According to the Greek traveler and geographer Pausanias, the Greek historian Herodotus and other folks of similar stature, the city of Athens got its name because Athenians regarded olives as essential, choosing the offering of an olive tree from the goddess Athena over a stream of saltwater flooding out of a rock face offered by Poseidon. And from that, the olive tree’s importance spread throughout the world.
Traditional olive oil is produced by cold pressing whole olives and extracting the liquid fat from it.
Since its earliest known existence, olive oil has been used for a variety of purposes, including:
- In ancient Greece, people used it to fuel oil lamps.
- For cooking, it’s mainly used for frying and salad dressings.
- It is used in various cosmetic products.
- Its components can be found in pharmaceutical products.
- Traditional soap makers swear by the goodness of olive oil and use it in their soaps.
Olive oil is known to cure various infections and ailments. This is due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and wound healing properties. (2)
Here are 10 ways you can use olive oil as a home remedy for skin disorders.
- Method 1: Psoriasis
- Method 2: Rashes
- Method 3: Dry and Itchy Skin
- Method 4: Cradle Cap
- Method 5: Perioral Dermatitis
- Method 6: Acne Scars
- Method 7: Sunburn
- Method 8: Dandruff and Itchy Scalp
- Method 9: Hangnails
- Method 10: Age Spots
- Additional Tip
Method 1: Psoriasis
Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective remedy for psoriasis, an auto-immune disease that causes big patches of itchy, scaly skin that are often red due to inflammation.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you can have small psoriatic patches, or the symptoms can cover nearly your entire body.
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- Tea tree oil – 2 or 3 drops
Single-step method: Combine both the ingredients and apply on the affected area
- Heat ¼ cup of olive oil enough for it to become warm.
- Add 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil and mix well.
- Transfer the oil blend to a reusable bottle.
- Apply the oil mixture on the psoriatic patches. If you are applying it to your scalp, cover your head with a shower cap to prevent a mess.
Method 2: Rashes
Skin rashes tend to be red, irritated, and bumpy. Any kind of discoloration or scaliness that does not look normal also is likely a rash. Rashes can also result in blisters or skin ulcerations.
Eczema; seborrheic dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis like that from poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak; skin reactions to jewelry containing nickel; and diaper rash are all different kinds of skin rashes.
Applying a mixture of olive oil and coconut oil will soothe the irritated skin and reduce any infection as well.
Things you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Step 1. Mix equal amounts of olive and coconut oils
- Pour equal quantities of olive oil and coconut oil into a container.
- Mix them well.
Step 2. Apply the mixture on the rash
- Rub the oil blend on the affected area.
- Leave it on until it is absorbed into the skin.
Method 3: Dry and Itchy Skin
You can experience dry and itchy skin due to a change in weather, use of harsh soaps, itchy clothing material, or taking long and very hot showers.
It can also be caused by a skin condition, in which case you should consult a dermatologist.
But if it is just normal-dry skin, you can make use of some olive oil as a home remedy for skin disorders like itchy skin. It is known to moisturize the skin well and reduce the itchiness.
Single-Step Treatment: Rub olive oil directly on your dry skin
- After taking a shower, take a few drops of olive oil in your palm and rub it on your skin. Use it as a body moisturizer, only in smaller quantities.
Method 4: Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a kind of seborrheic dermatitis that only affects babies. It is characterized by crusty, yellowish patches that may be greasy and a scaly rash on the scalp of your beautiful newborn baby. It is generally not very itchy and does not irritate the baby’s scalp.
It most commonly occurs during the first three months after birth, but it could happen in the later months as well. You may see symptoms of cradle cap around your baby’s ears, eyebrows, or eyelids as well.
Olive oil can help curtail the infection.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply olive oil on your baby’s scalp daily or every other day
- Apply olive oil directly to the affected area of the scalp.
- Leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also apply it and leave it on overnight.
- Gently loosen the crusty patches using your fingers, a comb, or a washcloth.
