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Is Olive Oil Actually Good for Your Skin? And Other DIY Olive Oil Treatments

Olive oil has a lot of benefits, not only if you incorporate it into your diet, but also if you start using it in your skincare routine! Filled with lots of good-for-you vitamins, it’ll help lock in moisture and could prevent early signs of aging.

In the era of all-natural skincare, many people are turning away from chemical-filled products and seeking out skincare products with fewer ingredients.

Olive oil has been around for thousands of years, and some people swear that it makes their skin look and feel younger! But is olive oil actually good for your skin? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. Keep reading for a breakdown of the benefits and risks of incorporating olive oil into your skincare routine.

Is Olive Oil Actually Good for Your Skin?

Olive oil can serve as a second skin barrier for dry, cracked skin in the winter and is a great skin moisturizer, especially when applied to wet skin. However, an extra cousin is required. While olive oil will hydrate your skin, it is also comedogenic, meaning it can easily clog your pores.

Which Kind of Olive Oil is Best for Skin?

If you choose to use olive oil on your skin, always opt for an extra virgin olive oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined. This way, you’re getting all the antioxidants and benefits from the natural olives, and no bad preservatives!

is olive oil good for skin

Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil has a lot of benefits, not only if you incorporate it into your diet, but also if you start using it in your skincare routine! Filled with lots of good-for-you vitamins, it’ll help lock in moisture and could prevent early signs of aging.


Like many other oils, olive oil locks in moisture. By itself, it doesn’t do much in the way of moisturizing your skin, but it works to seal in water or your moisturizer. The best way to incorporate it into your routine is to apply it on top of your moisturizer, so it will lock in the moisture from that.  

Vitamin and Antioxidant-Filled

Olive oil is rich in Vitamins A, D, E, and K, which is why it’s so great to use when you’re cooking! These vitamins are not only good for your health, they could benefit your skin as well. No studies have definitively proven that the vitamins in olive oil benefit skin, but products that contain these vitamins are often used to improve overall skin health.

In addition, olive oil contains lots of antioxidants, which could possibly prevent early signs of aging. No research has officially proven that this is the case.

Scar and Stretch Mark Fading

Keeping your skin moisturized is key to preventing and treating scars and stretch marks. Olive oil can be used to lock in moisture on parts of your body other than your face, too, although it’s important to patch test to make sure you don’t experience any irritation.

olive oil jar spout

Disadvantages and Risks of Olive Oil

While the benefits of olive oil might have you running to your kitchen, it’s important to understand the potential risks of using olive oil on your skin. While you probably won’t have a severe reaction unless you’re allergic to olives, you still might experience minor irritation or, more likely, clogged pores.


Some people’s skin might be sensitive to olive oil, which might cause an allergic reaction, so make sure you patch test a small area of your skin and monitor it for 48 hours to make sure no irritation occurs. Also, in one test, olive oil was shown to raise the risk of eczema when used on an infant's skin.

One way to avoid irritation is to choose an olive oil that does not have any added ingredients. Choose a high-quality, pure olive oil that has a certification from the International Olive Council.

Clogged Pores

Olive Oil is a heavy oil, so it doesn’t absorb easily into the skin, and it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause clogged pores and acne. It’s moderately comedogenic, meaning that it is likely to clog your pores and lead to irritation or acne.

No Scientific Proof

While olive oil has been around for thousands of years, there is yet no definitive scientific proof that it has any benefits for your skin. While some people swear by it, others experience adverse side effects, and scientific studies are all over the place. A general rule of thumb is that if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, you might not react well to olive oil.

Just do a patch test on your skin, and keep an eye on it for 48 hours. If you don’t experience any side effects, olive oil might be a good solution for your skincare routine.

How to Use Olive Oil on Your Face

If you choose to incorporate olive oil into your skincare routine, always choose a 100% pure olive oil without any other added ingredients. Also, less is more when it comes to olive oil—you don’t need to use much!

  1. Apply your usual moisturizer.

  2. Apply a small amount of olive oil to your fingertips or a cotton ball.

  3. Gently massage into your skin.

  4. Remove excess oil from your skin with a towel or cotton ball.

    olive oil jar face

    Other Ways to Use Olive Oil

    Maybe olive oil isn’t going to be your new moisturizer of choice, but you might be able to incorporate it into another aspect of your skincare routine! From your hair to your nails, there’s sure to be an olive oil use that you can utilize.

    Makeup Remover

    Olive oil can remove even the most stubborn waterproof eye makeup! Apply a small amount to a cotton ball and gently remove your makeup. After removing your makeup, wash your face as usual! And be careful not to get any in your eye.


    Mixing a small bit of olive oil with sugar can make a great all-natural scrub that exfoliates and moisturizes. Gently rub it on your face or body to remove dead skin cells. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly!

    Hair Treatment

    Oils have been used for centuries to restore shine and moisture to dry hair, and olive oil is no exception. Apply the oil to your hair—focusing on areas that are especially dry—and massage it through. Give yourself a little scalp massage while you’re at it! Leave on for 30 minutes or so (or leave it while you’re sleeping), and then shampoo as normal. If you have thin hair, you might need to shampoo twice to remove all the oil.

    Cuticle Treatment

    If you’re giving yourself a manicure and your cuticles need a little love, rub a little olive oil on them! It’ll help keep your nail area looking soft and healthy.

    Meet the author

    Katie Werbowski
    Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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