The benefits of olive oil in our diets has long been known. In fact, the olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet is now being touted as the perfect option for reducing weight and lowering incidences of diabetes and even alzheimers. But oilve oil can also be perfect for using in your skin care routine and may even have some benefits when it comes to skin cancer.
Soft and silky skin
Olive oil is an ideal alternative to the sometimes harsh chemicals used in skin moisturisers. You simply use extra virgin olive oil on your skin, your face or even massaged into your scalp and watch the dry patches disappear. While olive oil can be quite heavy on the skin and can cause spots, if used wisely, the skin is left soft and not greasy. Dry patches disappear and even dermatitis in the scalp can be improved.
Why olive oil?
Olive oil contains many of the ingredients that beauty or cosmetic manufacturers have to add in. These include Vitamin E, K and A for their antioxidant properties, Phenols for reducing inflammation and Squalene – a compound that controls sebum production.
But it isn’t just the ingredients that make olive oil special, it is also cheap and easy to find. Just a trip to your local supermarket will see you come away with a large bottle for just a few dollars. This is enough to last for months.
What about skin cancer?
Nothing – and we mean absolutely nothing – can replace careful checking of moles on your skin and heading to the doctor when anything looks dodgy. But there is certainly some evidence that olive oil can help when it comes to reducing your chances of getting melanoma in the first place.
One study that was carried out back in 2000 on mice showed that applying extra virgin olive oil to the skin after sun exposure could slow down and reduce the risk of a melanoma developing and the size of the mole if it did develop. The mice developed tumours that were smaller, less frequent and with less DNA damage to skin cells compared to those that didn’t have any oil applied.
It is thought that sun exposure triggers the production of free radicals and the antioxidants in olive oil neutralise them. However, avoiding the sun in the first place is the best course of action for the prevention of skin cancer.
It certainly won’t do harm
While the jury is out on whether olive oil can improve or prevent skin cancers, what we do know is that a spritz of olive oil on your skin every day will add moisture and leave it with a beautiful glow. That certainly makes it worthwhile.
What will do harm is ignoring skin cancer symptoms, so always do a skin cancer check with our app and head to the doc if you have any concerns.