Olive oil instead of lotion

One of my former Frugal Fridays tips was about getting every last bit of lotion out of my lotion bottle. Well, that truly was the last of my lotion, and so I embarked on another frugal adventure!

I've been using lotion on an almost-daily basis ever since I became my family's dish washer at the age of 10 or so. For some years now, my hands have been strangely sensitive to certain lotions (actually, most lotions I've tried). The Nature's Gate lotions didn't cause any problems, but the nearest location to purchase them is currently about 30 minutes away. When I used up the last of my lotion, I figured I could save some money by not driving so far just to purchase expensive, natural hand lotion.

My solution? Plain olive oil. I just put a few drops on my hands whenever I might normally use lotion. (Note: The olive oil rubs into the skin best when the skin is still slightly damp, not completely dry.)

So for a number of weeks, I've been using simply olive oil, and I really like it! It's cheap (compared to natural lotions) and doesn't have a list of ingredients that's two feet long. I'm sure there are some great homemade lotion recipes out there, but olive oil works for me! :)


That's a cool idea. I bet your hands also smell nice.


Don't you smell like olive oil after several applications? Love the frugal idea, but just question the practicality of it.


Add your favorite essential oils, mine are bergamot with vanilla, or moodlifing lavender, but no, it doesn't usually smell strong on its own. Be creative!

I started doing this when my first baby was newborn. I add lavendar oil to it and it smells delightful! :)

Sometimes I put warm (not hot - ouch!) olive oil in my hair, especially on the ends. Put on a shower cap and wait 30 - 60 minutes before washing out. Sometimes, I will put it on before bed and wash out in the morning. It works great for dry hair.

I have been using olive oil for quite a while now. I keep a bottle in the bathroom cabinet for after bath lotion. It really makes your skin soft!
I have really dry skin on my hands (from cleaning and washing dishes lol) the olive oil works great.


I began using olive oil this year, and it works wonderfully, especially on my feet. I bought a vial of lavendar scented oil at Family dollar and added it to the oil. I might try some other scents as well. Great post!

We use olive oil frequently - I feel it is almost medicinal to use, so our son benefits from it rather than mineral oil "baby oil" concoctions. I use it on me when dh is away as he doesn't like the smell!

I'm not surprised that there are others of you who also use olive oil! :) Actually, I can't believe it took me so long to make the switch, but, as usual, running out of something and not replacing it was the key to finding a cheaper and easier solution! :)

Thanks for all of your comments!

Anonymous, no, I haven't noticed my hands smelling like olive oil. I have been wearing rubber gloves when I wash dishes, which means they don't get as dry and need as much moisturizing, but I also don't mind the scent of olive oil, so I could just not be noticing it. :) It only takes a few drops though -- much less than I would use of regular lotion. :)

Hmn... after reading these suggestions, I'm thinking about adding lavendar oil to my olive oil. :) I have tea tree oil, but Joshua can't stand the scent of that!! :) (I have had to use it on my hands in the past.) :)

I use olive oil, and mix it with Epsom salt with a little essential oil (I like cinnamon-which enhances any perfume) put it in a plastic container and use it as a body scrub. The Epsom salt helps any bruises go away, I have no static cling, and my skin feels glorious. I just use it in the shower.

It sounds great!! how much of each ingedient you add to make the body scrub?

If the olive oil smell bothers you, try coconut oil! You can buy a jar of coconut oil at most health food stores--it is solid at room temperature, so it actually feels more like the popular "body butters" out there. It doesn't take much for soft hands, and it has almost no scent, too.

I purchase my coconut oil from Walmart! I also use olive oil for my hand/body lotion. Very cheap and it only smells for a few minutes.

I'll second the reccommendation for coconut oil! I use olive oil, too, but my favorite is coconut oil. I think it does have a scent but I like it (it smells like coconuts, surprise, surprise!). Coconut oil has been the nicest thing for any rash my babies have had. It has anti-fungal properties as well as antibacterial properties so I found it esp. effective for yeasty-diaper rashes.


I used to always used olive oil but found that it was a little annoying when it would go on too thick and would take too long to dry... eventually threatening grease stains on clothing. (I used it as a body lotion -- not just my hands.)

I really like using coconut oil when I'm fresh out of the shower and still a little damp. It has a nice smell and really soaks in good. Plus, it's easier to manage because it's a solid substance until warmed.

But, olive oil is still high on my list; I just like to change between different kinds of lotion/oil every once in awhhile. I find they work better for me that way. Great post on alternative lotions Tammy!


