Though commonly referred as an “oil”, the jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax that is produced from the seeds of the Jojoba plant, a shrub that commonly grows in the American Southwest and northern Mexico. This unique oil is the only oil whose molecular structure is similar to the sebum – the oil that our skin naturally produces – and for this very reason has various beneficial properties for the skin and hair. Let’s have a closer look at these properties:
- For skin: it’s very effective in preventing and treating infections of the skin
- For hair: sooths the scalp and can be used to treat dry scalp problems and dandruff
- For skin: because the jojoba oil is so similar to the sebum, it’s particularly effective when used as a moisturizer. It’s non greasy, easily absorbed, and leaves the skin feeling soft and supple. If you have particularly dry skin, as I often tend to (especially in winter), you can mix it with other oils like sesame, avocado, borage, and evening primrose oil.
- For hair: as a conditioner, jojoba helps provide shine, elasticity, and softness to the hair. Since jojoba oil is light and non greasy, you can also massage it into the scalp to stimulate circulation and hair growth.
But that’s not all… Jojoba oil can also be used as an acne treatment. Its anti-inflammatory properties –reduces the swelling and redness of the skin- and antiseptic proprieties –is capable of preventing infections- make jojoba oil a very efficient acne treatment. But there is more to it! If your skin is very oily, by using jojoba oil you can “trick” your skin to produce less oil. Since jojoba oil is very similar to the sebum –the oil that the skin naturally produces- applying it on the skin regularly will make your skin less prone to producing oil.
Pay attention when shopping for jojoba oil! Good quality jojoba oil is the one that is referred to as “unrefined”. What does that mean? Simple – a machine called “expeller press” is used to extract the oil from the seed – and what is left is the jojoba meal and the unrefined, first press jojoba oil. The “refined” jojoba oil is the one obtained from the second pressing of the seeds and is, of course, of much lower quality.
Jojoba oil has many beneficial proprieties for the skin and hair but it should never be ingested as it can have negative effects on your heath. In other words – put it on your skin and hair but don’t drink it!