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When it comes to caring for your skin with oils, there are several natural, safe, and nourishing options. From coconut oil to sunflower seed oil, you’ve got plenty of choices! In this article, we’ll hone in on using olive oil for skincare.

First, we’ll go over some of the amazing benefits that olive oil provides for your skin. Then, we’ll give you tips to help you easily add this natural oil to your family’s skincare routine.

Benefits Of Olive Oil For Skin

olive plant tree

1) Olive Oil Is Moisturizing

This benefit might seem obvious but we can’t skip it! Similar to other natural oils that you may apply to your skin, olive oil is super moisturizing. It helps to trap needed hydration in your skin.

Your skin naturally produces an oily barrier that helps it retain hydration while at the same time keeping the bad guys (like environmental irritants) out.

Unfortunately, this skin barrier can become weakened by everyday things: dry weather, hot water, irritating chemicals, sun exposure, and the like.

Dry, itchy, or irritated skin is a pretty good sign that your skin barrier needs some repairing and moisturizing. A moisturizer — like olive oil — can help do just that!

Olive oil moisturizes your skin without any additional (and questionable) ingredients or irritating chemical additives.

2) Olive Oil Is High In Vitamins

Olive oil serves not only to moisturize your skin but also to provide a big dose of skin-healthy vitamins. According to The International Olive Council, olive oil is full of vitamins A, D, K, and E.

For many people, olive oil is a staple in the kitchen, and these vitamins provide all sorts of benefits when ingested. But that’s not all!

When it comes to using olive oil as part of your skincare routine, the high vitamin content makes it ideal for repairing and regenerating skin.

Plus, vitamin D can help to ease inflammation, while vitamin E is an antioxidant and shines for its ability to nourish your skin and help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

3) Olive Oil Contains Antioxidants

Woman applying olive oil for skin

We just mentioned that vitamin E is an antioxidant, but it’s not the only antioxidant that can be found in olive oil. In fact, olive oil is full of them!

What’s the big deal with antioxidants? As you might guess from the name, antioxidants fight a process called oxidation, which produces free radicals that can damage your cells (and can even contribute to cancer!).

Antioxidants help protect your cells against damage from free radicals, fight skin aging, and calm inflammation.

Since it’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and moisturizing to boot, olive oil makes a great addition to your skincare routine. But if you’re used to using this oil to marinate a chicken or dress a salad, you might be unsure how to use it for your skin.

That’s what we’ll go over now. There are several ways to make use of this healthy oil!

4) Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties

This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about olive oil for skin, but olive oil does contain some antibacterial properties.

Of course, it’s not as powerful as an over-the-counter cream, but applying a dab of olive oil to dry skin, a scratch, or a small scab has the one-two punch of helping the area stay both soft and infection-free.

For damaged skin that has just begun to heal, rub a small amount of olive around the cut or scratch to help keep bacteria at bay.

For cuts or scratches that have already started to heal and scab over, gently massage olive oil into the area to help your skin return to normal faster.

5) Olive Oil Reduces Inflammation

Olive oil for skin also reduces inflammation.

Any time you puncture or break the skin — be it a small scratch, a paper cut, or just dryness — the area around the “wound” can get red, puffy, and inflamed. Usually, this isn’t something to worry about because eventually your body takes care of it for you.

But you can lend a helping hand by applying a dab of olive oil to any part of your skin that feels sore and inflamed.

The vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial properties we mentioned in the previous sections keep bacteria at bay that could cause infection and inflammation and keep your skin on the road to recovery.

Tips For Using Olive Oil For Skin

Woman applying olive oil for skin with a cotton pad

1) Use A High-Quality Olive Oil

Before we get into the different ways to use olive oil for skin, we’d like to remind you to use a high-quality product. All olive oils are not created equal!

There are three things to look for to ensure that you’re getting a high-quality olive oil:

  • Organic
  • Extra Virgin
  • Cold-pressed

You can easily find all of that information on the bottle.

Here at Mustela, we took special care when choosing where we wanted to source the olive oil used in our products. Our organic olive oil comes from a family-owned olive grove in the South of France.

The olives undergo a cold-pressed extraction process to maximize potency and skin-nourishing properties. Only the best of the best for your and your family’s skin!

2) Apply It Directly To Your Skin

With high-quality olive oil on hand, all you have to do is apply it directly to your skin to reap its moisturizing benefits.

If you’ve ever used another natural oil (like coconut oil) on your skin, then you’re set — you can apply olive oil in the same way!

On the other hand, if you’re more familiar with applying traditional lotions, you’ll need to keep in mind that with olive oil, a little goes a long way. Start out with a small amount so that you don’t end up too oily.

