In the historial Middle East, olive trees and branches were sacred and the oil was used as a currency. In several countries, “Offering an olive branch” is symbolic and considered as a gesture of peace. In Greek myth, Athena grew the first olive tree by throwing her javelin into the air. In addition, olive trees have lived for a long time, some israelis ones are over a thousand years old !
Olive oil is mainly composed of oleic acid, it represents nearly 70% of it’s fatty acids. It is really stable through the time and it can be exposed to light or heat. On the skin, it supports the sebum production of the skin while it allows cell breathing. Olive oil contains phytosterols with humectant properties - they bring and maintain moisture to the skin. Then, it helps to heal sunburns and soothes very dry skins.
Olive oil also contains squalene which takes part in the sebum composition. As a protective agent, it prevents the evaporation of moisture and works as a natural emollient. Squalene promotes the delivery of oxygen to skin cells and purifies the skin by removing wastes. It is also contained in rice bran oil and boosts the production of sterols, a vitamin D precursor. It is very suitable for dry and mature skins because it prevents skin-aging thanks to its structure similar to vitamin A and it’s high content of unsaturated fatty acids.
Finally, olive oil is often employed to make soap thanks to its benefits on the skin, low cost and availability. The most famous soap is probably castile soap made with olive oil and soda only. It is a convenient zero waste alternative to dish soap in plastic bottles. If you prefer the liquid formula, you can put castile soap chips and clean water into a reusable bottle. When the chips are dissolved, you are done - you can shake the bottle to accelerate the process.