Jojoba Company Co-Founder Vicki Engsall on the Healing Power of a Simple Seed
The Jojoba Company co-founder Vicki Engsall is passionate about a simple seed.
That seed is from the Wadi-Wadi jojoba plant and it contains a golden liquid that heals human skin. Two decades ago, her father transitioned his farm from growing crops to cultivating the curative plant, and today, the family is devoted to sharing the plant-based liquid gold with people around the world, through The Jojoba Company’s skin-nourishing products. This is natural skincare at its best.
Though technology abounds in the cosmetics industry, nothing has been invented that matches the restorative powers of natural jojoba. This is why The Jojoba Company created an entire line of cosmetics based on the curative qualities of the Wadi-Wadi jojoba plant. The result is a beauty product perfect for all skin types and is especially useful in dealing with dryness.
Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans extracted a luminous liquid from jojoba seeds to heal and restore their skin. It is that same substance (jojoba oil) that is the foundation for The Jojoba Company’s skincare line.
A plant unlike any other
Jojoba is the only plant with liquid wax in its seeds. The wax shares a molecular structure with the natural oils found in human skin, making the skin more receptive to receiving the antioxidants, omegas, and vitamins A, D, and E in the plant.
Because of its likeness to the oils in human skin, jojoba treats a spectrum of skin conditions, including dry, combination, oily, itchy, red, and flaky skin. It's optimal for dry skin since it hydrates so much.
In addition to using the natural process of cold pressing (rather than chemicals or heat) to extract the jojoba, The Jojoba Company then filters the liquid fourteen times to ensure its purity. There are no pesticides or chemicals used on the plants as they grow, and no unnatural processing used to create the moisturising products. The company prides itself on not only offering humans completely natural, safe, and effective cosmetics to nourish and restore their skin (regardless of your skin tone or type), but on protecting animals by creating products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and environmentally friendly.
We had the chance to learn all about the incredible healing powers of these Australian-made small seeds—and The Jojoba Company’s curative, clean, and vegan-friendly cosmetics—from Engsall herself, the co-founder of The Jojoba Company.
Shifting the family farm from grains to liquid gold
Vicki Engsall: My Dad, Ian Turner, had been farming crops such as wheat, barley, canola, rice, plums, etc. on our Beresford Farm in South-Eastern Australia for a long time. In the Year 2000, he—along with seven other Australian farmers—was approached by the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in Australia to be pioneers in growing a new strain of jojoba called Wadi Wadi jojoba—unique to Australia—which had been developed by the organization. The soil on our Beresford Farm was perfect for growing this unique strain of jojoba, being nutrient-rich, with a dry climate and access to water. It took 8 years for the Wadi Wadi jojoba to mature and produce a crop. So, in 2008, the Jojoba Company was born. As the business grew and grew, and the demand for our unique strain of Wadi Wadi jojoba grew, we gradually expanded the jojoba crops on the farm, replacing the other crops to make room for it. Now, in 2021, it is an exclusive jojoba farm; the only Wadi Wadi jojoba farm left in the world.
KB: Just how does Australian jojoba benefit human skin?
VE: Jojoba is unlike any oil, because it’s not one.
Jojoba is the only plant to store liquid wax in its seed. It shares the same molecular structure as the natural oils found in healthy human skin, making the skin more receptive to receive vital nutrients and antioxidants, restoring balance, and helping your skin behave as it was always designed to.
Native Americans extracted the golden liquid from the jojoba beans and used it to soothe, heal, and restore their skin.
Because of jojoba’s natural affinity with human skin, it is able to activate your skin’s natural intelligence to allow skin to help itself. Teeming with antioxidants, omegas, and vitamins A, D, and E, our high performing Wadi-Wadi jojoba is the reason why our skincare products can be so effective across all skin types, life stages, and concerns, without the need for harmful additives or chemical nasties, as it helps to elevate the effectiveness of whatever it is added to.
Jojoba can be used on any skin type or for any skin concern. Because jojoba closely matches our own skin’s oil, it is able to help skin to help itself with anything that is going on in the skin, be it dry, oily, combination, normal, breakout-prone, red, itchy, or flaky.
Clean, vegan cosmetics that nourish skin
KB: What is cold-pressing and why do you use this process to produce The Jojoba Company's products?
