Jojoba for Your Skin and Potential Health Benefits

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

Anna Yu/Getty Images

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a shrub that grows in arid regions of the southwestern United States, northern Mexico, and some parts of Africa. Its seeds are rich in oil and liquid wax, which are said to possess healing properties. Long used in folk medicine, jojoba contains essential fatty acids thought to offer certain benefits when used topically (i.e., applied directly to the skin).


In alternative medicine, jojoba is touted as a natural remedy for the following problems:

Jojoba is also said to moisturize the skin by acting as an emollient (i.e., a substance that increases the skin's hydration).

In addition, jojoba is commonly used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy.

Health Benefits

Despite its long history of use, very few scientific studies have tested the health effects of jojoba. Still, some preliminary research suggests that jojoba may offer certain health benefits. Here's a look at several key findings from the available studies on jojoba:


Jojoba oil may aid in the treatment of acne, according to a study published in a Swiss journal, Research in Complementary Medicine in 2012. For the study, 194 people with acne, lesioned skin, or acne-prone skin applied a facial mask containing clay and jojoba oil two to three times a week for six weeks.

Analyzing questionnaires and diaries submitted by the 133 participants who completed the study, researchers found that use of the facial masks led to a significant decrease in a number of lesions and acne pustules.

It should be noted that it's unknown whether the clay, jojoba oil, or a combination of the two substances was responsible for the healing effects of the facial mask used in the study.


Jojoba may promote wound-healing, suggests a preliminary study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2011. In laboratory experiments on human skin cells, the study's authors found that jojoba liquid wax helped speed up the closure of wounds.


There's some evidence that jojoba may help reduce inflammation (a biological process thought to contribute to several skin conditions, including acne and eczema). For example, in a 2005 study published in Pharmacology Research, tests on rats revealed that topical application of liquid wax extracted from jojoba helped reduce several markers of inflammation.


Some individuals may experience allergic reactions when using jojoba. Signs to watch for include itching, or reddening of the skin. If you show signs of an allergic reaction after using jojoba, discontinue use immediately.

Ingestion of jojoba is discouraged, as it may have toxic effects.


Several natural products have been found to aid in the healing of the skin. For example, ceramides may help treat eczema, protect against aging in the skin, and reduce skin irritation. Sea buckthorn may help alleviate eczema and promote wound healing.

Like jojoba, oils like argan oil, neem oil, and borage oil are also said to help soothe the skin.

Where to Find

Widely available for purchase online, jojoba (and personal-care products containing jojoba) are sold in many natural-food stores and drugstores.

Using Jojoba for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend jojoba as a treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using jojoba for any health purpose, make sure to consult your physician first.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources