Archive for June, 2010

In our second Ingredient Profile we are looking at Jojoba Oil

Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is a botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree (Simmondsia chinenis). What’s interesting about it is that it isn’t actually an oil, but rather what is called a wax ester. Jojoba only became important in the 1970s when whaling was banned, since Jojoba oil has almost the same properties as the oil obtained from the sperm whale.

Since Jojoba oil is composed of wax esters, it is an extremely stable substance and does not easily deteriorate.

Out of all of the compounds in nature, the structure of jojoba oil closely resembles that of your own skin sebum, and because of this it has a natural affinity to the skin, and is readily absorbed without making the skin feel greasy or tacky, nor does it clog the pores and helps to balance the production of sebum – your skin’s own lubricating medium. It is thought that applying jojoba to the skin can “trick” the skin into thinking it is producing enough oil.

A typical chemical analysis of jojoba oil includes palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, and arachidic, eicosenoic, behenic, and erucic and lignoceric fatty acids.

It also contains myristic acid which also has an anti-inflammatory action. Jojoba oil has the ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, promoting skin suppleness while assisting with the rejuvenation of the skin and forms a non-greasy, non-tacky layer with exceptional trans-epidermal water control.

Jojoba oil is well tolerated by people with skin problems and does not aggravate acne, and also helps to break down sebum in plugged-up pores.

Dermatological tests on jojoba oil

In dermatological tests done, using jojoba oil, by Christensen and Packman, it was shown that jojoba oil increases the skin’s suppleness by 45% and after 8 hours the effect was still present.It was also found that jojoba oil softens and smooths the skin with fine line reduction. In one test 20 women’s skin compliance increased with 37% after 30 minutes and remained for an hour. Continued use of jojoba oil results in reducing superficial facial lines.

Reduction of such lines was 26%, 18% and 11% after 1, 4 and 8 hours in conducted tests. Jojoba oil was also tested for hypoallergenic reactions. Two out of 50 people with known allergic skin types showed reactions to Jojoba. This reaction on the inherently hyper-allergic skins cleared completely after 24 hours.Tests at Michigan University showed that five of the most common skin bacteria plus certain skin fungi couldn’t survive in jojoba oil. Professor Zille of Port Elizabeth University carried out studies on the anti-bacterial effects of jojoba oil and the results were presented at a Coshem Congress held in Mintek, which found that jojoba oil destroys the bacteria staphylococcus and pseudomonas within 1 hour and 15 minutes.Studies on jojoba oil at the Ben Gurion University in Israel have shown that jojoba oil relieves the symptoms of psoriasis.

So, not only does jojoba oil have amazing emollient and lubricating properties, but also include a range of therapeutic qualities as well.


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I’ve had a day to myself today, so I decided to make some soaps. I’m going to be teaching some soap-making workshops soon, so I thought I’d make some examples to show to the students.

I was using the melt and pour method of soap-making so I’ve ended up with lots of different colours, shapes and fragrances. I thought I’d them with you…

This little butterfly soap is made from clear soap base with red and blue liquid dyes dispersed through the base to give a random, un-uniform look.

This is a large heart-shaped soap made from clear soap base. I’ve added green liquid dye and some poppy seeds for exfoliation.

This gorgeous little cupcake smells devine. Both parts are made from clear soap base. The base section has shea butter and powders goat’s milk, and is scented with vanilla extract. To the strawberry part I added poppy seeds and red liquid dye, and scented it with raspberry fragrance oil (I didn’t have any strawberry!)

This large, round, sunny soap is made from clear soap base. I’ve added powdered goat’s milk, calendula petals, and grapefruit essential oil for it’s sunny scent and detox properties. I’ve also added, as you may have noticed from the photo, a slice of loofah for exfoliation.

This little rose is so cute. It’s made from clear soap base. The top petal part has red liquid dye and vintage rose fragrance oil added. The lower part hass goat’s milk powder, red liquid dye, and vintage rose frangrance opil added.

A day well spent!

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