Extra Virgin Olive Oil Benefits – Maintaining Healthy Skin

Olive Oil and Olives

We are regularly made aware of how good Olive Oil is for our health both internally and externally, even more so Extra Virgin Olive Oil benefits (EVOO).

Which Country Produces the best Olive Oil?

The choice of olive oil is a personal one, based on individual taste and preferences, some might say that Greek olive oil is as tasty as the equivalent Spanish or Italian oil. In truth, few people could spot the difference between Spanish, Italian, Greek or Turkish Olive Oil!

olive oil with symbols

In the end, preference may come down to the oil’s freshness, quality, and the way one uses it in their kitchen, either for salads, on bread, or as a cooking ingredient.

There is unquestionably a distinction between Olive Oil producing countries, the Olive trees from Greece, Spain, and Italy not only vary in species but are dependent on the local climate and soil conditions which influence the oil’s flavor. But while most people can acknowledge its freshness or even its acidity, the subtle differences between the different types of olive oils which indicate the country of origin may be obvious only to professional olive oil tasters.

Olive Oil + Olives

Spain exports significant quantities of olive oil to markets in the US, the UK, Portugal, Australia, France and interestingly, quite a bit of it is sold to Italy! One of Spain’s best sellers is Venta Del Barón Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Awarded World’s Best Olive Oil award four consecutive years and Made in Andalusia, Spain.

The Italian population consumes more olive oil than it produces. To meet demand, it supplements local produce with imports from Greece and Spain. Therefore, what people buy in supermarkets as Italian olive oil may, in fact, have a different country of origin. Nonetheless, Italy markets olive oil very favorably as a ‘national’ product.

Olive oil is mostly used in the food sector, but its other uses include fuel production, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and the manufacture of soaps.

Cooking With Olive Oil:

The quality and flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s are more desirable for cold food purposes such as salad dressings, and as the finishing touches to soups, dips, pasta or pizza.

But when you are cooking and applying Olive Oil to a stir-fry, or you are cooking other high-temperature dishes or roasts, extra virgin olive oil isn’t as suitable because it has too low a smoke point and will overheat and may produce harmful chemicals; also the nutritional benefits are quickly lost.

This is why it is a good idea to keep a bottle of ‘standard’ Olive Oil in your kitchen to cook with, it is better suited for deep frying or roasting as it has a higher smoke point – meaning that you won’t be carrying the food through the smoke point as the higher temperatures are reached. A fine example is an Olive Oil called La Española.

Smoke Point of various Oils:

Coconut oil: 347°F (175°C)
EVOO: 383°F (195°C)
Safflower oil: 414°F (212°C)
La Española Pure Olive Oil: 446°F (230°C)
Canola oil: 460°F (238°C)

Also, the flavor won’t be as noticeable when cooked at high temperatures, so there is no reason to use the far more expensive ‘Extra Virgin’ grade Olive Oils.

La Española Pure Olive Oil For Cooking:

La Española Olive Oil 2LPurchase From Amazon:

 

Established in 1840, La Espańola is an iconic Spanish olive oil brand. Made from fresh olives grown in the Andalucia region in the south of Spain,100% authentic Spanish olive oil is of the highest quality. Each year, this small province produces more olive oil than all of Italy.

This refined olive oil, blended with virgin olive oil creates a cooking oil which is gentle and subtle in flavor.
Without losing the essential properties of olive oil, La Española Pure Olive Oil has a ‘smoking point’ of 230°C and is ideal for heating and thus perfect for grilling & roasting.
With La Española Olive Oil you can savor the essence of the Mediterranean diet in every dish. Taste it for yourself!

Did You Know?

Used correctly Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great source of what we know as good fat and antioxidants and features prominently in the healthy Mediterranean Diet and has many health benefits.

Made from the first pressing of the ripe olives, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is at it’s most flavorsome, as it is pure and with the minimal processing. In a very similar way to wine, olive oil has a complex variety of flavors to look out for, you can expect to find a balance of fruit, spice, and pepper.

But, a word of advice, unlike wine, you will see that olive oil does not improve with age, so don’t save it for best, use liberally and to prolong the shelf life look for a dark glass container, as light can rapidly reduce the oil quality.

You will notice the color of extra virgin olive oil can vary from a mix of green and yellow to golden green, this will depend on the variety of olives used and the country and climate they were grown in. It is Lovingly referred to as the ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

Topical Skin Care Use:

Olive oil has long had a history of being used as a home skin care treatment. Japan was the highest importer of olive oil in Asia in 2000 – consumers there believe the ingestion and topical administration of olive oil to be helpful for both skin and health.

girl wet hair 1

It is recommended to use the best certified-organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed, and unrefined extra-virgin olive, such as Venta Del Barón due to the fact it is produced without the use of heat or chemical refining and contains the highest concentration of olive oil’s beneficial compounds. Also, it has zero preservatives or additives that can be harmful to the body.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers some benefits to the skin, including vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial effects. It is very effective as a moisturiser around the delicate skin surrounding the eye area, plus nourishes eyelashes the same way conditioner works on the hair. Also, for cuticles, olive oil keeps them moist and soft so as to encourage strong, healthy, active nail growth.

However, it should be stated that the research on any benefits gained from the use of Olive Oil on the face and skin is limited.

Benefits of Olive Oil – Face and Body:

As an Antioxidant:

Olive oil works as an antioxidant, which is a chemical compound that guards cells against the effects of free radicals that prevents oxidation. Oxidation, this is a process that produces free radicals, these are chemicals that can potentially damage cells and may lead to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

When it is applied to the skin antioxidants may prevent premature aging. Also, some research suggests that olive oil may be beneficial when applied following sun exposure and may fight off cancer-causing cells.

Scientists do need to carry out more research in this area to better understand the impact of olive oil’s antioxidant properties on the human skin.

Vitamin Content:

Olive oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and K. These vitamins may be useful for the skin.

vitamin a d e k

The vitamin E oil has been used topically for centuries to treat many skin conditions, these include eczema and psoriasis.

Antibacterial Effects:

Olive oil has shown to have antibacterial properties.

One study looked at the benefits of using olive oil and coconut oil on Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (the most frequent type of staph infection is the boil, pus that develops in a hair follicle or oil gland) on the skin. The results found that both oils displayed antibacterial properties, but virgin coconut oil was found to be more effective at eliminating the bacteria.

Although olive oil can be used to treat bacterial infections, there have been only been a few studies on olive oil’s capacity to control bacteria on the skin, more research is needed.

Moisturizing Effects:

Extra Virgin Olive oil can be applied as a natural moisturizer to soften both the skin and hair.

The EVOO is applied as a moisturizer directly to the skin and then blot off any excess oil; also, the oil can be applied to damp skin to prevent a greasy feeling.

Exfoliator:

To use EVOO to exfoliate the face and body and treat areas of dry or scaly skin, mix olive oil and sea salt to make a scrub.

You should use fine-grained salt on the face and other sensitive areas, and slightly coarser grains on the rest of the body.

People with dry areas may also benefit from applying to the face an olive oil-based face mask. Olive oil can be mixed with ingredients such as egg white, honey, or ground oats, these can help soften and hydrate the face.

To Remove Eye Make-Up:

removing eye makeup

Olive oil breaks down any water-resistant substances you find in eye makeup, allowing you to wipe them away more efficiently and with less aggravation to the delicate skin around the eyes.

To remove your eye makeup, just add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to a cotton ball and gently wiping the make-up around the eyes being careful not to get it into the eye.

Wrinkle Treatment:

Olive oil may be used on the face, it can help prevent early signs of aging on the skin and wrinkles. The oil can be daubed around the eye area at night or following sun exposure taking care not to get it into the eye.

Scar oil:

The vitamins and other antioxidants you find in olive oil may fade scars by helping skin cells to regenerate.

You massage the undiluted oil into scars, or you can mix it with a few drops of lemon juice to treat the areas of hyperpigmentation, where you find the skin has darkened due to scarring.

Olive oil may also be applied to try to prevent or reduce stretch marks, although studies on its effectiveness have found mixed results.

Again, there is very little evidence that applying olive oil to the skin helps prevent or reduce stretch marks.

Personal Care:

olive trees

Olive oil is found as an ingredient found in numerous personal care products, these include face wash, body wash, soap, and lotions.

Risks of applying Olive Oil to the Skin:

Children’s skin is extremely delicate, and eczema may develop if olive oil is used on a child’s skin.

Although some studies have shown that the use of olive oil can benefit the skin, as with most products, it may not be suitable for everyone, and ‘patch’ tests should be carried out before applying to the skin.

Using Low-Quality Olive Oil:

Finally, be sure to only choose Organic Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil over blends.

The use of high-quality olive oil is essential, using low-quality oils they may contain additives or chemicals that could irritate or damage the skin.

Have you used Olive Oil on your skin, did you find it to be helpful with a particular skin problem? Does it help your skin to look and feel better? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com


 

Mediterranean Diet For Health Benefits And Maintaining Healthy Skin

Mediterranean Village

Generally considered one of the healthiest diets on the planet, the Mediterranean diet can do miracles for your general health and just as crucial for the health of your skin.

Strange then that today we still don’t take this knowledge on board, and include some of these ancient Mediterranean foods directly and easily into our own diets to boost our overall health, in body and skin.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

A favorite of health professionals, its benefits are backed by a considerable amount of scientific research. Studies have shown that by adhering to the Mediterranean Diet for health benefits and maintaining healthy skin you can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of various diseases, keeps bones strong and healthy, protects the brain and memory, and gives you healthy radiant looking skin.

There is more than good genes, myth and magic lying behind the generally healthy and cared for skin you see among Mediterranean people. They use make-up and skincare products in abundance just like the rest of us. But, they have some excellent skin building blocks in place in the form of great food; the so-called traditional Mediterranean diet.

Your diet can have both a positive and negative effect on the condition of your skin, your body’s largest organ, and the benefits of these ingredients for both the body and beauty.

Your skin will be at its healthiest providing you are getting the nutrients it requires from the food you eat, it is what you eat that plays a significant part in how your skin looks, feels and importantly shields you from daily pollutants.

Also, a recent study published in the ‘British Journal of Nutrition’ advises that following the Mediterranean diet can increase your life expectancy, even for people aged 65 and older.

The Mediterranean Diet – Improve Your Skin:

boy and girl on motorbike

Dieticians will happily tell you that what the Mediterranean diet does to improve your health, it can do for your skin also. The condition of your skin is crucial to your overall well-being since this is your body’s primary defense against the outside world. By sticking to the Mediterranean diet can help you enjoy glowing, radiant skin.

This eating plan encourages lots of olive oil, which is full of vitamin E and antioxidants that strive to hydrate and nourish your skin. The occasional glass of Red wine, which is recommended in moderation, contains resveratrol, which can even repress the growth of acne-causing bacteria. And tomatoes, another favorite Mediterranean staple, helps protect skin cells – also helping to prevent cancer caused by sun exposure.

The diet emphasizes eating vegetables, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats – encouraging a high intake of fiber and moderate consumption of meats and alcohol, and lots of antioxidants. Foods that are high in antioxidants will protect and enhance the skin.

One of the worst foods eat for your skin is sugar, it is the cause of inflammation in the body and one of the reasons for the breakdown of collagen in the skin, a fibrous protein that helps to keep the skin firm.

With the loss of collagen, this leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.

A diet that is high in unhealthy processed foods and refined carbohydrates will also accelerate aging of the skin.

