Jojoba (ho-ho-ba) oil, also known as “the gold of the dessert” has been valued for centuries as a skin care treatment. Native Americans utilized the oil to treat wounds, whereas the O’odham (Sonoran Desert tribe) specifically targeted the nut paste to create a salve with which they treated wounds.  Father Junipero Serra (1713-1784) noted the multiple uses of the oil in his personal diary, citing that Native Americans used the oil for everything from cuts, bruises and burns to soothing sun or wind burnt skin, as well as a treatment for the scalp. Ironically, the benefits of jojoba oil would not truly be discovered for another 200 years when the use of whale oil was outlawed by the United States in 1971. Since then, it has been found that jojoba oil is, in fact, superior to that of a whale and far more beneficial to our health.
Most seed oils are made up of triglycerides, unlike jojoba that is not really an oil at all. Jojoba oil is a mixture of fatty acids and esters, a liquefied wax. Structurally, jojoba oil is much like the sebum produced within our skin by way of the sebaceous glands, which makes it the perfect oil to supplement and care for our body’s largest organ. Non-toxic, non-allergenic, and non-comedogenic, jojoba oil will not clog your pores or irritate your skin. It has a myriad of uses which include moisturizing, cleansing, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as being an excellent treatment for acne.
Moisturizing with jojoba oil is as simple as procuring the oil itself. Ideally, you want to opt for pure, unprocessed oil. Pure oil should be bright gold in color, if your oil is transparent…. it is not pure. Sold in four to sixteen ounce bottles, note, just a little goes a long way. None-the-less, immediate usage and spoilage are not a worry due to the oil’s natural stability and indefinite shelf life.
Jojoba’s natural balance makes it suitable for all skin types. In oily skin (or combination), it controls oil production. On the flip side, those of us suffering from dry skin can reap the benefits of vitamin E rich moisture, which will also help to prevent the onset of wrinkles. No matter how you look at it, jojoba oil is a win-win choice. As a facial moisturizer, jojoba oil is gentle enough to apply directly to the skin, although some people prefer to simply mix a few drops in with their regular face cream, but don’t stop there. Jojoba makes a perfect body oil and because it is a base oil (carrier), you can also blend it with your favorite essential oils for an aromatic treat. Keep a spritz bottle handy just outside the shower to soften your skin, save time, and fill the air with your favorite scent.
Propionibacterium acnes are the bacteria that cause acne, and bacteria that can be kept under control with the regular use of jojoba oil. Jojoba’s anti-bacterial properties both cleanse the pores and pull impurities to the surface of the skin. The natural sebum in our skin can clog the pores and produce breakouts. Jojoba, on the other hand, is a wax ester, which acts in a way similar to sebum. Thus, the similarities ‘trick’ the skin into believing it has enough sebum and stifle sebum production, which in turn lessens the outbreak. Problem acne and persistent blemishes can be alleviated by performing the following steps, twice per day:
1) cleanse with a gentle cleanser
2) blot dry with a soft cloth (rubbing your skin with a towel with also irritate it)
3) apply jojoba oil sparingly, as too much will make your skin look shiny
Shirley Price, aromatherapist and co-author of “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals” credits jojoba oil with properties that are believed to help relieve a number of different skin conditions. Among these conditions, she lists; psoriasis, eczema, chapped skin. Jojoba is also widely used as a cleanser, make-up remover, lip gloss, and cuticle cream.
 Phillips, Steven, and Patricia Wentworth. Comus. “Pages 256-257.” A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert. Tucson: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2000. N. pag.
“Jojoba Oil & Its Magical Properties.” An Overview Of The Jojoba Oil. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.