The Truth About Olive Oil and Acne
Can Acne Sufferers Really Benefit from Olive Oil?
A few months ago I received a catalog promoting the benefits of olive oil skin products. The writing was compelling and insisted that even acne sufferers could cleanse their skin with olive oil and reduce their acne breakouts. The question was, could olive oil really cleanse acne-prone skin without causing breakouts, or was this just a really good sales pitch for modern-day acne snake oil?
A Good Oil?
So why would all other oils be bad for acne prone skin and olive oil be good? That's what I wanted to know.
There are a number of factors that lend credence to the fact that olive oil might be good for acne-prone skin. First, olive oil contains natural anti-oxidants and vitamins and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Second, olive oil also acts as a moisturizer, so it prevents the dry flaking that leads to acne breakouts.
Third, and perhaps the most surprising is that olive oil doesn't clog pores. The skin doesn't absorb olive oil and if you wash your face with an olive oil cleanser, it won't leave behind residue that will clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.
Getting To The Bottom of It
After reading the facts about olive oil, I was impressed -- but not convinced. I decided that the olive oil issue was too interesting to ignore, so I began asking a few of my acne-prone friends to be brave with me and try some olive oil cleansers.
Three of us each tried a different olive oil cleanser. I tried the one in the catalog, my friend tried a less-expensive brand from the health and beauty department of the local drug store and my other friend tried an expensive olive oil cleanser from an upscale department store.
The results of our olive oil test were very interesting. First, my friend who had purchased the cheaper olive oil product actually did notice a worsening of her acne so it appears that you get what you pay for in the world of olive oil cleansers.
My friend who tried the expensive olive oil cleanser from the department store cosmetics department noticed an improvement in the quality of her skin. She did get a few surface blemishes after a week or so, but they were very minimal and there's no way to know whether or not they resulted from the olive oil or from something else.
The olive oil cleanser I ordered from the catalog did make my skin smoother and I didn't experience any surface acne when using it. My skin was softer, but I do admit that the feeling of putting oil on my face took some getting used to.
If you suffer from acne and you think you may benefit from olive oil cleansers, I suggest looking into olive oil cleansers geared towards acne sufferers. They may be more expensive, but a clear complexion and soft, glowing skin are worth the price.