In my quest for creating a healthier life, I have taken a hard look at the products I regularly use to find areas of improvement. As someone who wears and appreciates makeup, I know that to keep the skin under all that makeup healthy, it’s gotta come off at the end of the day. You know what gets expensive? Makeup remover. You know what’s not expensive? Olive Oil. For about the last year, I have been exclusively using olive oil to get rid of my makeup. Other than removing the most stubborn of mascara, using olive oil as a makeup remover provides my skin with many other benefits. Today, I’m going to try to convince at least one of you to ditch traditional makeup remover for a bottle of olive oil. Your skin will thank you.
Before I delve into the meat of this post, there are a few things I want you all to bear in mind as you finish this post.
1. Because of loose food standards in the U.S. and industry corruption thanks to the Mafia (you read that right – the Mafia), read the label of the bottle to ensure that you are using 100% pure olive oil. According to CBS News, a whopping 75-80% of olive oil sold in the U.S. ‘does not meet legal grades for extra-virgin oil.’ This means that the benefits of using olive oil not only for your face, but for cooking aren’t being realized because you’re not using pure olive oil.
2. I am not a dermatologist or scientist and do not/cannot guarantee that everyone will reap these benefits. A few sources have said that if you have particularly sensitive skin, excessive olive oil application may irritate your skin. You do you.
(More on the blog: Hacks for Living a Healthier Lifestyle)
Benefits of Removing Your Makeup with Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, particularly one called squalane. Squalene is slowly absorbed by the body and is known to act as a sealant to keep in moisture and soothe aggravated skin. It does this by coating the skin in a layer of oil (think glowy skin rather than greasy skin) that slows the natural release of water from the skin. These properties can also gradually increase the amount of water your skin can retain. It’s commonly used in many readily available moisturizers and skincare products because of this property. Moisturized skin not only looks youthful and glowy, but will also allow for more even makeup application the next time duty calls.
Squalane is also known to help protect the skin from harmful environmental factors such as pollution and UVB rays. UVB rays are the harmful rays from the sun that, if exposed to for extended periods of time, can cause sun burn and skin cancer. A study from Oxford Academic found that hairless mice rubbed in olive oil before exposure to UVB rays developed ‘UVB-induced tumors’ much later than their dry mice counterparts after increased exposure to UVB rays. The same study also found that olive oil applied to the skin after exposure to UVB rays ‘can effectively reduce UVB-induced murine [related to mice] skin tumors.’
What does this have to do with you? Like other medical tests that are done with mice, scientists conduct this research because of the similarities between the immune systems of mice and humans. Again, I’m not a scientist. It is my understanding that there are enough similarities between the two immune systems to liken the results from one species to the other. Yay for your skin!
(More on the Blog: How to Extend the Life of Produce)
The anti-aging properties of squalane via olive oil are essentially a result of the previously mentioned two benefits. The moisturizing properties of olive oil allow areas where the skin is typically thinner and is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles (under-eyes and mouth) to remain plump. This increased moisture can reduce the appearance and/or occurrence of lines and wrinkles.
When it comes to skin damage from UV rays, UVA rays are the sun rays that are associated with aging skin (tip I learned from a great podcast: UVA for aging and UVB for [sun]burn). The additional protection from UVB rays is working in your favor, however, you should always wear broad spectrum sunscreen – it covers both UVA and UVB rays.
It’s Damn Good
And now for the obvious benefit, it’s damn good at removing makeup. My trusty olive oil has yet to meet a waterproof mascara or eyeliner that it can’t take off. Yes, makeup wipes may come in a more convenient package, but you probably have olive oil in your house for cooking, right? Why not make it a multi-purpose product?
My Makeup Removal Process
Perhaps throughout this post, you were imagining a big ol’ bottle of olive oil sitting on my bathroom counter. You’re only half wrong. The first thing I did was go to Target and beelined to their travel toiletry section. I picked up a cute reusable plastic bottle and I refill that small container with olive oil from my kitchen.
Please don’t bring the bottle of olive oil you cook with into the bathroom. Please.
At the end of a makeup-wearing day, I saturate a cotton pad with my bathroom olive oil and wipe that sucker all over my face. The next morning, I don’t wake up with leftover mascara and eyeliner circles under my eyes – it’s like magic.
Are you currently using any natural beauty products or making any at home? Are you open to removing your makeup with olive oil?