Find out all about jojoba oil, including what it does, the benefits of using it and how much you might need
Written by Victoria Goldman on March 19, 2019
Reviewed by Dr Nicole Chiang on March 24, 2019
You may have seen it in your beauty products such as a moisturiser or face mask, but why is jojoba oil so good for our skin?
What is jojoba oil and what does it do?
Jojoba oil, which is actually more of a wax than a liquid, is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba bush or Simmondsia chinensis, native to desert regions of northern America.1,2
Traditionally, jojoba oil was used as a herbal remedy. Nowadays, the oil is often used:3
- in cosmetics, for example sunscreens and moisturisers
- to relieve dry skin
- reduce blemishes
Jojoba oil is available on its own or combined with other oils, or you might find it as an ingredient in a skincare product, such as in a cream, face mask or body scrub.
How can you tell if jojoba oil is pure?
When shopping for jojoba oil, its best to look out for products that are the most natural or pure.
Good quality jojoba oil is golden in colour, free from impurities and clear. These three factors are usually a good indication that the jojoba oil product is unrefined and exists in its natural form.
Benefits of jojoba oil
What is jojoba oil best for?
Researchers looking into the effects of jojoba oil on the skin have suggested that it may have the following effects:4
Jojoba oil for your face and skin
It can aid the skin barrier – as jojoba oil is a liquid wax, it remains on the surface of the skin for longer than other natural oils. Jojoba oil can be used anywhere on your body, and is perfectly safe to use on your face without the need of it being diluted. You can also get jojoba oil as cleansers, moisturisers and spot treatments.
Does jojoba oil clog pores?
Unlike most other oils, jojoba oil is non-comedogenic which means that for most people it shouldn’t clog pores. Effects of any oil does vary from person to person and is dependant on an individual’s skin type.
Jojoba oil for acne
It may ease the appearance of blemishes and bumps – as well as being soothing, cleansing and nourishing jojoba oil is – in general – non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block pores.5 A 2012 s5udy by Germany’s Institute for Social Medicine found that using a clay jojoba oil facial mask two to three times a week for six weeks reduced the number of spots.6 However, experts warn that results can vary among individuals, depending on the formulation of the oil and your specific skin type.
Jojoba oil for your hair
It can improve the health of your hair – jojoba oil is great for moisturising the scalp and can help prevent dandruff. It can also strengthen your hair by moisturising hair follicles and prevent dryness, which has been linked to hair loss.
Jojoba oil for your nails
It can improve nail health – compared to other oils, jojoba has very small molecules, this makes it easy for nails, cuticles and the surrounding skin to absorb and stay hydrated. Cuticles that are well hydrated tend to be softer, the softer the nail the less likely breakages happen and the less breaks the quicker the nail can grow.
How much jojoba oil is safe to use?
Jojoba oil should never be swallowed or taken internally, but when applied to the skin, jojoba oil is safe to use regularly.7 Always read the label for dosage instructions.
Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before using jojoba oil if you are pregnant; no studies have looked at using jojoba oil during pregnancy, but theoretically it should be safe. Children should avoid using it for the same reason.
What are the side-effects of using jojoba oil?
Side-effects are rare but can include a skin rash.8 Less often, you can experience a more severe allergic reaction to the oil, for example hives and swelling of the face. Seek emergency medical help if this happens to you.9
Last updated: 2 December 2020
- Lori Smith. Medical News Today. Can jojoba oil treat acne?
- University of San Diego. Summary of jojoba and its traditional use
- Lin T-K, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
- As above
- As Source 4
- Meier L, et al. Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne – results of a prospective, observational pilot study
- Ranzato E, Martinotti S, Burlando B. Wound healing properties of jojoba liquid wax: an in vitro study
- Everyday Health. What is jojoba topical?
- As above