Jojoba Oil: Research-Based Benefits For Skin And Hair

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jeanny Kim, Naturopathic Doctor
by Ravi Teja Tadimalla
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Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil is derived from the jojoba seed, a shrub that is native to southern California, southern Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil is extensively used in cosmetic formulations as a moisturizer due to its ability to retain moisture without clogging pores.

Jojoba oil is most commonly known for its anti-aging and healing properties for skin and hair. It also is used as a hydrating makeup remover, lip balm, and an eyelash conditioner.

Though the benefits of jojoba oil have been reported in traditional folk medicine, current scientific literature supporting them is limited. However, several patents with jojoba oil as a vital component are available that explore its diverse benefits. In this article, we have discussed the benefits of jojoba oil for skin and hair. Scroll down for more information.

What Is Jojoba Oil?

As discussed, jojoba oil is extracted from the nut of the jojoba plant. The oil has a slightly nutty aroma. It contains some powerful fatty acids, including oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids (1). The seeds are edible and are often used to extract cooking oil.

The oil has other commercial uses as well. It is used as a fungicide to control mildew. It also is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives (such as cetyl alcohol) as it is a liquid wax (2). In the following section, we have discussed the benefits of jojoba oil pertaining to skin and hair health.

Top 10 Benefits Of Jojoba Oil For Skin And Hair

The moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba oil make it a good potential treatment for most common skin and hair issues. Using the oil is simple – a few drops can go a long way in treating acne, dry skin, and fungal infections. Jojoba oil may also boost hair health and appearance.

1. May Help Treat Acne

Jojoba oil is a very common ingredient in various skin care products. Studies show the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil (3). It contains wax esters that could aid wound healing and potentially help in acne treatment (3).

A German study showed the healing properties of face masks containing jojoba oil. These clay facial masks were part of a cosmetic procedure and could treat lesioned skin and mild acne (4).

Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic as well, i.e., it doesn’t block pores (5). It is very gentle on the skin. This makes it a good alternative for people with sensitive skin prone to allergies.

2. Can Moisturize Your Skin

Jojoba oil is often used in skin moisturizers. The oil can help maintain the skin’s outer layer of keratin. It keeps your skin supple since it is an emollient (6). The oil moisturizes your skin without clogging the pores.

The composition of the oil is similar to the natural oils present in our skin. Hence, it stops excess oil production while providing hydration to the skin. This makes the oil safe for all skin types (especially oily skin).

The oil is an important ingredient in most skin moisturizers as well (6). Using it is simple. After cleansing and toning your face, pour 5 to 6 drops of the oil on your palm and spread onto your face in circular motions.

Jojoba oil may also help in treating rosacea. Although no concrete research exists to support this statement, it is safe to assume that the anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties of jojoba oil can help treat the condition. Check with your doctor before you use the oil for this purpose.

3. May Promote Hair Growth

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the conditioning properties of jojoba oil may help with hair growth. You can add jojoba oil to your hair conditioner for soft, frizz-free hair. This can give you added protection against hair dryness and split ends.

The moisturizing properties of jojoba oil also treat scalp dryness and dandruff. The vitamin E in the oil is good for your hair and scalp health (7).

There is no concrete evidence to show that jojoba oil strengthens hair. However, the oil moisturizes hair follicles, and this may prevent dryness that may otherwise lead to hair loss. In fact, many patents of shampoos include jojoba oil (or its wax) as one of their important ingredients (8).

A study used jojoba oil along with other essential oils as a part of aromatherapy in the treatment for alopecia (baldness) (9). This is not backed by research yet. Hence, we recommend not to rely solely on the oil for treating or preventing baldness. Please check with your doctor. Jojoba oil contains important fatty acids that could render it healing properties.

4. May Help Delay Aging

The composition of the oil consists of long monosaturated esters. These give the oil its humectant properties. The moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba oil may also help delay aging signs. These help treat a variety of skin infections and wounds and may help delay the signs of aging (10).