Remember that after rubbing the oil into your skin, you can always pat yourself with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

3) Include It In Your Diet

Applying olive oil directly to your skin is good, but also including olive oil in your diet is great. Healthy skin isn’t only about what you put on the surface. It’s also about the nutrients your skin can get from inside your body.

Eating just a tablespoon of olive oil every day provides all the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats to keep your skin healthy from the inside out. Couple that with a regular skincare routine and you’ve got a winning combination.

Not sure how to include olive oil in your diet? Drizzle a bit on your salad at lunch or heat some on the stove before you pan fry your salmon for dinner. Either way, your whole body will benefit.

4) Soothe Skin While Breastfeeding

Keep your skin protected and moisturized while you’re nursing your little one with our Nursing Comfort Balm. This lanolin-free balm soothes nipples, eases discomfort, and helps replenish and restore skin during and after breastfeeding.

Enriched with olive oil and vitamin E to nourish and protect your skin, our vegan, fragrance-free, and dye-free formula has a neutral smell and taste, won't stain your clothing, and is safe for expecting moms.

5) Help Heal Skin After Surgery

As we’ve discussed throughout this article, olive oil is packed with vitamins that are good for your skin.

Two of those — vitamins K and E — can even help heal your skin after invasive surgeries such as a cesarean section.

Vitamin K is an essential part of your body's natural process of blood clotting and helps your body heal wounds, bruises, and areas affected by surgery. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and, when applied topically, may help nourish and protect your skin from damage.

So, as you’re healing, you can rest easy knowing that olive oil for skin is 100 percent compatible with breastfeeding and safe for both you and your baby!

6) Soothe Chapped Lips

For a quick and easy solution to dry, chapped lips, apply a bit of olive oil to the affected area. It’s an all-natural alternative to solid balms that may contain extra ingredients, and it’s even safe to use on your little one’s chapped lips!

Olive oil has a bitter taste, so try mixing some coarse sugar into a teaspoon of olive oil to improve the flavor. You can also add a splash of lemon juice for even more aroma and better taste.

7) Soften Heels, Knees, And Elbows

Lotion with olive oil for skin

Everyone has problem areas on their skin that always seem to be dry and cracked. The most common of those are heels, knees, and elbows.

You work hard to keep the rest of your skin smooth, soft, and healthy. Don’t forget to give your heels, knees, and elbows a bit of love, too!

The skin on your feet takes a beating every day. As a result, your heels can quickly become tired, rough, and cracked.

Similarly, the skin on your knees and elbows bends and stretches so much during the day that the slightest dryness can cause sore cracks that catch on your clothing.

Massaging olive oil into these hard-to-treat areas is a quick and easy way to keep your skin soft, supple, and pain-free.

And for the thick, stubborn skin on your heels, lock in even more moisture by applying olive oil for skin before bedtime and then wearing cotton socks while you sleep.

8) Remove Makeup Gently

It’s no secret that removing makeup every day can leave your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable, and the delicate and sensitive skin around your eyes is especially prone to dryness and damage.

Instead of scrubbing with a harsh cleanser, remove eyeliner and mascara gently with olive oil for skin.

Dip a cotton pad or cotton ball in olive oil and wipe it beneath your eyes and on your eyelids to remove stubborn makeup, moisturize your skin, and prevent puffiness.

Then, rinse with warm water followed by a gentle scrub with a soft washcloth (if necessary), and finish with your favorite face wash and hydrating cream.

Expert tip: Swap the plain olive oil for Mustela Certified Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe for even more gentle cleansing and hydration!

9) Treat Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is the buildup of oil around hair follicles that results in crusty or scaly patches on the top of your baby’s head. It’s a condition that affects many newborns and little ones, but luckily, isn’t harmful, painful, or itchy.

However, cradle cap isn’t something that you want to ignore because, if left untreated, it can last for several months.

You can help treat your baby’s scaly patches by gently rubbing olive oil on their scalp. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, or leave it on overnight if your baby’s cradle cap is thick.

The olive oil will help loosen cradle cap flakes. With the help of a comb, gently remove the loosened crust from your baby’s head. Then wash your baby’s scalp with a gentle shampoo, like our Foam Shampoo For Newborns.

This special shampoo is formulated to cleanse your baby's hair and scalp while minimizing cradle cap. It gently rinses away cradle cap flakes and helps to prevent them from reappearing.

After bath time, use our Cradle Cap Cream to keep your baby’s scalp moisturized. Our cream also helps to reduce the likelihood of future recurrence. (Bonus: The easy-to-use nozzle allows for targeted application to make managing cradle cap a breeze!)

