Olive oil is a great moisturizer for people with dry skin, and can be especially good for people who are allergic to traditional skin creams. Unlike moisturizers that contain chemicals and additives, it is unlikely that you will have an allergic reaction to olive oil. Olive oil and other cooking oils have long been a folk cure for dry skin, and they remain popular because they work.
According to research published in the medical journal Contact Dermatitis, the chances of allergic reactions from using olive oil topically is very rare. It does recommend that patients not use it for treating eczema caused by blood flow issues, because it can rarely be irritating in this circumstance. However, for otherwise healthy patients it rarely causes any issues.
There is also evidence that olive oil and help protect your skin from damage when you get too much sun, according to a peer-reviewed study published in Carcinogenesis in 2000. While the study was conducted on mice, it showed a reduced number of tumors in the mice who were coated with olive oil and then exposed to UVB rays such as those from the sun versus those who received the exposure without olive oil.
If you can avoid your allergy issues, you can even add essential oils or other fragrances to your olive oil. This will keep you from craving pasta all day because you smell like an Italian restaurant! If these also cause you to have an allergic reaction, it is not a problem. In most cases, you will be the only one who smells anything out of the ordinary. If others can smell it, you may want to consider using less oil the next time you apply it.
You can apply it straight to your skin or add a few drops into the bath and then soak in it. You can also add it to the lotion you already use, if there is a hypo allergenic option that works for you. It is important, though, to avoid getting the oil on clothing and other fabrics, because it can leave greasy stains.
If you have dry skin but have developed a reaction to store-bought moisturizing products, topical lotions or creams, you may want to try olive oil. It will add moisture to your skin while also keeping in your skin’s natural moisture in the same way these store-bought products do, but without the breakouts or hives. If you are seeing a dermatologist or allergist, you may want to mention it to someone at their office first, but in most cases olive oil does not cause any reaction when applied topically.