The Jojoba Company - Q&A with Founder Vicki Engsall
Did you know pure jojoba is a wax, not an oil?
Did you know jojoba has the same molecular structure as the natural wax esters in our skin so it penetrates deeply to repair and replenish?
Did you know jojoba can be used not on your face but on your nail cuticles, body and even in your hair?
I didn't know any of these things until I got the pleasure of spending an evening with Vicki Engsall, the founder of The Jojoba Company. I was kindly invited along to this intimate event by Sarah Humphries Agency and boy did I learn a lot!
Before I share Vicki's responses to our questions here is information about Jojoba:
The Jojoba bean grows on the jojoba plant. The jojoba plant originally grew in the desert of North America where Native Americans used it to heal their skin and condition their hair.
The Jojoba bean doesn't contain oil but a liquid wax ester which has the same molecular structure as the natural wax esters in our skin. This means our skin recognises it as its own and welcomes it in, penetrating deeper and delivering all the essential nutrients and vitamins our skin needs.
Jojoba naturally contains vitamins A D and E and Omega 6 and 9 which are all important for rejuvenating skin cells. Jojoba is a good skin remedy for dry skin, eczema, acne and can reduce the appearance of pigmentation, stretch marks and wrinkles.
The Jojoba Company started growing their own plants in 2000 in South Eastern Australia and today they have over 35,000 plants and make a range of all natural, Australian made skincare products which are not tested on animals. The range is suitable for all skin types.
HOW DID THE JOJOBA COMPANY START?
Vicki: my naturopath recommended Jojoba when I was pregnant to use on my belly as it was natural, hypoallergenic and would also be safe to use on my baby. Back then there were only small 30ml bottles available which I couldn't get enough of.
My father has a farm and one day he randomly asked me if I had heard of Jojoba. I said I had and use it all the time. He had been growing it on his farm and he planted a crop 8 years ago which he didn't know what to do with.
I insisted that we needed to bottle it up into bigger bottles so we created big 5L bottles which we supplied to massage therapists while also selling smaller bottles too. As we learnt more I discovered Jojoba was a fantastic ingredient for skincare products because of its ability to carry whatever you add to it deeper into the skin. I said we needed to do a skincare range based around this ingredient and that's how The Jojoba Company was born.
We started by designing and manufacturing 30 products in the space of 12 months and over the years we have refined our range to what it is today.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE THE JOJOBA COMPANY?
I was always a lover of skincare and all things natural but I was actually a primary school teacher before completely changing my career and starting The Jojoba Company.
WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRED?
The inspiration all starts with Jojoba. It is a liquid wax and does the complete opposite to what an oil does by opening the pores up, cleaning them out and penetrating deeply into the skin. Jojoba is the closest botanical match to our skin so we always start with jojoba before adding any other ingredients. We like to see what else can be added to Jojoba to make a product that is meaningful and helpful to people.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF GROWING JOJOBA?
Jojoba takes 8 years to grow one crop. My father was one of the first growers in Australia and is still only one of seven growing Jojoba. As a desert plant it doesn't need a lot of water but once we learnt about farming and production we were able to grow a crop every 4 years.
There is a male and female jojoba plant. The female is the only one which produces the beans and the job of the male is to pollinate the female. We plant 17 females to one male. The only way to grow them is to take cuttings or else we won't know if we are growing a male or female plant.
The jojoba beans mature, fall to the ground and a sweeper harvester collects them. They are then washed and go through a crushing process before being cold pressed once only. No heat is ever applied as it can cause the beans to lose their nutrients. Jojoba beans don't have a scent (it's true, I smelt them for myself!) and 50% of a bean is pure jojoba.
It takes 192 beans to fill one bottle of Jojoba and because Jojoba is a liquid wax it is more stable than oil and doesn't go off.
By having a jojoba farm we have complete control of the quality. We are also part of the Jojoba Council of Australia so we are only using the best methods to grow top quality jojoba.
HOW IS THE JOJOBA COMPANY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM OTHER BEAUTY BRANDS?
Jojoba is at the heart of every product we make. When we started 10 years ago there wasn't another single brand focused on jojoba in the world. There was rosehip, olive oil and coconut but jojoba was rare. We are also a family owned Australian business.
