Jojoba Oil

November 12, 2012

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba “oil” is not technically an oil. It is made up of lots of different liquid wax esters that are structurally quite different from what makes up most other seed oils, namely triglycerides. It has a long shelf-life and can be stored relatively stably for long periods of time. The reason for this is the make-up of the oil and the fact that it does not contain triglycerides. Oils such as cocounut oil or grape seed oil that turn rancid while being stored do so because they are made up from triglycerides. The Jojoba plant is native to the southern parts of the US and the northern parts of Mexico. Its scientific name is Simmondsia chinensis and jojoba oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant. Pure oil extracted from the plant without being processed is a bright gold color, but oil that has been processed is clear with no color at all. You can rarely buy the oil in its pure, golden form – usually when you buy it, it has been processed to its clear form. There are about 45,000 acres (about 70 square miles) in the US that are planted with Jojoba, and it takes a long time (three years) for the seeds to grow into plants. However, Israel and Argentina have a roaring trade in exporting Jojoba oil, and the bulk of what we use comes from these countries. Most of the plants that are grown in the US end up being blended with other ingredients to form health care products or beauty creams.

The reason for jojoba’s prominence in many beauty products is that its structure is very similar to that of the sebum found in human skin, and is thus very good for use in skincare products. If the sebaceous glands are not working or causing problems for the human skin, jojoba oil can be used as a replacement. It does not clog pores and should not cause any type of allergic reaction, as it is hypo-allergenic. It is also non-toxic, which is obviously an important feature for any type of product that is going to be used on the human skin. Again, because of its structure, it does not leave a greasy layer as other oils do, and can safely be used on the more sensitive parts of the human face, such as around the eyes and mouth.

Jojoba oil has excellent antibacterial properties. It can be used to control mildew, and kills germs like Staphylococcus aureus, as well as being an antioxidant and thus protecting you from the things suspected of causing cancer.

It was discovered in the 1960s and 1970s during the time when the sperm whale was endangered because of excessive demand for their oils. In 1971, hunting of whales was outlawed in the US and led to a demand for jojoba due to the oil being comprised of wax esters, similar to that of whale oil. Following research, it was discovered that jojoba oil is actually more beneficial for humans and human health than whale oil, and is in many ways superior to the whale oil that was being used for so many years. Jojoba contains a large amount of beneficial vitamins and minerals, including a large dose of vitamin E – the vitamin that helps you have healthy and clear skin.

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