The jojoba plant is a hearty, perennial plant that grows in North America. Not only does it thrive in the harsh, desert climates that could kill most living things, but it also produces a nut with many healing properties.
The nut of the jojoba plant can be made into an oil. Jojoba oil is gentle enough to be used as a carrier oil to mix with other essential oils. You can also use it on its own.
Many people use jojoba oil as part of their skin care routine. And there are good reasons for that. There’s plenty of evidence supporting the use of pure jojoba oil as a remedy for acne, dry skin, and countless other skin conditions.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of using jojoba oil for your skin.
Jojoba oil is a humectant ingredient. This means that it works to seal your skin with a protective barrier to keep it from losing moisture. This may help prevent bacterial infections, acne, and dandruff from forming.
Jojoba oil contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties. While lab tests found that jojoba oil doesn’t kill all bacterial or fungal species, it does kill certain bacteria and fungi that can cause salmonella, an E. coli infection, and candida.
Jojoba oil contains natural forms of vitamin E. This vitamin works with your skin as an antioxidant. This means that jojoba oil can help your skin fight oxidative stress caused by everyday exposure to pollutants and other toxins.
Although jojoba oil is a botanical substance, its makeup is so similar to the oil (sebum) your body naturally produces that your skin can’t tell the difference.
This makes it less likely to build up on your skin and clog your pores, leading to fewer breakouts and less severe acne.
On a molecular level, jojoba oil is a wax. Although it can be absorbed into your skin, its waxy nature allows it to create a soothing seal on the surface.
Unlike other botanical essential oils, jojoba oil is typically nonirritating. Allergic reaction is rare.
Jojoba oil regulates sebum production because it’s so similar to the sebum that your body produces naturally.
When you put jojoba oil on your skin, your skin is soothed and moisturized. This sends a signal to your hair and sweat follicles that your skin doesn’t need additional sebum for hydration.
This keeps skin from looking oily and helps prevent acne caused by clogged pores.
The antioxidants in jojoba oil may help your body produce collagen. Collagen is a protein that’s in your skin and joints as well as the parts of your body made of cartilage.
Collagen levels decrease as you get older. This is part of the reason your facial structure changes as you age. At least one study links antioxidants applied to the skin to improved collagen synthesis.
Jojoba oil is a promising ingredient in stimulating wound healing. Preliminary research shows that jojoba oil encourages your skin cells to bind together after they’ve been separated by a scratch or cut.
This may also be the reason for its ability to treat acne and acne scarring. These wound-healing properties could be connected to jojoba oil’s concentration of natural vitamin E.
Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Topical application may help relieve dryness, flaking, itching, and related symptoms.
People who have inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema may find jojoba oil especially beneficial.
Jojoba oil is a popular ingredient in some natural sunscreen products. One study suggests that vitamin E, when combined with other antioxidants, can help protect your skin from sun damage. Jojoba oil contains both.
Sun damage can dehydrate your skin and cause flaking. Jojoba oil restores vitamin E, adds moisture, and promotes healing to soothe these symptoms of sunburns.
At least one clinical trial indicates that jojoba oil can help keep acne at bay. Jojoba oil has soothing anti-inflammatory agents, healing properties, is moisturizing, and is a natural antimicrobial.
These properties suggest that jojoba oil could help you avoid breakouts as well as promote healing for mild acne.
Oxidative stress can be linked to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There’s no research that links jojoba to treating wrinkles and fine lines directly, but other plant products with antioxidant properties have been shown to improve the elasticity of skin.
This means that the antioxidant power of jojoba oil may help slow the signs of aging when used on your skin.
Vitamin E has long been recommended by health professionals to help with scarring. Research on whether this works — and, if so, to what extent — is still ongoing.
If you’d like to try vitamin E as a remedy to scarring, jojoba oil may prove to be beneficial in the healing process.
Jojoba oil’s natural wound-healing properties combined with its vitamin E content, could minimize the appearance of scars.
Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, APRN on September 5, 2018 — Written by Kathryn Watson