Surprising Benefits of Using Face Oil on Oily Skin

If you’re an avid skincare fan, you probably love facial oils, especially if it’s an ingredient that’s already sitting in your kitchen pantry. Case in point: olive oil has long been hailed for its topical benefits (Cleopatra was even said to have been a fan). But while a Mediterranean diet can work wonders for the skin, it’s questionable whether applying olive oil to your face is the best idea. We asked the experts for their take on whether you should (or shouldn’t) use olive oil on skin. 

Olive Oil Benefits for Skin

It is true that olive oil has a slew of skincare benefits. The emollient is chock-full of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, so it has excellent moisturizing properties. If you suffer from extremely dry and/or compromised skin, olive oil might be a good option to reach for—especially during the cold winter months. 

“The integrity of our skin relies on the lipid barrier, which holds the individual skin cells together—when the weather is cold, we generally begin utilizing heaters which evaporate the liquid barrier of the skin and lead to dry, cracked skin,” explains Neda Mehr, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and medical director at Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center in Newport Beach, Calif. “Olive oil is an excellent skin moisturizer, especially when applied to wet skin when the pores are open, and can act as a second skin barrier for dry, cracked skin in the winter.” 

Another great benefit of olive oil is its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Dermatologists say that the anti-inflammatory ingredients found in olive oil (triterpenes) aid in wound healing by assisting with collagen production and reducing the length of time for wound closure. And studies have shown that olive oil helps heal the skin after a sunburn.

Olive Oil Side Effects for Skin

While olive oil might have some superb moisturizing properties, it can be kind of a nightmare for anyone dealing with acne. “When we talk about disorders of excessive oil production, such as acne, olive oil can be one of the worst products to apply to your skin, as it can clog pores and lead to severe acne breakouts,” explains Dr. Mehr. 

And while olive oil can help heal sunburn, you certainly don’t want to use it while you’re being exposed to the sun. “Think about in the ’50s, when people would rub on baby oil and cook in the sun,” says Dr. Mehr. “Olive oil applied in the mornings without sun protection from either long-sleeve clothing or sunscreen is a recipe for sunburns and potential severe skin damage.” 

Is Olive Oil Good for Your Skin?

The verdict on whether olive oil should be applied straight to skin is mixed. “As a general rule of thumb, olive oil is not an ideal choice as a skincare product,” says Anna Babayan, an esthetician and owner of Anna Babayan Skincare in Boston. “Our skin does not have such enzymes to break down the molecules and allow the benefits of the olive oil to travel into the skin, and as a result, it just sits on top of the skin as a barrier layer and protects the skin from losing water.” In order for all of its amazing properties to be useful, olive oil is best ingested, says Babayan. 

On the flip side, Dr. Mehr suggests that olive oil can be beneficial for the very same reason. “It can be an excellent option for a patient with atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, which is a disorder of the ‘skin glue’ holding skin cells together,” she says.

However, Dr, Mehr adds that using olive oil as a treatment for dark spots or hyperpigmentation is not worthwhile, despite its antioxidant properties. “This is actually a gross overestimation of its antioxidant properties, as it can lead to acne breakouts and worsen hyperpigmentation if patients use it in the morning and then are exposed to the sun, making them susceptible to more pigmentation,” she says.

Ultimately, the only time it’s suggested to use olive oil as skincare is if you have very dry or compromised skin and to use it as a protective ingredient in your skincare. “Since people with dry skin types lack oil in their skin, the skin’s barrier layer is usually compromised,” explains Babayan. “This can lead to water loss and deep dehydration in the skin—using olive oil can create an occlusion and not allow the water to evaporate from the skin.”

culled from by real simple

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *