Moisturize Using Just Olive Oil: the Why and the How

Moisturize Using Just Olive Oil: the Why and the How

Break the dryness cycle by cutting your addiction to chemical moisturizers and using plant-based oils. Yes, I said addiction.

Commercial lotions cause a dependency where the more you use the more you need. Basically, the artificial moisture signals the skin that it doesn’t need to produce it’s own oils. If you stop using your chemical lotion for a couple days, you notice that your skin becomes really dry without it. That product is created in a lab simply to add an external layer of moisture, thus covering up the problem of dryness much like medications simply treat symptoms rather than causes.

The solution is to balance out our bodies’ natural oils by giving the skin’s oil-producing centers some time to recover from being “turned off”. After an adjustment period, your body will reach its happy balance. Plant-based oils don’t interfere with this process. For years, I had dry patches on the front of my shins. Since I started moisturizing in the shower with olive oil a few times a week (and doing nothing else), those patches have gone away and my skin is perfectly hydrated.

400x84_g2
This is my Vegan MOFO #6. It’s Minimalist Beauty Monday!

Of course, I’m sure a high raw diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies helps, too! But that’s for another day…

And this is not just for the ladies. My husband swears by this (he also uses jojoba oil as his only hair product).

Natural Oils for Moisturizing

Any plant-based oil is fine – olive, jojoba, coconut, etc. I just use olive oil because it’s inexpensive, available everywhere, and I have it around the house anyways. Do you carry around a bottle of petroleum jelly in your purse? Read this short little article I found on why vaseline is bad for your skin. And don’t use mineral oil as it really will dry out your skin (plus it’s another petroleum product).

If you have a really dry patch or want a little extra boost to soften up your feet or hands, try 100% shea butter (fair trade). It’s solid at room temps but will melt into your skin.

Why Moisturize with Olive Oil?

  1. Inexpensive and easy-to-find

    I buy it in a big one-liter bottle and can get it pretty cheap from Trader Joe’s, but it can be purchased almost anywhere (at least in North America).

  2. Minimalist

    You probably already have a bottle in your kitchen – in that case you don’t even have to get another product. Just fill up a travel bottle and keep it in the shower, ready for action. I even bring it with me when I shower at the Bikram Yoga studio.

  3. Absorbs well

    If you apply the oil when your skin is still wet after your shower, it absorbs really well. If it’s too glossy, just pat your skin dry with a towel to absorb some of the excess oil.

  4. Gentle

    Olive oil isn’t a common irritant, and with only one ingredient, there are zero harmful chemicals added! We take this seriously because Jay has to be very gentle in his ingredient choices or his eczema will flare up.

So, what’s a girl (or guy) to do?

Apply Olive Oil Before You Towel-dry

In the shower, after you turn the water off but before you towel dry, rub a layer of olive oil all over your skin, toes to neck (even your face if you want). The water still clinging to your skin will dilute it so you don’t have slippery limbs. Your pores will already be opened up from the shower, allowing the oil to absorb well.

It might take awhile for your skin’s natural oils to balance out, but have a little patience. Both Jay and I have been doing this for years, and my skin feels great, more moisturized than it ever was before. And we live in the desert. ‘Nuf said.

Now your turn. Have you had success moisturizing with a different plant-based oil? Leave it in the comments.

For more tips like this one, read my article 6 Toiletry Swaps to Save Money, Reduce Chemical Exposure, and Declutter. I’ll be posting a new article like this each Minimalist Beauty Monday for the next couple months. To make sure you don’t miss any (and to get extra insight I don’t share on the blog), subscribe to my newsletter below:

Don’t worry, I respect your email privacy, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Though I hope you won’t want to!

More Unforgettable Insight

33 Responses to Moisturize Using Just Olive Oil: the Why and the How

  1. WOW very eye opening! would love future article on many uses of coconut oil. Also what do you recommend for chapstick? I feel im always using it but my lips never feel hydrated *currently using Burts Bees. Thx!

    • On your lips, you could just use oil. Or you could try coconut oil or cocoa butter for the flavor. Also, hydration starts internally with drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich fruits and veggies. I rarely use anything on my lips anymore…

  2. WOW very eye opening! would love future article on many uses of coconut oil. Also what do you recommend for chapstick? I feel im always using it but my lips never feel hydrated *currently using Burts Bees. Thx!

    • On your lips, you could just use oil. Or you could try coconut oil or cocoa butter for the flavor. Also, hydration starts internally with drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich fruits and veggies. I rarely use anything on my lips anymore…

  3. Awesome article! I have been using just natural oils on my body for the past few months and it feels amazing. However, I’ve had trouble finding the right oils for my face. Anything I try makes me break out (and I’ve tried stuff for MONTHS waiting for the acne to go away). Whenever I go back to the lotion from the dermatologist, my skin clears right up. But I know this stuff is bad for me and isn’t a long term solution. Do you know of any oils that are particularly good for the face?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lauren, I do the Oil Cleansing Method for my face, and I use a 1:1 mix of castor oil and jojoba oil. Castor oil is the more cleansing of the oils – it helps to really remove dirt. And jojoba oil is similar to our own sebum composition so works well for balancing out oil on the face. Both coconut oil and olive oil are supposedly comedogenic. I used to use coconut oil, but found that I did, in fact, get whiteheads when I did so switched to what I’m currently using. What oils have you used on your face that made you break out?