Hi I had to chime in, although I am a bit late. I work in a kitchen and use olive oil too, but this just occured to me, when I worked in a nursing home, what they use is crisco. My hands were always dry because I washed them so often, and now as I recall my hands were in really good condition back then, but I know it sounds so much nicer to say one uses olive oil as opposed to crisco. LOL

Any oil that is solid at room temperature ( like butter, and shortening) will clog your arteries, Yes , everything that you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. That"s why they administer some medications through a patch.

When my son was an infant, his pediatrician recommended "Crisco in the blue can!". He stated to use it after bathing him, as it is very similar to the oils found naturally in our skin. I used it on both of my children, including my daughter who has eczema, and we've never had a problem with it. No clogged arteries here! I also use the olive oil as I prefer that smell to the crisco, but the crisco is cheaper.

I mentioned this to a neighbor of mine who thought that I was weird for this, :) However, the next month in Nursing School, it was mentioned in one of our text books (vindication! lol).

I think the medical field has changed their thinking about "solids", especially when it comes to coconut oil. In fact, there's a UTube video going around now by a woman doctor who started incorporating coconut oil into her husband's daily diet because of dementia and the results were miraculous. She is a medical researcher and says that like so many of the old medical proclamations, not using coconut oil is a myth.

I would certainly think that Crisco and butter would both be much safer to use on the skin than .MINERAL OIL.(.refined motor oil) that is in baby oil ( and most commercial lotions)slathered on daily since birth. besides I think that the molecules of both vegetable shortening and butter are MUCH too large to actually penetrate the skin very far......just sayin.

I just stumbled onto this post, and I know it is late in the ball game to respond, but I live in Asia and they sell Olive Oil specifically for this purpose for both dry skin and hair. They actually use it instead of lotions for the most part and it is mostly used on the face. I was in a store looking for hand lotion and when the worker came over to me and realized what I was looking for she insisted on olive oil instead of any lotion I picked up. It really does work. I am told it has been used here for decades.

just my two cents.

I just read at a soap forum that coconut oil is being sold at Walmart in the baking/oil section.

When I was pregnant with my second child, my hormones went CRAZY! My face broke out and the skin on my feet actually cracked! The picture of your cheesecake looks familiarLOL! My feet would dry, peel and crack so bad that walking across our burber (sp) carpet was painful. The peel would catch and rip from my foot and then they would bleed horribly. The solution? Olive Oil. I was too big and fat to apply it myself. I would soak my feet sitting on the side of the tub in warm water and then my dear sweet husband would rub in olive oil after patting them dry. This was the ONLY thing that worked. Even baby oil was not useful.
Your post brought back many memories, some bad, but we they did end happily! :o)

Okay, you guys. I only had a little bit of olive oil in my bottle, so instead of buying more olive oil for my hands, I bought...

...coconut oil! I got it at Wal-mart. I'm sure that some from a health food store would be much nicer/higher quality. As it is, I got enough to last me about 10 years (used as lotion) for only $2.94. It doesn't have much of a smell, at all, but my nose isn't as sharp as some people's, I think.

I even had the cutest little jar saved (I think it holds about an ounce or two) from a free sample of lemon hand cream I got at Bath and Body Works a couple years back. I almost never save containers unless I have a specific use for them, but I saved this one and it looks so cute on my bathroom window sill, filled with coconut oil! :D

When #2 was born, he was CRACKLY, his skin looked like sheets of phylo and SO red. I don't know WHY I did it, but I pulled out the Olive Oil and rubbed it all over him from day ONE. Sam is now my brownest son, with the SOFTEST skin! NO one would guess that his skin was crackly as a newborn!

LOL! :) Was he overdue? :) Olive oil was a good choice... much much better than the "baby lotion" in the store... :)

I mix extra virgin olive oil and sugar together to a slushy consistency - this makes the best exfoliant ever! I use it at the end of my shower - scrub real good, get rid of all the dead skin cells, rub the knees and elbows real smooth - and rinse. No need for lotion afterwards. Blot dry and rub it in if need be. VOILA! (Sometimes I use brown sugar for the smell, or granulated brown sugar for a little more exfoliating power, but plain old white sugar is great!)

Hi....Just wanted to let you guys know that there are actually two different types of Coconut Oil. One smells like coconuts - the other does not. It has something to do with the processing. Tropical Traditions (the website) has some great info on Coconut Oil, and does a much better job of explaining the differences.

As for lotions - I use a combo of Coconut Oil/Olive Oil.

