Some of the most notable benefits of jojoba oil include its ability to moisturize the hair, prevent hair loss, reduce inflammation, prevent acne, soothe sunburn, rejuvenate the skin, eliminate dandruff, fight free radical damage, boost the immune system and speed up the healing process. While most of the uses of jojoba oil include treatment for the skin and hair, there are some other benefits to the body. Along with that, however, there are also some side effects to using jojoba oil, such as skin irritation, as well as stomach upset and even heart problems when ingested. This oil is specifically for topical use, where it can deliver a vast array of health benefits to improve your overall wellness and appearance.
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What is Jojoba Oil?
Jojoba oil is the oil from the seeds of the jojoba plant, which is a shrub native to the southwest region of North America. Bearing the scientific name Simmondsia Chinensis, the seeds of this plant are composed of nearly 50% oil, and extracting this oil for medicinal purposes has been in practice for thousands of years. Many people use jojoba oil as a carrier oil for more potent essential oils, as it is easily absorbed by the skin and provides a number of active ingredients that help transmit nutrients into the skin and hair. This oil also has much higher durability than many other natural oils, due to the very low level of triglycerides, making jojoba oil less susceptible to damage from high temperatures and giving it a much longer shelf life. This oil does not contain any medium-chain fatty acids, but is a rich source of oleic acid, eicosenoic acid and erucic acid, as well as lower levels of stearic, palmitic, nervonic and palmitoleic acids, all of which have their own antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Skin & Hair
Jojoba oil is most commonly turned to by people suffering with acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, burns, wounds, wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, scars, frizzy hair, dandruff, hair loss, sunburn, chapped lips, cracked heels, dry skin and stretch marks, among other skin and hair concerns.
Some of the compounds found in jojoba oil are almost instantly absorbed into the skin, where they form a protective shield around the skin cells, preventing them from losing any additional moisture. The hydrating properties of this oil can prevent skin flaking and protect the cells that are most vulnerable to outside elements.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and is constantly exposed to the harsh environment, irritants, pollutants and, pathogens, which means that it often gets inflamed, both from outside and inside. Jojoba oil can be applied to irritated, swollen, itchy or inflamed skin, and can quickly soothe those cells, thanks to the emollient qualities of this oil’s active ingredients.
This oil also possesses antibacterial compounds that make it valuable for skin and hair health. Whether you suffer from a chronic condition, such as psoriasis, eczema or rosacea, or a more acute condition that is marring your skin, regular use of jojoba oil can attack the underlying fungal, viral or bacterial infection and neutralize it quickly.
Speeds up Wound Healing
For wounds, scrapes, cuts and scratches, applying this oil (typically diluted) can help speed up the healing process, while also protecting against infection. The antioxidants found in this oil, including vitamin E, can stimulate blood flow to these areas and speed production of healthy new cells.
Protects from Sunburn
When applying jojoba oil to sunburned areas of your skin, you are placing a protective shield over the affected area, where vitamin E and B complexes can speed up the healing process without further damage or water loss as a result of solar radiation.
For people worried about premature aging, including the wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes that accompany them, the antioxidant compounds in jojoba oil can increase skin elasticity, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and provide a youthful glow to your skin.
A great deal of hair loss is caused by blocked hair follicles, but jojoba oil can help to eliminate the oils clogging those follicles, ensuring that hair will grow normally, and lowering the rate of hair loss. Jojoba oil is actually similar in consistency to sebum, but can also help to regulate sebum levels in the follicles.
The moisturizing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba oil mean that it can prevent the dry, flaking and irritated skin that leads to dandruff. Not only is this condition unsightly, but also difficult to eliminate. Adding a few teaspoons of jojoba oil to your shampoo and massaging it thoroughly into your scalp can keep dandruff at bay.
Prevents Frizzy Hair
It can be hard to keep your hair under control, but the proteins found in jojoba oil can keep your hair in check, moisturizing the strands and giving them a smooth shine. Adding a few drops of jojoba oil to wet hair and massaging it through the strands can be a leave-in conditioner that gives you lasting protection against frizzy hair.
Other Benefits of Jojoba Oil
Skin and hair are the focus of jojoba oil, but it can also improve nail health, fungal infections, a weak immune system and those with a high risk of oxidative stress.
Immune System: Aside from all of the impressive benefits listed above, jojoba oil can also improve the immune system when used in aromatherapy preparations. While the use of this oil isn’t very common in that form, it can still give your internal systems an extra level of protection against bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Nail Health: Applying this oil, often in conjunction with other essential oils, to the nail beds on your fingers and toes, can help to eliminate fungal infections and keep those vulnerable areas free from outside pathogens and foreign substances.
Oxidative Stress: The antioxidants present in this oil, including vitamin E, can help prevent oxidative stress and chronic disease in multiple areas of the body, not just on the skin and scalp. When inhaled, or even when allowed to absorb into the skin, this oil can prevent healthy cell mutation and generally protect the organ systems from being compromised.
How to Use Jojoba Oil?
There are many different uses of jojoba oil, including as a massage oil, as a makeup remover, in lip balms, conditioners and shampoos, soaps, skin cleansers and exfoliators, cuticle creams and face masks. This oil is commonly used as a carrier oil and can be effectively mixed with many other oils to combine effects and deliver even more health benefits for users.
Negative side effects caused by jojoba oil are rarely reported, so there isn’t necessarily an upper limit on how much of this oil to use. However, due to the potent nature of the oil, more than 2 teaspoons is rarely recommended for hair treatments, and for direct topical applications, sometimes 4-5 drops are enough to have an effect on a concentrated area. There is such a wide range of uses for this oil that a particular dosage limit is not possible. Speak with your natural health practitioner about different recipes, preparations and blends of jojoba oil for your particular health concerns.
Side Effects of Jojoba Oil
The side effects of using jojoba oil tend to include mild skin irritation, as well as potential cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues.
- Inflammation – As with so many natural oils, there is the possibility of a negative skin reaction, even if you aren’t allergic to the jojoba plant. Apply a small amount of this oil to a patch of skin and wait for 3-4 hours to see if any reaction occurs. If it does, try choosing a different oil for your therapeutic needs.
- Internal Consumption – Under no circumstances should jojoba oil be consumed; it is strictly a topical oil, although it is occasionally added to aromatherapy blends. This oil contains erucic acid in a rather high quantity, which can cause cardiovascular irregularities and strong stomach upset.
- Pregnancy – While many natural oils are not recommended for pregnant women, the soothing and skin-boosting properties of this oil make it a popular choice among those who are pregnant. Numerous studies have shown that this oil is great for hydrating dry skin, preventing stretch marks, and helping keep the skin healthy during the hormonal and physiological changes of pregnancy.