Answer: I am so happy to be the first to tell you, yes and yes. Olive oil has unique value both in your diet and on your skin. Like all fats, olive oil form a film on the surface of the skin that prevents water evaporation.his definetely helps the skin hydrate, reducing flaky dryness. But unlike other oils like mineral oil or corn oil, olive oil contains powerful compounds that offer additional value.
The Secret Weapons in Olive Oil
This pale gold liquid is rich in a compound called squalene which is also a component of healthy skin. Like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, squalene levels drop as we get older. The squalene in olive oil has been shown to prevent UV damage to skin cells. Studies have shown that it can reduce the development of dark spots, speed up repair of the skin and is even effective against a range of microorganisms including staph, e-coli and listeria. IRL this means that olive oil can prevent and treat skin infections. Very nice. Because squalene can protect against UV damage, it can prevent loss of elastin and collagen fibers and reduce appearance of lines and wrinkles.
But wait, there’s more. There are well designed scientific studies that indicate compounds in olive oil may prevent the development of skin cancers. For example researchers looked at another compound in olive oil called hydroxytyrosol, an even more powerful antioxidant that squalene. Using hairless mice exposed to UV rays, the scientists found that olive oil sharply reduced the appearance of melanoma, the potentially fatal form of skin cancer. In fact melanoma is the leading form of cancer deaths in women under 30. And to think that a simple spray of olive oil may help reduce risk of this deadly cancer. After a day in the sun, take a shower and spray your skin with a light coating of olive oil. Not only will it hydrate the skin, the antioxidant compounds will help block cell damage.
One final piece of advice: Remember that olive oil has properties of other oils. If you have oily skin or a problem with acne, olive oil can clog pores and trigger breakouts. Rather than a spray of olive oil, give you skin the benefits of antioxidants from green tea. After a wonderful day at the beach, make yourself a cup of green tea. Drink half, and when cool, spray the other half of the green tea on your face and body. So simple and so effective.