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Is An Olive Oil Cleanser Good For Skin?

Posted Aug 15 2009 11:08pm

Cee Gee Says… Okay, talk to me about DHC skin care products. Does the olive oil really make a difference? I use the olive oil cleansing product to remove make-up, but I’m not sure if it’s a waste of money. OlivesLastCall

The Left Brain Counters:
To answer this question I’ll begin by explaining that makeup is essentially composed of oily materials such as waxes, oils, pigments, and emollients. They stay on your face so well because these ingredients do not dissolve in water; if they did your makeup would run.  But that also means you can’t remove them with water either. Standard facial cleansers don’t work well on makeup because they are designed to gently remove surface dirt and oil. The more gentle you make a cleanser, the less ability it has to remove heavy oils. Cleansing ingredients are generally harsh for your face. If manufacturers made the cleansers with more detergent, you could remove the makeup but you would also remove all the natural facial lipids and dry out your skin. Thus, the need for makeup remover.

How makeup removers work

Makeup removers use the like dissolves like property of chemicals. Since oils can be dissolved in oils, and makeup is oil based, the removers also have oils in them. When the oil is rubbed on the face, it mixes with the surface makeup and is then removed with a cotton swab or cloth. The makeup removers also contain a small amount of surfactant to aid in removal off the face. What’s left on the face is some residual oil but not much if you wipe it well. This small amount of oil can then be removed with a facial cleanser leaving your face perfectly clean without being dried out.

I love olives

The product you mentioned has the following ingredients:

Europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, tocopherol, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil

The formula is basically olive oil with some added lower molecular weight oils (probably vegetable oil) and nonionic surfactant. It also has a splash of vitamin E added to have something extra to say on the label and a few preservatives to ensure the stuff doesn’t go rancid. At $3.58 an ounce that’s pretty pricey. Especially considering that you could buy a gallon of olive oil for about $25.

Standard makeup removers are emulsions (mixtures of water and oil) based on an ingredient like mineral oil. Here’s an example.

Water, Mineral Oil, Lanolin, Petrolatum, PEG-15 Cocamine, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

This formula is also composed of an oil, a surfactant and some preservatives. It also has a thickener in it. Basically, these formulas will work the same.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

So does the Olive Oil based formula work better than the mineral oil based one? Olive oil is a decent oil solubilizer but mineral oil is better. And since it`s been shown that mineral oil does not cause acne, you should not fear using a formula with this ingredient. But if the olive oil based formula is working well for you and you don’t mind spending the extra money, feel free. It’s not any better for you but it’s probably not going to be bad for you either.

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