Ever heard the Biblical story, how Jesus was bathed in scented perfumes and olive oil before his last days? Well, this story does give a glimpse that since ancient times people have used Olive Oil as a natural cleanser. But perhaps the underlying question Is Olive Oil good for skin whitening? Now, the answer to this question is like the solution to Schrondigers cat puzzle. This is because the answer is both True and False. So let me first explain how skin coloring works and how topical application of olive oil can whiten your skin.
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Olive Oil For Skin Whitening – Does It Really Work?
Now, you obviously know that Sun generates heat and light, which is essential for survival but along with it comes harmful UV rays. So to protect us from UV rays, our body produces a pigment called Melanin. This pigment melanin is one that controls our skin tone. The more melanin you have, the darker is your skin. This is why people living nearer to the equator with heavy insolation like India have a darker skin tone. While those living in temperate regions like Europe have lighter shades.
But there is a special skin tone called Olive skin found in the people inhabiting in Mediterranean regions. Though these regions receive a fair share of insolation but their skin tone is a bit lighter. Also, these regions have an abundance of olive trees !! Getting the picture? Well, the people in these regions have a high consumption of Olive rich foods and apply Olive oils to moisturize their skin.
Now let’s see what is Olive Oil and how it arrests melanin growth to whiten your skin. Olive Oil is extracted by crushing the fruits of the olive tree. Depending upon the maturity of fruit and fat contents inside, there are two major variants of olive oil They are Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Refine Olive Oil. This Extra Virgin Olive Oil does have some properties that can bring fairness to your skin. This is how it works :
Olive Oil and Melanin Growth – Now, this melanin pigment is produced by cells called melanocytes. Applying Olive oil on the skin reduces melanin growth indirectly by blocking out the sun rays. So lesser the melanin formation, fairer is your skin color. Also, Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which reduce skin inflammation in the body.
Olive Oil as Humectant – Humectant here basically means the medium that retains moisture. With moisture, our face looks cracked without vigor. Olive Oil is an excellent humectant that retains moisture in your face skin which ensures elasticity of your skin.
Olive Oil for Exfoliation – So as may now, beneath our decaying old cells on our skin, there is a layer of fresh cells. Now, the excessive build of these old cells causes acne, dull skin, and rashes. Here Olive Oil can be very useful in exfoliating your skin as they have antioxidant compounds to protect skin from damage. A simple scrubbing of Olive Oil and Sugar can bring radiant skin by removing the dead cells, whiteheads, and blackheads thus bringing a perfect tone to your complexion.
Olive Oil for Skin Repair – Olive Oil has Vitamin E, A, and K, which helps in skin repair and vigor to your face.
Not just these features, Olive Oil helps you in improving the cognitive abilities, control your cholesterol, and even improve the functioning of your kidneys. Of course, other health benefits of Olive Oil include removing the blood clots in the blood vessels and maintaining a healthy heart. After all, vibrant skin reflects a healthy body.
Which Oil is Best For Skin Whitening?
Olive Oil with its natural antioxidant properties and moisturizing abilities does take the mantle as the top contender for a skin whitening oil, but there are some close competitors like
Argan Essential Oil – This is like a twin of Olive Oil, just like the Olive oil they extracted from argan fruits predominantly found in Morocco. They are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like sterols. Furthermore, they are good moisturizing agents for both skin and hair.
Marula Oil – The application of this oil can hydrate your skin. A simple scrubbing of your skin using Marula oil can remove uneven skin tones.
Coconut Oil – A cheap and very effective alternative to Olive Oil. Removes sagging marks and tightens the skin. Not only it reduces infection festering on your skin, but it also curtails the bad effects of free radicals
Sandalwood Oil – This oil is popular in subtropical countries like India especially during wedding ceremonies. Not only does it arrest the tanning of the skin but the antioxidants prevent the skin from sagging. Sandal oil also can give a cooling effect and properly hides scars. The other benefits include reducing pimple growth and bringing your skin a natural glow.
Almond Oil – Not so cheap but definitely effective in removing red skin and wrinkles.
How Can I Whiten My Skin With Olive Oil At Home?
Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub – An easy process to exfoliate your skin, Mix 1 cup of sugar (white) and 1/2 cup of Olive Oil. Gently spread the mix all around the face for 20 minutes. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and rinse your face with warm water. This little combo is non-toxic, environment friendly, and very effective.
Olive Oil and Honey – Mix 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil with 1 tablespoon of honey. Do add 1 yolk of egg into the mixture. Apply the paste slowly on your face and let it dry. After 20-30 minutes remove it by splashing cold water on your face.
Using Olive Oil and Lemon – Now, lemon juice has several anti-bacterial compounds, and Olive Oil dials down your melanin secretion. This combination is perhaps the easiest and cheapest method to get fair skin in just 30 minutes. Cut fresh lemon, and mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Slowly massage this mixture to your face and let it dry for 30 minutes. Use warm water to wash the face.
Combination of Olive Oil and Castor Oil
Take a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and mix it with 5-6 drops of castor oil. Mix them and slowly massage your face for 10 minutes. Let it dry for some time and wash it off with lukewarm water.
Turmeric and Olive Oil for Skin Whitening
Turmeric powder is truly pixie dust that brings an instant glow to your face. With Olive Oil, the antioxidants level in the mixture goes off the charts. This combination is my favorite as the results are astounding and immediate. So I am going to mention two variants here
Turmeric + Olive Oil + Egg White (Face Mask)
Build a face mask using 1 egg white. Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the mixture on your face. Wash it off after 30 minutes with tap water.
Turmeric + Olive Oil + Curd – Mix Turmeric
powder and Olive Oil (1 Tablespoon each) and add two tablespoons of curd. Massage the mixture gently on the face. Peel off the mixture with warm water after 15-20 minutes
Disadvantages of Applying Olive Oil on the face
Mildly Comedogenic – Fancy Term? Well, our skin contains pores and Olive oil has larger molecules with long chains which will clog your skin pores. Furthermore, in these pores, bacterial infestation can occur and cause more damage to your skin.
Citrus Adverse Reaction – we did mention a wonderful fairness formula of Citrus fruits like lemon and Olive Oil. But the excessive application of this paste can cause burns and allergic reactions like rashes for some.
Skin Irritant – Your skin is extremely sensitive, while for many, Olive Oil is an elixir but for some, it can be a downright curse. Olive oil is heavy oil and therefore your skin will actively resist it. This may cause rashes and swelling. Also, If you are someone with acne-prone skin you definitely need to stay away from Olive Oil.
Not For Babies – Dermatologists actively discourage any topical usage of Olive Oil on baby skin as they get eczema and cracked skin.
Olive Oil has been used from bronze age civilization for beauty. Some immortalized beautiful ancient figures like Cleopatra swear the importance of topical usage of Olive Oil for glowing skin. The importance of this can be gauged from the fact that the Roman economy thrived on the exchange of Olive Oil and the barter system. Fast forward to the 21st century Olive Olive is extensively used in soaps, shampoos, and many other cosmetics.
Even though Olive Oil has been used by many civilizations for thousands of years. The scientific community has not given a definite head nod for the skin benefits of Olive Oil. But Alas! more research is needed, so why don’t you join the bandwagon and bring some acceptable evidence in favor of Olive Oil. Being an avid user of Olive Oil, we have mentioned a couple of combinations of Olive Oil mixtures which are easy to make and cheap also. Feel free to experiment with them, after all, there is no shoe that fits all sizes. Do post the results in the comments section.