Jojoba oil has become a valuable asset to the cosmetics industry because of its many benefits for the skin and hair. Although it is rare that anyone has an allergic reaction to jojoba oil, it can happen. If you’re a jojoba oil fan, you’ll want to know what to look for, in case you find yourself having an allergic reaction.


Jojoba oil is not an oil, but a liquid wax derived from the seeds of the flower that grows on jojoba shrubs. This liquid wax is similar to the natural oils, or sebum, that the human body naturally produces. When applied to the skin, it is quickly absorbed without irritating the skin. This is probably because the skin recognizes it as similar to sebum.

Rash, Bumps & Swelling

Every now and then, someone experiences an allergic reaction to jojoba oil. Although it is known to be non-allergenic, some people will begin to form rashes and bumps on their skin when they use jojoba oil, or use something with jojoba oil in it, such as a lotion, cream or hair conditioner. More severe cases can also have swelling of the eyes and cheeks.

Body But Not Face

Some people may use jojoba oil on their face without any adverse reactions. However, once it is applied to the rest of their body, such as the chest or back, rashes and bumps may occur there, but not on the face.


Allergic reactions to jojoba oil are more likely caused by exposure to a less-than-pure product. If mineral oil or isopropyl alcohol is added to jojoba oil, the mixture may not only cause increased acne, but may also trigger an allergic reaction.

Similarly, jojoba oil is sometimes refined several times, often to cut costs on the production line. When refined multiple times, the process changes the effectiveness of the product and can cause an allergic reaction. Check labels for ingredients if you experience a negative reaction. Avoid jojoba oil that is golden in color. It probably has been refined more times than it should have been.


If you do have an allergic reaction, immediately stop using jojoba oil and try to determine if the reaction was caused by the jojoba oil or something else. If you like, take a Benadryl to speed up recovery. If it keeps occurring, or if you have a severe reaction, immediately consult a doctor.

References and Resources

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