Jojoba Oil: versatile and vital nourishment

It is an oil that many would have read on the ingredients list on many a product, but perhaps not know just how useful it is. Our Grooming Editor Ms Mathahle Stofile tells us it is one of the best things you can do for your skin. 

Jojoba (Spanish word pronounced “ho-ho-ba”) is a plant scientifically known as Simmondsia chinensis. Indigenous to southern United States and northern Mexico, it can survive extreme weather, managing to go without water for up to two years. Fifty percent of the seed of the jojoba plant is made up of a golden liquid wax that can be extracted and is commonly known as jojoba oil. This liquid is in fact not an oil as its chemical makeup is not like that of other oils. It is in fact almost identical to human sebum (an oil our skin naturally produces) in texture and chemical structure.

Jojoba oil is truly non-toxic and non-allergenic. It leaves no excess grease and won’t clog your pores. It penetrates human skin better than any other known natural substance and works brilliantly to improve skin’s elasticity. Because it has plenty of vitamin E, it nourishes the skin, retains moisture and promotes skin renewal. Age, pollutants and other environmental factors play a part in depleting our sebum production. This is not ideal as sebum plays an important role of protecting and lubricating our skin and hair.

“Jojoba oil penetrates human skin better than any other known natural substance.”

The flip side is: if you have oily skin and find that your skin feels clogged, jojoba oil can dissolve the excess sebum deposits and helping your skin rebalance to its natural PH. It’s the science behind “oil fights oil” philosophy.

Over centuries Native Americans have used jojoba to treat sores, burns, dry skin and even eczema. When the U.S. government banned the killing of sperm whales in the 70’s, people started looking for alternatives to sperm whale oil, which was mainly used to protect metal equipment and lubricating fine instruments. This is when jojoba oil was first commercialised.

Today, you can buy “pure” jojoba oil from Dischem pharmacies and health shops around the country.

How to use it:

  • Moisturiser: massage into cleansed skin while still slightly damp to lock in the water/moisture.

  • Leave-in-conditioner: massage into scalp after shampooing your hair.

  • Beard oil: rub into the beard after washing your face massaging deep into the skin under the beard.

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