It’s the combination of fatty acids in jojoba oil that makes it a great option for moisturizing dry skin. “It acts as both a humectant to draw moisture in and an emollient that softens and smoothes the skin,” says Garshick.
Farber seconds this, adding that as a good source of vitamin E, jojoba oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. “While it can be used in any skin type, it is best for dry skin and for red or sensitive skin,” she says. “In a moisturizer, jojoba oil can help maintain the skin barrier.”
Is jojoba oil actually good for acne-prone skin?
Jojoba oil shouldn’t cause any issues for people with acne, and it may even have some benefits, too. The main reason is because of its status as a wax, which makes it less occlusive and easy to tolerate for most skin types. Garshick explains that jojoba oil’s wax esters make it very similar to the major constituents of human sebum, which is 58 percent triglycerides and fatty acids, 26 percent wax esters, and 12 percent squalane.
Garshick tells Allure that because of the way it mimics the natural sebum in the skin, jojoba oil can actually help with mild to moderate acne by normalizing your skin’s own oil production. “Jojoba helps with moisture on the skin’s surface in the same way natural sebum would — without clogging the pores,” she says. “Additionally, its formulation is lightweight, so it won’t leave the skin feeling greasy; it’s noncomedogenic and won’t clog the pores, and it’s also anti-inflammatory, which can also help with acne.”
But its sebum-like chemical structure isn’t the only reason jojoba oil is so well-suited to people with acne. The biological basis for treating acne with jojoba oil may be explained by the documented anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of the extract, as well as its wound-healing effects. This was backed up by Garshick, who added that these additional benefits may help to calm inflammation and reduce breakouts.
Who shouldn’t use jojoba oil?
Before you start slathering jojoba oil on your face day and night, there are a few skin types that might want to think twice before embracing it with open arms. All of the experts we spoke to agree that jojoba oil is generally well-tolerated and, as Farber explains, when used appropriately, should not exacerbate acne. But like everything else in life, it’s not perfect, and there are exceptions to the rule.