Jojoba oil, made from a wax found in the seed of the jojoba (pronounced "ho-HO-bah") plant, is a tried-and-true moisturizer that helps sooth dry skin and fill in wrinkles. The jojoba plant is a wild bush found primarily in the Southwest and Mexico, and its seeds are gathered and pressed to remove the wax, commonly referred to as "oil" when used for cosmetic purposes. Learning how to make jojoba oil is a challenge, but can be a valuable enterprise for those wishing to control the purity of their jojoba oil, or hoping to start a small business producing jojoba oil.
Find a source of jojoba plants. Jojoba can be found wild or can be purchased from garden centers and specialty nurseries.
Cultivate the jojoba seeds. These seeds are hard, light brown and pod-like, with a high wax content. Jojoba seeds are harvested after they ripen, typically in the summer.
Dry the seeds for one to two weeks. The jojoba seed is 54 percent wax, so the oil content is high, The moisture level should be approximately 10 percent.
Pour the dried jojoba seeds into an expeller press or seed press. Remove the resulting wax, which has the appearance of a light oil.
Discard the meal that remains from the seeds, taking care that no animal or human eats the meal. The meal is high in protein but also contains a substance called Simmondsin that is toxic if consumed.
Pour the extracted jojoba oil into glass containers with airtight lids. Use a glass eye dropper container if desired.
Store the jojoba oil in a dark, cool, dry cabinet. Jojoba does not turn rancid, unlike other cosmetic oils. Jojoba oil can be stored and used safely for an indefinite period of time.
Use jojoba oil as desired, on skin as a moisturizer, or as an eye makeup remover. Jojoba oil is valued by people with oily skin, as it does not block pores or cause acne. Jojoba oil can be added to other essential oils to prevent decay; essential oils with jojoba added do not go rancid as quickly as those without jojoba oil.
Jojoba has a pH level that is nearly identical to that of the natural moisturizer sebum produced by human skin, so it is very soothing for human skin.
Dried jojoba seeds that contain approximately 10 percent moisture can be stored for many years before using an oil press to extract the wax.
Jojoba farmers are limited in number in the United States, with fewer than 40,000 acres devoted to jojoba plant production. The market for jojoba oil is strong for those able to grow and cultivate the oil.
Refining homemade jojoba oil can be a costly process; making golden jojoba (also known as unrefined jojoba) is far easier and more natural.
Lea Barton has been writing since 1989, with over 2,000 articles in print and online for such publications as "Today's Parent," "Boston Globe Magazine", and Associated Content. She attended Harvard University's Extension School, completing courses in creative writing and German.