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Jojoba oil is a super-versatile skincare ingredient, suitable for any skin type and with a wide range of beauty benefits – from hydrating to anti-aging. It's almost an indispensable ingredient in many skincare and hair care products – if you would check the ingredients of some of them right now, we bet you'd find jojoba oil listed!
This gem from nature has long been in the service of beauty, and it undoubtedly deserves a place in your skincare kit. It will make your skin velvety, plump, and healthy, but it can also be your excellent ally for strong and shiny hair. So keep on reading to find out all there is to know about jojoba oil for skin and how to use it.
What Exactly Is Jojoba Oil?
Jojoba oil, pronounced as ho-ho-ba, is extracted from the seeds of the Jojoba plant, Simmondsia Chinensis. The Jojoba plant is a shrub native to drought areas of northwestern Mexico, southern California, and southern Arizona. It's commonly called jojoba wax because, unlike true vegetable oils, jojoba oil is almost entirely composed of wax esters (the combination of fatty alcohols and fatty acids), and just a tiny fraction of triglycerides (the main component of true vegetable oils).
It's precisely this chemical makeup that makes jojoba oil so unique. Wax esters in jojoba oil mimic the natural oils, or sebum, in our skin. For this reason, jojoba oil is suitable for oily skin as well, moisturizing and conditioning it, without clogging the pores and making it greasy.
In addition, since it contains only a few triglycerides, jojoba oil has a much longer shelf-life compared to other vegetable oils, such as coconut oil, grape seed oil, and almond oil, just to name a few. Plus, its chemical makeup makes it much more stable than other oils, which means it fares well with other active ingredients.
Jojoba oil is a clear liquid with a golden tint and has a slightly nutty smell. Refined oil loses its color and odor. Some Native American tribes used to extract jojoba oil from the seeds to treat wounds and sores. Today, since the jojoba plant is slow-growing and hard to cultivate, the oil is primarily used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Another reason we love jojoba oil so much is that it essentially saved the whales, the most gracious mammals known to humankind. Jojoba oil, as well as other plant oils, are used as a replacement for sperm whale oil and its derivatives.
The Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Skin
Jojoba oil is rich in all the nutrients your skin needs to preserve its health and beauty. Some of those nutrients are vitamins E and D, a range of minerals (like copper and zinc), and a variety of fatty acids (like omega-6 and 9 fatty acids). Here are some of the most skin-loving benefits of jojoba oil:
#1: It's Hydrating and Moisturizing.
Jojoba oil has both hydrating and moisturizing properties [source], meaning it acts as a humectant (increasing water content in the skin) and as an emollient (creating an occlusive film on the skin and preventing transepidermal water loss). It's easily absorbed by the skin, providing deep hydration and softening of the skin.
#2: It's Anti-Aging.
Jojoba oil is packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phenolic compounds [source]. These antioxidants fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals and protect the skin from pollutants and UV damage. In addition, a 2011 study suggests that jojoba oil stimulates collagen synthesis in the skin, eventually repairing and preventing skin aging.
#3: It's Anti-Inflammatory.
Besides being jam-packed with free-radicals scavenging antioxidants, jojoba oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, soothing inflamed skin, treating acne, and healing wounds [source]. For example, a 2012 study showed that topical application of clay mask formulated with jojoba oil drastically improved both inflammatory and non-inflammatory skin lesions as well as mild acne.
#4: It's Protecting.
Thanks to the jojoba oil's wax esters, as well as its phenolic and flavonoid content, topical application of the oil may strengthen the skin's natural barrier [source]. This means it can make the skin more resilient to outside influences, eventually preventing premature aging and helping with various skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, eczematous dermatitis, and rosacea.
#5: It Helps Oily Skin.
Since it mimics the natural oils in our skin, jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores and is suitable for oily skin. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties [source], cutting inflammation in the bud and helping oily and acne-prone skin. On top of that, it may help you get that shine under control. Since it mimics sebum, jojoba oil sends a signal to your sebaceous glands that there's enough oil on your skin and, therefore, balances out the sebum production.
How to Use Jojoba Oil for Skin
Thanks to its hydrating, moisturizing, and healing properties, jojoba oil is perfect for maintaining your skin's natural barrier and hydration levels as well as for targeting specific skin issues. Here are some ideas on how you can add jojoba oil to your skincare routine:
#1: As a Moisturizer.