FOR SOMEONE THAT IS NEW TO THE JOJOBA COMPANY WHAT IS THE STARTER PRODUCT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND?
Everyone should start with Pure Jojoba. It can be used all over the body, hair, nail growth, babies, eczema, for oily skin, dry skin - it can be used for so many different purposes. It is hypoallergenic so it is very rare anyone reacts to it and it is suitable for all skin types of any age. As you age you lose the wax ester content in your skin so this replenishes what your body starts to lose. It is deeply moisturising and nourishing.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS AND TRICKS USING JOJOBA?
You can use jojoba to moisturise your hair. I wouldn't recommend applying to dry, thin hair or it can become greasy and weigh it down. But it can be used on damp hair as a treatment. Apply some to the ends before bed, it won't stain your pillow or clothes as it is a wax and not an oil. Leave on overnight and wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner in the morning for soft, silky hair. Jojoba penetrates better into damp skin and hair.
Because jojoba doesn't sit on the skin it can be worn under makeup and your makeup won't slide off.
Use jojoba on nails, skin conditions - it can be used anywhere, anytime by anyone!
YOU ARE SOLD INTO CHINA BUT YOU DON'T TEST ON ANIMALS?
We have a very strict policy that we don't test on animals. We have chosen not to go into mainland China but we have a Chinese website and most people who shop on their are Australian/Chinese and they they can simply purchase online without the products needing to be tested on animals. We are also stocked on a Hong Kong website where people in China can buy from us without having to do animal testing. We are hoping they will ban animal testing but until they do we won't be in mainland China.
WHAT ARE YOUR ECO FRIENDLY PRACTICES?
We never use plastic micro beads or harsh chemicals. As far as formulation we only use eco friendly ingredients. For packaging we use recyclable glass and plastic and we are always looking to evolve into more sustainable packaging.
WHY ISN'T THE BRAND CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
One of the main reasons is because no one is Australia has been successful in growing Jojoba organically. Natural weed killers don't work and when one farmer tried it killed his entire crop. We have had our jojoba tested and there has been zero chemical residue. Our jojoba is not sprayed for pests or diseases and our farm grows pure Australian jojoba which is not organic but we do import a certified organic jojoba alternative for people who do want it.
WHAT NEW PRODUCTS ARE IN THE PIPELINE?
We just launched our new Oily Skin Balancer. Jojoba is amazing for balancing out the oils in the skin and the liquid wax tricks the skin into thinking it has already produced enough oil, reducing oil overproduction. In just 30 minutes people have seen a reduction of sebum in the skin from using the Oily Skin Balancer. It can be used day, night and under makeup. The active ingredients combined with the jojoba really help to minimise the production of the skins natural oils.
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE?
At the moment I use the Bead Facial Cleanser as my skin is a little dry in Winter. I start by cleansing in the shower and while my skin is still damp I apply the Anti Ageing Serum to fight the signs of ageing. Then I follow with Jojoba and Rosehip Oil for hydration. I then follow with the SPF15 Protective Day Cream.
At night I don't cleanse with water, I use our Makeup Remover. Jojoba is a natural cleanser which will clean your skin better than soap. It can dissolve blackheads and opens your pores for a deep clean. I then use the Ultimate Night Cream and Eye Cream.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO BREAK INTO THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY?
Be passionate and believe in your product. Do your homework and research your ingredients.
I was kindly gifted some products from The Jojoba Company to suit my combination skin. I have started with the pure Jojoba and applying it to freshly cleansed, damp skin and my cheeks (which are dry in Winter) are so much softer and more hydrated since using it. I cannot wait to try the Oily Skin Balancer next as I think that will really help control the oil throughout my t-zone.
I also told Jason about the benefits of Pure Jojoba and using it on hair and he has been applying it to his beard for the past two weeks. Below are his thoughts and results:
"I have been using Jojoba on my beard for the last two weeks and have noticed it is a lot softer, less coarse and it has heavily reduced the beard dandruff I was experiencing. To apply I put a few drops on my fingers, rub my hands together and massage it into my beard and skin. I will definitely continue to use jojoba in my skincare routine."
Have you tried any products from The Jojoba Company? Let me know your favourites below.
*Thank you so much to Sarah Humphries Agency for having me at this amazing event.