Since the 70’s Jojoba Oil spread quickly and became one of the most popular natural cosmetic additives used. It can be found in all kinds of personal hygiene products like soaps, shampoos, body washes and bath products. It is also used in skin and hair care products (creams, lotions, and conditioners), shaving products, nail care products, lip balms and make-up. Jojoba Oil contains many important nutrients including vitamins E and B complex, copper, chromium, silicon and zinc minerals. The high content of iodine in Jojoba Oil renders it with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties useful for treating acne, canker sores, cold sores, warts and athlete’s foot.
The first written records of Jojoba come from the 18th century diary of Father Junipero Sierra who was establishing missions in California at the time. He wrote that Native Americans used the rich material, which they pressed from Jojoba seeds, for their “mystical” treatment of cuts, scrapes, sunburns and dry skin. In 1934, chemists from the University of Arizona discovered that besides Sperm Whale Oil, Jojoba was the only source of natural liquid wax esters. When all the other seed oils consisted of triglycerides, Jojoba Oil contained a 98% array of monounsaturated liquid wax esters consisting of long chain fatty acids and alcohols. This discovery led to more research on the composition of Jojoba Oil. Scientists found that Jojoba Oil was not only a replacement for Spermaceti Oil, but was actually considered to be better because it consisted of 98% liquid wax ester, compared to Spermaceti Oil’s 85%. In the 1970’s the sperm whales were listed as an endangered species and America banned the use of whale oil for cosmetic and fuel purposes. Simultaneously, that’s when farmers in Southwestern USA started growing Jojoba shrubs and producing Jojoba Oil commercially. Today the Jojoba industry has spread worldwide and is helping to preserve precious desert water, sustaining farming in rural communities and providing a highly functional non-petroleum lubricant
Technically Jojoba (pronounced: ho-ho-ba) oil is actually a liquid wax ester that is cold pressed from the seeds of the Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba shrub). The Jojoba shrub is native to the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of California, Arizona and Mexico. Over time it has adapted to extremely hot weather conditions and prolonged periods without rainfall. The oil itself melts at temperatures higher than 10°C, holds a pleasant mild aroma and appears golden to brownish yellow in color.
It is also said, although not yet proven, that Jojoba also prevents the skin from becoming too oily. Because of its close resemblance with our natural sebum it is said that Jojoba Oil can trick our skin into producing less oil when it’s already producing too much. This affect would help treat acne problems. Now, if this was true, then Jojoba Oil is an all-in-one multipurpose skin care oil/wax that when absorbed into the skin, can regulate and control sebum levels to be optimal for the given situation ultimately protecting our skin by helping it to protect itself. When you reflect on the properties of Jojoba Oil it almost makes you feel like the oil was created solely to protect our skin!
Skin & Body Care
The wax esters found in Jojoba Oil closely resemble the wax esters found in our natural sebum (the skin’s natural moisture control). This makes the oil one of the best natural solutions for dry, irritated, aging and sensitive skin. Wrinkles and dull-looking skin and hair are a result of the skin’s own moisture controls fading with age. When this happens, the ester content is reduced, and conditions like dandruff, psoriasis and rosacea can develop. As a result, Jojoba Oil acts as nature’s own sebum replacement, helping to prevent the development of various skin conditions and ultimately slowing down the aging process. The high content of natural antioxidants and vitamin E in Jojoba Oil helps the skin by preventing its oxidation and protecting it from harmful UV rays. It reduces the possibility of the creation of cancer and tumor-causing free radicals. Because Jojoba is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties along with its non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) properties, it is beneficial to anyone with acne. According to the book, The Essential Oils Handbook, by Jennie Harding, “Jojoba balances oily skin, clears acne, and even long-term scars.”
Overall Jojoba Oil is great for hair - it aids with split ends, dry or oily hair, and can also help repair damaged hair. It is used to promote hair growth because of its ability to unclog hair follicles that will prevent hair from growing properly. Although Jojoba is an oil/wax compound, it is an emollient that helps to revitalize damaged hair by adding strength, suppleness, and strength. Jojoba hydrates and deeply penetrates the hair shaft, which helps strengthen the hair fibers and follicles. Due to Jojoba’s similar molecular composition to that of our skin sebum it can mimic the same skin oil produced by our scalp. Jojoba is composed of 98 % of Monounsaturated fats, while the other 2% is of Saturated fats. Jojoba has an abundance of vitamin E, A, B1, B2, and B6, Myristic acid and plant wax, which is the part like our skin oil. Myristic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties Jojoba contains. As a result of this similar composition, Jojoba can help to balance and control the scalp’s sebum production as it soothes our scalp and aids with dry scalp. Oily hair or scalps will benefit from Jojoba Oil because it will help control and balance the production of sebum. Our hair naturally produces oil to keep our hair moisturized but this can lead to clogged hair follicles if the glands become overactive due to the excessive secretion of sebum, causing the hair to become greasy. Jojoba’s non-comedogenic properties will work towards unclogging the hair follicles when this happens.