Jojoba oil, extracted from the jojoba shrub seeds, is a common ingredient in treating acne. But does it work, and are there any risks?
Many people who are struggling with acne vulgaris are interested in trying natural, over-the-counter products to reduce acne severity or remove scars from acne. Study into the impact of jojoba oil for this condition is still ongoing.
This article examines in depth the uses, risks and benefits of using jojoba oil on skin that is prone to acne, and whether jojoba oil can reduce acne scars.
What is jojoba oil and how does it work?
Jojoba oil is derived from the Simmondsia chinenis shrub seed, or jojoba shrub. The jojoba oil is a waxy substance despite its name. It may appear clear or yellow, and may have a slightly nutty smell.
It is thought that the consistency of jojoba oil mimics the natural oils in human skin, called sebum. By maintaining moisture and protecting the skin from infection, Sebum plays a key role in supporting overall skin health.
Jojoba oil could help the skin absorb other substances better when used alongside them, including medications, according to a 2018 review. This can make jojoba oil a useful addition to many moisturizers and cosmetics.
This research also suggests that jojoba is anti-inflammatory, and that jojoba oil’s waxy texture can improve the symptoms of a range of disorders including:
Jojoba oil may also have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a 2013 review.
Is jojoba oil effective for acne?
Jojoba oil has proven to be effective in treating acne and skin lesions, and may also play a role in healing wounds.
A 2012 study tested the effects of clay face masks containing jojoba oil in 133 people suffering from mild acne. They reported a 54 per cent drop in acne lesions after 6 weeks of treatment, including papules, cysts, and comedones.
Another research based on cells in the laboratory found that jojoba oil wax may be effective in treating wounds. As such, the symptoms of open wounds left by acne may also help.
How to use jojoba oil
It is suggested that Jojoba oil benefits the skin without clogging the pores. It has the following uses in a range of commercial products:
- skin moisturizer
- makeup remover
- lip balm
- hair conditioner
- massage oil
An individual may try to use jojoba oil as a skin cleanser by putting a small amount on the fingertips or a soft cotton pad, and gently rubbing on their face.
Otherwise, before applying to the skin, it can be mixed with another oil, gel, cream or a clay face mask.
Will jojoba oil cause breakouts?
While acne may be caused by a variety of factors, jojoba oil itself is non-comedogenic, meaning the pores should not be clogged.
However the effects of any oil may vary depending on the skin type of an individual. A person should do a patch test on a small section of the skin before using it on acne lesions to test its effects. If the skin is reacting to the oil, the person should not be using it.
Risks of using jojoba oil for acne
Further research into the benefits and potential risks of jojoba oil is needed.
As with other medicinal oils and products, when swallowed, jojoba oil may be toxic. Always keep the oils and other medicines out of children’s reach.
If an individual is pregnant or nursing, they should consult their physician before using any new oils.
People should be aware that oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Other oils for improving acne
Although there are many oils on the market which can be used on skin that is prone to acne, their effects may vary. To determine the best and most suitable choice, it is important to talk with a skin specialist.
Other oils which may help in combating acne include:
- Tea tee essential oil. A small-scale 2016 study showed that tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic, successfully reduced mild to moderate acne lesions when used as a face wash. Tea tree essential oil should be diluted in a carrier oil before use.
- Aloe vera gel. According to a 2015 review, Aloe vera has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. A 2014 study suggests that combining Aloe vera and a drug called tretinoin could be beneficial for treating acne.
To determine how and when to use any oils on the skin, it is important to talk with a qualified skin specialist as some may require dilution and other preparation before use.
It can be challenging to find an oil for treating skin and skin lesions which are prone to acne. Experimentation may need until the right topical oil is found. Jojoba oil has been shown to have positive effects on skin which is prone to acne and acne.
Outcomes can differ from person to person. If jojoba oil is not effective, other natural products, such as tea tree oil and aloe vera gel, are also available.
One person may benefit from consulting a skin care professional with natural oil use experience.