Body & Soul: Jojoba’s Beauty Benefits

Produced from a seed, this multitasking oil is the secret to great-looking, healthy skin.

Maddy Zollo Rusbosin

By now you’ve probably heard of the beauty benefits of coconut oil… and argan oil… and CBD oil… . While the list of trendy skincare ingredients could go on and on, there’s one that trumps them all: jojoba oil. Pronounced “ho-ho-ba,” this skin booster is ubiquitous in the beauty world and can be found in everything from hair and skincare products to your favorite cosmetics.

One of the main reasons for its popularity is its unique set of beautifying properties. First, jojoba is technically not even an oil: It’s a liquid wax. “While traditional oils are composed of triglycerides, jojoba oil is composed of straight, unsaturated esters, which puts it in the wax category,” explains Manasi Chavan, Ph.D., and global innovation director at Vantage, the largest global grower and producer of jojoba oil and its derivatives.

“A closer look at jojoba wax structure reveals that it is uncannily similar to naturally occurring human sebum, which is the mixture produced by sebaceous glands in our skin,” Chavan adds. “And that contributes to protecting our skin from dehydration and external aggressions, as well as helping to regulate temperature and much more.” This makes jojoba a superior moisturizer that can be used from head to toe. Another one of jojoba’s perks: It won’t leave you feeling like you jumped into a vat of sticky oil. “While nourishing, it feels much less greasy and tends to absorb faster,” continues Chavan.

So how exactly should you incorporate jojoba into your skincare routine? Here are a few of its major beauty benefits:

It’s a complexion perfecter
Its lightweight feel paired with its hydrating properties makes jojoba an ideal daily facial moisturizer, especially for those with sensitive, combination or oily skin. While many skincare treatments can strip skin of its natural oils, jojoba oil works to restore your skin’s natural lipid barrier (which helps trap moisture in the skin)—leading to a plumper, more radiant complexion.

It deeply nourishes
Similar to how it hydrates your face, it does the same for your body. If you’re prone to dry skin, choose a jojoba-enhanced moisturizer or mix a few drops of the oil with your everyday go-to lotion. “Jojoba oil contains many natural metabolites, such as antioxidants and tocopherols, that effectively fight and eliminate free radicals, which will ultimately slow the aging process,” says Chavan. So not only will it keep your body well-moisturized, but it will also give your arms, legs and chest a youthful, more rejuvenated appearance.

It improves hair health
If you have dry, lackluster hair, consider using a conditioner that contains jojoba oil. “Sebum is our body’s natural protection and the ingredient for good-looking hair,” notes Chavan. “But over-washing can deplete it for this natural protection and create the perfect conditions for brittle and dry hair.” A jojoba-based formula—or even applying the oil directly to the ends of strands—helps replenish any moisture loss.

It’s an acne fighter
As early as the 1400s, early explorers to the U. S. documented Native Americans using jojoba oil as a salve for sores, so it comes as no surprise that it also helps heal acne. While it may seem counterintuitive to put oil on oily skin, this is actually an ideal way to treat breakouts and regulate overactive oil glands. The reasoning: When you apply an oil to skin, it signals your skin cells to stop producing sebum, which in turn results in less oil. According to Chavan, jojoba oil’s molecules are also smaller than other natural oils, making it less likely to clog pores and trigger an acne flair-up.

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