For decades now, cosmetic companies (and their marketing agencies) have tried to convince consumers that the key to beautiful skin comes in the form of a 3-Step-Program:
1. Cleanse 2. Tone 3. Moisturize.
More recently that regime has been expanded to also include…4. Protect. From the ‘nasty’ sun, always! It’s ironic, vitamin D deficiency is now so prevalent now! I’ll be blogging about that later…
As well as these 4 steps … let’s not forget the eye creams, the masks, the exfoliants etc. etc. – all at an additional cost of course.
The good news for those of you ready to break free from this costly mantra, is that there is an easy, affordable “miracle” product, that will keep your skin naturally clean, protected and beautiful.
Pronounced ho-ho-ba, jojoba is extracted from the jojoba seed. Its use dates back to the native American Indians who used the oil for cooking, hair care and for treatment of problems such as poison ivy, sores and wounds.
Although not technically an oil but rather a wax esther (that’s why I refer to it as ‘just’ jojoba) it is considered a perfect carrier for essential oils and often used to create different recipes. Jojoba also has another claim to fame - it’s great for skincare!
Our skin’s sebum (which our body produces this perfect skin lubricant), consists of 25% - 30% liquid wax esters, and is almost identical to jojoba, explaining why it penetrates the skin so well. Better still, jojoba mixes with sebum and does not cause clogging or congesting.
Being a wax, jojoba is very stable (shelf life of at least 5 years) so rarely goes rancid, due to its very high anti-oxidant qualities. In fact, wearing jojoba can provide your skin with a protective shield from external environmental free radical damage. (Tip: if it gets really cold (below 10°C / 50°F) in your bathroom your jojoba might solidify.)
This high level of anti-oxidant activity also prevents certain types of bacteria from growing, which makes jojoba a useful treatment for most skin conditions, especially infections and acne. In fact jojoba helps to unclog congested skin through emulsification.
How do you use it?
As a makeup remover/cleanser, add a few drops jojoba to your fingers and massage into your face. Doing this with damp hands works well too. The more makeup you use, the more you’ll need. Then with damp cotton wool (or a reusable micro-fiber cloth) wipe gently over your skin to remove the makeup and daily built-up grime. If you wear a heavier makeup like waterproof foundation and mascara, you may need to emulsify more. You do this by rubbing a few drops of jojoba directly onto the makeup, then massaging it in to dissolve the makeup. Over your eyes rub down in the direction of your lashes to prevent it getting in your eyes.
Once skin is cleansed, if required, apply an additional 2-3 drops of the oil as you would your moisturizer. Spread the drops over your fingers and then apply onto your face.
And, did you know jojoba has a SPF 4! So you’re also getting gentle chemical free sun protection. (Of course if you’re going to be in the sun all day you’ll need a SPF 15+ but for day-to-day, going to work etc. SPF 4 is enough! And don’t forget, the anti-oxidant qualities of jojoba will also help protect your skin protected from other damaging elements throughout the day.
So there you have it – a cleanser, moisturizer and natural “sunscreen” all in one.
So why is jojoba a good carrier for essential oils
Jojoba’s high anti-oxidant qualities act like a preservative so it will help preserve your precious essential oils. Being a wax and not an oil, it is NOT greasy and rarely goes rancid so is ideal for recipes given as gifts, massage blends and aromatherapy rollers. And it’s got hardly any aroma of its own so will not compete with the smell of your essential oils.
You can buy it from health food stores, chemists and aromatherapy stockists, but you may need to ask for it.
One place you definitely won’t find it, is behind a cosmetic counter.