A little while ago, I heard that olive oil was an effective natural acne treatment. It sounded ridiculous. My acne is caused by oily skin, and you expect me to apply yet more oil to my skin? No, thank you. Not a chance. Definitely sounded like a snake oil sales pitch. And yet. . .
Being an inquisitive busybody, I decided to look into it. I looked on the internet. Read archived posts on forums and discussion boards. Poked around and stuck my nose where it wasn't welcome. In the end, I found mainly positive results. One group reported that they washed their faces with extra virgin olive oil, then washed off the oil with soap. After one week, their acne became worse. Unfortunately, they did not give any more details than this. Personally, their report does not really make sense. If they washed off the olive oil, then at worst, there should be no effect, right?
Most of the successful cases reported three main ways of using olive oil for acne prevention. The first way is to use a cleanser based on olive oil. One small group of friends actually conducted their own experiment. They tested 3 different brands of olive oil cleanser: a cheap brand from their local departmental store, a high-end brand from an upscale boutique, and another high-end brand bought from a catalogue. They found that the cheap brand caused more acne, but the two different expensive brands helped a great deal. Definitely looks like a case of you get what you pay for.
The second group of successful cases used this regimen:
- Wash with extra virgin olive oil - apply a small amount to the skin, rubbing gently with finger-tips in circular motions. You may notice some hard grainy things. These are actually dislodged blackheads.
- Wash with glycerin soap bar - you can buy the orange-colored bars which Nutrogena sells, or use a generic brand
The third group of successes used extra virgin olive oil as a kind of facial masque.
- Rinse face in plain warm water.
- Massage a small amount of extra virgin olive oil into skin until all the oil has soaked in.
- Dab face with a clean linen cloth until it matts the oily look.
It seems that normal extra virgin olive oil works very nicely. You do not need to buy the more expensive organic version. I am more comfortable with the idea of using olive oil as a wash, much the same way as removing make-up. Overall, not a method you use to get rid of pimples but a potentially cheap and effective long-term method of acne prevention.
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