Since launching Olive + M, people have always asked us, “Why olive oil?”
Nearly a decade ago, Olive + M’s founder Mariska Nicholson got to the bottom of a product she had been gifted from Italy. After enjoying every last drop, Mariska went to repurchase her new favorite product and was shocked to discover the price! At the time, Mariska was a single mother of two boys, and a 0.5 oz. bottle of oil for $200 just wasn’t an option. Curious, she began researching the ingredients and asking questions. As a trained culinary chef with a passion for plant-based ingredients, Mariska went to the kitchen and started blending her own oils. Five years later, Olive + M was born.
Why Olive Oil for Your Face and Skin
Mariska’s goal when starting Olive + M was to create a natural, deeply effective and luxurious formula that a single mom, like herself, could plug into her budget. This product has now become our best seller, Olive + M’s Face Oil. Although all of Olive + M’s plant based oil formulas are high in antioxidants, Mariska chose olive oil to be the main ingredient in all of her products, and for good reason! Olive oil contains Hydroxytyrosol, one of the most powerful antioxidants discovered to date. This phenolic compound combats oxidative stress, the result of skin damaging free radicals, 15x more than green tea and 3x more than CoQ10.
Olive oil also works well with our skin because it’s easily absorbed into the skin. This is due to the similarities olive oil has to your skin’s own natural sebum, which allows it to nourish your skin at a deeper level. Olive oil contains squalene, which is a component of sebum. Squalene is a natural substance produced by our own bodies, but its concentrations may go down as we get older. At birth, 12% of our skin’s surface is made of squalane. However, as we get older, these concentrations of squalane can decrease— even starting in your mid-to-late twenties. Benefits of squalane include its abilities to soften the skin, improve elasticity, protect against moisture loss, and feels luxurious on the skin. It also is a great emollient for smoothing and softening skin while boosting circulation, which can promote the formation of collagen, therefore enhancing elasticity.
In fact, many of the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that skin naturally carries are present in olive oil. There are a range of molecular similarities between squalene and sebum (size and shape) that make olive oil a “natural fit” for your skin. Because it looks like something your skin is familiar with, when olive oil is applied to the skin, it is recognized and is able to deeply penetrate the skin’s lipid layer to carry other beneficial nutrients and lock in moisture.
Additionally, olive oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Having antibacterial properties means olive oil can help in killing bacteria that causes acne – thus reducing overall skin acne. The anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness and irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
When you cleanse with an oil for your face, like our olive oil-based Cleansing Oil, the “dirty” oil is lifted from your pores and replaced with beneficial oil. This ultimately leaves skin cleansed, soft and glowing.
Cleansing with Oil for Your Skin
Have you ever washed your face and its left feeling tight, dry or with a “squeaky clean” feeling? Yeah, that’s not good a good sign for your skin! Fun fact: oil dissolved oil, and your skin naturally creates its own oil, called sebum. This sebum can trap dirt and bacteria in your pores. When you wash your face with a harsh cleanser this can strip your skin of its own natural protective barrier, ultimately leading to an overproduction of sebum. This is the skin’s reaction to being stripped of its natural oils by trying to replenish the valuable barrier that was taken away.
When you cleanse with an oil, like our olive oil-based Cleansing Oil, the “dirty” oil is lifted from your pores and replaced with beneficial oil. This ultimately leaves skin cleansed, soft and glowing.
At Olive + M we always say we didn’t invent this, olive oil has been used for thousands of years. Cleopatra used olive oil in her ancient beauty regimen. We’re just bringing it back into the forefront, keeping it clean, and making its beauty benefits accessible to all!