Learn all about jojoba oil in this third installment of Alpinia’s blog series: Skincare Close-up! (If you missed them, catch up on the the first two articles where we explored frankincense and shea butter.) Each article in this series takes a closer look at our special skincare formula by “zooming in” on one of our natural products’ main ingredients. In this post, we’ll be looking at jojoba oil, the golden elixir famous for leaving skin silky soft and radiantly glowing.
What is it?
Jojoba oil (pronounced ho-ho-ba) is the liquid wax extracted from the seeds of the jojoba shrub, which grows in semiarid regions of the Americas and is native to Mexico and the American Southwest . Amazingly, the hardy jojoba plant can live between 100-200 years! Historically, jojoba oil has had many uses. For instance, Native Americans used jojoba oil as a medicinal, as cooking oil, as an appetite suppressant, and (this last one shouldn’t be too surprising) as a skin conditioner. A very interesting but lesser known use of jojoba is as a coffee substitute. A wonderful coffee-smelling aroma is produced when roasting the seeds, which Native Americans used to make a coffee-like beverage .
Interestingly, jojoba oil has several unique characteristics that set it apart from other plant oils. For one, it’s seeds consist of 50% oil, much higher than other oil-producing plants . The molecular structure of jojoba oil is also very different compared to other plant oils, and it is this unique molecular structure that gives jojoba oil its many valuable properties. For example, jojoba oil doesn’t go rancid and doesn’t break down under high temperature or pressure , making it very shelf-stable (a great feature for its use in skincare creams!). Also, because jojoba oil lacks the glycerin found in most plant oils, this liquid wax has a wide variety of applications, including as a pharmaceutical, lubricant, fire retardant, and cosmetic .
It is this last use—as a cosmetic—that we’re most interested in, and it turns out that jojoba oil has some extra-special properties that make it uniquely suited to skincare. Unlike other plant oils, jojoba oil is very similar to human sebum, the natural oil produced by your skin. Because jojoba oil mimics sebum, it helps regulate oil production without clogging pores ! It also provides a plethora of other benefits, which you can read about below.
Benefits of Jojoba Oil
It’s moisturising without being greasy.
As mentioned above, jojoba oil mimics human sebum, which means it can effectively hydrate your skin without leaving behind a greasy mess. Jojoba oil also reinforces your natural skin barrier by keeping moisture in and irritants out.
It may help with acne…
Because jojoba oil is so similar to your skin’s sebum, it’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores and thus is a good choice for skin prone to breakouts. There’s also evidence that jojoba oil can help reduce acne symptoms by both soothing the skin and decreasing the amount of lesions . Although jojoba oil is very mild and typically non-irritating compared to other plant oils, everyone’s skin is unique, so it might be a good idea to do a patch test on a small section of your skin before using jojoba oil to treat acne.
…And soothes your skin.
Jojoba oil has been used historically to treat burns, cuts, bruises, and wounds, and modern evidence supports this benefit . Jojoba oil is so soothing in part because of its anti-inflammatory properties , which means it can be very relieving for inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Adding to its soothing effect is the fact that jojoba oil is naturally antimicrobial and specifically targets harmful microbes !
It provides AND helps your skin absorb nutrients.
Jojoba oil contains vitamin E, making it an excellent antioxidant that can protect and nourish your skin. (Read more on the importance of antioxidants.) And as if that weren’t great enough on its own, jojoba oil outdoes itself by also helping your skin absorb other nutrients !
Image Source & Licensing Info:
- Applying jojoba oil: https://unsplash.com/photos/r40EYKVyutI