Thursday, 16 July 2015

Chapter 122 – Olive Oil in Botanical Cosmeceuticals

Publisher Summary

The primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, known to be one of the healthiest around the world, olive oil (Olea europaea) has long been considered one of the most important of the natural essential oils. For millennia, as long as it has been part of the human diet, people have also used olive oil for various non-culinary purposes, including for its beneficial effects on the skin. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used olive oil in food, cosmetics, massage oil for athletes, anointing oil, and salve for soothing wounds, and the ancient Greeks bathed with olive oil. In recent years, the topical application of olive oil has been reported to be an effective option in treating xerosis, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis (particularly diaper dermatitis), eczema (including severe hand and foot eczema), seborrhea, pruritus, and various inflammations, burns and other cutaneous damage. In addition, olive oil is showing promise as a potential photoprotective agent. This chapter focuses on the chemical constituents of olive oil believed to confer beneficial health effects before concentrating on the dermatologic implications of olive oil consumption and topical application, including a brief discussion of some of the available formulations.