Olive trees have been growing around the Mediterranean for centuries but are now planted in many parts of the globe. Traditionally, olive oil has been used in soaps, medicines, and skin care treatments.1
The first step in extracting the oil is crushing or pressing the olives into a paste. Next, the paste is slowly churned to allow the oil to agglomerate. Finally, the oil is separated from the pulp and decanted.
The cold pressing process produces the best carrier oil for essential oils because the oil is less processed.1 The oil can be further refined by a centrifuging process to remove residual matter and water. Centrifuging produces extra-virgin quality olive oil.
The healing properties of olive oil make it a valuable ingredient in pharmaceuticals, soaps, and cosmetics.2 On average, olive oil contains up to 83% oleic acid, up to 21% of fatty acids that include linoleic acid, and up to 20% palmitic acid. Olive oil makes an ideal carrier oil for essential oil treatment or recipes because it has a mild scent and potent antioxidant properties.3
Olive Oil for Hair
If you wondered, ‘is olive oil a good carrier oil for hair health’, clinical data suggests the answer is yes. Olive oil has been used for centuries to improve the appearance of hair.1 Due to its high fatty acid content, olive oil is considered one of the better carrier oils to use with essential oils for hair.
You can use olive oil by itself or as a carrier oil to promote good hair and scalp health.
To make your own easy, olive oil shampoo, combine 1 cup of your regular shampoo with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. For fine or oily hair, add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. If your hair is dry, dyed, or permed, add ¼ cup of olive oil.
Anecdotally, users have also used olive oil for hair growth. For a deep condition, slightly warm 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil. Once warm, thoroughly massage olive oil in hair roots using your fingertips, then work your way down the hair shaft. Allow the olive oil hair treatment to penetrate the hair by covering the head with a warm, moist towel. After 30 minutes, remove the towel and shampoo well.
Olive Oil for Skin
If you’re wondering, ‘is olive oil good for your skin?’ increasing research supports the use of olive oil as a skin treatment. The olive oil benefits include a high fatty acid content that moisturizes the skin. In a study that analyzed olive oil features, scientists found it has antioxidant qualities, which help promote anti-aging effects.2
The same study stated that olive oil also has anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) activity.2 Promising results from a study with animal subjects indicates that extra virgin olive oil applied after sun bathing may delay or reduce the risk of skin cancer in humans.4
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of olive oil make it a good essential oil carrier for skin care. To make a nourishing skin serum, combine 3 Tbsp. of virgin olive oil with the following: 3 drops of tea tree essential oil, 3 drops of bergamot essential oil, and 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil. Store the mixture in an amber-coloured bottle. Before use, shake the bottle gently. For your daily skin care regime, apply two drops to dry areas of skin.
Note: It is often recommended to only use virgin olive oil on the skin as other processing techniques can adulterate the oil and introduce impurities that make it unsuitable for topical application.
Olive Oil for Face
Olive oil has been used for centuries to improve the appearance of wrinkles and to maintain skin elasticity and moisture. Olive oil can be used by itself on facial skin as it has scientifically proven anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-neoplastic properties.2
For those of you who wonder can olive oil be used as a carrier oil to tone facial skin, the following skin treatments may be useful.
Note: As citrus essential oils can cause increased sun sensitivity, do not apply diluted citrus essential oils to skin prior to prolonged sun exposure.
Olive Oil for Ear Infection
The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil make it useful as carrier oil for ear infection treatments. Olive oil can easy be used as a carrier oil for essential oils that have been proven to help treat ear infections.
For a natural remedy to help heal outer ear infections, warm 4 drops of olive oil and add 2 drops of either tea tree or basil essential oils. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and hold the cotton ball to the outer portions of the ear for one minute. Do not push the cotton ball into the ear canal.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Vossen, P. (2007). Olive oil: history, production, and characteristics of the world’s classic oils. HortScience, 45 (5), 1093-1100. http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/42/5/1093.full.pdf+html
- Viola, P. & Viola, M. (2009). Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector. Clinics in Dermatology, 27, 159–165. http://www.gentlederm.com/articles/2016/Oilive-oil-is-skin-protector.pdf – View reference
- Reboredo-Rodríguez, P., et al. (2017). State of the art on functional virgin olive oils enriched with bioactive compounds and their properties. International Journal of Molecular Science, 18, 668. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372680/pdf/ijms-18-00668.pdf
- Ichihashi, M. (2000). Preventive effect of antioxidant on ultraviolet-induced skin cancer in mice. Journal of Dermatological Science 23, (Suppl. 1), S45–S50. http://ssu.ac.ir/cms/fileadmin/user_upload/Moavenatha/MBehdashti/Pishgiri_Bimariha/4_skin/Preventive-effect-of-antioxidant-on-ultraviolet-induced-skin-cancer-in-mice_2000_Journal-of-Dermatological-Science.pdf – View reference