Olive Oil for Skin and Hair Care
Cold pressed extra-virgin Olive oil is high in phenolic compounds with anti-oxidant properties. They help by preventing free radical damage to the body. So, all the health benefits of anti-oxidants are applicable to Olive oil. Olive oil can be used both topically as well as internally for dry skin and hair.
Vitamin A is one of the anti-oxidants in Olive oil that helps produce sebum in the skin and scalp. Sebum helps protect the skin from bacterial infection by forming a barrier. Sebum makes hair softer and more pliable. However, excess production of sebum can cause acne and other skin eruptions. Excess sebum also leads to hair loss. Again, insufficient production of sebum results in dry hair.
Vitamin C is another anti-oxidant present in Olive oil that helps maintain healthy skin and hair. It destroys free radicals inside and outside cells. This anti-oxidant helps in the formation of connective tissue thus aiding in healing of wounds. This has been confirmed by a Korean research where the researchers observed that topical application of ozonated Olive oil increased the production of collagen fibers and fibroblasts and accelerated wound healing of full-thickness skin wounds. It also helps prevent bruising. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron and other nutrients that are critical to healthy hair growth. It also improves scalp circulation by maintaining capillaries that carry blood to follicles. Vitamin C deficiency can cause split ends and hair breakage.
The phenolic compounds present in Olive oil act as free radical scavengers thus improving blood circulation to the skin and hair follicles. They are responsible for giving a glow to the skin and a ‘bouncy healthy’ look to the hair. Phenol is also used in the preparation of sunscreens, hair dyes and skin lightening cosmetic products.
Selenium is another anti-oxidant in Olive oil that helps maintain healthy hair and nails. A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that selenium content in Sicilian virgin Olive oils ranged from 3.0 to 122.9 µg per kg. It works with vitamin E to protect cells from damage.
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