All About Jojoba Oil and Its Many Skin-Care Benefits
How often do you read the ingredient list on the back of your skin-care products? Be honest — it’s probably not often, or at least not as often as you should. If you start to really pay attention to what’s inside your skin-care routine products, though, you may discover some buzzy ingredients. Jojoba oil, for instance, has been popping up on the label of many new beauty products that are hitting shelves, but the ingredient is actually not new at all.
Jojoba oil has been in skin-care products for years, but it’s starting to be called out to consumers more frequently, much like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. If you’ve seen jojoba oil listed on the back of your serum or moisturizer but aren’t exactly sure what it is, read on.
What Is Jojoba Oil?
“Jojoba oil isn't an oil, it's actually a liquid wax,” explains Amer Schwartz, technical director at Vantage, the largest global grower and producer of jojoba oil and its derivatives. “While traditional oils like avocado oil or sunflower and the likes are composed of triglycerides, jojoba oil is composed of straight, unsaturated esters, which put them in the wax category. Jojoba oil also has a unique drier feel compared to other natural oils.”
Interestingly enough, Schwartz reveals the structure of jojoba oil is similar to that of a human’s natural sebum, the oil your skin produces to protect itself from dehydration and other external stressors.
“Our skin needs its sebum because it’s a natural protection,” says Schwartz. “If the skin doesn’t detect any sebum, it will keep producing it until it’s replenished. So, if you wash your skin with products formulated with traditional oils, like avocado or coconut oils, which are very different from jojoba oil and human sebum, your skin could still try to produce more sebum. This could easily lead to the look of greasy skin.”
How Is Jojoba Oil Processed to be Used in Beauty Products?
According to Schwartz, after jojoba seeds are harvested and cleaned at Vantage, the process begins to extract the oil. “Jojoba seeds contain 50% of pure oil,” says Schwartz. “It’s extracted directly from jojoba seeds by mechanical crushing and then filtered to remove fine solids. The extracted oil has a characteristic nutty aroma and a bright golden color, but further refining can be done to completely remove color and odor through environmentally friendly processing.”
What Are the Key Beauty Benefits of Jojoba Oil?
Along with its moisturizing properties, jojoba oil has a long list of other known benefits — for face, body and hair — including nourishing and softening dry, brittle hair and helping to fight free radicals.
“Jojoba oil is often incorporated into formulas designed for oily, combination and even sensitive skin, often because it demonstrates very little occlusive properties, while still providing a high level of moisturization,” says Schwartz. “Jojoba oil contains smaller molecules than the ones that make up most other natural oils such as argan or coconut oils and also contains many natural metabolites, such as antioxidants, tocopherols and more that effectively fight free radicals.”
What to Look for When Shopping for Skin-Care Products With Jojoba Oil
“Consumers should pay attention to the origin of the oil,” Schwartz advises. While jojoba is now harvested in different parts of the world, it is native to the Sonoran desert of Arizona and Southern California.