Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea). Of our Northern conifers, the scent of balsam is arguably the most evocative, reminding many of us of Christmas trees or a hike in the woods. Here in Maine a common souvenir for tourists and locals alike is a small pillow or sachet filled with its fragrant dried needles. There are many uses for balsam fir but today I want to share one of my favorites: infusing balsam fir into jojoba for a fragrant treat for your skin and hair. If you’re eager to try this jojoba infusion but aren’t able to make it yourself, we’re releasing limited runs of our own HobaCare Balsam Jojoba and HobaCare Balsam Salve, made from winter-gathered Maine balsam fir. Either product makes a great gift for the bearded folks in your life as well as for anyone who loves the fragrance of the Maine woods.
It is important to properly identify a plant before using and of course that applies to balsam fir too. You can find plenty of good identification information on the internet, on certain plant ID phone apps, or in field guides for identifying trees. Most evergreens are safe to use but not all, so please be sure you know what you are using. You can harvest balsam fir at any point in the year. From spring into early summer here in Maine balsams put out their new growth at the tips, easily identified by their bright shade of green. When gathering balsam boughs for infusing, be judicious in how much you take from any one tree and certainly avoid any trees that might have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. For a jojoba infusion you’ll use the needles and the smaller stems at the end of a bough.
Balsam fir infused jojoba can be made from freshly gathered material or you can leave it to dry out for a day or more after gathering before you make your infusion. If you’re gathering this time of year (here in the Northern Hemisphere) those light green new growth tips have a brighter, more lemony scent (to my nose anyway) than older growth needles and your resulting infused jojoba will reflect that seasonality. If you end up really loving your balsam jojoba infusion, I recommend trying to make some in different seasons (it’s nice to gather botanicals in winter while the rest of the plant world sleeps) and comparing the scent profiles of the finished product.
After I gather balsam boughs, I work with a section of bough about a foot long at a time and carefully inspect the needles and stems for any foreign material (an errant cobweb, leaves or other detritus from neighboring trees) and remove any yellowed or brown needles. Once I’ve thoroughly gone over this section of balsam fir, I take a small pair of garden snips (use whatever is comfortable in your hands-pruning clippers or small shears work fine too) and cut the needles and stems into a very clean (preferably sanitized) glass jar. You can keep the balsam in larger pieces as they go into the jar if you prefer but the more surface area you expose to the jojoba, the sooner the jojoba will take on that delicious balsam scent. I like snipping the needles in half parallel to the stem so that every needle is at least cut in half, and then cutting the balsam stems into small pieces. There are infinite proportions of balsam fir to jojoba that you could use but the simplest method is simply to fill the jar you’re using loosely with balsam fir (I don’t recommend packing the jar too tightly with needles/stems) and once filled, pour jojoba slowly into the jar, poking a clean knife or other object into the jar to remove any air pockets and ensure that the jojoba has dispersed throughout. Once the jojoba comes to the top of your jar, make sure the fir is submerged, and cover. You can keep this jar in a dark cupboard or anywhere out of bright sunlight while it infuses and when you think of it, give the jar a good shake (daily is ideal).
How long you infuse your jojoba with balsam fir is completely up to you. The beauty of using jojoba in herbal infusions like this is that thanks to its shelf stability you don’t have to worry about your finished product going bad (provided you’re using dried material or material with low water content like balsam fir). If you want to speed the infusion process up you can add gentle heat without worrying that the heat will degrade the jojoba (another benefit of jojoba over other carrier oils that can degrade with added heat). I recommend infusing your jojoba for at least 4-6 weeks at room temperature, checking every few days to see how you like the scent. If you want to speed up the process you can put the balsam jojoba in the top of a double boiler at very low heat for a few hours, making sure it doesn’t ‘cook’ the needles and stems, or you can set the jar in a slow cooker filled with water that comes at least halfway up the outside of your jar on low heat to gently infuse. Again, the key is to check on your infusion to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and to stop the infusing when the jojoba has that delicious balsam scent.
