Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Why is Jojoba oil so good for the skin?

What is Jojoba oil? Jojoba oil is not actually an oil but is a liquid wax. The wax is extracted from the hard seeds of the Jojoba plant. Jojoba plants are native to the desert areas of Arizona, California and Mexico but are now also grown in the desert of Australia. Once ripe, the hard seeds drop from the plants and the oil is then cold pressed from the seeds.

Jojoba seeds. Image courtesy of Lanni.
Similarities between Jojoba oil and sebum Jojoba oil is regarded as the oil that most closely resembles human sebum - the skin's natural oil. Analysis of the molecular structure of Jojoba oil by Associate Professor Michael Wootton found that the oil was 'remarkably similar' to sebum. Jojoba oil is comprised of a mixture of wax esters and fatty acids whereas sebum is composed of triglycerides, wax esters and fatty acids. The similarities between the two mean that it is highly unlikely for a reaction to Jojoba to occur. In fact, the oil is deemed so safe that it is recommended by the Victorian Department of Health as a treatment for nappy rash or cradle cap on newborns.

Benefits of Jojoba oil Since Jojoba oil is so similar to sebum, when applied to the skin it can help to reduce sebum production. Sebum is produced to waterproof and moisturise the skin. When Jojoba oil is applied, the skin registers that sufficient oil is present therefore less sebum is released making skin less oily.

In addition, Jojoba oil is both antibacterial and anti fungal. Therefore, by reducing sebum production and prohibiting bacteria growth, Jojoba oil can really assist in the reduction of pimples and acne.

Jojoba oil is also naturally rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E, all of which are incredibly nourishing for the skin. Vitamin A is known to be an excellent wrinkle fighter whilst Vitamin E is used to minimise scaring in the skin.

Uses for Jojoba oil There are many uses for Jojoba oil. It can be used straight onto the skin as an excellent moisturiser. It also works brilliantly as an oil cleanser to gently dissolve off excess oil, dirt and makeup. It can be used as a hair treatment to control dry unruly hair, softening it and giving it much needed moisturisation. It also makes a brilliant base for massage oils where the desired essential oils can be added.

With so many uses, Jojoba oil really is a natural product that should be in everyone's bathroom cabinet. Is it in yours?