
Recently a Nashville friend told me of someone she knew who got a terrible infection from bacteria trapped in the skin by olive oil. Her “natural” solution to proper skincare led to expensive medical treatment. I watched my own mother, who swore by natural remedies, try to cure a small, scaly spot on her leg with olive oil and other natural remedies for many months. By the time I convinced her to see her doctor, her melanoma was so far advanced it killed her. Olive oil was a deadly placebo that did nothing to help her — it just ensured she did not get to a doctor in time.
Check the Source
Next time you read an article telling you that some natural remedy is the best choice, please look at the URL. If it is a “natural health” site like “Olive Oil R Us” or “Natural Remedies R Us” and not a well-known, reputable medical, educational, dermatological or scientific site, why are you trusting it with your health and skincare?
< Previous The Problems with olive oil & skin care: Pt. 1: Olive oil mythology
Sources are hyper-linked throughout the article
- Rodan + Fields Examiner
- Skin, Health & Beauty on Facebook
- Rodan + Fields Skin Care
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