Once you’re happy with your infusion’s fragrance, strain out the balsam from the jojoba. I like to strain twice, once through a fine mesh colander to get the bulk of the balsam out and then again through a piece of finely woven unbleached cotton or a coffee filter to remove anything other than jojoba. Transfer your infused balsam jojoba into a clean bottle and enjoy! What can you do with balsam fir infused jojoba? First and foremost, use it on your skin and hair to impart that wonderful balsam scent as well as to moisturize and condition. (As with all new products, be sure to patch test your infusion as there are infrequent cases of people having sensitivities to balsam.) Balsam jojoba makes a delightful beard oil. I like to work a little bit into my hair for gloss, conditioning, and, again, that smell! You can read a lot of information online about balsam fir’s potential benefits to the skin and to health. I recommend starting here and here . We don’t make any claims here at The Original Jojoba Company but purported benefits may include aiding the circulation system when rubbed into the skin, as an aid for colds/bronchitis if the infused oil is rubbed into the chest (many conifers have an affinity for the respiratory system), and to relieve sore muscles. Of course the aromatherapy benefits of balsam fir are not a small part of its appeal!
We hope this inspires some of you reading to try making your own balsam infused jojoba. If you make your own or try ours, we’d love to hear what you think! If you can't find balsam, or don't want to take the time to make an infusion we’re releasing limited runs of our own HobaCare Balsam Jojoba and HobaCare Balsam Salve. This batch is made from from winter-gathered Maine balsam fir.
In early 2019, with an eye to refreshing our brand after many years, The Original Jojoba Company embarked on a rebranding journey and we thought our customers might be interested to learn more about the process and how our new look and feel came to be.
After speaking with a few Maine design firms, we chose Might & Main in Portland to partner with to update our brand. Why did we want to overhaul our look? There were several reasons but among the foremost was the fact that our labels and overall look hadn’t changed much in the years since our company was founded in 1994. After our founder Bob Butler sold the company to a cooperative of jojoba growers in Israel in late 2018 and retired, we wanted to refresh our look and emphasize the agricultural roots of our product now that we were directly connected to the farmers who supply our pure jojoba extract. You’ll see that in the artwork our designers gave us our new stylized jojoba seeds, flowers, and leaves.
We also wanted to differentiate ourselves better in the marketplace. There is a lot of jojoba for sale out there but HobaCare is the only first-press quality jojoba on the market, meaning extract that’s been lightly pressed to our exact specifications, resulting in a lighter, more quickly-absorbing, practically odorless product, different from any others. We wanted labels and an overall brand strategy that emphasized our commitment to quality and uniqueness. We think that our new look delivers on all points.
Because jojoba is a liquid wax ester, not actually an oil (you might notice that we never call ours “jojoba oil” despite that being the common term), its shelf life is indefinite and while sunlight may eventually lighten the color of jojoba it won’t oxidize in the bottle and therefore amber-colored packaging is unnecessary. We wanted to continue to showcase the beautiful color of our jojoba and with our new clear labels on our clear bottles, you can see even more of our beautiful golden jojoba.
As part of our rebranding process and to minimize confusion, we have fully embraced HobaCare as our brand name across all of our products. Instead of differentiating between Pesticide-free and Organic, and to bring our Jojoba Baby line in with the rest of the family, we now offer HobaCare, HobaCare Organic, HobaCare Baby, and HobaCare Baby Organic. Soon our website will officially be hobacare.com (but don’t worry, jojobacompany.com will still get you to us).
We embarked on our rebrand with the following aspiration: The Original Jojoba Company is the best producer of the purest quality jojoba extract in the world, unrefined and unfussed with.
