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Olive Leaf Extract

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Olive Leaf Extract
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Olive Leaf Extract

The olive tree, Olea europaea L.,  is a long-lived evergreen tree belonging to the Oleaceae family. Rather small, growing up to about 30 feet, it has a sparse crown and a tortuous, massive trunk.  The leaves are glabrous and grayish-green above and whitish with dense scales below.

The leaves contain a 6% proportion of secoiridoids which are responsible for the therapeutic properties of olive leaves and fruits. Oleuropein or oleuropeoside is the main iridoid glycoside. Oleuropein gives oilve fruits, leaves and oil their typical sour aroma. Verbascoside, orobancoside and oleacein are also found. Flavonoids include luteolin and its glycoside in 7, olivin and its diglycoside, hesperiodoside, rutoside, quercetoside, kaempferol and apigenin. Other active principles include triterpenes, sesquiterpenes, polyalcohols, c30-c33 hydrocarbons (squalene), triglycerides, long chain esters, alpha hydroxyacids, tannins, lignand phytosterols and traces of alkaloids.

Our Olive Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of Olea europaea obtained from an organic crop.

Traditional Uses

Archeological research dates the presence of olives on the island of Crete by the year 2500 B.C. and it is known that systematic cultivation of the trees began in the Stone and Bronze Ages.  Producing 99% of the world's olive oil, the Mediterranean region has wide areas of olive cultivation.

In popular medicine, topical application of a decoction of olive leaves is recommended to treat wounds and as an antiseptic.  Olive leaf extract is also used to treat hypertension.

Cosmetic Properties

Antioxidant activity

Phenolic compounds present in olive leaves and fruits have strong free-radical scavenging capacity. The most active flavonoids — rutin, catechin and luteolin — exert antioxidant effects almost 2.5 times higher than those of vitamins C and E and are comparable to lycopene, according to in vitro tests. The antioxidant effect produced by olive leaf extract is higher due to the synergy of flavonoids, phenols and oleuropein. A synergistic scavenging action has been observed for olive phenolics when combined, as occurs naturally in the olive leaf as well as in the leaf extract (Braun, L., 2005; Benavente-García, O. et al., 1999).

Oleuropein and one of its derivatives, hydroxytyrosol, prevent LDL oxidation and platelet aggregation and inhibit lipooxygenase enzymes (Braun, L., 2005). Antioxidant and photo-protective actions on UV-B exposed skin have been documented for extracts and gels prepared with olive tree leaves (Alonso, J., 2004).

Anti-inflammatory activity

Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, inhibit leukotriene B4 generation – involved in a wide range of proinflammatory pathways – as well as eicosanoid production (Braun, L., 2005).

Luteolin is also a key component, which showed anti-inflammatory activity in animal models and antiallergic effects in test-tube studies. Apigenin, also in the leaf, inhibits the inflammatory mediators nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 (Braun, L., 2005).

Antimicrobial activity

Oleuropein and its derivative hydroxytyrosol have demonstrated marked in vitro antimicrobial activity against bacteria from the respiratory and intestinal tracts. Both components showed antimicrobial (Bacillus subtilis, B.cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Vibrio cholerae, V.parahemolyticus and Micrococcus sp.), antiprotozoal and antiviral activity. In principle, oleuropein acts through one of the hydrolysis products, called elenolic acid. Additionally, powerful antimicrobial action has been found for a subproduct of elanolic acid – calcium elenolate. In vitro inhibitory activity on malaria plasmodia has been found for maslinic acid (Alonso, J., 2004).

Vasodilator activity

The anti-hypertensive action of olive leaves is long known. The oleuropeoside, which was isolated from olive leaves during the twenties, caused remarkable hypotension in rats, due to prolonged peripheral vasodilatation of isolated aorta. The diuretic action of flavonoids and possibly, of an unidentified leaf component, contributed to this effect (Alonso, J., 2004; Zarzuelo, A. et al., 1991).

Olive leaf water extract’s proposed property as an inhibitor of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) has been demonstrated in vitro. This action is exerted in a similar way to that of anti-hypertensive drugs. The results of the phytochemical screening of this water extract revealed that oleacein was the only iridoid with such an activity. Other studies on water extract of olive leaves carried out with healthy and hypertensive humans, evidenced significant arterial hypotensive effects, which were more marked in hypertensive subjects (p<0.001). No adverse effects were observed (Alonso, J., 2004).

Action Active
Cosmetic Applications



 - Anti-aging

 - Photo-protetion

 - Hair color protection

Anti-inflammatory Oleuropein

 - Anti-irritant

 - Calming

Antimicrobial Oleuropein

 - Purifying

 - Antiseptic




 - Relaxing

 - Tired legs














This is a cosmetic raw material and is meant for external use only in cosmetic formulations.  As with all of our materials, it should not be taken internally.

Typical Usage Rate: 2 - 5%

Appearance: Pale brown slightly turbid liquid
Solubility: Soluble in water
pH: 4.5 - 5.5
Storage: Protected from direct light and humidity at a temperature of 50°-77°F (10°-25°C)
Shelf life: 18 months, properly stored, in sealed vessel.

INCI: Propanediol (and) Water (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract

Note:  Our Olive Leaf Extract is made with vegetable derived propanediol.

Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional skin care provider.

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