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Inside Wunder Budder - Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is native to the Sonoran Desert area of southwestern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern New Mexico. It's a perennial shrub, with greyish-green waxy evergreen leaves. Jojoba grows to 10ft on average, and can live for 200 years.

Jojoba is usually dioecious (male and female flowers grow on different plants). The male plants produce yellow-green flowers which grow in small clusters, and the female plants produce green flowers, usually one per stem. The female flower hardens into a capsule, with up to 3 seeds inside containing about 50% oil each. The seeds continue to grow as the sun dries the capsule, until it bursts, releasing the peanut-sized seeds. The seeds are collected and pressed.

Although it's commonly referred to as jojoba "oil", it is technically a liquid wax with a chemical structure similar to both sperm whale oil and sebum (natural oil) produced by human skin. When the US banned the import of sperm whale oil in the 1970s, interest in jojoba began to grow. Its popularity has increased since then because of its usefulness, and its stability and long shelf life.

Jojoba is a viscous liquid wax, but when used correctly (a little goes a long way), it sinks into the skin and leaves no oily residue behind. It has a beautiful deep golden yellow color and a very light natural aroma.

While more expensive than many botanical oils, it can be used in smaller amounts due to its rich consistency. It's easy to spread and absorbs well. It can help regulate sebum production, doesn't clog pores, and is useful for all skin types. It may help reduce the appearance of superficial lines and wrinkles, making it excellent for facial care. It also makes a nice scalp oil and is thought to encourage new hair growth with its ability to regulate sebum production and remove hardened sebum from follicles. 

Jojoba can be used full strength or blended with a complimentary oil. With its low odor, its also a good base for natural perfumes.