Jojoba and Soap Making

Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, a perennial bush that is native to the southwestern desert region of the United States. Jojoba is usually referred to as an oil, but it is actually a liquid wax ester that is almost identical to the natural restorative esters produced by our own skin. Natural, unrefined jojoba is non-allergenic and does not clog the pores. Jojoba esters naturally contain alpha, delta, and gamma tocopherols (all forms of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant). Look for top quality jojoba that has been obtained from the first pressing of top quality, pesticide-free seeds, resulting in a 100% natural product.

Natural jojoba does not oxidize or turn rancid. It has an indefinite shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated. Because it is non-comedogenic, it does not clog the pores. It is gentle enough for newborn babies, and it conditions, soothes, and softens skin, making it an excellent superfatting oil for soap.

You truly get what you pay for when buying jojoba. Although the lower price of commercially produced jojoba is attractive, it is an unfortunate fact that refined jojoba is missing the “natural goodness” that makes natural jojoba such a wonderful skin product. Commercially produced jojoba uses “press cake” (jojoba seeds that have already been pressed once) or “meal” (what is left after the second pressing) as the raw material. These inferior jojobas must then be modified, refined, and “improved.” Often, solvents are used to extract the ester from the press cake and the meal, synthetic vitamin E is added to replace the natural tocopherols that have been destroyed during this refining process, and other chemicals are used to de-odorize or de-colorize the jojoba… sometimes leaving residues that will cause allergic reactions or problems during the soapmaking process.

Other Uses:

  • As the base for massage oils
  • After bath skin conditioning
  • Scalp and hair conditioning (eliminates baby’s cradle cap)
  • After shaving, waxing, sugaring, etc.

Start by applying just a few drops of jojoba, which should be quickly absorbed by the skin. Use sparingly — the skin should not feel oily.

For daily conditioning, apply after a bath or shower, while the skin is still damp. For scalp and hair conditioning, massage jojoba into damp scalp and hair before shampooing.

from the North Country Soapmaking Library

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