The Truth About Jojoba Oil

Published January 15th, 2022 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Bridget Reed
Medically Reviewed:
Dr. Angel Rivera

Jojoba oil intro | Skin treatment | Other benefits | Side effects

Jojoba oil is a liquid wax, also called an oil interchangeably, that's extracted from jojoba seeds, and it has been used for centuries by Native American Indians. The jojoba tree is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, California, and Mexico, but jojoba oil can be purchased online and in stores around the world. It's important to know what jojoba oil does before you buy it because jojoba oil isn't good for everyone. Read this article to find out if jojoba oil is right for you.

What is jojoba oil?

Jojoba oil is a type of vegetable oil that comes from the jojoba plant, also called Simmondsia chinensis. Jojoba oil is made by pressing the seeds from the jojoba plant. It's a golden-colored liquid that is sometimes called jojoba wax because it has a waxy texture. It is said to be odorless although some people describe it as having a very slight nutty smell. The oil contains many beneficial fatty acids, although these acids can vary depending on how the plant was grown. Native American tribes initially used the oil for sores and wounds although it has found many other uses today. The oil itself is very shelf-stable, more so than most other oils, which makes it prevalent in cosmetic products like body lotions and as a natural makeup remover.

How does jojoba oil work on the skin?

Jojoba oil is a unique type of vegetable oil. Unlike some oils, jojoba is noncomedogenic, which means it does not block pores or clog the skin's surface so it can be used in topical application as an effective moisturizer for damaged and dry skin. It doesn't leave behind any greasy residue but instead acts to fill in the cracks and hydrate the skin. Jojoba oil is also non-allergenic so it's a good option for people with sensitive skin. The oil can be used to treat conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and rosacea. It's considered an emollient, which is a substance that helps to soothe and soften the skin while also unclogging hair follicles. For this reason, some people have tried to use it to prevent balding.

What are the other benefits of jojoba oil?

As noted above, the Native American tribes that first used jojoba oil used it for sores and wound healing. Besides these uses, it has also been heralded as having a wide range of other health benefits too. Below are some of the most common health benefits people claim from jojoba oil.

Moisturizer

As noted above jojoba oil is a great moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated. It can help to soothe and soften dry or damaged skin. The antioxidant properties in jojoba also help to protect against aging, which keeps your skin looking young for longer.

Improves hair health

Because jojoba oil products are often used as hair products such as conditioners, jojoba oil can help to improve the health of your hair. The fatty acids in jojoba oil are similar to those found in human sebum and they work like a natural moisturizer for your scalp and follicles. By keeping your hair hydrated you also reduce the chance of dry hair that will become damaged or break off. Jojoba oil can also help to reduce scalp itchiness and inflammation.

Soothes sunburns

Jojoba oil is a natural sunburn remedy. The oil helps to soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing process. It's also said by some people to work better than aloe vera for treating sunburns.

Improves acne and rosacea

Jojoba oil can be applied directly to acne or rosacea for a quick fix. It's believed that it works to reduce inflammation and unclog hair follicles, which helps to get rid of blemishes on your skin quickly.

Hair loss prevention

Some people use jojoba oil as a way to prevent hair loss and it is often seen in hair care products. It acts like an emollient and is able to moisturize the scalp more effectively than other oils, which can help with hair growth problems.

Mosquito repellent

Jojoba oil is also said to be a natural mosquito repellent. While there haven't been any studies done on this yet, it's thought that the oil's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to keep mosquitoes away.

Are the benefits backed by science?

While many people swear by the benefits of jojoba oil, there haven't been any extensive studies done on the oil itself. However, many of the benefits that jojoba oil is said to have been backed by science. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba oil can help to improve your skin health while the moisturizing effects can help to keep your hair healthy and hydrated. The other benefits are considered anecdotal until further studies can be done.

Are there any side effects to using jojoba oil?

If jojoba oil is used on the skin, there are very few adverse effects that you have to worry about. It is considered hypoallergenic; however, some people have still had an allergic skin reaction resulting in hives and rashes. The only real risk of using jojoba oil comes from taking it orally as a supplement because it contains erucic acid, which can cause heart damage. For this reason, it is not recommended to ingest jojoba oil.

Who shouldn't use jojoba oil?

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are safe using jojoba oil although they should avoid using it on areas that a newborn mouth may touch, for example, the nipples while breastfeeding. If you have sensitive skin you are most likely safe using it although allergic reactions on the skin can occur.

Where can I buy jojoba oil?

Jojoba is readily available to purchase online and in health food stores, but if you're trying to keep an eye on your budget then it might be worth looking at other alternatives before jojoba because of the high cost. As long as what you use has a similar composition to jojoba, you're likely to see the same effects.

Summary

Jojoba oil is a safe and natural product made from the seeds of the jojoba plant that can help your skin stay healthy and hydrated. It works as an emollient, which means it soothes and hydrates the skin while also not clogging pores while having anti-inflammatory effects. Other touted health benefits include treating sunburns, hair loss problems such as alopecia areata or male pattern baldness, acne, and rosacea. Besides being an effective moisturizer and hydrating the skin, most of the benefits are considered anecdotal and need more research. The only risk of applying it topically is that have an allergic reaction to it. Jojoba oil should not be ingested. If you have more questions or are considering using jojoba oil, please talk to your doctor, healthcare provider, or dermatologist.

References and Sources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

sciencedirect.com

hort.purdue.edu

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