Why don't we use olive oil?
While researching my competition in the marketplace, I came across a lot of products with olive oil in them. It is much cheaper than argan oil (which is the most expensive natural oil out there). So, I decided to learn about it and figure out if it was something that should be in Fatskn.
The short answer:
No. Definitely not. Olive oil is NOT good for your skin. It's actually quite harmful.
The long answer:
When I started learning about the benefits of healthy fats and natural oils a few years ago, I applied my rule of thumb to them: if they're good for you to eat, they're good for you to apply them topically. Not quite.
First I learned that certain oils are better for cooking at high temperatures (i.e. MCT/coconut oil, almond oil, etc.) vs. those that should not be heated (olive oil, for one), and that canola/vegetable oil is the devil. Lol.
I experimented with almond oil on my skin: holy cow that stuff is thick! I felt like I was wrapping myself in saran wrap. My skin couldn't breathe. Then I tried carrot oil and olive oil and found the same: my skin didn't feel moisturized after and it didn't feel good when I put it on.
It turns out my instincts were right: in 2012, a small study was conducted at the University of Sheffield to explore the real, scientific benefits of topically-applied natural oils. They argued that no real research has really ever been done to support this hypothesis. They experimented with olive oil and sunflower seed oil. The results were as follows:
"[after four weeks] topical treatment with olive oil significantly damages the skin barrier, and therefore has the potential to promote the development of, and exacerbate existing, atopic dermatitis [eczema]. The use of olive oil for the treatment of dry skin and infant massage should therefore be discouraged. These findings challenge the unfounded belief that all natural oils are beneficial for the skin and highlight the need for further research."
What is the component in olive oil that damages the skin barrier?
Olive oil is mainly composed of oleic acid, with small amounts of linoleic acid and palmitic acid. It is the high quantity of oleic acid - lacking the balance of higher quantities of linoleic and palmitic - that "causes barrier disruption and eventually induces dermatitis under continuous topical application". Oleic acid increases the permeability of the skin: it helps things penetrate.
This is why Fatskn does not (nor will it ever) contain olive oil: it does more harm than good.
"Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22995032
"Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils" https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/1/70/htm
"Examination of the mechanism of oleic acid-induced percutaneous penetration enhancement: an ultrastructural study" https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/26/1/26_1_66/_article/-char/ja/