Olive oil unsaponifiables and their wonderful skin benefits

Olive Oil Unsaponifiables

Although their beneficial properties have been known since ancient times, many of us are still very much in the dark about the amazing skin benefits of olive oil unsaponifiables. Read on to discover what this small but mighty fraction of one of our territory’s most prestigious oils has to offer your skin’s health.

What is the unsaponifiable part of a vegetable oil?

The unsaponifiable fraction of a vegetable oil is considered the most valuable part, as it’s where all the potent key actives are found. In the case of olive oil, this fraction represents only around 2% of the total overall weight of the oil extracted.


The use of vegetable oil unsaponifiables in the beauty industry was first documented in a 1956 dermatology convention in Switzerland. However, it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the industry began to take a greater interest in their uses and benefits.

Olive oil unsaponifiables as a skincare ingredient particularly stands-out for us as a brand not only due to its beneficial properties but also because of its sustainability. Olive trees have been proven to be highly sustainable in the Mediterranean area, as they need little water and minimal care to produce large quantities of good quality oil.

The science bit

What makes this precious part of olive oil so unique is its phytosterol content (7-10%) and its amazingly high concentration of squalane – 70% no less! Squalane is extremely compatible with the composition of human skin and is known to help preserve elasticity and flexibility. What’s more, it also boosts the activity of other key ingredients present in the same formula.

Other properties worth mentioning are its notable quantities of β-carotenes (precursors of Vitamin A) and tocopherols (Vitamin E). Plus, it is also where the molecules which give olive oil its characteristic aroma reside.

Skin uses and benefits of olive oil unsaponifiables

This coveted part of olive oil has many wonderful skin benefits, such as:

– It’s emollient-rich and skin-softening, which is great news for sensitive skin types.

– It mimics human sebum. Thanks to its high content of natural fatty acids, it restores and nourishes skin lacking in key lipids such as dry or dehydrated skin.

– It’s a great skin-healer, especially in cases of sunburn or small wounds.

– Due to its highly moisturising properties, it can be used in hair products, soaps, etc., to lessen the aggressive effect of cleansing.

Where to find olive oil unsaponifiables in your favourite Twelve Beauty products…

If you’re looking to make the most of the benefits olive oil unsaponifiables can offer your skin, then you’re in for a real treat with our Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil.  With olive oil unsaponifiables as one of its main ingredients, this universal skin-remedy has been proven to reduce breakouts by enhancing sebum quality in combination/acne complexions, yet provide dry skin with much needed key lipids, whilst also improve barrier function in sensitive skin. It’s a must-have for me.


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