Eat A Balanced Diet – Protect Your Skin:

Mediterranean Food

The world-famous Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the most beneficial diets for your skin.

It is full of antioxidants to help repair skin damage and healthy fats to keep the elasticity of the skin.

The Diet is based on plenty of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, and whole grains, other vital components are fish, olive oil and small amounts of red wine. A limited amount of unprocessed meat, eggs, and dairy are allowed, and the diet is naturally low in added sugar, refined grains, and unhealthy processed foods.

A key feature is the healthy sources of fats from foods like fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and olives. At the same time avoiding foods containing unhealthy fats such as refined vegetable oils, processed meat, and other processed foods.

Many of the foods in a Mediterranean diet have anti-aging properties, that will both nourish and protect the skin.

Below is a list of the foods included in the diet:

Eat Plentiful Amounts:

Vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds, whole grains, potatoes, herbs & spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

Eat In Moderation:

Poultry, dairy, eggs, red meat, and red wine.

Limit or Avoid:

Added sugar, sugary drinks, refined grains, refined vegetable oils, processed meat, and processed foods.

Caffeine – Coffee is far more popular with people living in the Mediterranean region than tea, Caffeine helps to protect against skin cancer because it prevents a protein that UV-damaged precancerous cells need to divide.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

The best-known ingredient in the Mediterranean diet is, of course, Olive oil, a staple part of the diet, giving healthy monounsaturated fats and thought to be one of the reasons to the far superior health of the Mediterranean people. Olive oil is a valuable source of a fatty acid called oleic acid, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is involved in both aging and many diseases, so reducing it has anti-aging benefits.

Extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants, giving further anti-inflammatory properties, as well as protecting against oxidative stress damage in the body. By choosing cold-pressed olive oil and eating some of it raw, on salads, for example, will ensure you receive the highest antioxidant dose.

Olives and Olive Oil

The consumption of Olive Oil is linked to many advantages, these include a healthier heart and reducing the risk of mental problems such as depression and Alzheimer’s.

Olive oil is also an excellent ingredient for homemade beauty products, such as hair and face masks and fantastic natural body oil for both adults and children. It is packed full with vitamin E and antioxidants and is incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for hair and skin.

Oily Fish:

Living near to the Mediterranean Sea, the inhabitants of this region are traditionally fish eaters. Fish, especially of the rich oily variety, is our number one dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for health, beauty, and anti-aging. They have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, protecting those parts of the body most affected by aging (your eyes, the brain, heart, joints, etc.), as well as being an excellent moisturizer and conditioner for the skin and hair.

Both fish and seafood are also a fantastic protein source and provide essentialFish and Veg on a plate nutrients such as zinc and selenium. There is another less well-known anti-aging ‘star ’ to be found in ‘pink’ fish such as salmon, called astaxanthin. It is effective in reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, diminishing wrinkles, improving skin elasticity and so improving your overall appearance.

Plant Super-Foods:

Our Mediterranean neighbors have not only got the fruit and veg portions correct, but are also including an abundance of other plant super-foods in their daily diets, such as nuts, seeds, pulses, and whole grains. For example, nuts form an integral part of the diet and have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which give them anti-aging powers. Regular consumption is linked to lower cholesterol, reduced diabetes risk, and lower body weight. Pulses and whole grains also regularly feature in Mediterranean cuisine and are just as advantageous for health.

Bread and Pasta:

Bread is always seen on the table in a Mediterranean kitchen as well as pasta, both are very popular but are eaten alongside plenty of lentils, beans and other whole grains such as barley, whole wheat berries, polenta, oats, and buckwheat.

olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Bread and pasta have been unfairly labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘fattening’ foods in recent years. They are however a staple food in many healthy populations, including the Mediterranean region. Freshly baked whole wheat bread is a personal favorite of mine dipped in olive oil (instead of butter or margarine) add a touch of Balsamic Vinegar and black pepper, it’s delicious and it is actually very nutritious, so long as you are not allergic to wheat, gluten sensitivity or are coeliac it should not cause any issues if eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Meat, Eggs, and Dairy:

Meat, eggs, and dairy are eaten in small quantities and in their most natural unprocessed forms. Fresh cheeses, of which many are naturally low in fat, such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella are eaten in reasonable amounts and provide a great source of protein and calcium.

