Olea Europaea (olive) Leaf Extract
What is it?
Olive leaf extract is an extract of Olea europaea, the European olive tree, leaves. This tree is native to the Mediterranean areas of Europe and Africa, and cultivated worldwide.
Olive branches, where our leaves come from, have been traditionally recognized as a symbol of peace. Olive leaf extract is the compounds extracted from the leaves and should not be confused with olive fruit oil (most commonly referred to as simply olive oil) which is pressed/extracted from the fruit (or olive) of the same tree.
What does it do?
In our antiperspirant, olive leaf extract helps provide deodorizing benefits. Unpleasant odor is caused by skin bacteria when we sweat, and olive leaf extract is high in compounds that can help inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria in the armpit.
Olive leaf has a long folk history as a natural medicinal, which is supported by scientific demonstration of its antioxidant properties. Olive leaf extract has been used in a variety of personal care products, for its antioxidant and antibacterial benefits. In some products the extract can help to serve as a natural preservative as a result of its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Olive leaf extract is also available and taken as a supplement though the benefits of ingestion can not be attributed/compared to its topical use.
How is it made?
Olive leaf extract is sourced from olive leaves. The olive leaves are ground and the principal compounds in the leaf are extracted with a mixture of alcohol and water. The extract is concentrated in a purification process that completely removes the alcohol and spray dries the concentrated olive leaf extract onto maltodextrin.
What are the alternatives?
Olive leaf extract is not the only botanical odor-fighting ingredient available, but it has a long, safe history of use in a variety of products described above. We use and have used many different botanical and mineral alternatives for helping to control malodor in our underarm products over the years including: coriander oil, lemongrass oil, lichen extract, hops extract, potassium alum, and zinc ricinoleate. There are also a number of synthetically derived ingredients that are useful in the control of body malodor including triclocarban and triclosan.
Is this the right option for me?
There are no known risks with Olive leaf extract use in personal care products.
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.