Discover how olive oil can help your skin
Many of us keep a bottle of olive oil on hand for cooking, baking, and stirring homemade dressings, but we might not be aware of all the health benefits that are included in this oil.
Despite what we tend to think of oils - they are all bad for our waistline and our heart.
Olive oil, on the contrary, is very good. In fact, it contains monounsaturated fats, which are known to support cardiovascular health.
By including olive oil in your diet, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, lower your bad cholesterol levels, and lower your blood pressure. It can also be a beneficial addition to your beauty regimen.
Here are 5 ways to use olive oil, in food or topical applications, that are good for your skin. Let's start with what olive oil and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen have in common.
1.- What do olive oil and ibuprofen have in common?
What do olive oil and the over-the-counter pain reliever ibuprofen have in common? Its anti-inflammatory effects. Some types of inflammatory skin conditions include psoriasis and forms of atopic dermatitis including (a chronic form of eczema), dermatitis (an allergic reaction) and seborrheic dermatitis (which is known as dandruff).
Olive oil contains a compound known as oleocanthal, which has been found to stop the activity of two specific enzymes (Cox-2 and COX-1) that fight inflammatory conditions in the body in a similar way as ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.
About 1.75 ounces (50 grams) of olive oil in your daily diet is equal to about 10 percent of the recommended adult dose of ibuprofen, only olive oil is generous with side effects, unlike ibuprofen.
2. Can protect against harmful UV rays
In laboratory studies, mice that received a topical olive oil treatment after being exposed to ultraviolet rays developed fewer skin tumors.
Olive oil is more than good for the heart and can also protect against the development of skin cancer, specifically the deadly form known as mlanoma.
Olives and olive oil are packed with antioxidants, the body's built-in defense against free radicals, molecules that are damaged by sun exposure among other environmental hazards. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which can lead to cancerous tumor formation.
They can also lead to a loss of collagen and elastin, two things in the skin that keep it looking young as well, making olive oil a good choice in the battle against cancer and the fight against the effects of premature aging.
3. Soothe chapped lips
The thin skin on the lips leaves them prone to drying out or cracking when exposed to cold, dry weather, sun, wind, and even something you cannot notice, for example breathing through the mouth.
When you find yourself without your favorite lip balm there is a quick and easy solution at hand: apply a light layer of extra virgin olive oil on your lips several times a day, to heal the damage and make your lips soft (it is especially useful overnight).
4. Antimicrobial benefits
Extra virgin olive oil is packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can help protect against the development of stomach ulcers (peptic ulcers) and stomach cancer (gastric cancer).
Researchers in Spain found that olive oil acts as an antibacterial against eight strains of Helicobacter pylori (including three strains known to be resistant to antibiotics).
If you are careful in taking antibiotics, since their use can increase the risk of superbugs, you would have an antibacterial and antimicrobial remedy in your kitchen: unrefined can help treat microbial skin infections.
In fact, a mixture of olive oil, honey, and beeswax is an effective treatment for a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and diaper rash.
Olive oil has been shown to have an antibacterial effect against bacteria, including staph, E. coli, and others.
5. Moisturizes very dry skin
If you topically apply extra virgin olive oil on your skin, you can get many benefits, even more than those that many creams promise.
This unrefined oil is packed with inflammation-inhibiting antioxidants, which means it helps alleviate skin conditions such as eczema. But among the antioxidants is squalene, an antioxidant known for its benefits for skin health, as well as its cancer-fighting properties.
The antioxidants in olive oil help repair skin damage, soothe and relieve chapped and itchy skin, and help rebuild the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss from the skin. As an added benefit, antioxidants will also reduce damage which leads to wrinkles and skin discoloration.
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