19 things jojoba is good for

31 January 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

Jojoba oil

Acne? Scars? Eczema? Psoriasis? Rosacea? Jojoba’s good for all of that and more! Plus, Shaaanxo swears by it.

Despite everyone calling jojoba “jojoba oil” you’ll be surprised to find out it’s not actually an oil at all.

“Jojoba is a remarkable wax similar to the wax esters produced in your skin and eyes. So the skin naturally lets jojoba travel all the way down to the skin cell and skin matrix levels unlike plant oils,” explains Vicki Engsall, The Jojoba Company Co-Founder and Product Director.

“Plant oils on the other hand are specifically designed by nature to be nutritious. They break down readily but can’t enter deep into skin unless they are carried in by jojoba.”It’s quite the multi-tasker too, given it has antiobiotic, antiviral, antifungal, analegesic, anti-inflammatory and hypo allergenic properties. Now that’s a hefty CV. “It also contains the healing vitamins A, D and E and Omega 6 and 9 essential fatty acids.” Given all of its superpowers, it’s no wonder the Native American’s used it as an all-encompassing natural medicine. If Shaaanxo is obsessed with it, it must be good.

So here are 19 more reasons for you to start using jojoba on the reg:

1. It helps smooth scars

Jojoba will be your new go-to for scars because of its ability to smooth and flatten the skin.

“It has been clinically proven to accelerate skin repair and naturally contains the healing vitamins A, D and E.”

2. It helps heal burns

When you accidentally touch your straightener’s ceramic plates, liberally apply jojoba.

“With burns, the jojoba molecules protect damaged skin cells from oxygen, reducing pain. They fill the gaps between damaged cells, blocking cells from triggering an inflammatory response, while the healing vitamins help to accelerate skin repair.”

It’ll also reduce your risk of infection while the damaged tissue (AKA your burn) heals because it’s an antibiotic.

3. It plumps and smooths wrinkles

It’s kind of like botox in a bottle because of its ability to plump and smooth your skin. As our skin ages, it produces less oil or wax molecules which lock in moisture causing our collagen and elastic to collapse because our skin cells start to lose their shape (the outer skin then folds in on itself which is what we see on a surface level as wrinkles).

“The key to protecting against accelerating aging in skin is to keep the wax in your skin. As you mature, your skin isn’t going to make it any more and the only other source is jojoba.”

4. It increases the skin’s elastin which can prevent stretch marks

Having stretch marks goes hand in hand with being a woman given that we push our bodies to incredible limits. Stretch marks form when the skin is stretched beyond its point of elasticity and although there isn’t a cure, jojoba can help prevent them because it increases elasticity in the skin tissue which helps prevent tissue tearing.

5. It fights acne

The wax esters found in jojoba help keep your sebum flowing freely, stopping it from blocking your pores (which can lead to blackheads, pimples and sebaceous cysts). It’s also the Ronda Rousey of the product world as it works to fight germs, acne bacteria and inflammation.

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“Applied to active acne it firstly soothes painful areas, reduces inflammation and reduces redness, enters the skin pore and kills the acne bacteria, then dissolves the sebum plug and gets sebum liquid and flowing again.”

6. It moisturises dry and sensitive skin

“A good way to think about [dry skin] is when you bring home a new leather lounge. If you position it where it’s exposed to sunlight, you will need to keep it well-oiled or the leather will become papery and thin and will crack. Skin is kept moisturised and supple by the wax produced in skin which continuously flows out of skin pores, absorbs into the outer skin layer to hold moisture in deeper living skin cells. Illness, medication, environmental effects, hormones, smoking and poor nutrition can cause an imbalance in the production of wax esters skin and weaken or break the moisturising barrier in skin.”

Jojoba replenishes your natural wax esters and helps keep the skin moisturised.

7. It can help protect you from sun damage

Given that jojoba evolved in a hot and harsh climate, it had to develop ways to protect its tissue from intense sunlight.

“Jojoba is the only plant in the world known to produce pure liquid wax esters. It layers these long molecules in the outer layer of its leaves to trap moisture in deeper cells and to stop UVB rays from penetrating its leaves. We built on the natural benefits of jojoba wax esters in our Protective Day Cream SPF15 by combining antioxidant and moisturising plant oils with the natural sunscreen agents of zinc and titanium dioxide.”

8. It can lighten pigmentation and age spots

“Skin recognises jojoba wax esters as its own and lets jojoba in to penetrate all of the way down to skin cell level. That makes jojoba the natural way to carry nutrients deep into skin. We added Rumex, carrot oil, Abyssinian oil, buriti oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin C to our jojoba in our most recent product development Natural Pigmentation Oil. These are clinically proven to lighten skin, reduce redness, age spots and freckles, and even out the appearance of pigmentation.”

