Olive oil is also one of the best, all-natural moisturizers. Now, researchers are learning about its anti-cancer properties, and their results are very exciting for skin health!
Skin Cancer Prevention
Ancient Greeks bathed with olive oil, and its skincare benefits have held up to the scrutiny of science. We now know that olive oil has at least four different types of antioxidants in it. Antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging and skin cancer. Well designed studies have shown that mice who drink extra virgin olive oil develop less skin cancer after exposure to UV light.
But, that's not all. The most exciting finding, in my opinion, is that applying topical olive oil to the mice skin after UV exposure also decreased the number of skin cancers. So whether ingested or applied directly to the skin, the oil is interfering with tumor development!
While skin cancer prevention is a relatively new benefit of olive oil, its moisturizing properties are renowned. Olives contain the compound linoleic acid, a component of skin that helps prevent water from evaporating. A linoleic acid deficiency causes skin to lose too much water, and those without it eventually develop dry skin.
Linoleic acid cannot be made by the body and must be supplied by topical creams and lotions, or from the diet. So, eating olive oil or olives, adding the oil to a warm bath or applying it directly to the skin can help the skin stay supple.
All Olive Oils are Not Created Equally
In my search, I have discovered some very special olive products. It is crucial to use extra virgin olive oil because it is made from the first press of the olives and has the highest amount of antioxidants. My favorites include La Amarilla de Ronda Organic Olive Oil and Costa dei Rosmarini Olive Oil. (These can be purchased by contacting Ciao imports at firstname.lastname@example.org or (305) 495-8619.) For just a few dollars, you'll have one of the best, all-natural bath oils and after-sun moisturizers around!
Wishing you great skin!
All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.
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