Our customers know and love our jojoba because of its exceptional quality. Our hope is that with our brand refresh our visual identity gives new and potential customers an immediate sense of the high-quality nature of what’s inside each bottle. We want to thank the creative and patient team at Might & Main for working with us over the past year to make our rebrand a reality and to give thanks to our many customers who have been patiently waiting for this change and encouraging us every time we’ve posted a sneak peek of our new look. We hope you love it as much as we do and that we can continue to provide you with the very best jojoba in the world.
From Cari, our Director of Strategic Growth:
"If one of my house cats gets a hot spot, I use plain or calendula infused jojoba to treat it. I also have three pet goats and one of them tends to get dry, flaky skin this time of year. Brushing a small amount of jojoba through her coat helps soothe her dry skin and gives her fur a glossy shine." (see Bella the goat below)
From Hillary, our Customer Care Lead:
“Aside from using HobaCare Jojoba daily for my face and body, I love knowing I can use it on my pets (and recommend it safely to friends with animals). One of my older cats needed regular transdermal medicine, applied to the bare skin of the inside of his ear. The medicine was very helpful, however it did cause quite a bit of drying out of that poor sensitive skin area. Knowing Jojoba is non-toxic, we applied it regularly, massaging a few drops gently onto his chapped ear and it helped soothe the irritation and bring balance back to a such a rough spot. He stopped trying to scratch at that dry skin and let the medicine do its job.” (Arthur is pictured below)
From Susy, our Digital Content manager:
"We use jojoba on any hot spots that show up on cats or dogs. Since we heat with wood, the cats get a bit of dry flaky skin in winter and we put jojoba on their coats to help. If any of the pets get a superficial wound, we often condition it with calendula infused jojoba. It's also wonderful for cleaning dog ears, it soothes the ears and helps release wax. Our chickens also will get a foot treatment of jojoba mixed with tea tree oil or neem if scaly leg mites every show, two treatments one week apart usually does the trick to get rid of those pesky mites and their feet are healthy again in no time." (Dexter is pictured below)
From Missy Vigue - Washington, Maine
"I was attending a local craft fair when came upon the jojoba table. Brian offered me a sample size, and I tucked it away. Around this time my oldest dog was at the vets when they discovered a hotspot. The vet prescribed some antibiotics, but I didn't see fast healing. I knew jojoba oil had many healing properties, especially with skin conditions. After reading that it was not toxic for animals, I treated My dog's inflamed area. It was raw, scabby, and quite itchy. I treated the spot directly, massaging through the hair to her skin. I also covered that area with a shirt, to ensure our dog would leave that area alone. Within days, I noticed an improvement. The hotspot area was much less inflamed looking, returning to a healthier pink skin tone. The scabs resolved within a week. Within two weeks, hair growth was noticeable in the area. It has been a lifesaver, and I even use it as a general conditioner in these dry winter conditions for our dog's coat. I'm so happy to have benefited from this wonderful product." (see Maggie, the Collie below)
Over the coming months we will be sharing posts about how The Jojoba Company staff use our jojoba themselves in our new #HowDoYouHobaCare campaign. Today’s post is from Cari Balbo, our Director of Strategic Growth.
Hello from Palermo, Maine, where I’m currently working from home to reduce the number of our staff physically working at our facility right now. I feel very fortunate to live in the country where I can get outside and into the woods during this strange time. Like everyone else I’m washing my hands constantly. As we’ve shared before, jojoba is a perfect complement to the resulting dryness from all that hand washing. Additionally, jojoba has many wonderful uses and I thought I’d share some of the ways I love to use HobaCare myself.
