Jojoba: Uses For Hair and Skin?
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Nature adapts wonderfully to all kinds of conditions, climates, and situations. The jojoba plant, which is native to desert areas such as Arizona, California, and Mexico, is no exception. It learned how to survive in very extreme heat. Not only survive, but flourish and thrive! The tree has come to form an important role in ancient Native American culture as it was used to treat wounds and sores centuries ago.
The oil of the jojoba trees were used as a natural alternative for sperm whale oil which was only banned in the early 70’s and was frequently used in the manufacture of cosmetics products (among many others) – which is great news because it’s been classified a natural and renewable source of high quality oil unlike that of sperm whales. Ever since discovering the oil, I have always kept a vial of the stuff in my home because it’s incredibly useful and healthy stuff. I hope that by reading this article, you’ll be encouraged to do the same.
What is Jojoba?
The jojoba is known in Latin as simmondsia chenensis, and its seeds are full of oil. Well, not literally full, but they may as well be with an oil content as high as 50%! The jojoba plant has many health and beauty benefits, which is why so many companies use it in their hair and skin care products. Some companies treat the oil in different ways, and in the course of the treatment it loses its natural odor and color.
However, the amazing healing properties are retained and will still be absorbed by our skin. Naturally, in its unrefined and untreated form, the jojoba oil is beige or brown and has a scent resembling nuts. The seeds themselves resemble coffee beans, but they are unlike almost any other seeds that occur in nature because they contain rich amount of liquid wax-like esters that closely resemble human sebum oil – which makes it highly beneficial for use in hair and skin care products.
Because it usually may lose its odor and color, but not its health benefits, it is considered to be a super substance. Jojoba oil is also a great natural preservative and tends to have a longer natural shelf-life than most other oils such as canola, almond or safflower oil – making it ideal for inclusion in various products or simply for use on it’s own.
Jojoba Uses for Hair
Part of what makes the jojoba oil so unique is that it resembles our own natural oil which is secreted by our body, the sebum. Sebum is produced under the surface if the skin, and it contributes to preserving the skin’s young look and feel. The sebum also acts as a barrier between our body and the external world. It acts as a filter for water, bacteria, harmful chemicals, and other substances which are all around us. Our skin is the biggest organ we have, and the sebum is part of what helps keep it safe.
Because it mimics the effects of our sebum, jojoba is ideal for hydrating and nourishing our skin and scalp. People with low production of sebum – which can occur due to illness, age, hormonal imbalance and the use of chemical ingredients that strip away sebum oil – can use jojoba to boost the skins natural protection and return it to balance.
Sebum oil is also ideal for hair use because it is rich in mono-saturated fats (roughly 98% to be exact) which means that it can actively penetrate the hair follicles and nourish them from within. This means you get a more complete and lasting form of hydration as well as reducing the effects of hygral fatigue – the result of hair follicles swelling and shrinking after being washed which can lead to weakened hair follicles over time.
I prefer using jojoba oil in my own DIY Shampoo recipes as I have complete control over all the ingredients that go into the recipe, and can therefore craft a product that is specifically suited to my hair type. However, if you’re not one to try DIY recipes, but still want the additional protection and hydrating qualities that jojoba can offer for your hair, simply add a few drops of the oil to your shampoo or conditioner and you’ll get similar effects. Ultimately, I would recommend avoiding chemically saturated hair and skin care products as they tend to damage your hair and skin over time with consistent use. The natural options are always best.
Jojoba Uses for Skin
Companies use jojoba in skin lotions, facial creams, foot remedies, and scalp hydrators. Jojoba has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is why it is considered so good for the skin. It is ideal for treating acne, pimples, and for smoothing out lines or scars. When used frequently, it can aid in the skin and hair’s long-term health. For those experiencing dry hair and scalp, hair loss, and other kinds of hair damage, jojoba can work wonders. It also gives the hair back a natural shine, and promotes hair growth and sustainability.
One of the best qualities of jojoba oil for the skin is the fact that it contains a rich amount of vitamin E in it’s makeup. Vitamin E is a highly potent natural antioxidant that helps to flush out toxins and free radicals which cause a great deal of damage to our bodies and can speed up the signs of aging. By applying jojoba oil to the surface of ones skin or ingested (in small and diluted amounts), you can entrap the free radicals before they have the chance to bond with the cells in your body and flush them out before they cause any damage.
The rich anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the oil also make it ideal for treating issues such as acne, minor wounds, sores, rashes and fungal infections. The oil actively works to inhibit the growth and therefore, the spread of bacteria thus reversing any infections you may suffer from and ultimately speeding up the healing process quite considerably. This is a definite must-have for anyone who suffers from particularly dry or even oily skin as it helps to regulate the the sebum oil on the surface of the skin and will help to achieve a more balanced complexion when used as a daily toner. It also won’t dry your skin out like so many alcohol-based toners tend to do, making it ideal for sensitive skin types too.
Miscellaneous Uses for Jojoba Oil
Jojoba isn’t designed only for those suffering from some sort of condition, however. It is there for the taking and using, even if you are completely healthy. You can use it as a cleanser, makeup remover, and skin softener. Men and women use it when shaving, before and after, to preempt any itchiness, redness, or other symptoms of irritation which may ensue. On the flip side, men who opt not to shave, and instead are looking to grow out their facial hair, can benefit from beard oils containing jojoba as a means of conditioning and cleansing their beards.
Jojoba oil is also ideal for preventing the damaging effects that chlorine can have on your skin and is best applied (roughly 4-5 drops along with coconut or almond oil) before swimming in a pool that contains chlorine. It helps to prevent the harsh chemicals from stripping your skin of the natural oils and proteins that keep it hydrated and can therefore help to keep your skin smooth and healthy.
A lot of people also claim that the oil is highly effective as a sunburn reliever and can help to reduce the pain associated with a sunburn, as well as keeping the skin hydrated and allowing for a quicker recovery rate. I also tend to enjoy using the oil as a lip balm during dry, hot summers or dry, cool winters as it helps to lock in moisture without giving your lips that ‘chapped’ feeling that may result when using conventional, waxy lip balms plus it’s a lot safer and won’t affect the taste of your meals of drinks as much.
Is Jojoba Oil Safe?
The short answer to this is yes. There are no harmful side effects, and very few individuals are allergic or otherwise sensitive to it. However, we always recommend that you patch test any essential oils on the surface of your skin for 2 – 3 days in order to test whether you are allergic or not as it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
While essential oils are natural products that are free from chemical additives, we always recommend that you avoid using them during pregnancy (or consult a doctor before doing so) as well as on children under the age of 8. This is largely because the potent chemical content of the essential oil can still affect the hormone balance of young children and may cause knock-on effects in terms of their general health and development. While the oils are still very safe for general use, we would advise that you use them with caution in this circumstance.
So, to conclude, I think it’s quite easy to see why so many people are making a lot of noise about this amazing natural product. While the effects of the jojoba seed has been known to us for centuries, they have seen a renaissance in recent times that has brought it back into the limelight – and the timing couldn’t have been better.
With more and more people waking up to the fact that most of the products that we use on a regular basis are loaded with chemical additive, many have turned to nature as a possible solution or a healthier alternative. And as per usual, nature always seems to have a way of providing – given that you know where to look. So instead of bathing yourself in chemicals and eating chemically laden foods, rather switch to a natural lifestyle and cut as many of these out of your life as possible and you’ll notice the differences in virtually no time at all.
Thanks for reading this article – I hope it’s helped you get a better understanding of how to incorporate this amazing essential oil into your lifestyle. Please feel free to share the article and be sure to check out some of the other articles on our blog before leaving.