Jojoba oil is a common ingredient in different facial cleansers and skincare creams. It has vitamins, minerals, and additional properties that help clear up skin conditions and leave your face feeling replenished and smooth. Science also shows that jojoba oil has a variety of beneficial properties, including:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • antiaging
  • wound-healing
  • moisturizing

These properties do more than promote healthy skin. Jojoba oil may also help you tackle acne, other skin concerns, and more. Learn how jojoba oil works for acne and how to incorporate it into your skin routine.

Research supports that jojoba oil is beneficial in treating acne as an ingredient and on its own. A 2012 German study found a clay jojoba oil facial mask effective in healing skin lesions and mild acne. Participants who applied jojoba oil masks two to three times per week saw a significant decrease in inflammation, lesions, and acne. One case study found that jojoba oil worked as an herbal drug to reduce acne symptoms.

One theory behind jojoba oil as an effective acne treatment is that jojoba oil signals your skin to balance itself. Technically a wax ester instead of an oil, jojoba oil resembles human sebum. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance on your skin. Overproduction or blocked sebum can cause acne. So when you apply jojoba oil, your skin gets the message that it doesn’t need to produce more sebum.

Look for drugstore products that advertise jojoba oil in their ingredients, or create your own mixture at home.

1. As a makeup remover

Pour a small amount of jojoba oil onto a makeup sponge or napkin, and wipe away your makeup gently and thoroughly. Leaving makeup on your face, even while you sleep, can lead to breakouts, so it’s important to smooth your makeup away before you hit the hay.

2. As a cleanser

Apply small amount of jojoba oil to your palm. Massage the oil into your skin in circular motions for one to two minutes. Use a warm wash cloth to wipe off excess oil. Moisturize if needed.

3. As a clay mask

Mix equal parts bentonite clay (Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay) and jojoba oil. Once you have a nice, smooth consistency, apply it to your face and neck two to three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes. Your skin may look red after you wash it off, so you may want to avoid doing this during the day.

4. As a moisturizer

Mix equal parts jojoba oil and aloe vera gel into an empty pump bottle and shake well. Pump two to three squirts in your hand and rub your hands together. Then, lightly press the mixture onto your skin and let it absorb for 15 seconds. Wipe off excess and reapply if needed. As a moisturizer, jojoba oil can last as long as 24 hours.

5. As an in-shower treatment

Apply two to three pumps of the moisturizer you made to your hand, and rub the mixture. Next, press it onto the areas where you have acne, and then apply it to the rest of your skin. Let the mix absorb for a few seconds, and then rinse it off in the shower. Use a towel to gently dry off.

Read more: Medical treatments for acne »

Jojoba oil has benefits beyond acne treatment. It has a high amount of vitamin E, silicon, copper, zinc, and more. You can even work it into your routine as a massage oil. Jojoba oil also has a long shelf life, so you would be able to hold onto your home treatments for a long time.

It also works to:

  • heal wounds
  • soothe fine lines and wrinkles
  • ease psoriasis symptoms
  • reduce inflammation
  • ward off infection
  • prevents razor burns from shaving
  • condition and moisturize hair and scalp

One study also found that jojoba oil can act as a conditioning agent to straighten Afro-ethnic hair locks. The jojoba oil protected the hair and decreased protein loss.

Risks and warnings

Studies on the side effects of jojoba oil are scarce, but the product is considered generally safe to use as a topical treatment. Before using jojoba oil, though, you should do a patch test on your skin to rule out any allergies. Watch out for prolonged use, too. Some people have also reported skin irritation after using the oil on a consistent basis.

You shouldn’t apply pure jojoba oil directly to your skin. Instead, you should mix jojoba oil with another agent like aloe vera gel or coconut oil. Do not take jojoba oil orally.

If you can’t get your hands on jojoba oil or discover that it doesn’t work for you, don’t fret. There are other natural products on the market that work as acne treatments. These essential oils include:

Never apply essential oils directly to your skin. Always mix them with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond or mineral oil. You should have one teaspoon of carrier for every three drops of pure essential oil. Shake well before applying.

Be sure to buy your jojoba oil from reputable source. If a manufacturer labels oil as unrefined, it means it’s unfiltered and without additives. Refined oil means it may have been bleached and processed. You may also want to find jojoba oil that’s low in oleic acid. Oleic acid can clog pores and cause breakouts on more sensitive skin.

Jojoba oil is one of the more expensive oils, but you can purchase 4 ounces for less than $10 online. Garden of Wisdom sells jojoba oil in plastic and glass bottles.

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