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The jojoba plant (Jojoba Simmondsia Chinensis shrub) is grown and harvested in desert climates and produces seeds that are crushed to extract a liquid often referred to as jojoba “oil”. Jojoba oil is different than other plant seed oils known as triglyceride oils. Specifically, Jojoba oil is a true wax. Its true benefit is that it’s the only known botanical wax which is liquid at room temperature and similar to the human sebum.


Jojoba has been used for centuries as a natural skin moisturizer. Jojoba plants are very well adapted to controlling moisture loss which allows them to survive in dry conditions. An estimated 5,000 tons of jojoba is used in personal care products manufactured around the world.


As the jojoba plant seed grows, the capsule wall becomes thinner and dry. Then the capsule cracks open and the mature seed falls to the ground. The seeds are then collected by hand or harvester. Jojoba plant seeds produce a liquid (or “oil” as it is often referred to), similar to the moisturizer (sebum) produced by our own skin. Jojoba is used in many skin care products.

Although Jojoba is often called an “oil” it is technically a liquid wax ester, very similar to the lipids produced naturally by human skin. Jojoba ́s chemical structure makes it an unrivaled ingredient mainly for skin- and body care products. Jojoba is a non- occlusive, non- oily, long termemollient with outstanding oxidative stability. Jojoba finds a multiplicity of applications in quality skin, lip, nail and hair care products.


(Simmondsia chinensis) A small tree like shrub native to the Sonora desert of Arizona, northern Mexico, southern and Baja California. Usually bushy, it is a long lived, dioecious, drought resistant plant often reaching heights of three meters or more under ideal growing conditions. Jojoba plants are either male or female.
The female of the species bears one crop of seed (sometimes called nuts) per year from buds that develop predominantly on alternating leaf nodes of new plant growth. Jojoba plants have a natural life span of at least 100 years and perhaps over 200 years. The economic life of a commercial orchard has not yet been determined.
Seed from the jojoba plant is the only botanical source of commercial quantities of liquid monounsaturated straight chain wax esters. Jojoba is now cultivated commercially in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the USA. Jojoba is being examined for its potential as a crop in many countries around the world with climate and soil conditions similar to those of its native habitat.

An oblong to oval seed produced by the female jojoba plant weighing 0.2 – 1.5 grams each with a diameter of 3-15 mm and which at maturity is reddish brown with a wrinkled surface. Mature jojoba seeds contain approximately 3% moisture, 15% protein, 42% to 58% liquid wax esters, 5% to 7% simmondsin and the balance carbohydrate and fiber.

An array of natural golden liquid wax esters found in the seed of the jojoba plant. Although similar in appearance to other vegetable oils, the chemical composition of jojoba oil resembles that of outlawed sperm whale oil. Jojoba oil is composed principally of 40 and 42 carbon chain length esters, which are in turn composed of monounsaturated fatty acids and fatty alcohols of 16 to 24 carbon chain length. Jojoba oil is an unusually pure material made up of essentially all-wax esters with less than 1% triglyceride content. Since it contains Vitamin E (natural tocopherols) and has no polyunsaturated components, it is highly resistant to oxidation. It also contains small amounts of phospholipids that are themselves beneficial to the hair and skin, but that under certain conditions result in some turbidity in jojoba oil. Properly packaged, the oil can be stored indefinitely without degrading. Jojoba oil imparts unique and beneficial properties when used for a variety of industrial purposes. The oil has been proven to be an excellent lubricant for mechanical applications. At this time the principal use of jojoba oil is for its excellent cosmetic properties such as skin softening, skin penetration and emolliency.

Jojoba oil which has been removed from jojoba seed by passing the seed through mechanical presses known as “expellers”. These machines “expel” the oil from jojoba seed through the application of pressure, and sometimes heat to facilitate release of the oil from the seed. In addition to jojoba oil, the processing of jojoba seed with expeller presses results in the formation of a jojoba “presscake”. This presscake typically contains 12% – 18% residual jojoba oil, 5-8% moisture, 20-25% protein, 10-12% simmondsin and the balance carbohydrate and fiber.

Jojoba oil that has been mechanically pressed from jojoba seed without the addition of heat to facilitate pressing. Cold pressed jojoba oil is typically light golden in color and has very little odor.

Jojoba oil which has been typically expeller pressed and which has not been processed further to remove any color or odor naturally present in the oil. This quality of jojoba oil is the most popular for use in bottling jojoba oil for retail sale. Golden quality jojoba oil is also used in pigmented and/or fragranced cosmetic formulations in which the natural color and odor of jojoba are not objectionable.

Typically, expeller pressed jojoba oil which has been further processed to remove color and/or odor. This quality jojoba oil is most often used in cosmetic systems void of color and odor. It is also used as a feedstock for creation of value added derivatives of jojoba such as hydrogenated jojoba oil and jojoba esters.

Jojoba oil that has been mechanically pressed from jojoba presscake in a secondary pressing operation. Second pressed jojoba oil is typically darker and has a distinct, although not unpleasant odor. Oil from this second pressing is most often used for lubricant purposes, although it can also be used to blend with and extend the quantity of oil obtained from the first pressing of jojoba seed. The presscake resulting from this second mechanical press of jojoba seed usually contains 8-10% residual jojoba oil, 4-6% moisture, 22-28% protein, 12% simmondsin and the balance carbohydrate and fiber.

Jojoba oil which has been chemically removed from jojoba presscake using chemical solvents such as hexane in an oil recovery process following, mechanical pressings of jojoba seed. Solvent extracted jojoba oil is typically dark in color, has a high level of odor and requires refining, bleaching and deodorization to prepare it for commercial use.

By-product of the solvent extraction process in which all useful jojoba oil has been removed from jojoba presscake. Defatted jojoba meal typically contains less than 50-ppm residual solvent, less than 2% detectable lipids, less than 3% moisture, 28-30% protein, 12-15% simmondsin and the balance carbohydrate. Defatted jojoba meal is used as a mechanical exfoliant in cosmetic “scrub” or “peeling” products and as an aid to stop leaks in radiator cooling systems attached to internal combustion engines. The meal is also a source of simmondsin.

A hard, crystalline wax ester created by the complete addition of hydrogen gas under pressure to all points of unsaturation within jojoba oil. The melting point of hydrogenated jojoba oil is 68-70 °C and the iodine value is < 2.0 making it one of the most unique high melting wax esters of natural origin that is commercially available. Hydrogenated jojoba oil is relatively colorless, odorless and has particular functionality in cosmetic formulations such as lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, lip balm and similar formulas.

A semi-soft to hard product resulting from the incomplete addition of hydrogen to points of unsaturation in jojoba oil. Partially hydrogenated jojoba oil is manufactured through a process known as “selective” or “controlled” hydrogenation or saturation. Partially hydrogenated jojoba oil (as with any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) contains trans isomers.

Jojoba Beads are gentle yet effective exfoliative particles in “scrub” and “peeling” formulations. These small hard wax microspheres consist of hydrogenated jojoba oil and sometimes contain tocopherols and/or pigments. Jojoba beads are typically segregated into particle size groups of 150-250 microns, 250-420 microns, 250-600 microns, 420-850 microns, and 800-1200 microns.

An alcohol portion of the wax-esters that make up jojoba oil. They are long-chain in nature, 18 to 26 carbon atoms, and have one cis double bond. Jojoba alcohols are produced by alkali reduction of jojoba wax-esters. Jojoba alcohols are very substantive, water resistant, and an excellent emollient. These properties make it very useful in cosmetic formulations.

Generally, 98% of Jojoba oil is composed of an array of long chain, monounsaturated fatty acids and alcohols that are joined by an ester linkage and therefore called jojoba esters. Another definition of jojoba esters used in the cosmetic industry is that of a complex mixture of esters produced by the transesterification / interesterification of jojoba oil, hydrogenated jojoba oil, or a mixture of the two. Jojoba esters are produced in a broad range of melting points and are colorless, odorless and extremely resistant to oxidative degradation. Jojoba esters contain no trans isomers and are useful as components of highly pigmented cosmetic systems where they facilitate uniform pigment dispersion, surface wetting and uniform pigment application to the skin. Jojoba esters also contribute a moisturizing effect to cosmetic formulas that might otherwise be typically “drying” when applied to the skin.

Jojoba oil which has been subjected to partial transisomerization of its cis double bonds to form trans double bonds, a product with a higher melting point. Also known as Jojoba butter, this derivative of jojoba oil contains approximately 50% trans isomers.

Long chain lipid and phospholipid materials which are present in trace quantities in jojoba oil. This waxy material can be removed from jojoba oil through a winterization process, which involves cooling the oil until it solidifies, and then filtering out the precipitated jojoba waxes after the oil is thawed.

Jojoba oil is used as the raw material to produce a number of chemically modified wax preparations useful in cosmetic formulations. These wax preparations carry many of the beneficial properties of jojoba oil yet are modified in form and substance to allow their use in a variety of cosmetics. Examples of these wax preparations are creamy smooth partially saturated jojobas melting over a range of 15- 70C for use in lipsticks and skin care lotions and flakes of water soluble alkoxylated jojoba for use in bath bead preparations. Also jojoba oil is used for making wax preparations consisting of small spheres of hydrogenated jojoba oil for use in skin exfoliants and peeling products and as carriers for “active” materials in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations. Jojoba hydrolysates diluted in water are wax preparations consisting of potassium salts and alcohols derived from jojoba oil which are useful in hydroalcoholic and alcoholic cosmetic preparations such as toners and cleansers as well as in sunscreens, hair conditioners, lotions and creams.

A naturally occurring compound in the seed of the jojoba plant which has been found to suppress the appetites of animals (Dimethylsimmondsin) when incorporated in pet food formulas. Simmondsin and several of its analogs are present at 5% to 7% in jojoba seed and remain in the presscake after jojoba oil is removed from the seed. Angiogenesis inhibiting properties are said to be induced by other simmondsin derivates present in jojoba meal as desmethyl-and didesmethylsimmondsin and the simmondsin ferulates.


Jojoba is commercially cultivated on plantations in arid or semi arid desert regions around the world. Mature jojoba plants (Simmondsia chinensis ) are woody perennial bushes native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, northern Mexico and arid California.

Jojoba is now grown commercially in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Egypt and Israel, as well as in Mexico and the United States of America. Plantations in South Africa and India are also reported.

The jojoba plant does not shed its leaves with the change in seasons. The female plants are pollinated by the wind, which carries the pollen from the male plant. Then the pollinated female flowers harden into a capsule that contains seed.


Commercial Jojoba plant farming started in 1976. The principal market for Jojoba is the cosmetic industry. It is used in form of either golden or refined (lite) jojoba, hydrogenated jojoba, jojoba esters, hydrolyzed jojoba, ethoxylated jojoba and other value added jojoba derivatives. New industrial applications are on the horizon that are expected to dramatically increase the demand for this unique natural product. Commercial Jojoba Plantations Worldwide Argentina | Australia | Chile | Egypt | Mexico | Israel | Peru | USA | India | South Africa. We prepared some more information on the applications of jojoba.


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