Jojoba has a seemingly limitless number of uses (see here for our previous posts about all the many ways to use jojoba). I personally use our jojoba most often for my skin and hair. HobaCare is different from other jojoba you can buy because our farmers give the seeds a light, first-pressing (maximizing quality of the extract over quantity extracted) that results in a lighter feel in the final product, virtually no scent, and never any tackiness/stickiness. Because jojoba is so similar to our skin’s own sebum, jojoba won’t clog the pores and absorbs readily into the skin. I use jojoba on my face to oil cleanse and to moisturize (it makes a great one-ingredient silky facial serum) as well as an all over body moisturizer. I especially love using my own herbal-infused HobaCare jojobas (more about that below) to bring added skin benefit. My favorite way to use jojoba in my hair is to either apply a small amount throughout my hair while it’s still wet from washing, or just a bit (a few drops rubbed into my hands) on my hair ends when dry to add shine and minimize frizz and flyaways.
Jojoba has a myriad of uses in and outside of the home. My husband has a pair of leather shoes he conditions with our jojoba (see more about conditioning leather here). Jojoba helps removes those annoying labels that won’t come off jars easily. It keeps garden tools rust-free and working smoothly. And because jojoba is nontoxic, for humans and animals, it’s safe to use on our pets and other furry friends. We have house cats and if one of them gets a hot spot, jojoba can be used to treat it. We also have three goats and one of them tends to get dry, flaky skin this time of year. Brushing a small amount of jojoba through her coat helps her skin and gives her fur a glossy shine.
Finally, I use a lot of organic HobaCare jojoba for my own herbal skincare business, Ridge Pond Herbals, which I run in addition to working for The Jojoba Company. From the outset of launching my business in 2015, HobaCare was the only jojoba I sourced for my products because I knew the quality was superior and because I loved that it was a local Maine company. I include jojoba in quite a few of my products but I especially love infusing jojoba with herbs before adding them to recipes. One of my best sellers, and my favorite infusion to use on my own skin, is calendula-infused jojoba. Using the dried flowers of bright orange and resin-rich calendula varieties that I grow on my farm results in a gorgeously orange final product. Other favorite herbs to infuse singly (or combined) into jojoba are roses, lavender, balsam fir, arnica, and St. John’s Wort. Because jojoba’s chemical composition (technically it’s a liquid wax) is so similar to our own skin, jojoba sinks deeply into the epidermis. When infused with an herb that has skin benefit such as anti-inflammatory calendula or soothing rose, jojoba will bring those properties more deeply into the skin.
At The Jojoba Company we occasionally refer to our jojoba as liquid gold. Sometimes, however, you want something a little more solid and spreadable for your skin and jojoba makes a great base for a skin salve. I’ve created a new salve exclusively for The Jojoba Company using organic HobaCare, my organic calendula-infused jojoba for extra benefit, and just enough organic beeswax to hold it together. I like my salves to have a soft, spreadable texture, more like an ointment than a hard salve you have to scrape out of the container with your fingernail. HobaCare Hand & Cuticle Salve takes just a little longer to sink in than liquid jojoba but absorbs much faster than a salve made with other carrier oils. As with liquid jojoba, a little of this salve goes a long way and after a minute of rubbing a small amount into your hands it should be fully absorbed, leaving your hands soft, protected, and ready for more hand-washing.
Those are some of the ways I HobaCare for my skin, hair, and more. How do you HobaCare?
When you post to social channels, use #HowDoYouHobaCare so we can see them and share them (you may even be selected to win a prize)
From what we have heard from the CDC, regular handwashing with soap and water is really your best bet during our management of Covid-19. We greatly encourage everyone to keep it up! And remember, to prevent or repair your hands from drying and chapping from all the soap, keep a bottle of HobaCare Jojoba by your sink. Just a couple of drops on the backs of your hands after washing really helps to combat the effects of our current, necessary routines. Or if it's easier, a bottle by the bedside can be a reminder to slather on some of the golden goodness and let your skin soothe and soften while sleeping!
However, if your job takes you out into the world, or you temporarily do not have access to a handwashing station or supplies, hand sanitizer can step in to help minimize risks.
We have been glad to see some hand sanitizers become available again for purchase online and in some stores, but if you are lucky enough to have some ingredients at home, you can make your own for yourself or a friend.
Isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel - either from the plant or store-bought and jojoba make a great, simple hand sanitizer. In order for it to be effective, you must adjust your recipe depending on the strength of your Isopropyl Alcohol. There are several resources online to help with proportions, so we encourage due diligence with fact-checking. From what we have seen, it appears you need a minimum proportion of 60% alcohol in order to kill the germs alcohol kills.
This means you'll need to check the strength of your Isopropyl Alcohol and adjust your recipe below:
In general, it is a 2:1 measurement of alcohol to moisturizer.
- 99% Isopropyl Alcohol - 2 parts alcohol to 1 part moisturizer (2/3 cup to 1/3 cup)
- 91% Isopropyl Alcohol - 3 parts alcohol to 1 part moisturizer (3/4 cup to 1/4 cup)
- 70% Isopropyl Alcohol - 9 parts alcohol to 1 part moisturizer (9 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon)
For that nice gel feeling, using mostly aloe vera for the moisturizer with some generous splashes of jojoba for extra softening and conditioning works nicely. *Please note: Pure aloe vera can turn a brown color due to oxidization, however, from what we've researched, it doesn't cause harm from turning brown, it just looks.. surprising! If you can refrigerate your mixture, this may help the browning from happening.
If you only have Isopropyl Alcohol and Jojoba, you could try using just Jojoba as the sole moisturizer and see how it feels. It wouldn't be your typical sanitizer texture, but your hands sure would feel soft after using the mixture!
With clean hands and utensils, simply mix your ingredients together - you can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for extra antibacterial or aromatherapeutic benefits (please be sure to do full research on essential oils and possible side effects before using and use minimal amounts). Allow a bit of space in the bottle you pour your mixture into, so you can give your sanitizer a shake before using it. As with store-bought sanitizers, give your hands about a minute to dry (while rubbing it in) for best efficacy.
*We do not advise use on children - best if they stick to proper hand washing instead.
We are thinking of all of you and wishing you much wellness amidst these current challenges. Please keep in touch with us as we make it through to the next chapter together.
The Jojoba Company is a very small organization with just six full- and part-time employees. To do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have instituted various changes to our operations.
Those employees who can work from home are doing so and we are minimizing the number of employees in our facility, including the number of people packing orders in the same room, at any given time. We are also giving an extra rolling paid day off to employees to further minimize numbers in the facility.
Keeping our offices and warehouse clean and disinfected has always been a priority and that will continue to be the case.
Our jojoba itself goes from drum to bottle via filling tubes and is never exposed to direct human contact until you open your bottle.
We have plenty of jojoba, bottles, and packing supplies on hand here at our facility in Maine and see no supply-chain concerns for the foreseeable future. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions we can answer.
Autumn is in it’s second phase at our office here in Maine and suddenly we notice it’s that time of year again. The cloudy, breezy days, the swirling leaves on the ground and pumpkins appearing everywhere? Can you feel it?
Many of you may be dressing up for a Halloween party or helping the kids in your lives get festive for their Trick or Treating adventures. All this to say, there may be a lot of make-up being applied to the faces. We wanted to take the seasonal opportunity to remind you that our HobaCare Jojoba makes a wonderfully safe make-up remover! It is non-allergenic and non-toxic for young and old ghouls and goblins. It is safe and gentle around the eyes of fairy princesses and princes, while being softening and conditioning to the skin for witches and warlocks alike.
Apply several drops to a cotton pad or cotton cloth to sweep away face paint, mascara, body glitter, etc. After removing makeup and cleansing with preferred cleanser, apply a few drops of jojoba to condition dry skin and listen for the soft sigh of relief from your skin.
Don’t forget, HobaCare Jojoba isn’t just for face and body! Are you using a lot of hair spray for your 80’s themed zombie costume? You may notice your hair is very dry the next day – that’s a great time to try jojoba as a hair conditioner. Just a drop or two in your palm of shampoo could do the trick, or for a deeper, scalp conditioner, massage jojoba into your scalp and wrap your head up in a towel for around 30 minutes to let it soak in before shampooing out.
Jojoba is safe for any hair type, but may feel a little heavy for finer hair. The best results are found with thick, dry, curly, color treated and afro textured hair. Many of these individuals even use our HobaCare as a leave in conditioner, after shampooing. Experimentation is your friend in finding what works for your locks.
Whether using for skin or hair, a little goes a long way with HobaCare!
Happy Spooky and Silly Halloween, from all of us at The Jojoba Company.
-Hillary, Customer Care Lead
My love affair with the natural world was imbedded deeply in me from my childhood. I grew up on 65 acres in the woods of Maine. My first home I owned was on historical family farm land and the decision to plant a small flower garden sparked into a flame of growth into the form of vegetables, fruits & berries, and a whole glorious herb garden. The land seemed to be pleased to offer this growth again. Admiring and using these marvelous herbs for health and vitality were on the forefront of my mind. So I decided to take the opportunity with one of our famed local herbalists and her year-long medicinal herb training. I also took the Maine Master Gardener course through our cooperative extension. I began harvesting and processing my herbs and those in my fields and woods for wellness, medicinal effects, and body care purposes. My Bachelor’s degree in Mental Health & Human Services taught me about the environmental and societal perspectives of the mind and mental health. Plants came along and were mighty allies in orchestrating clarity and mental enlightenment for enrichment of one’s life. I continued in various health and wellness endeavors and learning opportunities. Then I discovered essential oils. I fell instantly in love with these marvelous compounds and was intrigued with their amazing power and versatility. I soon decided to become a certified Aromatherapist. I had the wonderful opportunity of working with a botanical company in Maine and have a deep appreciation for all the numerous essential oils, carrier oils, and many other botanical products I was surrounded with. In addition to that company, I was also happily employed by a local herb and spice shop. Most recently I traveled to New Mexico for the past eight months interning under a Master Herbalist and Ayurvedic Practitioner in her apothecary and taking herbal classes at the university. I am incredibly grateful for all the knowledge and experience I received!
Amidst my travels in the past few years, Maine has always caused me a deal of homesickness and my desire to be here always present. I wanted to be able to come home and be aligned with a holistic local business that was well respected and going in a positive new direction, but still driven by old school values. I knew The Jojoba Company fit that description. Everywhere I had traveled in the US I found people who knew this small Maine company and acknowledged it as the leader in quality jojoba distribution. I am pleased to be part of the company and bringing such a wonderful product into people’s everyday lives.
Another article by Ginne Fanelli BS, RN, LMT, our massage therapist that writes article for the blog and travels to massage shows with us. Photos courtesy of AFMTE COPYRIGHT © 2019 - Shared with Permission.
Have you ever thought much about who taught your massage teachers to teach? I’m sure we’ve all thought a lot about massage school in general… how long it took, how difficult it was, how great it was to get massage ALL the time, how challenging it was to get through all those hours of free massage we needed to give to graduate. I’m sure there was an instructor or two whose voice you hear in your head as you correct your posture during a massage, perform a specific technique, or think about an anatomical structure in particular. For me I hear “lower your shoulders”! (Thank you Nancy) I think of Zach, my deep tissue instructor, every time I reach my fingers up under the client’s occiput and apply traction or perform a long, deep glide to someone’s ITB. I remember Emily (fondly) who taught me just how to sink into the glutes. I think of my Physiology/pathology instructor whom I admired for his knowledge and his wit, as well as for his talent to teach. I could go on, but won’t. My point here is, who taught these people to teach? Who taught someone how to start up and run a massage school?
Many of these questions were pondered when I recently attended the semi annual conference for the Alliance For Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE). I was honored to attend with The Jojoba Company as a vendor. I never even knew an organization such as this existed. And was I ever in for an awakening. One very unique situation at this conference was that all of the vendors were right in the main conference room and so, I was able to “attend” many of the sessions that happened over the 3 day gathering. I hardly even know where to begin!! I guess one of the first bits of glee was to be greeted by the owner and instructor of the massage school I attended! I had no idea she would be there, and then to find out she was one of the founding members of the AFMTE and helped to organize this conference. Nancy went out of her way to bring people to our booth to introduce them to jojoba (because she loves and uses it), but also to introduce me to some of the leaders in this field. I had the honor of shaking hands and chatting with the authors of some of the textbooks I used in school, some of the pioneers in massage therapy techniques, and some amazingly brilliant thinkers and doers. I found myself trying to remember to pull my jaw up off the floor several times, or else look like a blithering idiot as that proverbial lightbulb went on upon realizing to whom I was speaking. Suffice it to say I felt myself surrounded by greatness.
This greatness shown even brighter as I listened to the various topics and discussions during the conference sessions. Topics such as whether or not to require massage teachers to be certified and if so by whom, and how, and why (answering the question “who teaches the teachers to teach). I listened in on a session about book publishing. Now ordinarily, this might be the last place on earth one could find me, but it was compelling and fascinating to listen to the panel of experts speak about their own paths to publishing. It was equally fascinating to hear the questions being asked. Who ever knew there was so much involved! It’s not something the average Joe thinks about, but I do now. What I took away was that writing the book is the “easy” part!! Publishing is not for the faint of heart. Talk about passion… passion is 100% necessary for publishing, and passion was oozing everwhere during this conference. Not only from the authors in the group, but from the group in general. Here is a group of industry leaders that have been so passionate about massage therapy, that they have started schools, taught classes themselves and have done research and published works to get the word out.
And speaking of passion, have you met the Jojoba people? This is one passionate company. They have such pride in the quality of their product. They are also an honorable company. So honorable that they chose to attend this conference to get the word out to students. The idea being that students should learn about all the different products and how to use them while they are in school and have instructors to lead them through and answer questions. Its’ also a benefit to be using a product that is hypoallergenic and has no additives because the students are litterally up to their elbows in product during schooling. It’s great for the students to know that when working with the general public, a public that is increasingly allergic and sensitive, that there is one product that works for all types of massage and all types of people. So I went to this conference with The Jojoba Company, not to sell product, but to find out how the company could best help the educators educate about how to use skin lubricant. We came away with lots of great input and advice. The Jojoba Company went to this conference to offer free product to the schools so that they can teach how to use it. Not that it’s difficult to use, it’s not. It’s just that like anything, using it for the first time goes more easily with some pointers.
This conference was a joy to attend. I got to rub shoulders with some of the rock stars of the massage therapy world. I got to talk about what I consider to be the best product out there to use for skin lubrication in massage therapy. I was blown away by the passion, dedication and level of sheer intelligence these Doctors, educators, school pioneers/owners, authors, and AFMTE officers/members bring to the table. And a good time was had by all.
These days we see articles everywhere promoting self care. While this is wonderful, it can get confusing: where to start, when to squeeze different practices into your day and how to figure out which ones are a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
One simple option to try out is something called Abhyanga! You may have heard of it as it comes from the ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda, popularized through yoga communities and found much more often now in mainstream wellness for its many beneficial health practices.
Abhyanga, or self massage, is a very simple, very nourishing home practice to add to your morning or evening routine. All you need to carve out is an extra 5-15 minutes, depending on you preference. It is low effort, with a high pay off.
By applying warm “oil” (in this case, jojoba) to your whole body and massaging each portion gently as you go, you increase circulation, calm the nervous system, stimulate lymphatic drainage, improve muscle tone and suppleness of the skin – our largest, and very hard working organ.
