What is jojoba oil in skincare, hair products and more?

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Oils for your skin can have many benefits, but it’s also important to understand where they come from and exactly how they should be used. It’s also essential to know that everyone’s skin is different, and just because something with oil is labeled organic or natural doesn’t mean it will work for your skin. That being said, jojoba oil is one of the most used and loved oils in skincare.

You may have spotted jojoba oil on the ingredient list of your favorite face, hair, and body products and wondered how to pronounce it (it’s ho-ho-ba) and exactly what she does. We’re here to answer all your questions about jojoba oil and its use in skincare.

Jojoba oil comes from a plant

A shrub to be precise. Jojoba oil (technically a wax but looks and feels like an oil) is derived from the seeds of the Simmondsia chinensis plant. It is a North American species that thrives in desert climates like Arizona, southern California, and parts of Mexico. Plants like jojoba that can survive well in harsh environments, whether that means minimal water or on an icy hillside, are often star ingredients in beauty products.

It has long been recognized for its healing properties

Indigenous cultures have used jojoba oil for its healing properties for generations. Jojoba oil is rich in healing vitamin E and rich in antioxidants (often used to heal minor cuts and reduce the appearance of scars), so it can help calm skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It is also a soothing antidote against sunburn.

Jojoba oil is extremely hydrating

Jojoba oil is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture in the skin and hair. So how do you use jojoba oil as a moisturizer? The first method is to use pure jojoba oil directly on your skin or hair (remember to always do a patch test first) or mix a few drops of pure jojoba oil into your cream or lotion favourite.

You can also look for a product that has jojoba oil incorporated into its formula. There are plenty of face and body moisturizers with this star ingredient already blended in. We love the Skinfix Barrier + Lipid Peptide Face Cream ($52) and Fenty Skin Butta Drop Whipped Oil Hydrating Body Cream Mini ($22) for the skin. When it comes to hair, the fatty acids in jojoba oil make it ideal for moisturizing strands, whether in a restorative conditioning mask or a strengthening, shine-enhancing hair serum like Pattern’s Jojoba Hair Serum ( $25).

Due to its softening and moisturizing benefits, jojoba oil can also be found in everything from makeup primers and cleansers to exfoliators, lipstick, cuticle oil and self-tanner.

Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic

You may be hesitant to use oil on your face, especially if your skin is oily or prone to acne breakouts. However, jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. It has a similar makeup to the skin’s natural oil (i.e. sebum) so it absorbs easily and doesn’t build up on the skin and cause breakouts .

Jojoba oil is antimicrobial

Studies have shown that jojoba oil can help keep certain bacteria away from the skin, which means it can be a useful remedy for acne-prone skin. A product like the Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil ($80) combines jojoba with other antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil.

Because of its antimicrobial properties, jojoba oil is also often found in hand soaps like Ouai’s Hand Soap ($32).

It could help promote hair growth

Jojoba oil contains naturally occurring zinc, copper, and vitamins B and E, all of which are important for hair growth. You can try rubbing a few drops of an organic jojoba oil like Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($11) into your scalp or using a treatment that contains jojoba. Because it’s antibacterial, it helps remove dirt and buildup on your scalp, keeping follicles free and ready to receive nutrients.

It has a long lifespan

The jojoba plant is able to thrive even in warm temperatures. Thus, its resilient composition contributes to its long shelf life. Some say 100% pure jojoba oil can last up to five years and others claim it never goes bad.


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