Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Olive Oil: The miracle skin cleanser

Here’s a little discovery I recently blundered upon: plain old olive oil makes a great facial cleanser and skin conditioner.

I know…it’s counterintuitive. Olive oil should make your skin greasy. But it doesn’t. Not at all. In fact, as I write this my skin could use a little face cream. Some people say it’s safe to use on naturally oily skin prone to acne, because your own skin’s native oiliness has nothing to do with what you put on it and everything to do with your hormones. So many people buy into this theory that there’s actually a coterie of folks who have developed an “Oil Cleansing Method”(OCM), which they recommend for acne sufferers.

The other day I stumbled on this when I opened a freebie sample packet of expensive skin cream from L’Occitane. Thinking it was rather nice, I glanced at the ingredients and discovered the stuff is mostly water and olive oil.

Olive oil? I’ve got that in the kitchen, and it sure doesn’t cost what a bottle of fancy goop from L’Occitane costs.

Meanwhile, there’s a backstory here you should know about: Over the past two or three years, I’ve developed a maddeningly itchy spot on my face. It runs along the sides of my nose, especially around the creases where the nose joins the face. One dermatologist decided it was seborrheic dermatitis and prescribed a high-octane cortisone cream. Another dermatologist said it certainly was not that, because there was no visible reddening or rash, but she didn’t know what it is and thought I should leave it alone.

Well, cortisone cream does nothing. After I’d faithfully followed the first specialist’s instructions for about ten days, I learned that cortisone creams can cause your skin to atrophy. That’s just what I need: atrophied skin on my face! Thanks, doc!

Moving on, I tried dandruff shampoo (briefly soothing…for about ten minutes), calamine lotion, insect itch stuff, face creams, Vaseline, witch hazel, Bactine, antibiotic ointments, Myconazole, special soaps, Benadryl cream, oral antihistamines, swearing off caffeine, swearing off alcohol, and on and on and on. NOTHING helped to make it heal up, and only two things would stop the itch for longer than about five or ten minutes: salacylic acid (in Scalpicin) and benzyl alcohol plus pramoxine HCL (in Itchex gel). Both of these sting like the dickens when you apply them—as in hurt so much it makes your eyes water—but they would stop the itching for three to five hours, which was better than anything else did. Meanwhile, I continued to unconsciously paw at my face, because nothing would bring the itch to an end.

When I realized the L’Occitane cream was mostly olive oil, the Still Small Voice whispered, “Olive oil? Try it!”

Why not? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The OCM enthusiasts are hot to add stuff like castor oil and aloe, but I decided I would restrain myself from running to the drugstore and just use the Costco olive oil I had in the house. Here’s the strategy:

You need

a small amount of olive oil
small dish
warm water
a few minutes of undisturbed time

Pour a tablespoon or two of olive into a little dish. Using your fingers, dip up oil and spread it over your face. Rub the oil gently around and into the skin.

Dampen the washcloth well with very warm but NOT scaldingly hot water. Lay the warm washcloth over your well-oiled face and let it set. Relax while allowing the steamy warmth to work on your skin. As the cloth cools, repeat this several times.

Then gently wipe the excess oil from your skin. Rinse and wring out the washcloth, and you’re done! If you like, splash some cold water on your face as an astringent.

Amazingly, as soon as I applied olive oil to the itchy area around my nose, it started to sooth the discomfort! And it didn’t hurt.

After I finished wiping the oil off my face, I dabbed a light film of olive oil onto the itchy area. It worked! It didn’t 100% cure the itching, but it soothed enough that I could keep my hands off my face all day long.

I’ve been using olive oil on my face for several days now, and it’s making a huge difference. Maybe over time the years-old irritation will settle down and go away. BTW, the oil also works really well to remove make-up. It even takes off mascara. It leaves your skin feeling clean, with no trace of greasiness. The olive oil scent dissipates quickly or washes off in the warm water, so you don’t end up smelling like a walking bowl of salad.

Isn’t that the darnedest thing? I can’t imagine why this would work on a stubborn itch. And I’m not asking! I’m just gunna keep using it.

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. I was reading in Psalms 104:15 “olive oil to soothe their skin”
    I will try it, if Gods words states then it is true true

  2. I was reading in Psalms 104:15 “olive oil to soothe their skin”
    I will try it, if Gods words states it, then it is true

  3. Olive oil should be called miracle cream. My 24 year old niece has sufferred from exzema all her life. She also has allergies to many things like soy, fish,peanuts, bananas, eggs,and the list goes on. Her face is usually red, dry looking, flaky bumpy. She says it feels tight and itchy. She has been prescribed everything under the sun without any real benefit. She is also asthmatic. Anyway, what happens when she starts using olive oil? The red dry itchy flaky skin improved. Her skin looks 100 times better and it doesn’t itch. I couldn’t believe it. Im so happy for her. I will be telling her about cleansing with olive oil too! She suspects facial care products all negatively affect her skin because of allergies. I started using it today. I have keratosis polaris, little bumps on the skin that are not itchy or painful, but they are bad for self esteem. I am hoping it helps my skin.

    • @ Merryn: I hope it helps. But do try it on a small patch of skin for a few days before rubbing it on any large area. One never knows.

  4. Do you use a moisturizer with this or does the olive oil alone do enough?

    • @ Elisse: Yes, I do use a moisturizer, but I’m older than Mrs. Methuselah. A younger woman or a person with reasonably oily skin might not need it.

  5. I have been using olive oil for about 4 days. It is a wonder moisturizer and make up remover. It has helped my acme too!!!

  6. what type of olive oil did you use my face is covered in eczema and nothing the doctor is giving me has helped.

  7. make sure you use extra virgin olive oil. it is not refined so it keeps its skin healing and beautifying benefits.