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Jojoba Oil

Everything You Need to Know About Jojoba Oil

By: Dan Kern, Acne.org Founder & CSO
Last updated: February 04, 2020

The Essential Information

Some oils, like coconut oil, are likely to clog pores and lead to acne. Other oils, like olive oil, are less likely to clog pores but are still not safe for acne-prone skin. And finally, some oils, like jojoba oil, will not clog pores and are safe to use if you have acne. 

Unique properties of jojoba oil:

  • It is not chemically an "oil" like other oils. It is actually a wax esther with large molecules that do not enter pores.
  • It is extremely stable. As a wax esther, jojoba oil is exceedingly resistant to becoming rancid when compared with typical oils. Rancid oil should never be used on the skin.
  • It spreads across the skin very well. This makes it a perfect massage oil and helps it simply "feel good" on the skin.
  • It is unscented. Truth be told it has a very slight natural scent, but the smell is extraordinarily subtle, doesn't bother anyone, and is actually quite nice.
  • It is hypoallergenic. Jojoba oil is kind to the skin and the body. It is the most chemically similar substance to human skin oil, and thus acts as a completely inert substance on the body. You can even use it fearlessly as an eye makeup remover.
  • It is environmental. Jojoba oil naturally grows in arid landscapes, which means it requires less oil than other crops.

Other Safe Oils: Sunflower oil and safflower oil are two other popular oils that are safe to use on acne-prone skin. They are not as stable as jojoba oil, and are not as good for some things as jojoba oil (massage for instance), but you can also use them without fear as long as you buy them fresh and never use them after they go rancid.

The Science

What is jojoba oil?

Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-bah) oil is a botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree (Simmondsia chinenis). Technically it is not actually an oil, but rather what is called a wax ester. Why do we care? Because out of all of the compounds in nature, this wax ester is the most similar to human skin oil (sebum). It is theorized that applying jojoba to the skin can "trick" the skin into thinking it is producing enough oil, thus balancing oil production. The bottom line for acne-prone people is that jojoba oil is non-comedogenic so you can use it without fear.

Leaf Tissue and Skin Tissue

Leaf tissue

The stratum corneum is the basis of non-occlusive moisture control in people. Its array of epidermal wax esters is very similar to jojoba wax esters.

Skin tissue

The waxy cuticle is the basis of non-occlusive moisture control in most plants. Its array of epicuticular wax esters is very similar to jojoba wax esters.

Uses of Jojoba Oil

Benefits of jojoba oil

Provides all day moisturization - jojoba oil doesn't evaporate like water based moisturizers can.

  • It is theorized, but not yet proven, that because jojoba oil is so similar to human skin oil, it can "trick" the skin into thinking it has produced enough oil and thus balance oil production.
  • Very stable - jojoba oil does not become rancid or lose antioxidants even after long periods of storage.
  • Spreads well and absorbs well.
  • The organic variety is free of pesticides, GMOs, and is sustainably farmed.

Drawbacks of jojoba oil

  • At high amounts (over 6 drops) it can lend a shine to the skin. It is best to be conservative with it during the day (5-6 drops at a time). Moderate usage should actually balance oil production and reduce shine. At night before bed, feel free to use as much as you like.

Uses of jojoba oil

  • Moisturizer - After dispensing any facial moisturizer onto your palm, try adding 5-6 drops of jojoba oil to make it into a super-moisturizer. Flakiness will subside and the moisturizer will have an improved feel on your skin.
  • Make-up remover - Since jojoba oil is not an eye irritant, nor allergenic, you can use it to remove eye makeup. It also easily removes foundation, blush, and lipstick.
  • Lip balm - Apply a few drops onto your finger and apply to your lips for an extra-light alternative to lip balm. Lots of lip balms tend to contain comedogenic (clogs pores) ingredients, so jojoba oil is a nice alternative. As a side note, if you need major help with dry lips, pure petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or Aquafor (petroleum jelly + mineral oil, ceresin, and lanolin alcohol) are non-comedogenic and work very well.
  • Hair conditioner - You can mix a few drops of jojoba oil into your current conditioner or use jojoba oil on its own in the shower.* You can also add it to damp hair before drying. Also, you can add it to dry hair to promote shine. Jojoba oil also moisturizes the scalp, helping prevent dandruff.
  • Shave prep - For men, put 8-10 drops or more of jojoba oil on your beard area beneath your shaving cream (lather from your cleanser or other non-comedogenic shaving cream) for a more comfortable shave. This helps prevent razor burn and leaves your skin feeling nice and soft.
  • Massage oil - Jojoba oil is perhaps the best massage oil on earth. A little goes a long way and for people with body acne is a welcome non-comedogenic option. Note: The skin irritation which sometimes comes with massage may still promote breakouts.

*Do not store jojoba oil in the shower. It can develop mold if it is stored in a humid and warm place. Instead, be sure to store jojoba oil in a cool, dry place and it will last for many years.

Our Partner Farm

Jojoba FieldWhen I was looking for an organic jojoba oil producer, I wanted only the best. I looked at a few companies from the USA and one from Israel. I settled on the world's first jojoba supplier to offer certified organic jojoba oil. This means they have the most experience and the most mature organic trees. After speaking with their quality control department, I also felt comfortable with their manufacturing procedures. For instance, they harvest only clean, dry, tree-ripened seeds, employ strict moisture and temperature control procedures, and finish up with cool single press extraction. I've learned that these steps result in the purest possible, unrefined oil. They are one of the world's largest jojoba oil producers. Each year they harvest a large crop of jojoba nuts from the more than 750,000 mature jojoba trees growing at their 2000 acre farm. Currently they have over 600 acres of certified organic jojoba trees, where 100% of our oil comes from. They control the entire process, from growing the trees and harvesting the seed to processing the jojoba oil. This is good because it keeps outside variables to a minimum and assures us of a dependable supply that we can trust.

Also, I always inquire about our manufacturer's environmental policies. Our partner farm says they are mindful to reduce waste, recycle, and conserve. Furthermore, jojoba growth helps sustain farming in rural communities and helps save precious desert water. Their farm, located in the desert, encourages jojoba's natural growth with a minimum of external input. They also adhere to strict EPA, Organic and OSHA standards that protect us, the farmers, and the product."

Where to buy jojoba oil

Our store - Unrefined, organic jojoba oil available in an 8 oz. size for about half the price per ounce of comparable organic jojoba oil on store shelves.

Health food stores - You can usually find jojoba oil at health food stores. Make sure to check the label if you want organic.

  • Buy now

    Acne.org Organic Jojoba Oil retails for $17.21

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