10) Help Your Baby Relax

We’ve talked about the benefits of applying olive oil directly to your skin (or your baby’s skin). But you can also use olive oil to help your little one relax. How so? Through gentle massage.

Regular massages help your baby calm down when they’re agitated and can even promote peaceful sleep.

Mix some olive oil with water and then rub their little arms, fingers, legs, and toes for about 15 minutes.

Giving your baby a massage at least once a week helps to maintain their skin tone and has the added benefits of keeping their skin healthy, shiny, smooth, and moisturized.

If your baby suffers from sensitive skin, you know how difficult and time-consuming it can be trying out different products and waiting to see if their skin will react.

Skip the wait and the worry with our Organic Hydrating Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe. This natural, fragrance-free formula is specifically designed for babies and children with very sensitive, rashy, or reactive skin so you can moisturize, massage, and care for your little one’s skin without worrying about harsh chemicals.

11) Moisturize With A Lotion

Sibling applying lotion with olive oil for skin on newborn baby

While applying olive oil straight to your skin is one way to use it, if you find it too oily or simply aren’t into it, you can still reap the benefits of this oil by using a lotion made with it.

We recommend Mustela Organic Hydrating Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe, which is carefully crafted with 99.6% naturally derived ingredients including organic aloe vera, organic sunflower oil, and, of course, organic olive oil.

This lightweight, fragrance-free, and EWG-Verified cream is perfect for the whole family. It’s safe for even the most sensitive of baby skin and effective at moisturizing adult skin.

Bonus: our Organic Hydrating Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe is also eco-friendly and good for the earth! The formula is biodegradable; the packaging is made from sustainably sourced sugar cane, and we’ve gotten rid of secondary cartons.

12) Make A DIY Scrub

Salt scrub for the body

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and reveal softer, younger-looking skin. For a little bit of olive oil-infused exfoliation, easily whip up your own DIY scrub and have at it!

To make your own sugar scrub, all you need is sugar and olive oil. Slowly add olive oil until the mixture resembles pasty sand. Gently rub the mixture in circles on your skin and then rinse it away.

Expert tip: remember not to exfoliate too often. If you do, you may end up drying out your skin.

13) Clean And Moisturize At The Same Time

Mom applying lotion with olive oil for skin on baby

Soaps and shampoos are designed to scrub-a-dub to remove dirt and grime from your skin and scalp. But in the process of cleaning, sometimes the ingredients in these products also end up stripping your skin of its natural oils.

Opt for a body wash that gets your skin squeaky clean while moisturizing at the same time. Say hello to Mustela’s Organic Cleansing Gel with Olive Oil and Aloe!

If you’re trying to go sulfate-free, this product is for you. This is a gentle, sulfate-free hair and body wash that is safe for baby’s sensitive skin but also effective enough for big kids and adults!

Made with 97.5% naturally derived ingredients including organic aloe and organic olive oil, this cleansing gel will leave your (or your child’s) skin refreshed, hydrated, and healthy.

You can also rest assured that this dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested formula is vegan, fragrance-free, and free of phenoxyethanol, parabens, and phthalates.

14) Treat Your Baby’s Skin To Olive Oil

Little girl holding purse and mustela products that have Olive Oil For Skin

Olive oil is a great way to naturally care for your baby’s skin!

That’s why we’ve included organic olive oil in our Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe. It contains only eight ingredients, 99.7% of which are naturally derived.

This micellar water is fragrance-free and gently cleans your little one’s face, hands, body, and diaper area. And since there’s no need to rinse it off, cleanup is quick and easy!

Cleaning your little one with micellar water is not the only way to put olive oil to use. This natural oil is also the star ingredient in our Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe.

This EWG-Verified formula contains 99.7% naturally derived ingredients and is designed to leave a moisturizing layer on your baby’s skin to soothe and diminish diaper rash and redness at every diaper change.

Olive Oil For Healthy Skin

Two siblings washing their hands with mustela products

Olive oil is not just for the kitchen! It also provides amazing benefits for your skin.

In addition to moisturizing your thirsty skin, it’s high in vitamins as well as antioxidants, which means that it can help repair, regenerate, and calm your skin as well as protect your cells from free radical damage.

Apply olive oil directly to your skin; make a scrub or mask; or opt for a safe, gentle product made with olive oil such as Mustela’s Organic Hydrating Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe or Organic Cleansing Gel with Olive Oil and Aloe.

And don’t forget about the little ones in your family! Treat their skin to Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe to calm their bottom and Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe to clean their kissable skin.

Soon, your whole family will be enjoying the benefits of olive oil for the skin!