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Olive Oil: The Mediterranean Secret to Longevity

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Olives, particularly in oil form, have a rich and storied history as an ancient ingredient. Did you know that the Mediterranean diet, abundant in olives and Olive Oil, has been associated with an increased lifespan?

According to a landmark study published in the British Medical Journal, people with this diet experienced a 20% reduction in overall mortality. These findings highlight the remarkable power of olive products in promoting longevity and well-being.

The cultivation of olives for oil production dates back to around 3000 BCE, making it one of the earliest known agricultural practices in the Mediterranean region. As civilisations evolved, so did their understanding of the versatile uses of Olive Oil.

In ancient Egypt, Olive Oil had multiple roles in daily life. It’s well-documented that ancient Egyptians used Olive Oil not only for culinary purposes but also for religious rituals and skincare. It held symbolic significance as a representation of purity and was used in offerings and anointing rituals, as well as incorporated into cosmetics and perfumes, reflecting its versatile applications beyond food.

The Minoans, an advanced ancient civilisation on the island of Crete, significantly contributed to the production and trade of Olive Oil. Their society, flourishing between 2700 and 1450 BCE, recognised the value of Olive Oil for various purposes. They used it for cooking, illuminating lamps, and as a key element in religious ceremonies. The Minoans played a role in disseminating Olive Oil knowledge within their sphere of influence.

The Phoenicians, renowned for their maritime skills and trading prowess, played a pivotal role in the spread of Olive Oil production knowledge across the Mediterranean. Flourishing between 1500 and 300 BCE, the Phoenicians established trade networks that connected different regions and cultures. Their influence facilitated the exchange of goods, including Olive Oil, contributing to its dissemination to diverse populations.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans elevated the status of Olive Oil to new heights. In ancient Greece, Olive Oil was considered sacred, symbolising peace, wisdom, and fertility. It held religious significance and was used in various rituals, including anointing athletes before competitions. The Greeks, namely Hippocrates, also recognised its medicinal properties.

The Romans then inherited and expanded upon the use of Olive Oil from the Greeks. It became a staple in their cuisine, as well as in skincare and cosmetics. Olive Oil was used in everything from cooking and dressing salads to luxurious beauty treatments. The Romans’ wide-reaching empire further propagated the use of Olive Oil across vast territories.

Throughout history, the production of Olive Oil has been perfected by these ancient civilisations. They developed advanced techniques for olive cultivation, harvesting, and extraction, laying the foundation for the high-quality Olive Oil production methods still used today. It continues to be celebrated for its exceptional health benefits, culinary uses, and contributions to the skincare and beauty industries. And at O&3, we offer a diverse selection of olive-derived products, all sourced from premium Spanish olives.

What natural properties do olives carry?

Olives are packed with an array of natural properties that make them ideal for health and beauty needs and they have long been celebrated for its numerous benefits for the skin and hair.

Benefits for the Skin: 

  • Moisturises and Nourishes

Olives are excellent natural moisturisers, thanks to their high content of monounsaturated fats. The oil can penetrate deeply into the skin, providing hydration and helping the skin maintain its natural moisture barrier, with regular use keeping the skin soft, supple, and well-nourished.

  • Antioxidant Protection

Olives are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E and polyphenols, which help protect the skin from free radical damage. These antioxidants neutralise harmful molecules and can help combat signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Soothes and Calms

Olives have anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin, which can be beneficial for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and sunburn, providing relief and promoting healing.

  • Enhances Skin Elasticity

The vitamin E present in olives promotes collagen production, which helps improve skin elasticity and regular use can contribute to a more youthful and toned appearance, reducing the appearance of sagging or dull skin.

Benefits for the Hair: 

  • Conditions and Softens

Olive Oil is a natural conditioner that can deeply moisturise and soften the hair, which can help to smooth down the hair cuticles, reducing frizz and enhancing shine, leaving the hair feeling silky and manageable.

  • Stimulates Hair Growth

Olives contain nutrients and antioxidants that can help promote healthy hair growth and nourish the hair follicles, improving blood circulation and stimulating hair growth. Massaging the scalp with Olive Oil can help strengthen the hair roots and reduce hair loss.

  • Treats Scalp Issues

The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of olives make them beneficial for treating scalp conditions like dandruff or dryness. Applying Olive Oil to the scalp can help moisturise, soothe irritation, and alleviate flakiness.

  • Protects against Damage

Olive Oil can form a protective barrier around the hair strands, shielding them from damage caused by environmental factors, heat styling, and chemical treatments. It can help prevent moisture loss and minimise the risk of hair breakage and split ends.

What olive ingredients are there and how are they used?

  • Olive Oil

Renowned for its moisturising and emollient properties, O&3’s Olive Oil serves as a key ingredient in skincare products such as creams, lotions, and body oils. It penetrates deeply into the skin, replenishing moisture, and imparting a healthy, radiant glow. Some ways it can be formulated are in facial moisturisers, body oils and lip balms.

  • Food-grade Olive Oil

O&3’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil promotes heart health, reduces inflammation, and contributes to a well-balanced diet and its delicious flavour and versatility make it a valuable addition to various culinary dishes.

  • Olive Wax

O&3’s Olive Wax serves as a natural alternative to synthetic waxes and the versatile ingredient finds its place in lip balms, body butters, and hair care products, forming a protective barrier that locks in moisture and keeps the skin and hair feeling soft and supple.

