How can oleuropein improve skin health?

Maastricht, 16th January 2024

Who doesn’t desire youthful looks and optimal skin health? Unfortunately, the aging process tends to impact our skin negatively. Wouldn’t it be great if we could slow down this natural process and improve skin health? This article delves into the beneficial impact of oleuropein on preserving skin health.

oleuropein skin health bonolive

Why is skin health important?

The skin, our body’s largest organ, acts as the primary barrier between the external environment and our internal world. Beyond its role in protecting against pathogens, toxins, and physical injuries, maintaining skin health is crucial to reducing the risk of infections and diseases (1).


Additionally, the skin plays a vital role in regulating body temperature and preventing dehydration, contributing significantly to the overall balance and well-being of the body through the process of homeostasis (2).


How does aging affect skin health? 

As we age, the importance of maintaining healthy skin becomes even more apparent. The skin undergoes changes, caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Sun and wind exposure, air pollution, climate conditions, chemical exposure, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption contribute to alterations in the appearance and function of the skin (3).


Primarily, visible signs of aging manifest as wrinkles and fine lines. Collagen breakdown and a reduction in elastin fibers result in decreased skin elasticity and firmness. Additionally, aging causes thinning of the skin. The upper layers, the epidermis and dermis, become less thick and lose density, increasing the risk of injury and making blood vessels more visible on the skin surface (4).


Maintaining healthy skin becomes paramount to tackling the aging factors, ultimately improving the quality of life as one ages (5). For example, skin dryness and irritation are natural consequences of decreased oil production with age (6, 7). To remedy this situation, nutritional supplements containing omega-3, collagen or oleuropein are showing some promise. Therefore, supporting skin health from within is a trend, currently popular for investigation among the scientific community.


What is oleuropein?

Oleuropein, a natural polyphenol, is abundant in olives, olive leaves and olive oil, giving them a distinctive bitter taste, especially in extra virgin olive oil (8). It is renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a subject of interest in various studies focused on skin health (8, 9, 10). It holds promise to support the skin’s natural oil production and tackle dryness and irritation.

oleuropein benefits skin

The beneficial effect of oleuropein on skin health

As the skin undergoes the natural aging process, one of the prominent challenges it faces is an escalation in oxidative stress within skin cells. Oxidative stress is characterized by an imbalance between free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage cellular structures including proteins, lipids, and DNA, which contributes significantly to skin damage. By effectively neutralizing free radicals, oleuropein helps to reduce oxidative stress in skin cells and preserves the integrity of cellular structures and functions (9).


Furthermore, aging is often accompanied by an increased tendency towards inflammation in skin cells, a phenomenon linked to the emergence of various skin conditions. Oleuropein is suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties. It targets the pathways involved in the inflammatory process, helping to reduce the overall inflammatory burden. By doing so, oleuropein not only addresses the symptoms but also acts preventatively and its anti-inflammatory ability emerges as a valuable asset in promoting overall skin wellness and resilience (9).


How to use Oleuropein as a supplement? 

Olive leaf extract comprises 25-40% oleuropein (11). Achieving the clinically studied dose of 100mg of oleuropein per day through regular diet alone poses a challenge. Consequently, oleuropein supplementation is a practical consideration. Taking a daily supplement can help you reach the recommended clinical dose and have positive results.

Typical application formats include soft gels, capsules, tablets and powders. Oleuropein is stable and can be combined with collagen, magnesium, selenium and vitamins B, D, E & K.

Oleuropein’s dual action as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent positions it as a valuable component in skin care, offering protective measures against oxidative stress and inflammation associated with the aging process (12, 13, 14).

An example of an olive leaf extract that is standardized for its high oleuropein levels is Bonolive®.