      • Hi Adria,
        I used a blend of jojoba oil and olive oil on my face. I’ve also tried argan oil. Perhaps I’m using too much? I’ve never tried castor oil…maybe that will help. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for your response!

        • Lauren, I just wrote an article about the Oil Cleansing Method that you should check out. I talk about how it works for acne and explain the oils so hopefully that will help more!

  4. Awesome article! I have been using just natural oils on my body for the past few months and it feels amazing. However, I’ve had trouble finding the right oils for my face. Anything I try makes me break out (and I’ve tried stuff for MONTHS waiting for the acne to go away). Whenever I go back to the lotion from the dermatologist, my skin clears right up. But I know this stuff is bad for me and isn’t a long term solution. Do you know of any oils that are particularly good for the face?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lauren, I do the Oil Cleansing Method for my face, and I use a 1:1 mix of castor oil and jojoba oil. Castor oil is the more cleansing of the oils – it helps to really remove dirt. And jojoba oil is similar to our own sebum composition so works well for balancing out oil on the face. Both coconut oil and olive oil are supposedly comedogenic. I used to use coconut oil, but found that I did, in fact, get whiteheads when I did so switched to what I’m currently using. What oils have you used on your face that made you break out?

      • Hi Adria,
        I used a blend of jojoba oil and olive oil on my face. I’ve also tried argan oil. Perhaps I’m using too much? I’ve never tried castor oil…maybe that will help. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for your response!

        • Lauren, I just wrote an article about the Oil Cleansing Method that you should check out. I talk about how it works for acne and explain the oils so hopefully that will help more!

    • Hi Zakieh, that would depend on what type of hair you have. I have oily hair so I would be very careful adding oils. However, I’ve used a touch of Vitamin E oil to tame fly-aways and make my hair glossy, so perhaps olive oil would work for that, too?

    • Hi Zakieh, that would depend on what type of hair you have. I have oily hair so I would be very careful adding oils. However, I’ve used a touch of Vitamin E oil to tame fly-aways and make my hair glossy, so perhaps olive oil would work for that, too?

  5. Thanks so much Adria for your answer, i have frizzy dry and curly hair :(, i dont know what to do! i dont have much money to spend on lots of products! so someone suggested to use olive oil after shower and leave it in my hair till next shower(just a little bit of olive oil of course)! but i dont know if it may harms my hair or not, because it remains in my hair about 2 days! but the result is good, i wanted to ask you what do you suggest me to do for my hair?
    Thanks so much! its a long time that i feel bad about my hair!

  6. Thanks so much Adria for your answer, i have frizzy dry and curly hair :(, i dont know what to do! i dont have much money to spend on lots of products! so someone suggested to use olive oil after shower and leave it in my hair till next shower(just a little bit of olive oil of course)! but i dont know if it may harms my hair or not, because it remains in my hair about 2 days! but the result is good, i wanted to ask you what do you suggest me to do for my hair?
    Thanks so much! its a long time that i feel bad about my hair!

  7. I am 52 yrs old and have scars on my face, can olive and jojoba oil help to reduce my scars and minimize the pores on my face? Tq!

  8. Great questions Jane chu! Surprisingly, olive oil may cause you to break out. Jojoba oil is fine to wash your face with. Do either reduce scarring?
    To answer this, let me tell you that when I had a rash on various parts of my body a few years back, I had lots of scarring on my arms and neck. By healing the wounds and preventing further outbreaks, my body did what it does best… it healed itself. Today, I am scar and rash free!
    My advice, keep your skin clean, moisturized, and reduce further outbreaks on your face by keeping your stress down. Also eat healthy so your body can produce the energy to heal your scars! In addition read this article for a few more tips on skin care. I hope this helps you.
    http://highonclearskin.com/how-to-get-rid-of-hyperpigmentation-acne-scars/

  9. I just tried this today, and I think it worked well.

    However, I do not enjoy the smell of olive oil, which lingered after the shower (it’s not strong, but I notice it). I don’t want to get coconut oil because it’s expensive (and I also don’t love the smell of coconut), like a few other oils.

    Is there a way to minimize or mask the olive oil smell?

    Thanks!

    • mix salt and extra virgin olive oil and half lemon juice,. and used it to scrub your body when you are taking a bath,. its a good to expoliate your skin, and at the same time moisturized your body, doesnt clog your porse as well,. really soften your skin i used it on my body regimen,.. u will see the result as soon as after you used it,.. what you need to do is scrub your body with this mixture and rinse well thats all ang pat dry,.. no need to put a lotion or anything in your skin because olive oil do the things to moisten your skin,. and btw lemon juice is just to lessen the not so good smell of EVOO thats all,.

  10. I just say I used olive oil all over the body its so amazing I got fungal problem in my feet doctor prescribe me so many different medicine but it does not work only olive oil wroks I can only say try it its God gift on earth from heaven

  11. Do you have any natural fixes for acne scars? Every oil I’ve tried has caused me to break out and scars can be very embarrassing! Thanks a lot. 🙂

  12. I use clinique acne solutions cleansing foam and clarifying lotion then i apply the coconut oil to my face and has worked wonders! Almost never break out now…takes a few weeks depending on you severity of you acne. I also drink organic alovera juice with a tablespoon of olive oil everyday

  13. Which olive oil should I use becoz there r many even edible…. and how if I use it on whole body hair, face and private parts…. thanks

Leave a reply

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.