With its long shelf life and smooth texture, jojoba is one of my favorite carrier oils.  I use it in lots of different products with great success.  It is a lovely addition to any skin care product, for instance applying a little before shaving creates a nice smooth surface.  It can also be very help to apply it to the skin after shaving as that will help to moisturize the skin, as well as, heal any little nicks or cuts that can sometimes occur.  Many have found that it works well in preventing a shaving rash.  I also like to use it as a natural skin cleanser and to remove makeup.

I came across a study that shows that using clay jojoba oil facial masks can be effective in the treatment of lesioned skin and mild acne vulgaris.

Meier, Larissa Daria, Rainer Stange, Andreas Michalsen and Bernhard Uehleke. “Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne–results of a prospective, observational pilot study.” Forschende Komplementarmedizin 19 2 (2012): 75-9 .

If you want to give this a try yourself you can make your own clay mask.  Simply add 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil to 1 Tablespoon of clay and mix well and apply.  You could take it one step further and add a drop of essential oil or essential oil blend to this mixture.  With the right essential oil you are sure to enhance the effect and healing.  Keep in mind that you really want to keep the dilution rate really low on the face, less than a 1% dilution, otherwise the essential oil could be too strong for delicate facial skin.  For more information on Skin Care you might enjoy the article in the Article Archives.

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)

Family:  Simmondsiaceae (Buxaceae)

Description:  Jojoba is an evergreen, much branched, perennial shrub that grows well in arid and semi-dry areas.  It is native to the desert regions of Southern California, Arizona and north-west Mexico.  They now grow it in different parts of the world with the largest grower in Catamarca, Argentina. Jojoba is classified as a xerophyte, a drought-resistant plant.  Thanks to its blue-green leaves with their thick cuticle, it has an excellent ability to control water loss.  While their tap roots are able to descend deep into the earth to search for water.

This slow growing plant is either male or female, and although the female shrub will begin to bear seeds around its fifth year, it can take up to 12 years for it to reach full maturity.  The hull of the green fruit will turn brown and crack open when the seeds are ready to fall in the summer.  Although first recorded by British botanist H.F. Link in 1822 no attempt was made to grow it commercially until the late 1970s.  The US Government banned whaling in the early 1970s which lead to active research being done for a substitute for sperm whale oil and they found jojoba to be an excellent replacement.  The plant has been grown commercially since 1979.

History Folklore:  Members of the Pueblo tribe protected their skin and hair from the drying effects of the desert sun by crushing jojoba seeds to produce a liquid wax.   They also found it was useful for easing their aches and pains and heal skin abrasions.  The Seri used jojoba for inflamed eyes, colds and sore throats, indigestion and wounds that didn’t heal.  In 1716, early Spanish missionaries used the seeds as survival food and roasted the seeds as a coffee substitute.

Garden cultivation: This drought resistant plant with its dense attractive foliage are easy to care for and can be grown in sandy soil and hot dry areas.  To produce the oil bearing seeds you need both male and female plant.  Although it is the female plants that produce the seeds, their flowers are first polinated by pollen from the flowers of the male plant.  Jojoba is wind pollinated.

Harvest: Not all the seeds mature together.  Often it may be necessary to have more than one harvest.

Carrier Oil

Extraction:  The oil, which is technically a wax is cold pressed from the seed (also called bean or nut) and has a yield of around 50 – 60%.  It has a faint slightly sweet smell and a bitter waxy taste.  It is liquid at temperatures of 10 degrees C and above, but will solidify at lower temperatures.

Shelf Life:  5 years plus.  As a liquid wax it resists oxidation and rancidity.

Cautions:  May sometimes clog some pores.

Actions: Jojoba is regenerative and firming and can help to prevent wrinkles.  It adds shine and manageability to hair and moisturizes the scalp.  It has anti-bacterial properties.

Uses: Jojoba has a chemical composition that resembles the skin’s sebum. Jojoba oil sinks quickly into the skin by penetrating the hair follicles, without blocking them.  Mixing with the sebum in the skin it creates a thin layer of non-occlusive layer, which is one reason we say it allows the skin to ‘breathe’.   It is readily absorbed by the skin and has a non-oily softening effect, making it especially suitable for the face.  Use it topically on the skin for conditions like, acne, eczema and psoriasis.  It is also very helpful for dry scalp and hair care and is suitable for all skin types. Makes a great perfume base. The cosmetic industry uses jojoba in many products including shampoos, lipsticks, makeup products, cleansing products, face, body and hand creams and lotions, mo8isturizing creams and lotions.

References

Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Thomas Bartram, 1995,1998
Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman, The Home Apothecary, 2013
Jan Kusmirek, Liquid Sunshine, Vegetable Oils for Aromatherapy, 2002
Julia Lawless, The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Sourcebook, 2017
Leung and Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, 1996
Susan M Parker, Power of the Seed, Your guide to oils for health & beauty, 2014
Len Price, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, 1999
Danielle Sage, the Aromatherapy Beauty Guide, 2017