Most people easily associate “jojoba” or “jojoba oil” with cosmetics. They are used to seeing it in the products they use every day including moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, even anti-aging and sun care products. But this hypoallergenic “oil” (it's actually a liquid wax) is also available in its simplest form, pure pressed jojoba oil, direct to consumers for their own personal use.
The amazing moisturizing properties of this unique seed oil have been known through the ages. Early Native Americans and the Indians who inhabited north-western Mexico used the seeds and their oil for many applications. While they found it useful in the making of a coffee-like beverage, medicines for cancer and kidney disorders, and chewing as a dietary supplement and an appetite suppressant when food was scarce, probably the most lasting use has been for treating skin and scalp.
First officially documented in 1822 by German botanist Johann Link and eventually renamed Simmondsia chinensis by Austrian botanist, Camillo Karl Schneider, in 1912, the unique properties of jojoba had been discovered by chemists in the 1930's. Traditionally, sperm whale oil had been the product of choice for use in cosmetics. But the 1971 U.S. ban on sperm whale oil import sent cosmetics manufacturers looking for a suitable replacement. Jojoba fit the bill.
Jojoba “oil” is different from other vegetable oils in that it is not actually triglyceride oil but a liquid wax. Its unique chemical makeup mimics the sebum naturally present on human skin. This is what makes it such a desirable product for the cosmetics we use everyday. According to the International Jojoba Export Council, jojoba is odourless, natural, non-greasy, and extremely stable. It doesn't break down when exposed to water or oxygen and, a natural carrier of Vitamin E and a natural antioxidant; it is an extremely efficient non-comedo genic moisture regulator, penetrating the skin to moisturize without blocking the pores.
A perennial woody shrub native to the semiarid Sonoran Desert region of north-western Mexico and the neighbouring south-western United States, jojoba grows in dense stands in the wild. It is presently also commercially cultivated in plantations all around the world in countries including Argentina, Australia, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Peru, and the USA.
Extracting “Liquid Gold”
The seeds of the jojoba plant are crushed using various methods to extract the golden-yellow oil. It can be further processed with filtration to remove the colour and odour. The forms most used by the cosmetics industry are “golden or refined (lite) jojoba, hydrogenated jojoba, jojoba esters, hydrolysed jojoba, ethoxylated jojoba and other value added jojoba derivatives.”
Jojoba oil is readily available through many sources. While found in any number of commercial skin and hair care products, many suppliers provide various bottled quantities direct to the consumer at a reasonable price either through retail outlets or for purchase online. The oil can be used topically, applied directly to the skin and scalp to remove makeup and product build-up, moisturize and soften rough, dry skin, even to relieve sunburn and condition and soothe skin during and after shaving. Added to other products like shampoos and liquid soaps, it aids in deep cleansing and conditioning. Mixing jojoba oil with your favourite essential oils makes for a relaxing, aromatic conditioning treatment for skin during massage.
Jojoba Oil Benefits: Everyday for Everyone.
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29 August 2009
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