Why you want to add olive oil to your skincare routine

Tired of breaking the bank on overpriced skincare products full of potentially toxic ingredients with unpronounceable names? Good news: Your new favorite skincare product doesn’t require you to become an amateur chemist and doesn’t involve a $300 trip to Sephora. It’s something you already have in your pantry. A simple bottle of olive oil from Trader Joe’s or Costco could be exactly the boost that your morning skincare routine needed. 

Olive oil can soften your skin, help it maintain moisture, and give you the antioxidants you need to protect skin cells from damage. One animal study even found that olive oil reduced the number of UVB ray-induced skin cancer tumors, per the journal Carcinogenesis. Its benefits are tried and true, as celebrity esthetician Elina Fedotova told Byrdie, “Olive oil has been used since ancient times, and for centuries in cosmetics.” If it’s (rumor has it) good enough for Cleopatra, then why not give it a try? 

How to add olive oil to your skincare routine

Of course, you don’t just want to pour oil onto your hands and slather it all over your cheeks, unless you like having a face covered in pimples. Try starting with a dime-sized drop of extra virgin olive oil on your forearm, rubbing it in, and waiting a couple days to see how your skin reacts before you jump in (via Healthline). If you’re all clear (literally and figuratively), then get a dropper and put a couple drops of EVOO in the palm of your hand. Fedotova recommends a cold-pressed, unrefined, extra virgin, organic oil. From there, massage the oil between your hands to get a fine layer before smoothing it onto your face, Dr. Diana Gall recommended to Good Housekeeping

If you’re acne-prone or if you have any specific skin issues, you may want to skip the olive oil altogether. While it can soften your skin, give you essential vitamins, and prevent damage, it can also clog pores and exacerbate certain conditions. If want to try olive oil, but you’re nervous about applying it directly, consider looking for a natural, olive oil-based face mask or moisturizer first and seeing how you like it. If you’re ready to jump in, get oiling and enjoy your softer, shinier skin, courtesy of your favorite culinary staple.

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