9.  It can reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone

“Daisy flower, bearberry, roasted coffee oil, Vitamin A, Kakadu plum and Kaolin are all proven to visibly lighten the skin and lighten the appearance of age spots and freckles and they can all be found in our skin refining and brightening mask, along with jojoba so they can penetrate deeply.”

10. It can balance oily skin

If your skin is stripped of its natural oils (AKA the moisturising wax), your sebaceous glands produce more oil. If your skin is producing too much oil, you can apply jojoba which will travel down the sebum’s pathways in your skin “which signals your sebum to back off”.

11. It can soothe rashes

“Rashes form when skin cells are irritated from elements outside your body like plants, from inside your body like foods, or from within skin cells themselves. They can be triggered by allergens, diet or imbalance in skin cells caused by stress or infection.”

Thankfully, jojoba is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory so it can soothe itching and swelling, although it’s not a cure for your allergy – it’s still important to find the source and be treated by a doctor.

12. It can reduce inflammation caused by eczema

“Eczema is generally the external appearance of something that is going wrong inside. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits of jojoba can soothe and support the skin if you’re experiencing eczema.”

Again though, it’s important to find out what’s causing your eczema by speaking to your GP and a dermatologist.

13. It can moisturise and soothe psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition which can cause red, flaky, itchy patches on the skin and scalp which can be both embarrassing and painful.

“If psoriasis persists it can disrupt the health of hair follicles, causing follicles to release hair shafts and growing to widespread hair loss. Ongoing stressful conditions can cause the hair follicle to die.”

If you suffer from psoriasis, Vicki recommends massaging jojoba into the scalp, brushing it through and leaving it to absorb to help moisturise and soothe the area. You can also put a tablespoon or two into your shampoo and conditioner for regular use.

14. It can soothe rosacea

Rosacea can appear on your skin as inflamed red patches where pustules might also be present. Vicki explains that with rosacea, “Skin cells feel under severe attack and die off rapidly in an attempt to bring up fresh new cells from beneath. It’s often worst around the nose, mouth and eyes but we have seen some dreadful cases covering the entire face and neck.”

“When jojoba enters the skin it travels down to skin cell level and the jojoba wax ester molecules slow the metabolism of the cells. They fill the spaces between the cells, blocking the inflammatory signals between cells and soothing skin generally.”

15. It can balance overactive sebaceous glands associated with cradle cap

“Cradle cap is a form of dermatitis so pure jojoba or our 100% natural baby oil can be used on cradle cap. In the same way that jojoba can balance oily and dry adult skin, so jojoba wax esters can help to balance overactive sebaceous glands in baby’s scalp.”

16. It can prevent head lice

“Lice can’t get traction on hair that has been treated with jojoba.” So again, you can add it to your shampoo and conditioner or massage it into your scalp and leave to absorb.

“Jojoba is also the only plant in the world known to produce pure liquid wax esters like those that keep hair elastic, conditioned and moisturised.”

17. It can help combat ear infections

“Many recurring ear infections come about through the same process as blackheads, acne and sebaceous cysts. We have a high concentration of sebaceous glands in our ear canals. If those glands are over-producing sebum without enough wax esters to keep sebum liquid flowing out, it builds up as ear wax.”

Acne bacteria thrives when there’s a build-up of sebum and ear wax. A few drops of jojoba oil into the ear will fight the bacteria, reduce inflammation and dissolve dried sebum and ear wax.

18. It can help stop cold sores

“The herpes virus lives in the base of the nerve shafts around the mouth and nose. The tingling people feel when a cold sore is emerging is the virus moving up the nerve shaft feeding on oxygen. Jojoba applied to the area will quickly mix with skin sebum and will follow sebum’s pathways including down the nerve shaft. Jojoba blocks the flow of oxygen to the virus, which retreats back into the nerve shaft. If jojoba is always present the virus never gets oxygen and it is reported that the virus is smothered. Jojoba also contains docosenol which is an ingredient in commercial cold sore treatments.”

19. It can sort out dry eyes

“Glands in our eyelids produce the film called meibum that lubricates our eyes and stops tears from evaporating. 50% of meibum is wax esters similar to the esters in jojoba. Dry eye is caused when not enough wax esters are produced in the meibum. In the absence of wax esters, tears evaporate 40% faster. Jojoba dripped in the eyes can replenish the wax ester content in eyes. This has been a common use of jojoba by the Native American tribes throughout history.”

Convinced to keep it in your bathroom yet? (We are). You’ll be pleased to know jojoba is super stable with a long shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about it going rancid or temperatures changing the nature of it.

Buy jojoba in NZ here.

YouTube sensation Shaaanxo credits jojoba for her beautiful skin. It’s a vital part of her evening routine. Here’s what she thinks:

Source: COSMO Australia

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