Look at the ingredients list in many of the more natural skin care lines and you may see some interesting variations of “olive” in them. Today we will explore this fascinating tree, its fruit and the long list of wonderful benefits of the leaves and their extract. First let’s dispel the confusion of what is olive “squalane”.
Benefits of Olive Squalane
If you are an animal lover like we are, you will maybe have heard of something called “squalene” (with an “e), which may be derived from shark liver. Rest assured that olive squalane (with two “a”s) is completely vegan, and should not be confused with the animal based ingredient. Both squalane and “ene” are similar in only one regard: They both are very close to the natural sebum our skin produces. This is where the similarities end. Most vegetable oils are made up of long molecules called triglycerides, composed of fatty acids. Some absorb more quickly, and some absorb more slowly. Olive squalane is light and easily absorbed, and finishes with a soft, silky feel. It does not feel oily at all, and it is for this reason that it is chosen for skin care formulation. It has a similar composition to our own natural sebum and naturally improves elasticity. But that is not all!
- Smoothes and softens skin
- Helps reduce the formation and appearance of wrinkles
- Has a long shelf life because it is stable against oxidization
- Penetrates the skin easily, as it is close to natural sebum
- Is from a natural and renewable source: olives
- Imparts relief to dehydrated and sensitive dry skin
- Boosts cell regeneration and oxygenation
- Has antibacterial properties
Olive Leaf Extract Benefits
The olive tree was highly prized by ancient civilizations, and after you learn about the fruit, as well as the leaves, you may agree with them. Not only can we eat the fruit, use it in medicines and skin care, we can also gain much from the leaves and their extracts. The leaves of the olive tree, Olea europaea, were used for centuries as medicine, in the forms of poultices and wound care. There are references as far back as ancient Egyptian times of the use of this botanical for treating skin conditions, and promoting good health. The Bible even references eating the fruit of the tree, and using the leaves as medicine. So what qualities does the leaf botanical have that the ancients valued so highly?
Olive leaves are rich in many antioxidants, and we are crazy about using antioxidants in all of our products at Ayr Skin Care. The leaves contain oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, which have recently received press due to the anti-cancer compounds luteolin and apigenin. The compounds are also anti-inflammatory, anti-viral (they have been used to treat malaria) and anti-microbial. Traditional North African cultures used olive leaves to help stabilize blood sugar, and in the 1800’s people began crushing olive leaves in order to make it into powders and extracts for healing and treating cholesterol and blood pressure, among other diseases.
From a nutrition standpoint, the Mediterranean diet has a reputation as being one of the healthiest on our planet. It is rich in nutrients from locally harvested plants, and is abundant in one of the healthiest oils in the world: olive oil. It seems no coincidence that there are areas in the Mediterranean where olives, olive oil, and use olive leaves appear regularly in the diet, and that those same communities experience lower blood pressure, improved arterial health, lower instances of heart attack, and reduced numbers of reported neurodegenerative disease and cancer.
What Can Olive Leaf Extract Do for the Skin?
Olive oil and olive fruit are part of a healthy diet, but when it comes to skin care, what benefit do the leaves and their extracts have for you? From a medicinal standpoint, we know that historically olive leaves were used by Mediterranean women and other ancient civilizations for wound healing, protecting against skin damage and more, but why would we use it today in things like skin moisturizers?
- Olive Leaf Extract has been shown to reduce the visible signs of aging – The exposure to UV light is widely accepted as adding to visible dryness and wrinkles and skin hyper pigmentation. Olive leaf extract can help by slowing melanin production and inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down skin tissue.
- As we age, collagen and elastin breaks down in the skin. Other factors like stress and pollution all impact the appearance of the skin. This is where the powerful antioxidants can really slow down oxidization in the cells and help prevent damage.
- A study conducted in Japan showed that olive leaf extract and oleuropein may play a part in preventing skin damage. The results of the study suggested the preventative effects of olive leaf extract and oleuropein on UV-B-induced symptoms of aging skin. This is not to say that we should not use sunscreen, but using products with olive squalane and leaf extract may help keep skin looking younger, longer.
- Olive Leaf Extract has been shown to stimulate the growth of new cells, enhance circulation and decrease inflammation and swelling.
- Because of its anti-bacterial properties, olive leaf extract can be used to help cleanse the pores, which is helpful for acne prone skin. A facial bar or cleanser with olive leaf in it is helpful as a soothing, non-irritating and pore cleansing agent.
At Ayr Skin Care, we love to share what we have learned about botanicals, and incorporate them into our moisturizers and cleansers. We source our olive leaf powder (extract), used in our Calm Facial Bar from an organic farm in Spain. It is important to us to share the history of the plants that we use, and hope you have enjoyed this peek into olive derived ingredients.
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at email@example.com.