Chances are, you know that olive oil is loaded with good-for-you fats that can help lower your blood pressure and reduce inflammation in your body. That’s why it’s a kitchen staple for most health-conscious individuals. But did you know that olive oil’s health benefits go far beyond the organs in your body? In fact, olive oil may be one of the best-kept secrets for your skin. Your skin, of course, is an organ, and it too can benefit from the anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties of this oil.
“Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, so it helps protect against free-radical damage which can occur from daily environmental stressors, leading to signs of skin aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, spots, and skin laxity,” explains Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York. “Olive oil also contains squalene, which helps keep the skin hydrated and smooth while also helping to reduce water loss, making it especially ideal for those with dry skin.”
Another unknown perk of olive oil skincare is that it can be used as a makeup remover. The kitchen staple attracts and dissolves the oil in your makeup products, allowing for smoother removal without stripping the skin of its essential moisture. “If used prior to cleansing or incorporated into a double-cleansing routine, olive oil can help makeup come off a bit easier,” adds Dr. Garshick.
It is worth noting, however, that like most ingredients used on the skin, olive oil does have its limitations—most notably that olive oil is potentially pore-clogging, which makes it less than ideal for those with acne-prone or oily skin. The other challenge, according to Erum Ilyas, MD, a dermatologist at Montgomery Dermatology, is that it can increase your risk of sunburn, especially when used just prior to sun exposure. “Olive oil will concentrate heat and UV on the areas applied, almost like cooking your skin,” she says.
Still, if you have particularly dry or mature skin, you may find that the benefits of olive oil far outweigh any cons. So here we’ve rounded up some of the best olive oil skincare products, according to dermatologists.
Olive Oil Skincare Products to Try
While it might seem strange to see olive oil as an ingredient in a cleanser, it can actually be quite beneficial in this form—even for those with acne-prone skin. The nutrient-rich ingredient dissolves excess oils on the skin without any harsh, foaming agents. Here, it’s combined with tea tree oil to help balance oil production, cleanse the pores, and prevent blemishes.
“This product is made with 100 percent organic olive oil that comes from Spain and is purified in Japan to keep skin hydrated and smooth,” says Brendan Camp, MD, a Manhattan-based dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology. It’s best used as the last step in your skincare routine to lock in moisture and keep skin glowy, he adds. And while the highly-concentrated oil provides lasting hydration, it’s super lightweight and absorbs quickly.
The secret to J.Lo’s glow? She swears by olive oil, claiming she’s been slathering her skin with it for decades. Makes sense then that her new skincare line is centered around around an olive oil complex that combines fermented oil, olive leaf extract, and olive oil to deliver everything the ingredient has to offer. The star serum delivers smoother, plumper skin and a dewy complexion that lasts all day.
Dr. Garshick recommends this moisturizing cream for individuals with dry, mature skin or as a healing solution for after in-office procedures. “It contains a blend of ingredients to boost the skin barrier, through patented ceramide technology,” she says. “It also incorporates olive oil to help nourish the skin, as well as peptides to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
This eye cream combines hydrating marine algaem, squalane, and, you guessed it, olive oil to smooth and soften lines and wrinkles. It also contains paracress extract, which tightens collagen fibres and visibly lifts the eye area.
When it comes to olive oil skincare, this clean facial oil feels as luxurious as it looks. It combines organic olive oil with other nutrient-rich ingredients, including rosehip seed oil, sweet almond oil, rosemary extract, and wild yam to promote collagen production, restore suppleness, and boost radiance. Soft and silky-feeling, it also has a nice, aromatic scent of natural origin.
This moisturizer uses olive oil as its base, which can make a world of difference in your skin, according to Dr. Ilyas. “It is one of the only products I have come across that features olive oil as its main focus,” she says. The rich cream instantly revives dry, dull skin and promotes skin elasticity overtime. It also contains a blend of botanical ingredients, including squalane, rice bran oil, and beeswax for added antioxidant protection.
“This hydrating body wash contains olive oil, green tea, and shea butter to gently cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural oils,” says Dr. Garshick. “The combination of ingredients leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed.” The great thing about this olive oil-based product is that it works for everyday use, unlike many others that can lead to pore buildup.
When it comes to skincare, you shouldn’t forget about your hands—especially if you’re worrisome about signs of aging. This antioxidant-rich olive oil hand cream will keep the thin skin nourished and help fight off the free radical damage that leads to wrinkles and crepe. “It’s also helpful for addressing dryness from increased hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” adds Dr. Camp.