A few years ago, when I was living in Italy, I fell in love with olive oil. The area I was living in (Tuscany) was dotted with beautiful old olive groves and the harvesting of the olives was a traditional ritual in itself. I loved the taste, and also the skin benefits of this beautiful oil.
When I returned to Australia (specifically, Tasmania), and started formulating my own skincare, olive oil was always a star ingredient. I found the olive oil produced in Tasmania to be of exceptional quality, due to the cool and clean climate we enjoy here.
What is olive oil? Well it is a type of edible oil that is made from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea). It is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and has been used for centuries for cooking, as well as for its many health and beauty benefits.
In this article, we will explore the production of olive oil, its environmental benefits, its health benefits, and the various compounds found in the oil that contribute to healthy skin.
First, let's look at how olive oil is produced.
The process of making olive oil begins with the harvesting of the olives. This can be done by hand or with the use of mechanical shakers. Once the olives have been harvested, they are immediately taken to the mill for processing.
At the mill, the olives are first washed to remove any dirt or debris. They are then crushed to release the oil from the flesh of the fruit. There are two main methods of extracting the oil from the olives: the traditional method and the modern method.
The traditional method of extracting olive oil involves grinding the olives into a paste using large stone wheels. The paste is then spread out on fiber disks, which are stacked on top of each other and pressed to extract the oil. This method is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it produces a high-quality oil with a rich, fruity flavor.
The modern method of extracting olive oil involves the use of a machine called a centrifuge. The olives are ground into a paste and then placed in a spinning container. The centrifugal force generated by the spinning separates the oil from the water and solids in the paste, producing a purer and more consistent oil.
Environmentally friendly and sustainable
Now that we have a general understanding of how olive oil is produced, let's delve into some of its environmental and health benefits. One of the main environmental benefits of olive oil is that it is produced using a sustainable and eco-friendly process. Olive trees are drought-resistant and require very little water to grow, making them a more sustainable source of oil compared to other crops such as soybeans or corn. Tasmania's cool climate and high rainfall makes it ideal for growing olives, and our clean unpolluted air gives a wonderful purity you can't find anywhere else.
In addition to its environmental benefits, olive oil also has numerous health benefits. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Olive oil is also high in antioxidants, including vitamin E and polyphenols, which can help to prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
But olive oil is not just good for your overall health – it also has numerous benefits for the skin. One of the key compounds found in olive oil is squalene, a natural emollient that helps to keep the skin moisturized and supple. Squalene is also an effective antioxidant, helping to protect the skin from free radical damage.
Another compound found in olive oil is oleic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps to soften and moisturize the skin. Olive oil also contains a range of other beneficial compounds, including vitamin E, which helps to protect the skin from UV damage and reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles, and polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
The olive oil we use in Tasmanian Gold solid lotion bars, is grown and produced in Tasmania. We use the best quality olive oil you can get so you get the full skin-loving benefits of this amazing oil.
You can see why I love olive oil! It is a highly beneficial oil produced using a sustainable and eco-friendly process, and is rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that can help to keep the skin healthy and youthful. Olive oil is the natural choice for Tasmanian Gold and I'm sure you'll notice the difference it makes to your skin.