- Wash the baby’s scalp with a mild shampoo, scrubbing the loose crusty material off as you go.
Repeat daily or every other day.
Method 5: Perioral Dermatitis
Perioral dermatitis is an inflamed skin rash that generally develops around the mouth and spreads to the area around the nose and the eyes.
This kind of rash is generally scaly and bumpy. It causes mild itchiness or a burning sensation. It is common in women between the ages of 16 and 45.
Things you’ll need:
- Powdered sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil – enough to make a paste
Single-Step Treatment: Apply an oil and sugar blend on the affected skin
- Add olive oil to powdered sugar, just about enough to make a paste.
- Apply the mixture to your face before going to bed at night.
Method 6: Acne Scars
Olive oil has proven to be effective in softening dead tissues like acne scars, which can then be removed when you scrub your face.
Olive oil has antibacterial properties as well, which helps prevent acne flare-ups. The oil also penetrates the skin deeply and moisturizes it, giving way for new skin to regenerate.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply olive oil directly on the scars once a week
- Put 2 or 3 drops of olive oil in your palm and massage it over the scars.
- You can apply it to other areas of your face, as well.
Due to the oil’s comedogenic nature, it is recommended that you use it once a week at night. This will decrease the occurrence of breakouts, too.
Method 7: Sunburn
Olive oil acts as an excellent home remedy for skin disorders. The polyphenol antioxidants in olive oil help repair the damage that has happened to the skin due to sun exposure and restore the skin to its original condition. (1)
In addition, olive oil will relieve the pain and burning sensation caused by a sunburn.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply olive oil on the burned skin 3 or 4 times daily
- Apply extra-virgin olive oil on the sunburned skin.
Repeat 3 or 4 times a day, to use olive oil as an effective home remedy for skin disorders.
Method 8: Dandruff and Itchy Scalp
The dead skin cells on your scalp shed themselves in order to allow new skin cells to grow. However, when they shed at a faster rate, you’re dealing with dandruff.
It is caused mainly due to a dry scalp, using shampoo on your scalp frequently, a reaction to hair care products, or a yeast-like fungus.
Olive oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the scalp and reduce the itchiness associated with dandruff.
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Tea tree oil – 6 drops
- Peppermint oil – 6 drops
Step 1. Combine the olive oil and essential oils
- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a container.
- Add 6 drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil to it.
Step 2. Apply the oil blend after washing your hair
- Wash your hair as you normally would before applying the mixture to your scalp.
- Massage the oil mixture into your hair and onto the scalp, allowing it to get absorbed by the scalp.
- Rinse your hair after 5 to 10 minutes. If your hair feels greasy, use a mild shampoo to remove the oil.
Use this treatment once a week, but not more than that.
Method 9: Hangnails
Your cuticles sometimes get broken and torn off, creating a painful crack near your nails or hangnails, as we call it. This can allow fungus and bacteria to get inside your nail.
You don’t have to shell out hefty money to buy nail cream. All you need is a drop of olive oil.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply olive oil on the hangnail
- Apply a drop of olive oil onto your nails and around it before going to bed each night.
Method 10: Age Spots
Olive oil has been in use since the dawn of the human race. Famous queens from Egypt used it in their daily beauty regimen to look spotless and wrinkle-free.
Mixing olive oil with turmeric will give you clear, wrinkle-free skin and reduce your age spots.
Turmeric has a component called curcumin that is an antioxidant and prevents your skin from producing excess melanin.
Things you’ll need:
- Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Mix equal amounts of olive oil and turmeric
- Mix together 1 tablespoon each of turmeric and olive oil.
Step 2. Apply the mixture on the age spots
- Apply the mixture on the discolored skin.
- Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
Use olive oil as an effective home remedy for skin disorders once or twice a week.
- Massage your skin with olive oil before taking a shower if you have a combination of oily and dry skin. This will balance the dry and oily condition of your skin.
- Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacognosy reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/. Published January 2014.
- Lin T-K, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/. Published December 27, 2017.