Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. Antioxidants, when topically applied, may help protect the skin from premature 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 rather rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin.
Unlike commercial moisturizers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect.