The art of beautification appears to have undergone a certain change in the past couple of decades. Natural beauty treatments seem to be all the rage now. Vegetable oils are constantly recommended for various types of skin conditions, and olive oil is no exception.
But ae why so many people are recommending olive oil as an anti-inflammatory treatment for acne? What's so special about this type of oil?
Even though it might sound counterproductive to put any kind of oil on acne-prone skin, some people claim that using extra virgin olive oil on your face works wonders for all skin types. It's supposed to brighten the skin and get rid of pimples and acne scars.
Let's explore some of the strengths and shortcomings of the oil cleansing method.
Acne is a skin condition that's a result of the hair follicles becoming clogged with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Acne and acne scars aren't just painful - they can also have a big impact on a person's life and confidence.
There are several types of acne, and the cystic kind is the hardest to treat. Although it's most common in teenagers, acne can trouble anybody due to the sheer number of possible causes.
The most common reasons for the emergence of acne iare excess sebum, acne-causing bacteria, hormonal imbalances, and skin congestion. There are several lifestyle factors that play a role in the severity and progression of the condition, such as diet, exercise, sleeping patterns, stress, and certain medications.
Olive oil has been used as a cosmetic treatment for centuries. It has always been a popular option for face and body lotions, oil cleansing solutions, hair masks, and cuticle treatments. People would even sprinkle a few drops in their baths regularly. They also believed they could use olive oil to protect the skin against damage.
But are these benefits a myth when it comes to acne?
Olive oil is supposedly a miracle worker due to the number of antioxidants and vitamins it contains. On top of that, it's said to improve the skin's natural elasticity and moisturize without making it greasy - that's the last thing you'd want if you have acne-prone skin.
Sometimes, if it's dry and not moisturized properly, the skin overproduces oil, and the excess sebum leads to breakouts. Some olive oil advocates claim that adding olive oil topically tells the skin that it's properly moisturized so that it lowers the amount of sebum it produces. However, so far, there is very little scientific evidence to back this up. Some claim that it has tremendous benefits, while others find it worsens their breakouts.
Studies done on animals show that applying oleic acid, a substance found in olive oil can actually contribute to acne. Using olive oil topically can also worsen the symptoms of eczema (atopic dermatitis). It can also increase the number of acne-causing bacteria found on the skin. Oleic acid peroxides feed bacteria and make it easier to settle down in the skin layers.
Not only that, but other studies also suggest that olive oil distorts the natural protective skin barrier, making it that much easier for further breakouts and congestions to appear. Your skin might also become drier as a result.
Olive oil is considered to be moderately comedogenic, which means it's likely to clog pores and trigger acne in some people. This is especially important for people with acne-prone skin. Whatever your skin type is, consider trying the oil out on a small area of your face before adding it to your regular skin care routine.
Technically, all skin types could benefit from olive oil because every individual reaction will be different. No matter your skin type, if you have some intolerance or an allergy to it, your skin will probably break out as a result of using it.
That being said, some skin types are more likely to have an adverse reaction, such as those with oily and acne-prone skin. If your skin can't handle an oil-based cleanser, don't try this method.
People with normal, insensitive, or dry skin should have a more positive experience with the oil cleansing method.
Some studies suggest that olive oil can help dry and aged skin look younger, as well as protect it from UVB-induced skin damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer. So if your skin is dry, using olive oil as a skin moisturizer may help.
The truth is nothing consumed in isolation can help with a condition like acne. What matters is what your diet is like overall and how it works in conjunction with other lifestyle factors.
So the short answer is: probably not since there aren't any studies that show a correlation between olive oil consumption and acne improvement. However, if adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your leafy greens and salads helps you consume more vegetables frequently, it will probably have an overall positive effect on your acne.
If you're one of those brave souls who decide to try the oil cleansing method on their face, here's what you do.
Pour a few drops of olive oil into your hand and gently rub it on your face. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, and then use a washcloth soaked in warm water to remove the oil off your face.
It's important to note that extra virgin olive oil would work best for this case. You can use it in isolation or mixed with other oils low on the comedogenic scale.
Another option is to use a moisturizer or a cleanser that contains olive oil if you don't want to put the oil on the skin directly. You can also try a few face masks.
To make this mask, you'll need one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of honey. Mix them together, apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of olive oil and gently massage the paste on your face for a gentle and quick exfoliator. For extra moisture, you can add a few drops of organic almond or sunflower seed oil.
Combine a tablespoon of olive oil with a pinch of turmeric and apply the paste to your face. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then wash it off thoroughly. Turmeric is very popular within the beauty community for its anti-inflammatory and brightening properties, which is why this mask would work well for people who suffer from hyperpigmentation.
Sea salt is an amazing exfoliating option since it removes dead skin cells, helps clogged pores, and regenerates the skin. This scrub works for both the face and the body.
Mix 60 ml of olive oil with 80 grams of pure sea salt. Gently massage it on the area you wish to treat for 3-4 minutes, and then rinse carefully with lukewarm water. Your skin will be softer and more hydrated as a result.
We've already discussed the realistic outcomes of using olive oil as an acne treatment, but can it work differently for treating acne scars?
Acne scars are a frustrating side-effect of acne. The treatment for scarring and hyperpigmentation is usually longer than the treatment for acne, which is why it makes people impatient for quick solutions.
Unfortunately, so far, it hasn't been proven that olive oil has any benefits in removing acne scars and hyperpigmentation. If your acne scars are severe, the best option would be to seek professional medical advice and visit a dermatologist. There are a few treatment options, such as chemical peels that can improve the condition. Others might find some over-the-counter products containing Retin-A helpful.
Although olive oil isn't dangerous to try, it isn't the best option out there for acne treatment. Not to mention, many people have an intolerance to oils in cosmetic products - so if you're one of them, you might want to skip this one.
Some people with normal or dry skin might benefit from adding an olive cleansing oil to their skincare routine. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, you should definitely be careful with this option and try incorporating it into your daily skin care routine slowly and gradually.
Before you use olive oil on the skin, don't forget to do a patch test. Start by testing it out on your arms or legs, and eventually, if you're satisfied with the results, work your way up to your face. If you don't see any irritation roughly 24 hours after applying it, it probably won't cause any further irritation.
It goes without saying that if you are allergic to olive oil, you should sit this one out. You may also want to avoid it if you suffer from atopic dermatitis (eczema). Instead, try using other non-comedogenic natural oils to improve your skin health, such as almond, rosehip, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, or castor oil.
Remember, everyone reacts differently to every topical acne treatment. Olive oil is an amazing option for a salad dressing and has even been linked to wound healing. It can lower the risk of things such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But when it comes to acne, it shouldn't be your first choice.
If you're looking for a product that will actually fight acne and clear skin, check out our Complete Clear 3-Step System. It unclogs skin pores and removes impurities, kills acne-causing bacteria, calms breakouts, reduces inflammation, and protects the skin with SPF 30 to prevent skin cancer.