Skin Health

The Effect of Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is traditionally used to treat skin diseases and wounds. This activity is attributed to its biochemical composition.

One of its main ingredients, oleuropein, is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent but it’s not the only one. There are also other equally active substances such as hydroxytyrosol, luteolin and glycoside.

The high level of antioxidants in the olive leaf extract, as well as its ability to eliminate toxins, are factors that can help the skin to become healthier.

Redness, Dehydration

According to a 2008 study, researchers found that oleuropein used in olive leaf extract was able to significantly improve blood flow to skin, reduce skin redness and cure dehydration better than vitamin E. (1)

They even believe that it could be used in conjunction with other active ingredients in cosmetics to repair the damage from UVB radiation. (1)


Several topical homeopathic ointments include in their composition the olive leaf extract. According to their instructions, applying the extract two to three times a day can significantly reduce acne and pimples and can treat cold sores, eczema, burns, itching and skin rashes.


The antioxidant ingredients of olive leaf extract help to protect the skin from UVB radiation which speeds up the aging process. (2)

In addition, they help suppress oxidative stress in the upper layers of the skin, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. (3)

Regular use of the extract prevents the degradation of structures in the inner layer of the skin and accelerates the proliferation of skin cells.


In a 2014 experiment, the effect of oleuropein on the healing of skin injuries was investigated. It was observed that it stimulated the synthesis of collagen fibers in wounds and inhibited the penetration of pre-inflammatory cells. It also cleared free radicals in the affected area and accelerated wound healing.

These findings may be useful for the clinical application of oleuropein in the acceleration of wound healing after surgery. (4)


Melanomas are tumors with a high metastatic potential, mainly resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.

A primary interest of a 2011 study was to evaluate the effect of the extract on the progression of this highly malignant, immunosuppressive and chemoresistant type of skin cancer.

Overall, the results of the study showed that the olive leaf extract has strong antimelanoma potential. The strong antitumor activity observed, as well as its ability to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy, indicate its potential utility in the treatment of melanoma.

The antitumor potential of the extract represents the result of multiple interactions between different (biologically) active compounds from the extract, the cancer cells and the conventional therapy. When the extract was applied in combination with different chemotherapeutics, various effects were observed, including synergy and competition. This requires caution in its use as a complementary treatment against neoplasms concomitant with chemotherapy. (5)

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