Many people with acne-prone skin swear by jojoba oil (pronounced ho-HO-ba). That's a bit counterintuitive: How can a type of oil be a good moisturizer for acne? It may surprise you to learn that there are several reasons why people are so high on the stuff. First of all, it's not technically an oil; it's actually an indigestible wax esther found in the seeds of the jojoba tree. Second, it mimics the sebum, or oil, found naturally in human skin. By applying jojoba oil, you fool the skin into thinking it's produced enough sebum to sufficiently moisturize it. Since sebum can cause breakouts, you'll want to control your skin's sebum production as much as possible.
There are no studies yet that back up the anecdotal evidence of jojoba oil's ability to trick the human body into producing less sebum. You'll need a bit of cash if you want to test this theory: Since extracting the product from the seeds is expensive, jojoba oil itself is expensive. But its non-comedogenic effects make the oil worth the expense for some.
Like moisturizers with "natural" or organic ingredients, jojoba oil may be worth trying, but be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't assessed the acne-stopping, skin-tricking powers of jojoba.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Acne," American Academy of Dermatology.http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_acne.html (August 27, 2009)
- Bauman, Dr. Leslie. Professor of Dermatology. University of Miami. E-mail interview. September 1, 2009.
- Goodlerner, Dr. Susan. Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Telephone interview. September 3, 2009.
- Kern, Daniel W. "Jojoba Oil." Acne.org.http://www.acne.org/jojoba-oil.php (September 8, 2009)
- "Take it easy on your skin," Real Simple, CNN.com.http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/12/04/rs.go.easy.on.skin/index.html?section=cnn_latest (September 8, 2009)
- "Treating Acne in Skin of Color," AcneNet.http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/article_skinofcolor.html (August 27, 2009)
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