VE: Cold-pressing means the process of removing an oil from its source using mechanical methods rather than using heat or chemical solvents. When a bean or a seed or a nut is cold-pressed, a mechanical crusher or expeller compresses the ingredient until its oil is released. Then it is filtered and bottled. We always cold-press the jojoba seeds from our Australian farm instead of using heat or chemical solvents. Heating and solvent methods produce a larger amount of oil as they require less effort, less money, and less material, while producing more oil. However, the oil is lacking in nutrients compared to cold-pressed oils; the heat and chemicals destroy the precious nutrients. This is why we only ever cold press our jojoba, never using heat or chemicals. When we cold press our seeds, 50 percent of the mass of the seed is the pure golden Wadi Wadi jojoba. We take the leftover seed and crush it up to make a physical exfoliator.
KB: The Jojoba Company maintains very high ethical standards. How did you come to be a vegan-friendly company?
VE: Our ethical standards have remained unchanged since our first formulations in 2009. We have a beautiful plant-based ingredient that is pure, natural, ethically grown, sustainable, and good for the earth—so we wanted to make sure that everything that our jojoba stands for was emanated in every product we produce. This is where our high ethical standards originated from, and still stand today. Becoming a vegan-friendly company was in line with our ethical standards, complementing our beautiful plant-based golden liquid with other plant-based ingredients, and always steering clear of animal derivatives, and avoiding any kind of animal testing. When formulating our products, each and every ingredient is carefully chosen to ensure that animal testing hasn’t been performed on the ingredient and that there is no trace of any kind of animal derivative in it. We pride ourselves on this philosophy and are very proudly vegan-friendly.
Kind to animals, the planet, and your skin
KB: What other standards are important to The Jojoba Company when creating your products?
VE: Our vision and brand philosophy from the beginning of our company has and will always be to give people back control of their skin. Our formulas are free from nasty chemicals and fragrances, using only the purest ingredients that are cruelty-free and animal-free with jojoba at the heart, complemented with ethically sourced ingredients to deliver visibly transformative results, naturally.
Safety is at the forefront of every single formulation and we formulate to EWG standards. No ingredients have a rating above 2 to ensure our products are perfectly safe for all, even those with the most sensitive skin.
KB: What is most rewarding about your work with The Jojoba Company?
VE: Watching a business grow from a family farm producing jojoba into a company that people know—producing products that people love and come back for—is the most incredible feeling. Equally, growing a team that is just as passionate as me and shares my vision and brand philosophy—working together to achieve amazing things—is so rewarding. I am very passionate about formulations and products so I think the most rewarding part about my work with the Jojoba Company would have to be creating new products. I love staying up to date with ingredients, trends, and efficacies, and love creating new products with cutting-edge ingredients. When I see or hear from customers about what our products have done for their skin, it is so heart-warming for me, and is so rewarding; I am so aware of what effect skin issues have on people’s self-perception and self-esteem. So when we receive feedback about how our products have helped skin issues and have stopped the cycle of dependence on products to fix these issues and provide a long-term solution, making people feel more confident in their skin, that is an amazing feeling.
Getting started with jojoba
KB: What is the best way for someone who wants healthy skin to begin incorporating your products and natural ingredients into their skincare routine?
VE: Our products fit well into any skincare regimen. Our pure Australian Wadi Wadi jojoba can be used in so many different ways. It can be added in as a step in an existing skincare regimen between cleansing and moisturizing, or it can replace a facial oil. In addition, you can add a few pumps to your moisturiser for a more intense moisturization or to your hair conditioner to add more nourishment. Jojoba can be used as an all-over body moisturizer as well, or again, a few pumps added to your current body moisturizer. We have a range of facial oils to suit different skin concerns and these can also easily be incorporated into a skincare regimen between cleansing and moisturizing. For example, Pigmentation Oil is a great face oil to add in after cleansing and serum, and before moisturizing, to help reduce the appearance of age spots and pigmentation in the skin. The Ultimate Youth Potion is perfect for anyone wanting to help reduce the signs of aging and give the skin extra care and nourishment. Our Cleansing Oil can be used to remove make-up and sunscreen and to deep clean the skin. Our Ultimate Serum can be used as an intense hydrating step in your skin regimen—with the added benefits of collagen, peptides, and antioxidants—to be used between cleansing and facial oil.
Our products can provide a full regimen for any skin type, or individual products can be incorporated into an existing skincare regimen. Our products complement each other and work well together to target specific skin concerns, formulated with the correct percentages of active ingredients to ensure optimum results.
Kinder Beauty is thrilled to partner with The Jojoba Company this month.
Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.