It wasn’t long ago that ‘oil’ was a dirty word in the skincare world, but we’ve now realised the wealth of skin benefits they have. Each day we strip our skin of its natural oils, so it makes perfect sense to add them back. When incorporating an oil into your skincare routine it really boils down to choosing the right one, as all oils aren’t created equally. A sure-fire, safe pick is jojoba oil, this veteran of the oil world is an all-rounder that not only hydrates skin but balances skin’s natural oil production.
What is Jojoba Oil?
Jojoba oil is the liquid extracted from the seed of the Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) plant that’s native to the south-west region of the United States and north-west Mexico. This golden yellow liquid makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed’s weight. At first glance jojoba oil seems like your average emollient plant oil, it looks like oil, works like an oil to moisturise your skin but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that jojoba oil is not really an oil, but a wax ester.
You’re probably saying, what is a wax ester and why is it so different to an oil? Oils are comprised of triglycerides which are a combination of glycerin and fatty acids. What makes each plant oil different to the another, is the different combination of the fatty acids attached to gylcerin.
A wax ester on the other hand is comprised of a fatty acid and a fatty alcohol. You can find wax esters on the outside of plants because it gives plants environmental protection. What makes wax esters such a great ingredient for skin, is that wax esters make up to 30% of human sebum and its sebum that gives your skin it’s environmental protection.
The jojoba plant is the only plant that stores liquid wax in its seeds and shares the same molecular structure as the natural oils found in your skin.
Now that we have discovered all the wonderful facts about jojoba and how unique it’s as a wax ester, let’s look at how it can benefit skin.
#1 Balances Oil Production
Jojoba oil is great for people with acne as it helps balance the skin’s natural oil production. As jojoba oil is so similar to skin’s natural oil sebum, the body can’t tell the difference between the two. When you put jojoba oil on your skin, it soothes and moisturises, and sends a signal to the hair and sweat follicles that your skin doesn’t need additional sebum for hydration, therefore regulating your natural oil production. Jojoba oil is noncomedogenic, so it’s less likely to build up on your skin and clog your pores, leading to fewer breakouts.
#2 Great for Dry Skin
As we age, our skin gets drier as the result of a combination of things including hormones, sun damage, decreased cell renewal and fewer natural oils being produced.
Jojoba oil moisturises the skin in a unique dual action way. It mixes with the skin’s natural sebum and forms a thin, non-greasy layer, helping trap moisture in the skin. The second way it moisturises the skin is by absorbing into the skin through hair follicles, and then diffuses into little spaces on the outer layer of the skin. It essentially fills in the gaps and makes the skin soft and supple. This natural emollient is very good at treating dry, flaky skin as it forms a protective, moisturising barrier.
#3 Soothes Skin Conditions
Jojoba oil is rich in vitamin E, so it has a host of anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe skin, especially for those with sensitive skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. Jojoba oil has been used for centuries by Native Americans because of its anti-inflammatory effects which makes it very useful for wound healing.
#4 Full of Vitamins and Omegas
Aside from being an antioxidant itself, jojoba contains vitamins A, D, E, and omegas 6 and 9.
- Vitamin A: Boosts elastin and collagen production to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Vitamin D: Destroys free radicals that cause premature ageing
- Vitamin E: Helps reduce UV damage by defending the skin against oxidative damage and helps skin retain moisture
- Omega 6: Helps replenish the lipid structure which maintains the skin barrier and keeps skin smooth and moisturised
- Omega 9: Improves skin elasticity, softens skin, and helps reduce inflammation
#5 Plays Well with Others
Jojoba oil gets the team player award, as it works so well with other ingredients. It also has a very long shelf life, a lot longer than most plant oils as it can last for up to two years and can increase the shelf life of other oils when mixed. Being a wax ester makes jojoba oil an extremely stable ingredient. Even if you heat it to 370 degrees for 96 hours, it doesn’t change. It’s also suitable to use on all skin types especially for those with dry or oily skin.