Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of the jojoba shrub, a perennial native to the North American deserts. The oil accounts for 50% of the jojoba seed and is extracted by cold-pressing, a process that helps maintain the rich nutritional value of the oil. Similar to other skincare oils, jojoba oil contains oodles of vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, but what sets it apart from the others is that it’s technically not an oil, but a wax ester.
What does this mean for your skin? “Jojoba oil also has a similar molecular structure and composition to sebum, which the skin naturally produces for moisturization.” When you slather it on your face, jojoba oil mimics the skin’s sebum and balances out your complexion, adding more sebum where it’s needed, and winding down production where it’s not. As for your hair? Sebum also naturally coats your strands, so applying jojoba where you need it the most can make your hair feel soft,long and even boost shine.
How to Choose the Best Jojoba Oil for Your Skin
When shopping around for jojoba oil, make sure it’s 100% pure—organic, cold-pressed, unrefined—because processed oil that contains preservatives and other ingredients may irritate the skin and cause adverse side effects, such as eczema or allergic reactions.
It’s also important to take a peek at the ingredients list to ensure that jojoba is listed as the main ingredient, as opposed to a supplemental product added in. “Jojoba as the main ingredient means you’re getting an adequate amount of the product so it can fulfill your desired skin and hair needs,” Pure jojoba oil usually possesses a straw-like color that can range from yellow to gold.
How to Use Jojoba Oil for Better Skin
1. Improve the Skin barrier
Jojoba oil is loaded with antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E, and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential components of the skin’s barrier. It also acts as a humectant, meaning it works to retain moisture in the skin. This protective layer, combined with the anti-inflammatory effects of the vitamin E, gives skin the breather necessary to focus on the healing process. “This can be especially beneficial to those with eczema and psoriasis.” Applying a drop or two of jojoba oil to these trouble spots, once to twice daily, should help turn things around.
2. Soothe Dry Skin
Similar to other oils, jojoba oil is great for soothing dry, irritated skin (or preventing it from cropping up in the first place). Its anti-inflammatory benefits help calm the complexion, while providing the hydration it needs to restore itself. And because it’s a humectant, it forms a protective seal over the skin to prevent future moisture loss.
Use a few drops of jojoba oil straight-up after cleansing, or mix it into your go-to moisturizer to amp up its effectiveness and super-hydrate your skin.
3. Remove Makeup
Jojoba oil makes for a great makeup remover, as it’s lightweight and non-greasy, says Dr. Green. Plus, it gets all of your makeup off without tugging at the skin.
Massage a few drops onto your face, and let it sit for about a minute. Wet a soft washcloth with warm water and gently wipe your makeup off, leaving your eye makeup until last so the oil has more time to do its thing. Lightly pat your skin dry, then continue on with your skincare routine.
4. Fight Cold Sores
Jojoba oil happens to contain docosanol (the active ingredient in OTC cold sore creams), which does its thing by inhibiting the virus from getting to healthy skin cells—and may be the one-two punch needed to show your cold sore who’s boss. Simply dab the diluted tea tree (or peppermint) oil onto your cold sore with a clean cotton swab, and mosey on with your day.
“There are several essential oils, such as tea tree and peppermint, which are known to help lessen the severity of a cold sore, even help ward one off,” But these oils also need to be diluted by a carrier oil so they don’t irritate the skin, and that’s where jojoba oil comes in.
5. Delay Signs of Aging
Jojoba oil is naturally rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that helps the skin defend itself against free radicals that can cause premature aging and skin damage. It’s also rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of collagen. The result? A reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improvements in skin texture, tone, and elasticity.
To score these anti-aging perks, you can apply a few drops of jojoba oil to freshly cleansed skin, or you can use it to boost the efficacy of your go-to anti-aging products. “It’s super-lightweight, making it the perfect carrier oil for treatment products and activities which are otherwise unable to penetrate the deep layers of the skin.”
6. Treat Acne
“Jojoba oil’s chemical composition allows it to mimic the skin’s sebum, therefore it balances out the skin by not overproducing oil in areas of the skin where it’s not needed.” It also contains antimicrobial properties that can ward off certain types of bacteria, making it an excellent choice for acne prone skin. You can either swipe a few drops over your face with a cotton round—after cleansing and toner, but before any heavier creams and lotions—or use it as a carrier oil for other acne-fighters, such as tea tree.
Jojoba Oil naturally deters microbes, helping to prevent the growth of bacteria on ski. This property makes it useful for those with acne, and also provides an added wound-healing benefits. Jojoba oil also acts as a natural preservative.
8. Deeply Hydration
It is lighter than other face oils and easily absorbed into skin. It deeply penetrates to soothe and soften while providing an excellent moisturizing effect and adding a healthy glow.
Jojoba Oil is produced from the seed of the Jojoba plant, a shrubby tree that is native to southern Arizona and California Its chemical composition also makes it one of the more stable oils around. While other oils tend to go rancid lightning-fast, and also jojoba oil typically has a much longer shelf life.