Jojoba Oil: A Comprehensive Guide
Jojoba oil is a unique natural oil extracted from the seed of the Simmondsia Chinensis plant, commonly known as the Jojoba plant. Native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico, this plant thrives in harsh desert climates. Unlike most other plant oils, Jojoba oil is technically a wax ester, which gives it properties remarkably similar to human skin oil (sebum)3 This similarity makes Jojoba oil an excellent moisturizer and an ideal ingredient in skincare and hair care products.
Chemical Composition of Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is unique among plant-based oils, primarily consisting of long-chain fatty acid and fatty alcohol esters. These chains typically contain 36 to 46 carbon atoms, which significantly contribute to the oil’s stability and long shelf-life. The oil makes up approximately 50% of the Jojoba seed by weight.
The main chemical constituents of Jojoba oil are Gadoleic Acid (Eicosenoic Acid), Erucic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Palmitoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Behenic Acid, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B Complex6. It also contains sterols, vitamins, and a few triglyceride esters. The fatty acid content can vary significantly depending on the soil and climate in which the plant is grown, as well as when it is harvested and how the oil is processed.
Extraction of Jojoba Oil
The extraction process of Jojoba oil is quite straightforward and sustainable. Mature Jojoba seeds are harvested, dried, and then cold-pressed to extract the oil. The cold-press method ensures the preservation of the oil’s nutrients without the need for added preservatives.
There are also other methods of extraction, such as screw expelling, hydraulic pressing, and solvent extraction. Solvent extraction using hexane, benzene, or petroleum ether can yield about 50% oil by weight with reference to total seed. However, cold pressing is often preferred due to its simplicity and sustainability.
Application of Jojoba Oil on skin
Jojoba oil is widely used in skincare due to its moisturizing, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Its composition closely mimics the skin’s own sebum, making it an effective natural facial conditioner. This oil is able to penetrate deeply, reaching below the top layer of skin for maximum nourishment.
Jojoba oil is a humectant ingredient, meaning it works to attract water to the top layer of the skin, helping to keep the skin hydrated. It’s light, impermeable, and sits on the surface of the skin, making it perfect for sealing in moisture.
Jojoba oil contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties. While it doesn’t kill all bacterial or fungal species, it does kill certain bacteria and fungi that can cause infections.
Jojoba oil contains natural forms of vitamin E3. This vitamin works with your skin as an antioxidant, helping your skin fight oxidative stress caused by everyday exposure to pollutants and other toxins.
Application of Jojoba Oil on hair
Jojoba oil is an excellent ingredient for hair care products due to its moisturizing properties and its ability to regulate sebum production. It can be used as a moisturizer, a treatment for dandruff, and a remedy for dry scalp.
Jojoba oil can be applied directly to the hair and scalp to moisturize and nourish them. It can also be added to hair conditioners to give added protection against dryness, breakage, and split ends.
Regulating Sebum Production
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 scalp, your scalp is soothed and moisturized, which prevents dryness that leads to hair loss.
Treating Dandruff and Dry Scalp
Jojoba oil can also be helpful in treating dandruff, dry scalp, and itchy scalp, and be used as an anti-inflammatory and skin moisturizer.
In conclusion, Jojoba oil is a versatile and beneficial oil that can be used in a variety of skincare and hair care applications. Its unique chemical composition and extraction process make it a sustainable and effective choice for maintaining healthy skin and hair.