Emollient, non-fragrant oil similar to other non-fragrant plant oils. Jojoba oil has been shown to enhance skin’s barrier-repair properties and ability to heal from damage. As a plant oil that’s a rich source of fatty acids skin recognizes and can use, jojoba oil also seems to stimulate collagen production and help skin better defend itself against UV light damage. Jojoba oil can also provide topical anti-inflammatory benefits.
Jojoba oil is a liquid wax extracted from the nut of an indigenous American shrub that goes by the scientific name Simmondsia chinensis, a misnomer as the plant has nothing to do with China. The shrubby tree still grows wild in the United States, mainly in the arid regions of the Southwestern states.
The Jojoba nut has been used by the Native American tribes from time immemorial, its common name coming from ‘Hohowi’, the O’odham name for the nut. They used a paste of the nut for skin and hair care, and the whole nuts as survival food in emergencies.
Wildlife also have their fill of both the leaves and the nuts which also go by common names like deer nut, goat nut, pignut etc., but the wax that constitutes nearly 50% of the nut is generally indigestible. It passes unchanged through the digestive tract of mammals, including humans, making this edible oil an effective laxative.
Jojoba oil is unique in that, unlike most other vegetable oils, it closely resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin glands, so it can act as a natural skin conditioner. It has nearly replaced animal fats in the manufacture of skin lotions and creams. As a matter of fact, this oil rode into popularity on the back of the opposition to whale oil which was the traditional base of many cosmetic preparations earlier.
Jojoba oil has a slight nutty smell and clear golden colour in the raw form, but the refined oil is completely odorless, negating the need for any perfuming agents when used for cosmetic and healing purposes. At the same time, it is a good carrier oil for several essential oils.
Soaps and most other skin cleaning agents strip the skin of the sebum that skin glands produce to lubricate the skin and protect it from drying out. Every time we wash our face and hands, even with plain water, we’re removing a protective layer of sebum along with dust and grime. The cold and dry air in winter and air-conditioned interiors dry out our skin at a faster rate than our skin glands replenish the oil supply.
Dehydrated skin is vulnerable to irritants that cause dermatitis and germs that are constantly looking for entry points into the skin. Keeping your skin hydrated by locking in the moisture and protecting it from the drying effects of the environment constitute basic skin care.
Being a waxy substance, Jojoba oil can seal in the moisture and create an effective barrier to external elements. It is so structurally close to the secretion of the sebaceous glands in the skin that it is readily accepted and tolerated.
You can rub a few drops of Jojoba oil between your palms and apply it on the face and other exposed parts whenever you venture out and after washing your face every time. For a deeper moisturizing effect, warm up a spoonful of Jojoba oil and massage it in after washing the face at bedtime and leave it on overnight. Pure Jojoba oil is fully absorbed into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.