Jojoba oil has a similar texture as human sebum and may help fight the early signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles (11). More research is warranted in this aspect, however.

Dry skin is another serious concern that develops with age. The moisturizing properties of the oil may play a preventive role here. The biggest benefit of jojoba oil with respect to aging is its ability to improve collagen synthesis (12). This process improves skin integrity and structure and also helps heal wounds quickly.

5. Can Help Soothe Psoriasis

A study showed that jojoba oil may help reduce the irritation caused by tazarotene in patients with psoriasis. It also increased the skin deposition of tazarotene (a compound commercially used in psoriasis treatment) (13).

The ability of jojoba oil to penetrate deep into the skin is useful as it helps in increasing the efficacy of the compound. This is why jojoba oil is an excellent carrier oil and is used extensively in aromatherapy (9).

6. Can Help Remove Makeup

Jojoba oil does not clog makes. Hence, it is a better alternative to coconut oil when it comes to removing makeup. The gentle, moisturizing, and soothing nature of the oil removes the grime and dirt without stripping the face of its natural oils. The composition of the oil is closer to natural human skin sebum. This helps replenish the oil balance in the skin (10).

7. Can Thicken Eyelashes And Act As A Lip Balm

Jojoba oil is gentle and can be used around your eye area without any qualms. There are a few formulations that use jojoba oil in mascara compositions and to condition eyelashes (14).

Rub a dash of the oil over your eyelashes using your fingertips. You may use a cotton swab for this purpose. You can use the procedure to thicken your eyebrows too.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the use of jojoba oil for treating chapped lips. The oil, however, is well absorbed into the skin and is resistant to evaporation (unlike most other chemically-enhanced products) (15). Jojoba oil also may work wonders as a lip balm. It may treat chapped lips and leave them feeling soft and supple.

Note: There is no research suggesting that these methods work. These uses are based on anecdotal evidence.

8. May Treat Fungal Infections

Jojoba oil was found to exhibit antifungal activities against various pathogens. In studies, jojoba oil had shown effective action against certain fungal species and certain bacterial strains, including Salmonella typhimurium and E. Coli (16).

Dermatological research also suggests that jojoba oil may help relieve the inflammation associated with fungal infections (17). Though there is no direct research, you can use jojoba oil to treat nail or foot fungus. Apply a few drops over the affected area two to three times every day.

9. May Help Treat Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is the formation of crusty and yellowish scales on a baby’s scalp. This is caused by excess sebum production. There is no research supporting that jojoba oil can treat cradle cap. However, its moisturizing properties and resemblance to human sebum may help relieve the symptoms (18). But check with your child’s doctor before using jojoba oil on their skin.

10. May Be Used In Nail Care And Grooming

Jojoba oil’s hydrating properties may soften the cuticles and be used to care for your nails. The anti-microbial compounds in the oil may also prevent potential nail infections. However, direct research is limited in this regard.

In the following section, we will look at the composition of jojoba oil.

What Is The Composition Of Jojoba Oil?

The most abundant fatty acids in jojoba oil include oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids (1). It also contains crude protein, crude fiber, and limiting amino acids, namely lysine, methionine, and isoleucine (19).

Jojoba oil is popular for its use on skin and hair. In the upcoming section, we have discussed the ways you can do that.

How To Use Jojoba Oil

This oil is gentle enough to be used as a carrier oil. You can also use the oil alone. At room temperature, the shelf life of jojoba oil is about two years.

  • How To Use Jojoba Oil On Your Face For Acne

Some anecdotal evidence suggests the use of jojoba oil along with bentonite clay to treat acne. Since actual evidence of this method is lacking, we suggest you check with your doctor before proceeding.

You may mix equal parts of jojoba oil and bentonite clay (buy the clay here). Once you have achieved a smooth consistency, apply it to your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off with normal water. You can follow this method two to three times a week. Your skin might look red for a while after you wash the clay off. Hence, do this at night before you go to sleep.

  • How To Use Jojoba Oil On Your Hair

You can use jojoba oil as an overnight leave-in treatment or use it to massage your scalp as a hot oil treatment. Wash your hair as usual.

