"I washed my face with olive oil for 10 days because my editor said to. Here's my verdict."

One thing I learned a long, long time ago when I entered this line of work was to NEVER tell your colleagues that funny/weird/quirky thing that you/your mum/your boyfriend did that ended up being a really funny/sad/unique story.

You’ll be hit with this:

Great story! You should write about it!



Yes, of course. Of course I will write that thing I never intended for the whole internet to know. Of course I will!

And the minute I learned that – the minute I ceased blurting out anecdotes from my life – was the minute I stopped writing stories about that weird wedding I went to/strange beauty product I heard was good/that funny thing my friend did on the weekend.

It was a foolproof plan. Until of course you realise stupid stories don’t only ever have to come from your own brain. They can be given to you! Amazing.

And that, my friends, is how I got to a place where I ended up putting olive oil on every corner of my face for the sake of a story.

The message, two weeks ago, from my editor Michelle came in like so: “I think you should wash your face with olive oil for a week or two.”

My reply? “Haha no thanks it sounds like a terrible idea that I am not willing to sacrifice my face for Yep just checked, I have some downstairs.”

For 10 days I washed my face with olive oil because Michelle said the internet/beauty gurus had begun talking about it like it was a legitimate thing to include in your skincare routine. I wanted to remind her that “snail goo” was also a fad once, but didn’t, because I need my job.

Did it live up the hype? Would it become my next staple? Or did I just ruin my skin for the sake of a story?

Let me break it down for you.

How does it work?

Okay, so the idea is to rub a small, coin-sized amount of olive oil onto your face before washing it off with a wet white microfibre cloth. In essence, the practice is meant to allow gentle exfoliation and show you if there’s still makeup on your face.

The process can be repeated until all your makeup is gone.

A word of warning: Facialist Ram-Prakash Khalsa told the website Coveteur would “bring things to the surface” before things got better if you were to try it yourself.

How did it affect my skin?

Okay, so, for context, I used the olive oil most nights over the course of the 10 days. I would almost always do it just before I went to bed, because that’s just about the only time I’m ever remembering to touch my face with things that are meant to look after it (I’m bad at skincare). Because I’m also bad at makeup, often by the time I got home from work and went to wash my face, there’s not a heap of makeup left.

BUT, in saying that, it works – it’s not a bad way to remove makeup if you’re looking for an alternative. It took me a little bit to get used to the fact I was slapping cooking oil on my face though.


In fact, every time I put it on, I always braced myself for it to smell weird. It didn’t, because it didn’t really smell like … anything. And although I’m very used to putting different oils on my face for moisturiser, there’s something strange about olive oil. It feels thicker, maybe? Or perhaps that’s just in my mind.

Left: The day I started the experiment. Right: The day I finished. Both together: I hate taking photos. Also, my neck hurts. Also also I am slightly less red, right?

Alas, after the 10 days were up, I did notice my face each morning was a little less red. For someone like me, who always has a couple of rosy cheeks, that was a win.

As a makeup remover, it worked, and as an exfoliator, I didn't notice a huge impact. And as for Khalsa's claims things would "come to the surface"? I did notice the odd pimple or two pop up in periods and places I wasn't used to seeing them.

In short terms: the experiment was neither here nor there. It did make my skin marginally better, but perhaps the greater result was that it didn't destroy it completely.

Would I recommend it?

Let me put it this way, I wouldn't not recommend it. If you're looking to shakeup your skincare routine, this could be the way to go, and it's far from a product that's going to break the bank.

However, it might be good to consider that your skin could potentially get worse before it gets better.

I don't think it'll be a staple in my skincare routine from now, but I think a key part of that conclusion comes from the simple fact I like my products smelling fresh on my face.

Olive oil smells like... not that.

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