If Pinterest's recent report on projected trending topics for 2017 is anything to go by, this might just be the year you stop using coconut oil. Don't believe me? According to the social networking site, it's only a matter of time before everyone's current favourite health and beauty multitasker is replaced in popularity by a lesser known drugstore product—jojoba oil. While this isn't the first we've heard of jojoba, (we're pretty au fait with its impressive moisturising benefits), even we didn't realise that this all-natural ingredient lives an undercover life as a remedy for a whole host of varied skin, hair and nail woes.
Rich in beauty-boosting vitamins A, E and D, plus antioxidants and fatty acids, jojoba "oil" is actually a wax ester with remarkably similar properties to our skin's own sebum. This means the "oil" is able to penetrate deeply, reaching below the top layer of skin for maximum nourishment. Jojoba is also naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, analgesic (read: able to relieve pain), hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory. Perhaps best of all, it can be used on any skin type, from dry and sensitive to acne-prone.
No wonder Pinners are obsessed. Ready to discover how you can use this amazing product every day?
As previously mentioned, jojoba oil closely mimics the skin's own sebum, making it an effective natural conditioner. (Good news for anyone with a dry or irritated complexion.) It's also able to seal in moisture, which is why you should always use it as your final skincare step.
Why splash out on a separate makeup remover or oil cleanser, when this all-natural ingredient can dissolve and whisk away everything from sunscreen to waterproof mascara?
Because jojoba oil is able to penetrate all the way down to the skin matrix, it can help ferry active ingredients like salicylic acid and retinol along with it, allowing them to do their best work.
PROTECTS AGAINST SUN DAMAGE
According to co-founder of The Jojoba Company Vicki Engsall, jojoba has natural ways of protecting itself from sun damage. "Jojoba is the only plant in the world known to produce pure liquid wax esters. It layers these long molecules in the outer layer of its leaves to stop UVB rays from penetrating its leaves." The good bit? It can do the same for your skin.
BALANCES OILY SKIN
When skin is stripped of its natural sebum (via things like using a non-pH balanced cleanser), the sebaceous glands can go into overdrive. This creates a vicious cycle of oil overproduction—and overcleansing—leading to breakouts. Jojoba as can reset your complexion by bringing back balance.
People with asteatotic eczema are more prone to dryness since their skin doesn't produce as much sebum, and is also less able to retain moisture. Jojoba can help heal asteatotic eczema via it's analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as an ability to restore a compromised skin barrier.
SOOTHES SORE LIPS
Chronically dry lips? Massage in a few drops of nourishing jojoba then layer on a protective balm—you'll see a major difference in just a few days.
Forget cuticle oil blends, jojoba can dramatically soften the skin around your nails all by itself. It's antibacterial and antifungal properties add extra protection against nail infections.
Jojoba oil makes a fantastic DIY hot oil or pre-wash treatment for dry hair or an irritated scalp. Not only does it hydrate effectively, it doesn't weigh hair down.
Add a few drops of jojoba to your leave-in moisturiser or heat protectant to knock back fluffiness and frizz. Hot tip: For easy summer waves, add a pump of jojoba to your go-to bottle of sea salt spray. You'll get the same tousled texture, without drying out your stands.
Along with being an all-purpose skin softener, jojoba can help soothe conditions like psoriasis. Because psoriasis commonly affects the scalp (leading to hair loss), you can use jojoba as a pre-wash treatment, or add it to your conditioner to treat it. For skin flare-ups slather it on straight—all three methods will reduce inflammation and swelling.
Caused by a yeast-like fungus called malassezia, dandruff responds beautifully to nightly jojoba oil treatments. The oil itself has antifungal properties, but also keeps the scalp moisturised which calms irritation and itchiness.
PREVENTS COLD SORES
According to Engsall, jojoba is an undercover cold sore preventative that really works. "The tingling people feel when a cold sore is emerging is the [herpes] virus moving up the nerve shaft feeding on oxygen. Jojoba applied to the area will quickly mix with skin sebum and block the flow of oxygen to the virus, which retreats back into the nerve shaft." Ergo, if jojoba is regularly applied the virus can never get the oxygen it needs to kick off. Engsall adds: "Jojoba also contains docosanol which is an ingredient in commercial cold sore treatments."