Jojoba esters are the hydrogenation or transesterification product of jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of the Simmondsia chinensis plant. Jojoba esters are proper waxes; there is no triglyceride component of jojoba esters. Chemically, jojoba esters are a complex mixture of long chain fatty acids and fatty alcohols joined by an ester bond.
In cosmetics and personal care products, jojoba esters primarily function as an emollient. The chemical composition of jojoba esters is remarkably similar to the natural oils produced by human skin, which means that topical application of products that contain jojoba esters can help to balance the skin’s oil production. This is helpful for those with aging skin since the body produces less and less sebum over time. Jojoba esters can mimic sebum, which nourishes skin to prevent it from becoming dry, cracked, and wrinkled. Additionally, balancing oil production is helpful for those that produce too much oil, which can cause breakouts. Jojoba esters will normalize the skin’s sebum levels and clear out pores, thus preventing future breakouts. Lastly, fully hydrogenated jojoba esters are most often small beads used to exfoliate the skin.