By Guest Writer and Soap Maker: Amy Kalinchuk
I love jojoba oil! The benefits of this oil never seem to stop. We call it an oil, but it’s really a type of wax, called a “wax ester.” This results from fatty acids and fatty alcohol joining together. It’s all very scientific and delightful.
But I don’t care about the science, really. I care about the performance. What can jojoba oil do in your different products?
- 1. It can add to the moisturizing benefits of handmade soap. Jojoba oil adds a quality to soap that is difficult to describe, but one word I can think of is “awesome.” The lather gets a rich, creamy feel to it, and the skin feels softer and smoother afterwards. I don’t recommend you use jojoba oil at more than about 10% in any soap recipe, as it will accelerate trace and make things difficult. This is where knowing that it is really a wax ester comes in handy—those molecules speed up trace, and can make the soap seize if you use too much. 10% is enough to see the benefits.
- 2. It can enhance the performance of any lotion. Lotions will sink in deeper, as jojoba oil mimics our skin’s natural sebum. The oil sinks into skin quickly, but because of this, it does not feel very “glide-y.” Using jojoba oil in combination with a slicker oil, like avocado or apricot kernel oil, creates a synergy for the lotion: gliding on smoothly, and sinking in quickly. Fabulous.
- 3. It can be used directly on the skin. Once again, because of its composition and our skin’s readiness to accept it, jojoba oil is a great choice for a facial cleansing oil. Some folks don’t want to use soap on their faces, opting instead for a cleansing oil. Combining a cleansing, astringent oil like castor or hazelnut with jojoba means the oil will clean the pores and then sink in to moisturize at the same time. These cleansing oil formulas work with a hot, steamy face cloth. Massage the oil blend into the face, while running hot, hot water on a washcloth. Wring out the cloth, and slap in on the face. Steam the face until the cloth starts to go colder, then dip it in the hot water and steam the face one more time. After that, dip the cloth one more time, wipe off the excess oil, and rejoice.
- 4. When used on the skin, the effect is near-immediate. This is just observational and not scientific at all. When I apply jojoba oil to my skin, I can see and feel a difference immediately. Because of this effect, I have chosen to use jojoba oil in my lip balm formulation. I want my lip balm to work right away, and I attribute its effectiveness in part, to jojoba oil.
- 5. It is great for the hair, too. I use jojoba oil in a deep-conditioning hair treatment I make. Again, I don’t have science here, just experience, but when I put just a couple of drops on my hair when it’s wet, and allow it to dry, it makes the hair shiny but also adds to the body and curl. Try it. You’ll see.
What other uses do you see for jojoba oil?
Amy Kalinchuk makes and sells handmade soap in Denver, Colorado. She has written and published three books on soap making, including Making Soap in Your Own Kitchen, available at Craft e-Revolution.
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