Greek and Roman:
Olive oil was used by Ancient Greeks and Romans to care for their bodies. Almost all men and women, young or old, sick or healthy used it a few times a day. Before and after bathing oil was spread all over the body. At first its function was only that of soap, then it was used as a moisturizer, enriched with aromas obtained from herbs and flowers.
Those with dry hair and skin were considered dirty. For this reason people bathed and moisturized their entire bodies with oil at least once a day in order to cultivate a healthy appearance. At first these ointments obtained from the combination of olive oil and herbs or flowers were imported from the Orient, then they were produced in Greece and later on in the Roman Empire. Typically, a noblewoman would bathe three times a day, while a Greek playboy would bathe at least five times.
The Egyptians manufactured perfumes and ointments of all types, and Cleopatra was known for using a variety of perfumes and cosmetics. Many of them used olive oil as a base, usually from colorless, tasteless, unscented olives picked well before they were ripe (about three months too early), in August. This care of the body also had a practical reason: oil forms a protective film over the skin thus shielding the pores from infiltrations of dirt and dust. In addition, oil is a bad thermal conductor that guards the skin from excessive cold.
Olive Oil and Dermatologic Uses
Olive oil can be used for so many reasons like; dry skin, body wash, against sun protection, wrinkles, for eczema acne treatment, winter itch, frizzy hair or as a usual moisturizer, facial cleanser, deep hair conditioner.
Especially when olive oil used in OCM (Oil Cleansing Method- a mixture of olive oil, a suitable carrier oil and a select blend of essential oils.), it is preferred for moisturizing the skin. The low incidence of skin cancer among Mediterranean people (despite a strong sun) and its well-known anti-oxidant affect have brought olive oil international acclaim for skin care too. Also, skin and hair cleansed with olive oil soap retain moisture, resilience, suppleness and brightness. Everywhere, dermatologists recommend olive oil soaps for dry and sensitive skin. The soaring popularity of these gentle, moisturizing soaps has given rise to a new tide of soap makers, beyond the Mediterranean ring, employing many of the ancient methods with their local olive harvests.
Olive Oil contains polyphenol compounds that act as antioxidants. These compounds help prevent and repair damage to the skin done by accidental sun exposure. The skin damage is related to the destructive activity of free oxygen related radicals produced by skin cells. Polyphenolic components of olive oil have been compared to some other traditional antioxidants, such as tocopherols, used by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry to prevent skin damage. Results show polyphenols as having the highest activity as radical scavengers.
As mentioned in Greek texts, the protective effect of olive oil commonly used skin conditioner at the time. A few small scientific studies support this. Warning: this does not imply that it is safe to use olive oil productive sun cream. No matter what you put on your skin, sun exposure will eventually age and damage the skin. Avoiding the sun, wearing protective clothing or at least using the newer UVA and UVB sun blocks would be better.
Also, eating a sauce made by simmering tomatoes in olive oil has been shown to protect the skin from sunburns, about the same amount as using a sun block with SPF of 2 or 3. The thinking is that the lycopenes in the tomatoes are taken up by the oil
As a result eating antioxidants protects you, but it is not healthy to take just vitamins and supplements which are antioxidants. Several studies show that while a diet rich in foods which contain antioxidants lowers risk of heart disease, just eating the supplements increase risk of heart disease and even skin cancer.Olive Oil and Cosmetic,