  • How To Use Jojoba Oil As A Makeup Remover

Using the oil to remove makeup is simple. Add a few drops of jojoba oil to a damp cotton ball and rub over your makeup-laden skin. You may use multiple cotton balls if you have a lot of makeup on. You can repeat the procedure using a cotton swab to remove makeup from your lash lines.

Once you are done removing all traces of makeup, rinse your face with water. You can wipe your face with a clean cloth and then apply a few drops of jojoba oil to your face.

  • How To Use Jojoba Oil As A Lip Balm

Dabbing a bit of the oil on your lips before you get started with your makeup routine will do the trick.

Using jojoba oil is simple. However, it is important to procure good quality jojoba oil.

How To Choose Good Quality Jojoba Oil

Identifying the right jojoba oil is simple. Go for 100% organic jojoba oil. Ensure it is cold-pressed (this means the oil hasn’t lost any of its beneficial properties). The oil must also be 100% pure. Do not pick oil that is mixed with other oils or is refined.

You can buy your bottle of jojoba oil either at your nearest supermarket or health store or online at Amazon. You can start using it right away, but with certain precautions in mind.

Potential Side Effects And Risks Of Using Jojoba Oil

Though jojoba oil is safe, it may cause reactions in certain individuals. Hence, it is important you do a patch test before using the oil.

The most important precaution you must take is not to ingest the oil. Jojoba oil contains erucic acid, a toxin that may increase the risk of heart disease (20). Topical application may cause minor allergies (like rashes) in some people (21).

Doing a patch test can help avoid these. Apply 3 to 4 drops of jojoba oil to your inner forearm. Cover the area with a band-aid and wait for a day (24 hours). Remove the band-aid and check the skin underneath. If you find no signs of allergy, you are good to go.

Conclusion

More research is being done on jojoba oil. From the current evidence, we can infer that the oil has excellent potential to boost skin and hair health. The hydrating properties of jojoba oil make it an excellent moisturizer and conditioner for skin and hair, respectively.

It has a soothing effect on the scalp and may help heal patients with various skin diseases, such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis. The anti-aging and healing qualities of the oil make it a versatile component in skin and hair care.

Future research may unearth other important features of the oil. Do buy the oil and start using it.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can I leave jojoba oil on my face overnight?

Since jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, it is safe to be left on the face overnight. It will help in skin rejuvenation.

Can I leave jojoba oil in my hair overnight?

Yes, jojoba oil can be left in your hair overnight. It can condition your hair.

Can I use jojoba oil on my face every day?

The molecular structure of jojoba oil is quite similar to the natural oils produced by our skin. Hence, jojoba oil can be used on your face every day.

How often should I use jojoba oil on my face?

It depends on various factors, including skin type, age, and climatic conditions. The oil is very gentle on the skin. Hence, it can be used whenever the skin needs hydration.

Is jojoba oil better than argan oil?

While jojoba oil is better for the skin, argan oil could be a better option for hair. The suitability of these oils also depends on the skin/hair type and other factors.

Can I leave jojoba oil on my scalp?

Yes, leaving jojoba oil on the scalp will soften the scalp and help in combating dryness.

Do you put jojoba oil on wet or dry hair?

You can apply jojoba oil to either wet or dry hair. It helps you achieve smooth, frizz-free hair.

Which is better for hair – jojoba oil or coconut oil?

This depends on the hair type. Check with a hair care expert.

Can jojoba oil eliminate dark circles?

As jojoba oil is similar to sebum, it may facilitate natural healing and cell rejuvenation. This may reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles, and age spots. However, concrete research is lacking in this aspect.

21 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the digital media field for over six years. He has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University. He considers himself a sculptor born to chip away at content and reveal its dormant splendor. He started his career as a research writer, primarily focusing on health and wellness, and has over 250 articles to his credit. Ravi believes in the great possibilities of abundant health with natural foods and organic supplements. Reading and theater are his other interests.
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