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Latin Binomial: Simondsia chinensis
Plant Part: Seed
Extraction: Cold Pressed
Growing Practice: Ethical
Country of Origin: USA

What makes jojoba different from other common fixed oils is that it consists of 10% fatty alcohols and 90% stable mono-unsaturated fatty acids combined together into what is called an ester wax. Jojoba oil has the most stable life of all fixed oils without added preservatives. This oil is golden yellow and will become hard when chilled or refrigerated, but readily liquifys again when it is warmed up.

Jojoba oil is very stable and will not oxidize. It is easily absorbed by the skin, and helps retain moisture.

Refractive Index: 1.4848 - 1.4654 @ 20° C
Specific Gravity: 0.8650 @ 20° C
Appearance: golden colored liquid wax
BioChemical Class: Ester wax
BioChemicals: Composed of 97% wax esters of long chain fatty acids. The wax esters exist principally (83%) as combinations of unsaturated acids and alcohols. It doesn't seem useful to break it down in the same way as other oils, but Price does do that:

Fatty Acids (typically 90%)

Saturated fatty acids (typically 93%), palmitic (11%), stearic (71%), arachidic (14%), behenic (1%)

Monunsaturated fatty acids (typically 6%): palmitoleic (0.1%), oleic (6.7%)

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (typically 0.5%)

Fatty Alcohols (typically 10%): octadecanol (1%), eicosanol (44%), docosanol (45%), tetracosanol (9%), other (trace).

There are claims that Jojoba contains myristic acid, but the presence of more than a "trace" is not substantiated by any scientific reference that we could find.
Melting Point °C: Freezes at 10.6-7.0 °C, melts at 6.8-7.0°C
Saponification Value: 69.5-92
CAS No: 61789-91-1

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Jojoba [pronounced ho-HO-bah] (Simmondsia chinensis) of Family Simmondsiaceae is a shrub native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the Southwestern US and Mexico. Other names used include goat nut, deer nut, quinine nut, or coffeeberry. The Jojoba grows 3-6 ft tall with a broad, dense crown and small greenish-yellow flowers. Jojoba is normally dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), with pollination via wind or insects. The fruit is an acorn-shaped ovoid 1-2 cm long, maturing into a seed shaped like coffee beans, dark brown in color. The plant develops tap roots that can penetrate up to 40 feet below the surface to supply water and minerals.

In spite of its name Simmondsia chinensis, Jojoba is not from China; apparently it was so named because a misread label--"Calif" was read as "China". It was temporarily renamed as S. californica but reverted to chinensis because of the priority rules of taxonomy.

Jojoba oil is extracted by cold pressing from the crushed seeds, yielding about 50-60% oil.

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Jojoba oil has been well researched and is used for dandruff and seborrhea. It has also been used for formulating products to help with acne and eczema. In a massage oil, 10-20% jojoba oil will give skin an extra velvety texture.

Most people tolerate jojoba oil well. It absorbs easily into the skin, softens and protects skin retail moisture suppleness. It has tested at a sun factor of 4.

Jojoba oil is a good additive 3-10% for all skin care products, and 10-20% in massage oils.

Cosmetic Use

  • Hair Conditioners, shampoo and other hair conditioners
  • Eye, lip and facial makeup products
  • Nail products
  • Skin Care Products
  • skin conditioning agent
  • hair conditioning agent
  • emollients in creams, lotions, and stick products
  • can be formed into small spheres for use in exfoliating "scrub" products
  • alcohols are used as agents to reduce slip resistance and as secondary emulsifiers

Perfumery Use

  • Used as a substitute for sperm oil as a fragrance carrier
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The name Jojoba originated with the native O'odham people of the Sonoran Desert who made an antioxidant salve from the nut to use for treating wounds, sores, and burns.

This ancient evergreen bush grows wild in Arizona, California and Mexico. The seeds have been long used by Hopi and Papago Indians for cooking and in traditional medicines, as well as skin and hair care.

Wild collection and processing of the seed in the early 1970's, and by the late 1970's it began to be produced commercially after it was identified as a substitute for whale oil (spermacetti) that was banned by the US Government in 1974.

The major producers are the US and Mexico, with export to Japan and Europe. It is also grown in Palestine and demonstration plots have been conducted in other Middle Eastern countries.

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Jojoba Oil or Wax is generally considered to be of low hazard for external use.

Jojoba Oil has been extensively evaluated by the Cosmetics Ingredients Review Assessment Panel which concluded that "Jojoba Oil and Jojoba Wax are safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practices of use and concentration." Concentrations studied were <0.1% to 25.0%.

The information provided on these pages is not a substitute for necessary medical care, nor intended as medical advice. Always keep carriers and bases tightly closed and in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children. If redness or irritation occurs when applied to the skin, stop using immediately and contact your health provider if necessary.