If you’re already familiar with Abhyanga, you may be surprised to find out jojoba is suitable for this practice. Often, and traditionally speaking, Ayurveda advises using sesame or coconut oil, depending on your personal constitution. (Google doshas for more info). But we have found out from Ayurvedic practitioners that jojoba makes a wonderful additional option that is neutral/supportive to all dosha types.
Some benefits to choosing pure jojoba over sesame/coconut oils
- it’s non-allergenic
- won’t clog pours
- will not go rancid, even when heated repeatedly
- won’t stain or remain in your towels
That last plus is a big one due to most Abhyanga instructions informing you you’ll need to keep a separate towel for this practice because you’ll eventually need to throw it out due to rancid oil remaining in the fibers even after washing. Oils and fabric, just don’t mix, but jojoba does very well, as it washes out in a hot wash cycle (see our laundering directions for more info).
There are several variations of the practice, so don’t feel you have to get it “just right” for you enjoy it’s rewards. Traditionally, one is told to apply oil to the skin and bathe afterwards. Some give an updated twist of showering beforehand, which we recommend to save your plumbing and avoid slipping. Experiment – you’ll find what works for you, as long as you just give it a try!
Simple Abhyanga Steps:
Take your small bottle of pure jojoba, and heat it by setting in a cup of very warm water. Place a towel on your closed toilet set for sitting comfortably and place your bath mat under your feet, to keep from slipping.
Start from your head, massaging the scalp, possibly without jojoba just yet, if you don’t wish for it to be in your hair.
As you go, pour your warmed jojoba into your hands and work your way gently over your whole body.
Small circular motions to massage your facial muscles.
Perhaps use more pressure to work on loosening tight neck and shoulder muscles.
For the abdomen, follow the direction of your large intestine by moving clockwise, up the right side of your stomach, across and down the left side.
On limbs, use long strokes along your long bones and circular strokes over your joints.
Many instructions encourage you to massage by moving your strokes in the direction of your heart.
Finish up with your hardworking feet, making sure they don’t miss out on the all the goodness.
If you have excess jojoba on your skin and you wish to go about your day, perhaps towel off a little, or enjoy a warm shower without using soap (but please be careful of it being slippery).
Extra self care points if use this opportunity for a little mindfulness practice, simply by focusing your attention on your breathing and the action of each loving application of jojoba to your body, allowing thoughts and feelings to simply come and go during your self massage.
Consider creating a space in your bathroom that tells your mind and body these 5-15 minutes are for your wellbeing, by making sure the room is comfortably warm or perhaps using your favorite essential oils for relaxation or energization. Even just placing a flower from your yard in a vase, or including a special momento on your sink counter can create a personalized feeling of healing.
While there is a ton of information online about Abhyanga, do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or feedback. Have you tried this self care practice? We’d love to hear your experience with it or tips for others who want to give it a try.
There are some Maine products that serve us well through the sweltering days of August to the frigid days of January and every day in between. Jojoba is one of them!
Your customer service is impeccable and goes above and beyond. It is so refreshing!
I just want to let you know how much I love your Jojoba. I have been using it for about 10 years now, after seeing it at a massage convention. One year I decided to go cheaper and found my sheets smelling rancid and after throwing them out decided I'd never do that again.
I bought your product... and my husband thought it was just another product I had to have - now he uses it all the time and reminded me when we're running low. So we both think it's great. Thanks.
I just wanted to email to say that I'm so in love with Jojoba.
Your product is amazing and I couldn't be happier with it. It is high quality which is what I strive for in my own practice.
After more than 20 years of practice I have used numerous products. The Jojoba Oil is superior to any and all.
The Jojoba esters is an excellent bodywork tool (multiple treatment modalities) as well as at home for my skin. I've even used it to mix with essential oils and given it as a gift.
I want you to know I appreciate your wonderful customer service. There is never a delay in the shipment of my order and I very much appreciate it.
I don't know what I did before I started using your product.
It is by far the finest skin care product I have ever used.