Jojoba Oil for Acne

What is Jojoba oil?

Jojoba oil (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is a non-comedogenic botanical extract popularly used for skin rejuvenation, but it can also benefit those with acne-prone skin when combined with other treatment. It is technically not an oil at all, but a wax ester, which is chemically similar to the sebum (oil) in human skin. Jojoba oil is best used for keeping unblemished skin clear, as opposed to treating breakouts.

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If you’re not sure how acne occurs, you can always take a look at our About Acne page.

How Jojoba Oil works:

Because of its similarity to human sebum, many think that Jojoba oil works by “tricking” the skin into thinking it has produced enough oil, which can balance oil production and prevent clogged pores. As Jojoba oil is chemically similar to sebum, it is able to carry substances deep into the skin and is often used as a carrier in acne-fighting products. This means jojoba oil is not a primary treatment for acne, but helps your medication work better, while also preventing dryness and redness associated with those medications.

Uses for Jojoba Oil:

  • Balancing oil production. Can be used with a non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent overproduction of oil.
  • Makeup removal. Apply using bare hands or a cotton ball to remove makeup.
  • Shaving aid. Apply Jojoba oil directly before cream shaving.
  • Soothing lip balm. Apply a few drops to finger then to lips.

Application of Jojoba Oil:

Apply directly to clean skin or mix with a non-comedogenic moisturizer twice a day, massaging gently into skin until all oil is absorbed. Avoid direct application onto active blemishes, and use conservatively (4-5 drops recommended) to prevent shine.

Negatives to consider:

  • May cause breakouts. Although Jojoba oil is considered non-comedogenic, some report breakouts after usage. Stop using if this occurs.
  • Not a permanent solution. Jojoba oil is most effective on mild acne and is not a permanent solution or cure for more severe breakouts.
  • Can cause unwanted shine. While moderate usage of Jojoba oil should balance oil production, overuse can result in a shiny look to the skin.  It is best to apply less during the day than you would before bed.
  • Read the label. Make sure that the product you buy contains unrefined or 100% organic Jojoba oil. Also look for key words like first-pressed, expeller-pressed, or cold-pressed. Poor quality Jojoba oil can cause breakouts.

Three different Jojoba Oils that are 100% pure:

In conclusion:

Jojoba oil is not a primary treatment for acne. However, it can be very helpful in reducing irritation and dryness that comes from using acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, and others. If you have moderate to severe acne, and are seeking treatment, a dermatologist is the best treatment available. If you don’t already have a dermatologist, or would like an easier way to get a consultation, check out our online dermatology service.


  1. “Jojoba Oil.” Jojoba Oil., n.d. Web. <>.
  2. “Using Jojoba Oil to Treat Acne.” N.p., n.d. Web. <>.
  3. “ – Jojoba Oil.” Reviews., n.d. Web. <>.

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