Thanks to its humectant and emollient properties, jojoba oil can be a great addition to your moisturizing routine. In addition, it's suitable for both dry and oily skin. You can use pure jojoba oil by rubbing a few drops between your palms to make them warm and then pressing the oil into your skin.
Even though jojoba oil is quickly absorbed by the skin, it would still be best to use it as the last step in your skincare routine since water-based products can't penetrate oils. Alternatively, you can mix several drops of the oil with your moisturizer and use it like that. And always cleanse your skin first.
#2: As Acne Treatment.
Whether you're dealing with hormonal or adult acne, jojoba oil can help. It will soothe your inflamed skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. In addition, it will regulate sebum production, the main precursor for acne-prone skin.
You can apply pure jojoba oil to your previously cleansed face or mix it with a moisturizer. Additionally, you can use it as a carrier oil and combine it with other acne-fighting ingredients, such as tea tree oil. In this case, you should use a cotton bud and spot treat acne and breakouts.
#3: As a Makeup Remover.
If you have oily skin, you can use lightweight jojoba oil to remove your makeup without leaving your skin super-greasy. First, massage several drops of the oil onto your face using gentle circular motions. Wait for a minute or two for all the makeup to lift off, then remove any excess oil and dissolved makeup with a wet and soft washcloth. Next, continue with your regular facial cleanser to make sure any traces of dirt and oil are removed.
#4: For Treating Wounds and Acne Scars.
Since jojoba oil strengthens the skin's natural barrier and supports the wound healing process, you can use it for treating minor wounds, cuts, scrapes, as well as acne scars. Besides, it's also anti-inflammatory, preventing any infections. Simply massage a couple of drops onto the affected area and let your skin absorb it. You can do this twice a day.
#5: For Chapped Lips.
Packed with nourishing vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, jojoba oil is also an excellent choice for treating dry and chapped lips. You can apply it alone or mixed with your favorite lip balm. It would be best to apply it generously in the evening before going to bed and let it do its magic overnight.
#6: For Dry Cuticles.
Jojoba oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins essential for healthy nail beds and softened cuticles. Again, you can use jojoba oil alone and apply it to your nails. Or, you can use it as a carrier oil for your other nail care products. It will boost their efficacy and absorption.
Potential Side Effects of Using Jojoba Oil
Generally, topical application of jojoba oil is considered safe since the oil is hypoallergenic. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you're not allergic to it. Although rare, there have been cases where jojoba oil caused allergic reactions, such as itching and hives.
To make sure you're not allergic to it, you should do a small 24-hour patch test before applying it to your face or other larger areas of your skin. Apply a small amount of the oil to the upper part of your inner arm and wait 24 hours before washing it. Observe how your skin reacts. If you don't notice any redness, rash, or itchiness after 24 hours have passed, you're good to go.
If you're looking for a natural skincare ingredient suitable for any skin type and concern, jojoba oil is unquestionably the best choice. It's nourishing and protective, leaving your skin feeling velvety, fresh, smooth, and oil-free. You can add it to your creams or DIY face masks or apply it directly to the skin – jojoba oil is super-versatile and plays well with other ingredients.
Can you use jojoba oil on your face every day?
Jojoba oil is an excellent choice if you want a natural alternative to your moisturizer because it mimics the natural oils in our skin, and is, therefore, suitable for any skin type. However, it's an oil nevertheless, so if you have oily skin, you might find it too heavy for daily application.
How do you use jojoba oil on your face?
Pour a few drops in your palm, then rub your palms to make the oil warm. Then press it into your skin while it's still damp to seal that moisture in or apply it after you've applied your moisturizer. Or, you can pour several drops into your moisturizer, mix well, and use it that way.
Does jojoba oil have vitamin E?
Yes, jojoba oil is packed with antioxidant compounds, including vitamin E. Thanks to this, jojoba oil exhibits amazing anti-aging effects on the skin, protecting it from pollutants, free radical damage, and promoting collagen production.
Can you leave jojoba oil on your face overnight?
Jojoba oil is a non-comedogenic, skin-identical ingredient, great for both dry and oily skin. You can apply jojoba oil on top of your sleep mask or night cream and leave it overnight. You'll wake up with soft and velvety skin.
What comes first moisturizer or oil?
Always apply oils or oil-based skincare products as the last step in your skincare routine. This is because water-based products can't penetrate oils. Therefore, apply your moisturizer first, and seal everything in with facial oil on top.