  • Olive Pomace

Carrying a myriad of antioxidants, O&3’s Olive Pomace nourishes and rejuvenates the skin, making it an excellent addition to facial masks, scrubs, and body wraps. Its gentle exfoliating properties help to reveal a smoother, more youthful complexion.

  • Olive Melt & Pour Base

The O&3 Olive Melt & Pour Base offers a versatile canvas and enriched with Olive Oil, it allows for easy customisation, enabling the creation of unique, nourishing soaps that cleanse and pamper the skin.

  • Olive Stones (Exfoliant)

O&3’s cracked Olive Stones make a highly functional natural exfoliant solution. With recent changes in laws in exfoliator use, they are all the rage and an effective means of removing dead skin to bring a revitalised smooth new layer of skin.

  • Olive Squalane

O&3’s Olive Squalane is a natural emollient, which closely resembles the skin’s own sebum, making it highly compatible and easily absorbed. Olive Squalane helps hydrate, soften, and improve skin elasticity, leaving it nourished, with a healthy glow.

  • Olive Butter

O&3’s Olive Butter is luxurious and nourishing, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and moisturising properties, making it an excellent choice for skincare formulations. Olive Butter helps hydrate, soften, and protect the skin, leaving it smooth, supple, and rejuvenated.

What blends well with olive?

Olive products work harmoniously with a variety of natural ingredients, enhancing their effectiveness and creating delightful formulations. Some of our favourite blends include:

  • Citrus Fruits

The bright and uplifting scents of citrus fruits, such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit, complement the mild, earthy aroma of olive. These combinations are often found in refreshing body washes, scrubs, and perfumes.

  • Lavender

The soothing and calming properties of lavender essential oil blend beautifully with olive-based products. This combination is often used in relaxation-inducing bath oils, balms, and lotions.

  • Rosemary

The invigorating scent of rosemary pairs well with the herbaceous notes of olive. Together, they create energising hair care products, including shampoos and conditioners.

Formulating with Olive Oil

Olive Oil is an exceptional ingredient in creating effective and beneficial cosmetic formulations due to its unique composition and properties. Here are some of our favourite formulations that it can be incorporated into:

  • Massage Oils

Olive Oil is a popular choice as a carrier oil for massage blends as it provides a smooth glide during massages and moisturises the skin at the same time.

  • Body Lotions and Creams

Olive Oil is a common ingredient in body lotions and creams, helping to hydrate and soften the skin.

  • Facial Serums

Some facial serums incorporate Olive Oil as a base due to its antioxidant properties and ability to promote a healthy complexion.

  • Bath Oils

Olive Oil can be added to bathwater to create a moisturising and soothing bath experience as it helps prevent the skin from drying out in hot water.

  • Hair Conditioners

Natural or organic hair conditioners often include Olive Oil as an ingredient to nourish and soften hair strands.

  • Lip Balms and Lip Treatments

Olive Oil’s moisturising properties make it a valuable component in lip balms and treatments for dry and chapped lips.

  • Cuticle Oils

Olive Oil can be used as a base for cuticle oils to help soften and moisturise cuticles, promoting healthy nail growth.

  • Natural Perfumes

Some natural perfumes use Olive Oil as a carrier to dilute and disperse essential oils while delivering their aroma to the skin.

  • Hair and Scalp Treatments

Olive Oil can be applied to the scalp and hair as a pre-shampoo treatment or as a leave-in conditioner to improve hair health.

  • Aromatherapy Blends

In aromatherapy, Olive Oil is utilised as a carrier oil to dilute and safely apply essential oils to the skin as it helps reduce the risk of skin irritation from potent essential oils.

  • Shaving Oils

Olive Oil can be used as an alternative to commercial shaving creams or gels and provides a smooth surface for shaving whilst hydrating the skin.

  • Natural Soaps

Olive Oil is a staple ingredient in traditional castile soap recipes, known for its mild and moisturising qualities.

  • Body Scrubs

When combined with sugar, salt, or coffee grounds, Olive Oil creates an effective natural exfoliating scrub that sloughs off dead skin cells while providing moisture.

O&3’s Thoughts… 

In a fast-paced world where health and well-being are increasingly prioritised, the Mediterranean lifestyle stands out as a way to longevity and vitality. At the heart of this lifestyle is the olive, celebrated for its exceptional nutritional and personal care properties.

However, embracing the Mediterranean lifestyle is not only about adopting a healthy diet, but also incorporating the health, wellness and cosmetic benefits of olive products into our daily lives, too.

From skincare to hair care, olives offer a wealth of natural properties that nourish, protect, and rejuvenate. Packed with remarkable properties and abundant nutrients, Olive products are versatile ingredients that offers boundless possibilities for enhancing consumer well-being, both inside and out.

Why O&3? 

At O&3, we are always looking for new ways to ensure that our natural oils are of the highest quality, while minimising our impact on the environment. We’re leaders in the most natural oil extraction process, cold pressing, and we are always adding to our ever-growing list of cold-pressed oils. With a full list of sustainability accreditations; we are aware of how environmental concerns are impacting consumer demands – and we have the solution.

To unlock the secrets of our olive products, or any of the other 950+ natural ingredients that we offer, into your formulations, contact us now! Our team of oil experts are always on hand to help. Simply email or call us on 01765 522 120 and talk all things oil with us.


Please note that the views/opinions expressed in this blog are solely our own. It is the responsibility of our clients to conduct the necessary testing to substantiate any claims and ensure compliance with industry standards for every ingredient. We will not accept any liability for claims made based on our content.