Dairy Products

Sheep’s and goats dairy products are very popular, as well as yogurt, which is a natural source of probiotics for a healthy gut. Meat is far less processed and eaten maybe once or twice a week, not daily! A traditional Mediterranean diet will be low in processed foods, with meals being home-cooked and made from natural, fresh ingredients.

Moderation and Balance:

Meat, eggs, and dairy are eaten in small quantities and in their most natural unprocessed forms. Fresh cheeses, of which many are naturally low in fat, such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella are eaten in reasonable amounts and provide a great source of protein and calcium.

Tomatoes and Wine

Sheep’s and goats dairy products are very popular, as well as yogurt, which is a natural source of probiotics for a healthy gut. Meat is far less processed and eaten maybe once or twice a week, not daily! A traditional Mediterranean diet will be low in processed foods, with meals being home-cooked and made from natural, fresh ingredients, and enjoyed with a  glass of red wine.

General Skin Conditions:

Some common skin conditions can be affected by the food you eat:

Acne – A study on male acne patients who followed a low-glycemic diet had reduced acne in comparison to a group of men that ate a diet rich in carbohydrates.

Chocolate – this gets a bad report as it is seen as a cause of pimples when in reality acne might be from a high-sugar or high-carb diet, if you can’t resist it, try to eat dark chocolate, in moderation of course!

Rosacea – This can include facial redness and swelling, can be set off by overindulging in rich, spicy foods, excessive alcohol or even hot drinks.

Eczema – People who suffer from eczema get dry, itchy, and red patches on the skin. Dermatologists say foods that can aggravate eczema symptoms include milk, eggs, soy, and wheat, and excess sugar. The Mediterranean diet is very beneficial for people who suffer from Eczema.

Keep Your Skin Healthy:

Eat your colors for antioxidants, include some healthy fats and choose a variety of foods to get the nutrients required to keep your skin glowing not only in summer but all year long.

girl looking at blue sea

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet; eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to stop the damage that leads to skin aging prematurely.

Many studies also suggest that a diet that contains a lot of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can speed up the aging process!

Excessive drinking of Alcohol dehydrates the skin, if you remove the moisture content from the skin in time, this will lead to wrinkles and signs of aging on the face, simply put, you are going to look older. Drink less alcohol, easy to say I know, but Alcohol is severe on the skin.

Allow your body and skin to enjoy the Benefits of Change:

Even people who now have signs of premature aging skin can benefit greatly from making lifestyle changes.

By changing your diet and bad habits, you will see and feel the benefit to your body and skin.

If you smoke, stop! People who do manage to quit smoking often notice that their skin looks healthier in time. Smoking will dramatically speed up how quickly your skin ages, it also causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.

By using a high factor sunscreen you are protecting your skin from the sun, and you give it an opportunity to repair some of the damage that may have already occurred.

Apply a facial moisturizer both day and night. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.

The Mediterranean Lifestyle:

clear Med Sea and girl

The Mediterranean diet for health benefits and maintaining healthy skin is far more about boosting your overall sense of well-being and learning how to make healthier food choices without giving up on taste and flavor. What’s not to love about really easy to find and use skin foods that give you an all-around healthy glow, inside and out?

If signs of aging skin bother you, you may want to see a dermatologist. New treatments and less-invasive procedures for smoothing wrinkles, tightening skin, and improving one’s complexion are giving many people younger-looking skin.

How much do you enjoy Mediterranean style food? What food do you find helps your skin look and feel better? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com