Today we’re going to talk about Jojoba oil (pronounced Ho Ho Ba – makes me want to do a little dance every time I say it), which is actually a liquid wax ester, not a vegetable oil. Being a liquid wax provides a number of advantages over oils.
1) Jojoba Wax Never Goes Rancid, Unlike Vegetable Oil
Oils have a limited shelf life, anywhere from a couple months to a year or two, depending on storage conditions. Although the Mighty Jojoba is more expensive than the equivalent amount of vegetable oil, you will have the peace of mind knowing that jojoba will last much longer, as long as you store it under proper conditions, ideally, a cool and dark place.
2) Jojoba is Very Skin-Friendly
Jojoba is most similar to sebum, the liquid secreted by the sebaceous glands, that keeps the skin hydrated and supple. For this reason, jojoba absorbs into the skin rapidly.
This liquid wax is known by the botanical name Simmondsia chinensis. It is useful for a wide variety of skin and hair care purposes. For example, jojoba has been used for dissolving clogged skin pores and supporting the natural pH balance of the epidermis, making it useful for acne treatment. Jojoba also has anti-inflammatory properties, which lends itself well for treating eczema, psoriasis and inflamed skin. Dry scalp and dandruff can also be treated.
Expanding upon the paragraph above, with respect to anti-inflammatory properties, I recommend diluting essential oils of lavender, German chamomile, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli or sandalwood in jojoba oil. If you can afford it, you can dilute Helichrysum in jojoba. This preparation can be used to soothe skin irritations such as rashes, scrapes and minor burns (first degree). I mentioned Helichrysum last because of its price – the teachers at SWIHA jokingly refer to it as “Hella Expensive.”
3) Heal The Burn
Use common sense; second and third degree burns always require prompt medical attention. Second degree burns result in painful blisters, while third degree burns involve substantial destruction of both the dermis and the epidermis, significant fluid loss, nerve destruction, and can result in shock. Further, third degree burns can often result in bacterial infections. This is why hospitalization is necessary. In fact, many people who die from significant burn injuries actually succumb to infections and not necessarily the burn itself. Not to mention that hospitals are breeding grounds for germs in the first place.
Jojoba oil mixed with essential oils is useful as an after-burn treatment, after you’ve received medical attention and thoroughly cleaned the burned areas of skin with soap and water. You can apply the diluted essential oil(s) to the affected area after it has been treated to speed up the healing process. If it’s a second degree burn, I would suggest applying the oils to the burned area, and then covering it with gauze or a bandage to protect the burn.
Anti-inflammatory essential oils such as the ones I’ve previously listed are ideal for wound healing. Another good idea is to incorporate antiseptic oils. Good choices are lavender, tea tree, frankincense, sweet marjoram, eucalyptus, and Roman chamomile. Since cuts, scrapes and burns tend to be painful, it is also a good idea to incorporate analgesic oils, such as eucalyptus, sweet marjoram, myrrh, black pepper and peppermint.
Dilute the anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic essential oils in a base of jojoba oil and apply to the burned area. Then wrap the burn in gauze as shown below. Note that this process would also apply to other skin irritations such as scrapes and minor cuts and not just burns. It’s very important that the burned or injured area be thoroughly cleaned and free of dirt or other foreign substances.
4) Maintaining Healthy Skin
Jojoba oil contains iodine, which fights harmful bacteria growth that leads to skin breakouts. Also present in jojoba are vitamin E, vitamin B complex, silicon, chromium, copper and zinc. The oil is noncomedogenic, which means that it will not clog pores, unlike petroleum-based products such as Vaseline and the like. A study conducted by the Department of Environment and Life Sciences in Italy showed that jojoba oil speeds up wound closures and stimulates collagen synthesis. So this liquid wax not only removes oil from the skin, fights germs, reduces inflammation, it also maintains and restores healthy skin.
5) A Plethora of Other Benefits
Jojoba oil has many other uses in addition to healing skin irritations and injuries. This liquid wax can be used as makeup remover, facial cleanser and moisturizer, hair conditioner, lip conditioner, as well as preparing the skin for shaving and soothing skin after shaving. You could dilute some peppermint essential oil in jojoba oil for a cooling aftershave.
Another use for jojoba oil is protecting hair prior to swimming. Applying a few drops of the oil to the hair will close the hair follicles, prevent chemicals from stripping the hair color. Jojoba also prevents hair from drying out.
Below are a few recipes for products you can make with jojoba oil and a few other natural ingredients.
And there you have it, jojoba wax, which could be considered the Swiss Army Knife of carrier oils. It’s versatile. It’s a fast-absorbing carrier oil, skin moisturizer, hair and scalp treatment, facial cleaner, makeup remover, sunburn treatment, and more. Perhaps the best feature – jojoba oil never goes rancid – giving it a longer shelf life.
Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers. Jade Shutes and Christina Weaver. 2008.
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Featured image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Simmondsia-chinensis-20080325.JPG