The benefits of Jojoba to healthy skin are hard to overstate. It is not technically an oil, but a wax ester – wax esters are also produced by human skin in the form of sebum. The Jojoba wax ester molecule has two remote double bonds which give it remarkable stability and an ability to protect whatever it contacts from oxidation. It is designed by nature to protect and preserve. The natural affinity of Jojoba with human skin is due to this structure and as such it helps to retain moisture and naturally soothes irritated skin.
Jojoba also helps to control excessively oily skin. Upon application, it sends a signal to the sweat and hair follicles that the skin doesn’t need additional sebum for hydration, regulating its production and helping to prevent conditions caused by clogged pores. It is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, meaning it can also help to prevent acne outbreaks and even promote healing for mild acne.
Jojoba is rich in antioxidants and skin preserving vitamins E and B, which help to promote collagen synthesis and help to slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In dermatological studies, it has been shown that Jojoba oil increases the skin's suppleness with the effects continuing as time passed. Tests also showed that continued use of Jojoba oil resulted in reducing superficial facial lines.
Atopic eczema is an allergic reaction of the skin to various irritants, including commonly used dyes and the chemicals contained in soaps - it tends to be hereditary. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the build-up of dead cells on the skin, causing scaling and inflammation. Both of these conditions are characterised by dry, itchy patches that are prone to secondary bacterial and fungal infections.
Acting as a moisturiser, Jojoba oil can be effective in giving considerable relief to people with these conditions as it relieves itching and dryness. It also forms a protective layer over the skin, forming a barrier to external irritants, which can be an advantage in the case of eczema. Plus, skin inflammation is reduced by the anti-inflammatory properties of Jojoba.
It can also reduce the risk of secondary infections by preventing germs entering through inflamed and cracked skin, whilst offering extra protection due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Finally, the antioxidants that abound in Jojoba may help to modify the immune system.
The oily composition of Jojoba oil makes it ideal as a conditioner or oil treatment to retain moisture and protect against dryness, breakage and split ends.
The rich vitamin and mineral content helps to strengthen and nourish hair and it can be massaged directly into the scalp to treat dandruff and dry hair follicles which can lead to hair loss. It can clear up sebum and dead cell build-up by penetrating into the hair follicles and lifting up the debris which then washes off easily.
There is recent research conducted by the “University of Maryland Medical Centre” that shows using Jojoba as a carrier oil for certain essential oil mixtures can be effective to treat alopecia. They used lavender, cedarwood, thyme and rosemary essential oils mixed with Jojoba and massaged into the scalps of the participants and found it improved hair growth and promoted thickness.
Jojoba Oil is naturally antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and hypoallergenic, and can be used to soothe a wide range of skin conditions. Jojoba is the only plant to produce wax esters which are found in human skin sebum. Because the structure of Jojoba oil so closely resembles the wax esters that comprise up to 30% of natural sebum in skin, Jojoba floods sebaceous glands signalling the glands to minimise sebum production, making it a great moisturiser for oily skin. For dry skin that doesn't produce enough sebum, Jojoba steps into this role, moisturising and soothing dry, chapped skin.
Jojoba can also be used to improve hair texture and treat an itchy, dry scalp. Used as a hot oil treatment it replenishes the moisture and brings back shine and bounce to dull, lacklustre hair. The high vitamin E content of this oil can also help to thicken hair due to its antioxidant and moisturising properties.
Folklore and history
The Jojoba nut has been used by the Native American tribes from time immemorial, its common name coming from ‘Hohowi’, the O’odham name for the nut. They used a paste of the nut for skin and hair care and the whole nuts as survival food in emergencies.
During the early 18th Century, Jesuit missionaries in Baja observed the Native Americans heating Jojoba seeds to soften them. They then used a pestle and mortar to create a salve or buttery substance which was applied to the skin and hair to heal, moisturise and condition. Pregnant women ate Jojoba seeds believing they assisted during childbirth and hunters munched Jojoba on the trail to keep hunger at bay. Researchers have since found that Jojoba seeds contain simmondsins, which are monoglucosides not found in any other plant species, and it is these compounds that act as an appetite suppressant.
Indigenous to the Southern States of North America and the Mexican desert, Jojoba has a long history of traditional use among the Native Indians of these areas. Its rediscovery in the 1970’s led to a worldwide explosion of production of its oil after the hunting of sperm whales (for their oil) was banned. Luckily for the whales, Jojoba made a perfect replacement for the oil and began to be commercially produced on a large scale throughout the 1980’s.
Way before its rediscovery, Jojoba oil and other parts of the plant were extensively used in the treatment of skin ailments – including sunburn and to heal sores and wounds, as an appetite suppressant and as a digestive aid.
Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil
Jojoba Oil can be used as a hydrating and nourishing carrier oil for an aromatherapy massage. Just choose your favourite essential oils, dilute and use for a regenerating and replenishing massage.
Jojoba Oil can also be used in natural skin and hair preparations.
Constituents of Jojoba oil: fatty acids including ferulic acid, docosenoic acid, 11-Eicosenoic acid, oleic acid, docosdienoic acid, palmitoleic acid, erucic acid and 9-Godoelic acid.
It is recommended to perform a patch test to check for allergies. For external use only.