jojobaSimmondsia chinensis

Family: Buxaceae

Part used: beans

Base oil: use a 10 percent dilution

Jojoba is an evergreen shrub native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The plant grows to a height of about 3 – 18 feet and has small leathery leaves. There are male and female plants. The male flowers are yellow; the female flowers are green and develop into olive-shaped, dark-brown, nutlike fruits containing seeds. The seeds are called goat nuts. Jojoba plants can live up to 200 years.

Contains: protein, minerals, a waxy substance that mimics collagen

Practical uses: inflamed skins, psoriasis, eczema, acne, hair care; good for all skin types, highly penetrative. In skin care, jojoba oil moisturizes and softens dry skin and helps with stretch marks. It can be used in sun tanning for those who burn easily in the sun.

The carrier/base oil is used to dilute essential oils in aromatherapy for massage oils and other formulations. For massage oils, it is best to mix a maximum of 50 percent jojoba oil with another carrier oil before adding the essential oils.

Therapeutic Properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, emollient

Golden-yellow jojoba oil (pronounced “ho-ho-ba”) comes from the beans of a tough shrub native to the deserts of Mexico and Arizona. Native Americans have used this oil for centuries to protect their skins from dehydration. It is actually a liquid wax that solidifies at cool temperatures, and is similar in composition to sebum, the skin’s natural oil, so our skin is able to absorb it easily.

Applied regularly, Jojoba softens and moisturizes dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin. This oil also helps to soothe and heal skin damaged by eczema or psoriasis, whether used on its own or as a blend.

*Special Tip: Jojoba is a great cleanser: its waxiness dissolves away dirt and excess oils. Pour 2.5 ml / ½ tsp onto an absorbent cotton wool pad and wipe it over your face, morning and night.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 tsp Jojoba oil:

To soothe sensitive skin:

  • 2 drops Yarrow, 2 drops Rose Otto

To tone oily skin, reduce surface grease and heal scars:

  • 4 drops Lemon, 4 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Ylang Ylang

*Source: Harding Jennie, The Essential Oils Handbook. Duncan Baird Publishers, 2008 is free to access and use.
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Making a Skin Mousse

Take a clean glass jar that is big enough to hold up to 20ml/4 tsp of the finished mousse. Add 15ml/3 flat tsp Aloe Vera gel, then 5ml/1 tsp jojoba carrier oil and stir the mixture with a small spoon. The oil and gel will start to combine and thicken. At this point, add another 2.5ml/ ½ tsp Aloe Vera gel and keep stirring. The mixture will suddenly go smooth and slack, taking on an opaque, pale cream colour. You will have approximately 20ml/4 tsp mousse in total – enough for around ten applications to the face.

You can use the mousse unfragranced, or you can add essential oils to the mousse blend and stir again. The mousse will last between four and six weeks at a cool room temperature and will leave your skin feeling calmed, restored and soft.

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Skin Oils and Lotions

The essential oils are prepared in much the same manner as they would be for a massage, except that the base oil should include the more nourishing oils such as jojoba, avocado or apricot kernel oil. The focus here is on treating the skin itself and dealing with particular problems. A gentle circular movement of the fingertips is often enough for the oils to be absorbed; it is important not to drag the skin, especially in the delicate areas of the neck and around the eyes.

Rose and neroli are good for dry or mature complexions; geranium, bergamot and lemon can help combat acne and greasy skin.

A few drops of essential oil can also be mixed into a bland cream or lotion, or added to a basic face mask, which might include oatmeal, honey, or clay together with the pulp of various fruits.

In some conditions, such as cold sores (herpes) and athlete’s foot, it is better to use an alcohol-based lotion instead of an oil or cream. This can be made by adding 6 drops of essential oil to 5 ml of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. This mixture can be further diluted in a litre of boiled and cooled water for treating open cuts or sores, such as those caused by chickenpox or genital herpes.

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