The jojoba plant may be an unassuming desert shrub, but it’s also one of the best clean skin care ingredients on the market. This natural oil (technically a wax) packs all kinds of benefits not just for your skin, but for your hair as well.
Jojoba oil is one of the ingredients in our Deeply Cleansing Milk, a cleanser that doesn’t just remove dirt and excess oil, but also helps to lock in moisture and repair damage. That’s where jojoba oil shines.
Like we always do with our ingredient spotlights, it’s time to take a deep dive on the benefits of jojoba oil for skin.
The basics of jojoba
The jojoba plant (scientific name Simmondsia chinensis) is a plant indigenous to the Southwest United States. If you know your geography, that means it’s a plant native to harsh desert environments. It goes by many different names colloquially, including wild hazel, coffeeberry, and deer nut.
The fruit produced by the jojoba plant is an acorn-shaped nut, which has been used in Native American traditions for hundreds of years. The seed of the jojoba plant produces a liquid wax, which was extracted by Native Americans using a mortar and pestle - nowadays mostly cold pressing it - to then create a butter-like texture. This could then be spread on their faces and hair for moisture, used as a salve, and even spread over animal hides to help preserve them.
Instead of being a typical plant oil, jojoba actually creates a wax ester, like beeswax. To get technical, this is because of its rare chemical structure of a long, straight chain of fatty acids. For reference, most vegetable oils are triglycerides
While the jojoba plant can’t be cultivated on a large scale, it’s a relatively low-maintenance plant, but it does need a hot, dry environment. Outside of the Southwest, the plant is also grown in places like Mexico and Australia. It also doesn’t have a high nitrogen need, which makes heavy fertilization unnecessary. That’s good news for sustainable sourcing.
Jojoba oil benefits for the skin
As we mentioned up top, jojoba oil has a lot of great benefits for the skin.
Jojoba oil is deeply hydrating (to both the skin on your face and your scalp). It’s also a humectant, which means it’s a substance that preserves moisture. Like other wax esters, jojoba oil helps to create what is essentially a barrier on the skin that keeps moisture in—and other things out.
This same quality makes jojoba oil also antibacterial—it helps keep bacteria off the skin and stops bacteria from developing. This scientific review states that jojoba oil has been shown to be effective in guarding against some bacteria and fungal strains, including salmonella and e. Coli.
Jojoba oil also acts as an antioxidant with anti inflammatory properties, because of it’s high amounts of vitamin E. Antioxidants help to protect your skin even more, and reduce signs of aging on top of that. Vitamin E's anti aging properties come into play by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and protects against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
In this same vein, emerging research has shown that jojoba oil may have benefits when it comes to wound healing. The oil helps the skin to bind together once cut. Jojoba oil also soothes skin irritated by other means, like acne and sun damage.
On top of all those amazing skin benefits, jojoba oil is also non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores. People are rarely allergic to it, and it can also be used as a carrier oil for stronger essential oils. It works great for all skin types, and it is especially beneficial for dry skin and acne prone skin.
Benefits of jojoba oil for the hair
The same way that jojoba oil is hydrating for the skin, it also moisturizes hair and scalp. The same way that jojoba oil creates a barrier on the skin, it also creates a barrier on the scalp that helps prevent dandruff.
Palmitic acid and stearic acid are two compounds known to be conditioning for the scalp and hair, and jojoba oil contains high amounts of both. The oil mimics the body’s natural sebum, which helps to condition hair, meaning that it makes your hair appear less greasy than applying something like coconut oil. It’s also lightweight enough for all hair types.
To use, you can either add a few drops of jojoba oil to your regular conditioner or use it alone. For people with extremely dry scalp, jojoba oil works as a leave-in conditioner and an overnight treatment.
The antioxidant benefits also apply to your hair. The oil helps prevent damage from heat products like your straightener and curling iron. It even helps prevent discoloration on colored hair! If you want your colored tone to last longer, try applying a few drops.
Finally, jojoba oil is packed with vitamins and minerals that are fantastic for overall hair health and growth. This includes vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc. The zinc especially is essential for new hair growth and the general health of hair shaft and follicle. Increased moisture around the follicles also helps hair remain thick and prevents hair from falling out.
Has this post convinced you to become a jojoba oil convert? You can buy pure versions of jojoba oil (best if you intend to use it on your hair), or you can get the benefits of jojoba oil for your face from our Deeply Cleansing Milk. If you try it out, let us know your results on our Instagram!