Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/treegrow/5541529151

The first benefit provided by the Jojoba shrub is the delight one gets in saying the name. Go ahead and say it out loud a few times; the name has a Mexican origin so the “J”s are pronounced as “H”s. It’s just fun to say. Wordplay isn’t the only thing this plant is good for though. It has been cleaning and moisturizing North Americans for hundreds of years. Today it has been incorporated into many of the best hygiene products including Dr. Squatch’s own Driftwood and Hemlock Trail colognes.

Photo from Wikipedia

Jojoba shrub with fruit containing the seeds

Recorded Jojoba utilization goes back at least as far as the 1700s when Native Americans were observed to use it for skin and haircare. A different preparation made it a useful salve for burns. Additional uses included preserving animal hides, treating women close to giving birth, and a simple snack…though generally agreed to be not a very appealing one. Today it’s recognized that there are toxins in the oil but the warriors who snacked on these for energy would be eating a few seeds at a time whereas the oil is a concentration from many seeds. Besides, people were just tougher back in those days (and had a much shorter life-span…).

 

Jojoba “oil” is a misnomer perpetuated throughout the industry. The extract is actually an ester similar to, but technically not, an oil. Today, jojoba ester is used pure or processed in many of the same ways it was used historically. Its chemical similarity to natural skin oils means that it offers benefits without many side effects. You will find jojoba ester (look for “Jojoba oil”) in many products or you can purchase your own jojoba ester from pretty much any store with a “hygiene” section.

Photo from Wikipedia

Pure Jojoba Oil (Purified oil loses its golden color)

There seems to be consent that jojoba is, at least occasionally, a useful treatment for hair loss. It is also highly touted as a great moisturizer for skin and hair, including for people with conditions such as psoriasis. It’s antibiotic nature pairs usefully with this moisturizing effect and can help people kick acne to the curb. Other uses include hair conditioner, facial cleanser, cuticle oil, foot cream, sunburn relief, makeup remover, detangling cream, and it is well appreciated for its virtues as a massage oil.

Photo from pixabay.com

Ooh, right there

While jojoba should not be taken orally due to the presence of erucic acid, which is bad for your heart, any topical application is extremely safe. Allergy is the only exception to this rule, so if it’s your first exposure just don’t jump in a swimming pool of the stuff. Take it one dollop at a time until you’re sure you won’t react.

 

Research on “false claims” or “myths” regarding jojoba oil turned up bupkis. That said, you can be sure that all of the claims above don’t work the same in all circumstances. People lose hair for many reasons, the same is true for causes of psoriasis, acne, and all the other things that jojoba ester is used to treat. Unless you’re allergic, though, you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot of moisturized hair and skin (the largest organ of your body) to gain by trying it out!

 

Photo by Anton Preisinger

Just look at how moist this hair is!

 

The versatility of this health and hygiene wonder-compound makes it a great ingredient for almost any health or beauty product used on your skin and hair. Sasquatch’s perfect, flowing locks, lovingly maintained with several Dr. Squatch products that include jojoba ester, are the real reason everybody wants a picture of the “mythical” creature. He’s only hiding because he doesn’t want to be on the cover of Cosmo!

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About Anton Preisinger

As a stay-at-home dad and part-time EMT I work hard to find every opportunity I can to work up a lather and seek out some suds.

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