I was given a recipe - but didn't have all the essential oils on hand - so made it without them. Here it is:


2 cups melted coconut oil
1 cup olive oil
10 drops each:
tea tree oil
lemon oil
lavender oil
5 drops oregano oil

Try it and see how it goes. You could probably use your own combinations of essential oils for the qualities you need and/or the scent you desire.

Blessings -

PLEASE do not add ANY essential oils to anything unless you have an understanding of the properties they contain..They are very MEDICINAL and some can be very UNSAFE for use with certain individuals,children and elderly. Lavender is about the safest choice but there can still be a botanical allergy. This is best left to someone trained in aromatherapy. Fragrance oils are a safer alternative for a SCENT ..

i am new to the idea of using *food* oils on skin (now that i live in a more "natural" oriented place, i am learning so much!!). this summer, a friend had a group of us - all ages - using coconut oil to keep the mosquitos off. the kids played out in grass filled with bugs all night without a single bite on any of them! i was amazed. since then, she encouraged me to use jojoba oil on my skin. we live in high altitude where the air is very dry; my skin is drier than it's every been my whole life. i use jojoba oil on my face and knuckles. my hubby has been using it too, on his dry skin, and we both love it. it's a little pricey but seems to stretch and we think it's worth it.

I had been on a quest to find my holy grail night cream for about a year. I am 34 years old and my skin has just recently changed from being oily all of my life to combination/dry. I realized this when i started getting these ugly dry patches on my face that did not go away with any lotion. I went to my doctor and she diagnosed my with eczema! Well she recommended a couple of face creams to use. I tired them and nothing! One day I was a local pharmacy and saw that the Night Of Olay Firming Cream was on sale for a couple of dollars. I had already tried a few other Oil of Olay products that i was not too crazy about. I purchased the night cream and tried it that night. I liked it and it made my skin smoother than it had been for awhile. I still had some patches but seemed better. I had been using olive oil on my hair as a treatment. I had it on my vanity when I remembered how i had read about people using olive oil as a lotion. I had already globbed some of my Olay cream on my palm and decided to mix it with the olive oil. The minute I started applying this to my face I was in love. I was REALLY in love the next morning when I felt my face. WOW. Smooooottthhhhh like never before! Even my pores looked smoother. I tried just the olive oil that night and did not get the same result as i did with the mixture of the night cream and olive oil. The following night i confirmed that it is the mixture of the 2 that was key. I have seen such an improvement in my skin that i get asked constantly about my skin care routine because people say my skin looks so great. I also exfoliate with a mixture of sugar and a cream facial cleanser followed by the mixture of the night cream and olive oil. Try this!! I guarantee you will be as amazed with the results as i was :)

I do the same thing...I put it in my everyday face cream sometimes even directly when it's too dry.
Love it

Thank all of you for sharing. I love this!

I read all the comments and am glad that I am not going crazy. I heard about using olive oil while I was in Mexico on vacation, I started using it immediately when I got home. I have had a rash on my upper arms for years, I tried a lot of different lotions but nothing worked, I used the olive oil all over my skin and the rash went away. My family makes fun of me for using it, but my skin has never felt better.

Olive oil is so great not only for it's smothing effects, but it also has omega 3 fatty acids which is wonderful for the skin. My skin is very dry as I live in the desert, so you can imagine how dry it gets! All I use on my face, hands and body is extra virgin olive oil. I also as some of you have said, use it as a scrub. I use it with salt instead of sugar though. The best salt is un iodized sea salt. Just make a loose paste and scrub it in with your hands and rinse then pat dry. This is just a side note, if you are a diabetic DO NOT use sugar in place of salt, as it does soak into your skin. Anything you put on the outside, goes inside. : )

Hi everyone! Love all the comments. Just wanted to add: Our skin has millions of tiny pores through which it "eats" whatever we put on it. It just makes sense to use natural food products for healing and moisterizing. One quote is "If you wouldn't put it in your body, don't put it on your skin". A simple quote to share with those who think it is weird to put edible oils on one's body. Blessings~ Julie ps. thanks for the mosquito repellent coconut oil tip!

I just started using extra Virgin oil on my 5 weeks baby because his skin has a terrible rash and cracked. Thanks for sharing some one was recommending tea any ideas?

Hello, I have six children and 3 of them have had rashes on their face as babies. We found that this was due primarily to milk allergy. My children also ended up being allergic to several other foods. The good news is that they grew out of the milk allergy in time (ranging from 2-6 years old). It is very easy to test if they are allergic, just stop drinking milk and eating dairy products for about a week and see if you notice a difference. If you are using formula, you can switch to Nutramigen or another hypoallergenic formula. I don't recommend soy, as it is an allergen as well and has other problems (you can google it).

Best wishes, I know how hard it is!! Look up food allergy network and other online resources.

I worked in a bakery a few years ago for about 4 hrs. Everytime I made dough that had butter in it, my hands would be soo soft from rolling it out. Also when I would get butter on my hands while measuring I would rub it in before washing it off. My hands were always soft. I always got got praise for my skin, and its because I'm half italian and cook everything with olive oil, I find that straight up olive oil on the face is too much so its good to mix it. I can tell you my nanas in her 80's and people think shes 50, and I'm 29 and have been asked if I was 17/18 which is always nice. I'll have to try the coconut oil, I love the smell of coconuts!

And its great! :) i'm 14 and i've been putting on lotion ever since I was a baby. My mom got me into the habit. I like olive oil cause its natural. My mom did a similar thing, only she used coconut oil cause it was all she had in the Philippines. She uses lotion now but I tried coconut oil and I only use it for my hair cause my mom says the one we own isn't like what she had in the Philippines. So she told me to turn to olive oil. Really nice!

Its a GREAT MAKEUP REMOVER! It melts everything right off. Just don't get any in your eyes.

I've a problem. Recently I've started to use marseille soap for hand and body washing, earlier I've used "normal" soap from market. I know it might take long to get used to new, but my hands are cruel dry. I've used the olive oil to moisture, but it doesn't take effect. Do I have to be patient and waite or is there something else I can do?

What would you use as soap with this olive oil?

I have really soft skib thanks to shea butter. I am a nigerian and I buy the unprocessed natural shea. Its great on the skin and hair too. Just rub a bit in your palms till it melts and rub it on to your skin or hair. It has a funee smell but U̶̲̥̅̊ ll get used to it.

im so sick of all hand creams in the market you cant find any lotions that didnt have nasty chemicals my husband keep telling me just to use olive oil so i tried olive oil i apply it after my shower but after that my skin is itchy and i have some pimples on my skin. !!!!

can anyone here share some of their face cream home made recipe using olive oil?

thanks alot

I have terribly dry skin, eczema, and combination oily/dry skin on my face. I'd been to the dermatologist so many times as a child (I'm 18 now) that I finally started refusing to go after the dermatologist made me cry during multiple sessions.

I went to an organic herbal store, and the herbalist there recommended I use olive oil, and my skin has been so much better ever since!

For an all-over moisturizer, I use 3/4 cup to olive oil with 2 teaspoons of beeswax. The beeswax is antibacterial (as is honey), which reduces bacteria and helps to keep pimples away. I put a half teaspoon of multiple herbs (gotu kola, chamomile, lavender, ginger, calendula, green tea) for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. I also put some vitamin E and C in, as well as some Aloe Vera gel, and Shea Butter.

Just heat the olive oil over medium heat, just before it simmers, then add the herbs, cover and turn heat to low; let the herbs sit in the oil for 20 minutes or longer; strain the oil, then stir the besswax in until mixed thoroughly; pour into lotion container, and you have your very own lotion!

For my face, I use olive oil mixed with Tea Tree Essential Oil (considered almost as effective as benzoyl peroxide without as many harmful side effects) and Aloe Vera Gel.

In response to "Itchy with Olive Oil" - make sure you spread the olive oil very evenly over your skin. Leave it for 5 minutes, then rub it in evenly again. Repeat until your skin is no longer so oily. This helps it to go on in a thin layer so that it doesn't clog pores.

the olive oil, tea tree and aloe vera gel is a great idea! when mixed up, how long could this be kept in a bottle?

Can you make the sugar/salt scrub and store it? Or does the sugar/salt dissolve?

Great thread everyone, I enjoyed reading all the posts. I make my own almond milk, so I use the left over ground almond meal mixed in olive oil as a scrub. It leaves my skin so smooth and soft :)
I freeze a couple of tablespoons of almond meal in plastic snack bags and thaw and add to olive oil as I need it.
My daughters say it smells "organic" which I don't mind :)

I used to get bad rashes and had to leave a few days gap between shaves, then I read somewhere that Roman soldiers used olive oil for shaving so I gave it a try and it worked like a charm.

I only wish I'd discovered this earlier in my life, it would have saved me a lot of painful days.

Try Coconut Oil its cheap and works for everything! The smell is great too! But make sure you buy organic.

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