• Oil Obsessions: Discover Olive Oil for Your Skin

    Oil Obsessions-Olive Oil


    “Oil Free” skincare is craaaaaazy popular, is it not? Mainstream skincare talk would easily have us believe that if one has oily skin, one must constantly and consistently whisk it away or stop it from ever being produced. Forget about the fact that it is a completely natural biological function of our bodies, of our skin. But accepting things that our bodies does as natural unfortunately isn’t the name of commercial game.

    That being said, in case you didn’t pick up on it yet..   it is a huge misconception that you should avoid oil if you have oily skin.

    Here’s some info to help explain just why oil is actually really awesome!

    Fight oil with oil- RM & IWG

    Let’s start with sebum and its role/function to our skin:

    “Sebaceous lipids are responsible for the three-dimensional skin surface lipid organization. Contributing to the integrity of the skin barrier. They also exhibit strong innate antimicrobial activity, transport antioxidants to the skin surface, and express proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties.”

    Acne and sebaceous gland function. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15556719]

    “Epidermal surface lipids contribute to normal skin functions as the barrier function and the maintenance of healthy skin and fur. Consequently, they contribute to aging and to the conditioning and defense of this organ. The idea that the unusual lipids found on skin’s surface make the skin unfriendly to fungi and bacteria has gained more attention. Even if the major component of sebum, the triglycerides, are hydrolyzed by bacteria to fatty acids; these are unusual enough to orchestrate together with other perverse lipids a unique mechanism that will select, which organism is an enemy and which is desirable on our skin.”

    Epidermal Surface Lipids. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835894/]

    All I can say is that finding information like this totally makes me geek-out, particularly the 2nd find. I mean “orchestrate together.. select which organism is an enemy and which is desirable on our skin.”   Excuse me, but that sounds pretty damn important, don’t you think? Our sebum is acting as a barrier, a protectant, it contains awesome amazing protective properties. So why the heck are we stripping it with detergents?!

    Reason would lead us to believe that if our sebum IS as important as it seems to be (THANK You Mother Nature!) that if and when we try to remove it and strip it (because we’ve been led to believe it is bad), that YES, our glands are going to overcompensate and overproduce because it is actually a GOOD thing- and our bodies want it! They need it! 

    ***(I just have to interject here for a moment since this is my first post and if you’re rather unfamiliar with the whole natural movement, THIS IS what it is about, and so so much more. We really are amazing creatures, as a whole we’re not broken, and it is so incredibly unfortunate that we are led to believe over and over again that we are and the only fix is modern medicine. This actually ties in to the 2nd half of this post. But I have one more bit of information first.)***

    I have another quote to share from one of my previous sources that highlights some of the unfavorable qualities of sebum and its effects on acne…

    “Other sebaceous gland functions are also associated with the development of acne, including sebaceous pro inflammatory lipids… and substance P, which is expressed in the nerve endings at the vicinity of healthy-looking glands of acne patients. Current data indicate that acne vulgaris may be a primary inflammatory disease. Future drugs developed to treat acne not only should reduce sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes populations, but also should be targeted to reduce proinflammatory lipids in sebum…”

    Acne and sebaceous gland function. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15556719]

    So what does Olive Oil have to do with this? How is it good?

    Let’s start with the composition of OO:

    “Olive oil is composed mainly of triacylglycerols (triglycerides or fats) and contains small quantities of free fatty acids (FFA), glycerol, phosphatides, pigments, flavor compounds, sterols, and microscopic bits of olive.  …

    The major fatty acids in olive oil triacylglycerols are:

    Oleic Acid (C18:1), a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It makes up 55 to 83% of olive oil.
    Linoleic Acid (C18:2), a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that makes up about 3.5 to 21% of olive oil.
    Palmitic Acid (C16:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 7.5 to 20% of olive oil.
    Stearic Acid (C18:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 0.5 to 5% of olive oil.
    Linolenic Acid (C18:3)(specifically alpha-Linolenic Acid), a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that makes up 0 to 1.5% of olive oil.”

    Olive Oil Source. [http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/chemical-characteristics#Polycyclic]
    Additional Source: [http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/87168/pf227-Chemistry-and-quality-of-olive-oil.pdf]

    And what does this have to do with my skin?

    Well let’s get that acne question out of the way.

    The quote above read “Future drugs developed to treat acne not only should reduce sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes populations…”  I’m not quite sure why drugs are necessary when you then go and read stuff like this…

    “In conclusion, LC-PUFAs (Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids- Linoleic & Linolenic Acid mentioned above) warrant further evaluation as possible new agents to treat skin infections caused by P. acnes (Propionibacterium acnes) and S. aureus (Staphylococcus aureus), especially in synergistic combinations with antimicrobial agents already used clinically.”

    Antibacterial activity of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24232668]

    And then there is the connection to low linoleic acid and acne, which is a major component of OO:

    “Acne patients have also been shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids.”

    Essential fatty acids and acne. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2936775]

    Enter Olive Oil… Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, & More.

    Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory:

    “Studies involving humans and animals (in vivo and in vitro) have demonstrated that olive oil phenolic compounds have potentially beneficial biological effects resulting from their antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”

    Antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic activities in extra virgin olive oil. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22000808]

    “In experimental studies (in vivo and in vitro), olive oil phenolic compounds have been shown to beneficially alter lipid composition, platelet and cellular function, microbial activity and bone formation, as well as reduce oxidative damage and inflammation. The modes of action detailed in the paper, may explain the low rate of diet-related diseases amongst populations residing in the Mediterranean region. For example, the anti-atherogenic effects associated with the ingestion of virgin olive oil may explain the low rate of cardiovascular disease in Mediterranean populations. Since DNA oxidative damage is a mechanism underlying cancer development, the protective effects of olive oil phenolic compounds may explain some of the differences in cancer incidence between Mediterranean populations and other populations in the world. The anti-inflammatory effects that arise from the ingestion of olive oil phenolic compounds have been shown to provide protection against diseases marked by an inflammatory component.”

    Biological Activities of Phenolic Compounds Present in Virgin Olive Oil [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2852848/]

    Are you still with me? Should I keep going?…

    More on antioxidants, anti-inflammatory….

    Hydrophilic phenols are the most abundant natural antioxidants of virgin olive oil (VOO), in which, however, tocopherols and carotenes are also present. The prevalent classes of hydrophilic phenols found in VOO are phenolic alcohols and acids, flavonoids, lignans and secoiridoids. Among these substances the last two classes include the most concentrate phenols of VOO. Secoiridoids, like aglycone derivatives of oleuropein, demethyloleuropein and ligstroside, are present in olive fruit as most abundant VOO phenolic antioxidants. Several important biological properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and anti-cancer) and the characteristic pungent and bitter tasty properties have been attributed to VOO phenols. Relationships between polyphenols activities and their chemical structures are discussed in this paper.”

    Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19234678]

    Skin Penetration:

    “…penetration enhancers (also called sorption promoters or accelerants) that can reversibly compromise the skin’s barrier function and consequently allow the entry of otherwise poorly penetrating molecules into the membrane and through to the systemic circulation. A large number of fatty acids have been used as permeation enhancers. They have proven to be effective and safe sorption promoters. This present review includes the classification, feasibility and application of fatty acids as sorption promoters for improved delivery of drug through skin.”

    Status of fatty acids as skin penetration enhancers-a review. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19604141]

    Collagen Production (Avocado Oil is very similar to that of OO):

    “The analysis of the components of avocado oil by gas chromatography detected the majority presence of oleic fatty acid (47.20%), followed by palmitic (23.66%), linoleic (13.46%) docosadienoic (8.88%), palmitoleic (3.58%), linolenic (1.60%), eicosenoic (1.29%), and myristic acids (0.33%). Our results show that avocado oil is a rich source of oleic acid and contains essential fatty acids. When used in natura or in pharmaceutical formulations for topical use, avocado oil can promote increased collagen synthesis and decreased numbers of inflammatory cells during the wound-healing process and may thus be considered a new option for treating skin wounds.”

    Effect of semisolid formulation of persea americana mill (avocado) oil on wound healing in rats [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573130]

    Please excuse me while try to keep my head from exploding…

    Seriously! Why are we being told (or convinced) to strip our skin of its natural oils and stay away from oil-based products when it has the potential to do so much good!?

    It boggles my mind…

    So what do you do now? Here are 2 thoughts:

    1) If you’re looking for a fantastic oil-based product, with only amazing from-nature ingredients, you have got to check out Radiantly You’s Dead Sea Mud Face Wash and the Healing Calendula Balm (in the Beauty and Family sections). I use both every night, and my skin has never been better! If you want more info on Calendula go here.

    2) If you want to jump straight in to the EVOO, do a quick Google Search for “oil cleansing method” and you’ll find a whole host of resources and suggestions. There are lots of different oils that people suggest to use, Olive Oil is only one! If you want to go ahead with EVOO, check out Naturally Nicole’s post to find the best brand options!


    ResearchMama Cp)Who is “Research Mama?” I’m a mom who discovered a passion for the blessings of nature. After experiencing the benefit of natural remedies over prescriptions, I became very curious about the claims of the natural community and the verification behind it.

    This is my blog to help share the information that I have found that solidifies the claims that you see time and time again. I hope you will receive the information with an open mind and note that I’m sharing it for the sole purpose of validating that it is there. Anyone reading it can make their personal choice to utilize it or not. That’s it!

    Feel free to let me know if you have any topics for consideration!


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