Jojoba, sometimes called deernut, comes from a shrub known to grow in northern Mexico, California, and Arizona. The oil-like wax inside — often called jojoba oil — comes from the plant’s seeds. About half of a seed is made up of oil. Jojoba oil is often added to makeup, lotions, and hair products. It is edible, but the body does not digest it. For this reason, you should not eat jojoba oil.
Jojoba oil contains a few fatty acids, such as palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and arachidic acid. The fatty acids found in the oil are based on the climate and soil where the shrub grew, in addition to how the oil was processed.
Jojoba oil also contains large amounts of vitamin E, which gives jojoba oil even more health benefits.
Jojoba oil is said to have healing properties, likely because of the essential fatty acids and vitamin E it contains. Generally, jojoba oil is rubbed into the skin or applied to a specific part of the body to reap these benefits. This oil also has emollient properties. This means that jojoba softens the skin by trapping moisture.
Jojoba oil offers other health benefits when you put it on your skin. They include:
Reduction of Acne
Jojoba oil plays an important role in reducing pimples, blackheads, and other facial blemishes. One study suggests that regular use of a facial mask containing jojoba oil and clay could lead to a reduction in blackheads, whiteheads, and bumps. Plus, jojoba oil is noncomedogenic, which means it does not clog the pores.
Scar Prevention and Wound Healing
Jojoba oil has high levels of vitamin E and is an antioxidant, both of which may help prevent scars. Plus, jojoba oil may help wounds heal quickly.
Treatment of Eczema
Eczema — also called atopic dermatitis — is a skin condition that causes dry, itchy skin that flakes off. The skin condition is also frequently paired with inflammation. Many people use jojoba oil to ease these symptoms thanks to the aliphatic alcohol it contains.
Treatment of Psoriasis
Like eczema, psoriasis — a skin condition that occurs because of an overactive immune system — often comes with dry, flaky skin and inflammation. Jojoba oil may prevent flare-ups of psoriasis that worsen due to ongoing inflammation. The oil may help relieve pain.
Plant products with antioxidants are often used to treat wrinkles and fine lines. Jojoba oil and its ingredients contain properties that may improve skin elasticity.
Jojoba oil creates a barrier around the skin to keep in moisture. This barrier prevents flaky, itchy dandruff from forming. Treatment of dandruff works much like the treatment of eczema and psoriasis in this case.
Many people use jojoba oil to reduce sunburn signs and to protect their skin from sun damage. Vitamin E and other antioxidants in the oil may help with this goal. Vitamin E and the moisture of the oil soothe the symptoms of a burn and may promote healing.
Generally, jojoba oil is considered safe for application to the skin. And although it offers a variety of benefits when used outside the body, it may come with some risks. Problems could include:
In some people, jojoba oil can cause an allergic reaction. This may appear as an itchy rash, red skin, hives, and in severe cases the closing of your airway. If you experience an allergic reaction, you should stop using the oil right away. If the reaction leads to shortness of breath or an outbreak of hives, talk to your doctor.
It might be a good idea to perform an allergy test on a small patch of your skin before you use jojoba oil for the first time. If you react in any way, you should stop using the oil.
Amounts and Dosage
Jojoba can be applied in the desired amount to your skin or mixed with essential oils as a carrier. No specific dose is recommended by scientists or healthcare professionals for external use. If you want to use it, talk to your doctor about a recommended dosage.