Have you ever heard of Olive Leaf Extract? If the answer is yes, it is likely that you have seen it at a health & wellness store in a tiny bottle with a label containing the words “# capsules” somewhere on it. However, did you know that the benefits of Olive Leaf Extract can extend beyond ingestion, the extract can also be applied topically to direct the bulk of its beneficial effects to the skin in a targeted approach.
For those who do not know about it, Olive Leaf Extract is exactly what it sounds like, a concentrated form of the leaves of the olive tree. It is a dark yellow/brown powder, which can sometimes come in liquid form, where it is mixed with alcohol or glycerin. Being a part of the olive plant, the leaves not only contain the same ultra healthy compounds as olives and olive oil but they also have the highest concentration of these compounds than any other part of the plant. The main beneficial compounds found in Olive Leaf Extract are the following: Oleuropein, Hydroxytyrosol, Oleanic Acid, Carotenoids and Chlorophyl. When ingested, Olive Leaf Extract is postulated to help with all sorts of illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even cancer. To add to this long list of benefits, scientific studies done in recent years (topical application) also show that Olive Leaf Extract also helps to greatly improve the look and health of skin in a few ways.
How does Oliver Leaf Extract Help The Skin?
1. Soothes & Tones Skin
Some of the compounds found in Olive Leaf Extract contain anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce skin redness and swelling, leaving your skin looking calm, uniform and smooth. It has been shown to inhibit your body from producing enzymes that lead to skin inflammation and uneven skin. This is a great asset for those battling mild to severe cases of acne or rosacea.
2. Reduces Visible Signs of Ageing
Olive Leaf Extract helps visibly rejuvenate the skin. In a study involving 36 participants who had damaged skin, 64% of them noted very noticeable improvements in the perceived age of their skin after using a moisturizer with Olive Leaf Extract for 2 months. The improvements included reductions in wrinkle size and depth. The extract also helped maintain and promote the participant's skin elasticity which is often lost as the skin ages or becomes damaged. The compounds in the extract also include high levels of antioxidative activity, which helps prevent and reduce further signs of ageing.
3. Protects Against Skin Damage
Olive Leaf Extract is considered one of the strongest antioxidants due to its many beneficial compounds with high antioxidative activity. Multiple studies have found that Olive Leaf Extract can help prevent or reverse visible signs of sun damage caused by UVB and UVA rays, such as sun spots, dehydration, and loss of elasticity. Moreover, studies have found that Olive Leaf Extract may prevent and reduce the likelihood of getting skin cancer. Olive Leaf Extract also protects the skin against other kinds of oxidative environmental damage such as pollution.
4. Increases Skin Hydration
Olive Leaf Extract is a great ingredient for those with drier, more sensitive skin who are more prone to skin dehydration due to a faulty skin barrier. The extract has been shown to help increase skin hydration by helping repair the skin barrier, in turn reducing the trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) rate. With the results lasting long after products with the extract stop being applied.
Olive Leave Extract is Natural & Sustainable
The need for sustainable beauty products cannot be understated, unsustainable beauty can harm or even kill plants, animals, and humans alike, there is a great need for conscious consumption. Olive Leaf Extract is a safe, natural and renewable resource that is farmed sustainably. Today, olive leaves are most often obtained as by-products of olive fruit or olive oil processing. With a large supply and not yet enough demand, they often end up being discarded and incinerated. Buying products containing Olive Leaf Extract decreases the amount of olive leaves going to waste, and supports a sustainable industry.
Where to Find Skincare Products with Olive Leaf Extract?
Although the number is limited, you can find some companies selling skincare products with Olive Leaf Extract online. In order to get the most out of the ingredient, make sure that you select a product that contains the ingredient around halfway through the ingredient list or higher. More specifically, look for products that list Olive (Olea Europea) Leaf Extract in their ingredient's list before ingredients like xantham gum, essential oils, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, or parabens. If the extract is listed after any of these, it most likely contains less than 1%, which has leads to less noticeable benefits as opposed to higher concentrations.
At Boost My Eco we carry two products with Olive Leaf Extract. Our Antioxidant Face Moisturizer: Normal-Dry Skin contains couples the benefits of Olive Leaf Extract with that of Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E and Aspen Bark Extract to also smooth, soften, and maintain a healthy skin barrier. Our Antioxidant Face Moisturizer: Very Dry Skin combines the power of Olive Leaf Extract with Shea Butter, Vitamin E, and Aspen Bark Extract to smooth, soften, and repair a faulty skin barrier and provide long-term dry skin relief.
We also use marketed extracts generously so you can get their full benefit. In contrast, the industry standard is to use extracts at a concentration of less than 1% of the total ingredients (evident by their placement towards the end of ingredients lists) to avoid increases in costs but still benefit from the marketing of using extracts. However, we believe that quality ingredients are worth the price tag. This is why we include our key marketed extracts (excluding exfoliating ones) at any concentration between 1.8-2%, in line with most scientific studies regarding topical application of extracts, which incorporate them at a concentration of about 2%-3%, but just a little lower to ensure that it remains safe even for the most sensitive of skins.
Next time you need some new safe, natural, and sustainable skincare products, make sure to add some products containing Olive Leaf Extract. Your skin will thank you for it in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Leaf Extract
Are Olive Leaf Extract and Olive Oil the same thing?
Olive Leaf Extract contains both the water soluble and fat soluble components found in olive leaves, this includes a large amount of antioxidants, vitamins and other plant compounds. Olive Oil on the other hand contains only the fat soluble components of the olive fruit. This contains only a small amount of antioxidants and over 99% fatty acids.
Is Olive Leaf Extract Safe?
Olive Leaf Extract is considered safe. No studies have found negative side effects for the use of Olive Leaf Extract in skincare at the low concentrations needed to see an effect on the skin. However, the effects differ from person to person, someone may have an allergic reaction to olive leaves and someone may not. Those with known allergies to any other part of the olive plant will likely be allergic to Olive Leaf Extract.
How is Olive Leaf Extract Obtained?
All extracts, like Olive Leaf Extract, are obtained by submerging the part of the plant in a base liquid that helps extract the most beneficial parts of the plant, this is usually alcohol, water, glycerin, but can be other chemicals. The solid plant material is then strained out and the liquid extract solution is either sold as is or dried through spray drying or low heat causing the base liquid to evaporate leaving only a powder extract behind. At Boost My Eco, we prefer the dried form, because it is more more concentrated, and has been separated from the added extraction chemicals, leading to a more profound impact and less chance of side effects.