Jojoba Oil | Our Ingredients | Mānuka Essentials

What is jojoba oil and where does it come from?

Jojoba seeds

Jojoba oil (pronounced as 'ho-ho-ba') is derived from the seed of the jojoba shrub (simmondsia chinensis). Native to the South Western regions of North America, it is now cultivated commercially in Australia, Israel, and South America.

The plant typically grows around 1-2m tall, and has been used in personal care preparations since way back. Native American cultures were recorded to use the seed extracts in medicine and hair rejuvenation.


Jojoba is actually a wax

Commonly referred to as an ‘oil,’ jojoba is more accurately described as a botanical ‘wax’. The key difference here is the long-chain fatty acids and inclusion of an alcohol ester which is found in waxes and absent in oils.

Jojoba wax is liquid at room temperature, making it different to other waxes and behaving more like an oil. The terms 'jojoba oil' and jojoba wax' can be used interchangeably, but we prefer to call it an oil as this more accurately represents its texture at room temperature.


How did jojoba oil come to be so popular?

Jojoba replaced sperm whales as a commercial source of fatty acids for skin and hair care products following the outlaw of whale harvesting in the 20th century. Incredibly similar to the oils of human skin, jojoba quickly became a product with widespread uses for the cosmetics and personal care industry.

“Jojoba mimics the skin’s natural oils and can penetrate deep into the skin layers.


Chemical structure of jojoba and skin oil

Image source


What makes jojoba different?

Jojoba’s use in personal care products is varied and applicable to many situations, to say the least. Its unique chemical composition makes the wax found in jojoba seeds almost identical to human sebum (the oil that is naturally produced by our skin).

Our sebum is the hydrating vehicle which lubricates, rejuvenates, and distributes nutrients to our skin. The use of jojoba can supplement a shortage of sebum, as well as regulate over oily skin back to normal.

This unique quality separates jojoba from other oils in relation to use on the skin, which it is a key ingredient in our products.


17 reasons why you should use jojoba oil

  1. It's great for moisturizing your skin.
  2. It's antibacterial and anti-fungal - more information here.
  3. Contains a natural source of Vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant for your skin.
  4. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic - it doesn't clog your pores.
  5. It's hypoallergenic - unlike some other plant oils, jojoba is typically not irritating and allergic reactions are rare.
  6. It helps to regulate the production of sebum.
  7. It's great for dry skin.
  8. Because jojoba oil is able to penetrate all the way down to deeper layers of the skin, it's useful for carrying the nutrients from other ingredients to where they are needed.
  9. Jojoba oil is known to be great for regulating oily skin.
  10. Nourishes sore lips.
  11. Great for hydrating your hair and reducing frizz.
  12. Helps to control dandruff.
  13. Jojoba is known to be good for use against some types of eczema and psoriasis.
  14. Long shelf life - jojoba oil lasts for a long time and is not very susceptible to going rancid.
  15. Great for looking after acne issues.
  16. Effective against cold sores.
  17. Prevents razor burn - which is why we use jojoba oil in our shave oil.


What compounds are present in jojoba?

Jojoba has a chemical makeup that is similar to both human skin oils and the (outlawed) oil of sperm whales. The main components in jojoba oil are three Omega-9 fatty acids: eicosenoic acid, erucic acid, and oleic acid.

These are long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids which hydrate the skin, reduce sensitivity, and improve elasticity. With a non-greasy texture, high levels of Vitamin E compounds and the absence of polyunsaturated fats, jojoba is a great ingredient in any quality natural skincare formulation.


Our products that contain jojoba oil

With all of these amazing properties, it's no wonder why jojoba oil is a main ingredient in our products: