Olive Oik

Skincare: Is Olive Oil good for acne?

Often referred to as a "wonder" product, olive oil is suggested by many health and beauty websites, advising anyone concerned about their skin to apply it directly to their face and body to take advantage of its “remarkable” properties.


Olive oil can supposedly exfoliate and hydrate without clogging pores, improving the skin's suppleness. What more could you possibly want?

The downside?

While olive oil may be used to cleanse your face for treating acne, studies have suggested that applying the oil directly to the skin may not work for everyone. Instead, it is suggested that specially formulated products such as olive oil soap and face lotions may be more beneficial.

How does acne occur?

Human skin naturally accumulates and builds up sebum (oil) and, if untreated, can cause acne.

So how does olive oil treat acne?

The olive oil-cleansing method has a fundamental philosophy: "like dissolves like.” In other words, applying olive oil to the skin can dissolve any other amassed or coarsened oil built up due to filth and impurities.

The idea behind oil cleansing is that completely removing all the oil from your skin will make it go into overdrive and produce much more to compensate.

Consequently, cleansing the face with oil balances the skin as it retains moisture without being unduly dehydrated due to its high vitamin and antioxidant content. Furthermore, olive oil may be recommended for all skin types (although not scientifically proven).

How can Olive Oil be used to treat Acne?

Using the olive oil cleansing method each night to treat acne is simple.

  1. Apply a small amount of oil – about ½ teaspoon – all over your face by pouring it onto your fingers and gently massaging your skin. Do this for approximately 3-minutes.
  2. Give the oil a minute to absorb into your skin.
  3. Apply a washcloth (dipped in warm water) onto your face and hold it in place for around fifteen seconds. Afterwards, softly rub the oil away from your face until the oil has been removed.

Disadvantages of using Olive Oil to treat acne

Unfortunately, previous research has indicated that olive oil may have some disadvantages when used to treat acne. Disadvantages include:

  • Olive oil may cause acne when used too frequently.

A research study by NCBI found that one of the main ingredients in olive oil, oleic acid, has been shown to produce acne on the skin. This is because oleic acid has comedogenic properties, which can clog pores and result in blackheads.

  • Olive oil can disrupt the skin’s natural defences, making it more susceptible to eruptions.

According to a study conducted in 2013, olive oil can damage your skin’s natural barrier. The study consisted of 6 adult volunteers who rubbed six drops of olive oil over their forearms twice daily for five weeks. The results revealed that the respondents had a weakened function of the skin barrier and light irritation on the skin, regardless of whether the volunteers had a history of eczema.

The study concluded that:

The use of olive oil to treat dry skin and infant massage should be discouraged. These findings challenge the unfounded belief that all-natural oils benefit the skin.

  • Olive oil can clog your pores.

The main deterrent of applying olive oil to your face is that it can clog your pores; this is due to olive oil generally having a low comedogenic grade, which often results in some people experiencing clogged pores whilst others remain fine.

If olive oil is used to reduce acne scars, you could also risk worsening your current acne. This can, however, be dependent on your skin type and condition. Ultimately, the best results are achieved by trying, testing, and recognising what works best for you.

Can Olive Oil soaps be used to treat acne?

Olive oil soaps are made of high-quality, extra virgin olive oils and are one of the finest all-natural remedies for those with damaged skin. An olive oil soap with low oleic acid content is excellent for treating those with acne due to its anti-inflammatory, moisturising, and nourishing properties. This makes them a better option for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin over olive oil straight from the bottle.


Multiple studies have shown that olive oil can treat acne, moisturise the skin, and shield it from further harm due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics.

It can also be utilised as a component of the oil cleansing technique, in which excess sebum is removed from the skin by rubbing oil into the pores.

Due to its high oleic acid content, research studies have found that olive oil may not be ideal for treating acne. Olive oil has the potential to damage the skin's protective layer, irritating delicate skin, causing dryness, and boosting acne-causing bacterial growth.

However, results can vary on your skin type and condition, so it may be worth testing due to the health benefits that olive oil provides.

We have a range of alternative oils and olive oil soaps that treat acne without hidden side effects. If you are interested in browsing for suitable soaps, why not browse our range of organic natural olive oil soaps? Free from additives, chemicals, preservatives, and perfumes.

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