An emerging and fresh discovery for a complex marketplace.
Cleopatra used it, and she is still renowned for her breakthrough beauty remedies. The ancient Phoenicians, Egyptians, Hellenes, Romans, and Greeks loved it. Olive oil-based cosmetics – facial and body skin treatments – are not a new concept; they’re as old as the hills and, of course, just as effective today as they ever were. SA Olive reports that more and more South African producers are realising how popular and efficacious olive oil beauty products are, as more and more products containing the liquid gold elixir are being introduced.
SA Olive CEO, Vittoria Jooste believes it is because people are increasingly wanting natural products. “Not only do they want to know where their food products come from, but they also want to know that the products they apply on their face and skin are natural, contain excellent properties and are from a good, local source. Several of our members are producing face creams, balms, soaps and body lotions using olive oil as their main ingredient and they are enjoying success with these products, as the word spreads about the benefits. We are excited about this emerging market in South Africa … using a popular ingredient that’s as good today as it was aeons ago.”
Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. Antioxidants, when applied topically, can help protect the skin from premature skin aging. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-aging benefits of olive oil because it helps restore skin smoothness and protects against ultraviolet light. Hydroxytyrosol, a rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin. These antioxidants combine with olive oil’s excellent moisturizing properties to give skin the nourishment and restorative boost it needs.
From acne to eczema, olive oil has an impressive track record. As Hedley Manicom from Owl Products says: “One woman I met had chronic eczema and had tried everything, including medical treatments. While we wouldn’t necessarily advocate that olive oil could cure it, she was willing to try our olive oil products and, after just one month, her condition cleared up completely.”
About their olive oil cosmetic range, Annalene du Toit of Kloovenberg said: “I have very sensitive skin and I was not happy using products containing harsh chemicals and preservatives that are included in many face creams on the market. So, I decided to do my own research and we started extracting our own oil in 2000. My family and friends are now addicted to using our EVOO cosmetic range. I even travel with my own handmade soap wherever I go, and my husband has been using our olive oil soap for shaving ever since we started making it.”
Susan Aird from the Olive Boutique in Riebeek Kasteel says her repeat orders are growing. “When we bought this business about ten years ago, we didn’t really expect that our cosmetics range would be commercially viable and were even thinking of discontinuing it. How wrong we were because our olive oil beauty products are very popular – because they are so good, so natural.”
Philip King from Mardouw Olive Estate & Country House says, “The purer the EVOO, the better it is for the skin.” Their citrus infused EVOO cosmetic products have been on the market for five years and Mardouw also has plenty of repeat-buying customers because, as Philips says: “the product works. EVOO cosmetic products have a host of beneficial antioxidants and are a wonderful moisturizer for the face as well as the body.”
Healthy for you on the inside and on the outside, South African extra virgin olive oil is pure liquid gold and worth its weight in gold too.