After diversifying from traditional crop varieties grown in the Riverina to grow jojoba on the family estate at Yenda 10 years ago, Ian Turner and his daughter Vicki Engsall have since become nationally and internationally renowned for their uniquely developed skincare range.
As they harvested the first yields, the more they learnt about jojoba and its skin health benefits including anti-ageing and moisturising capabilities, they discovered that no one else had developed a cosmetic range based on jojoba and that it was important to educate people on the ingredient, so they established The Jojoba Company.
“I have always preferred natural alternatives but I turned to natural therapies, natural eating, natural skin care and supplements as a last resort in order to fall pregnant. My naturopath suggested I try this approach and I haven’t looked back since. My son is now 10 years old and my family and I try to lead healthy lives,” Vicki says.
Jojoba (a plant native to south western North America discovered for its anti-oxidant and skin healing qualities) is a liquid wax with natural wax esters very similar to those in our skin’s sebum, meaning it provides the same protective and nurturing benefits to our skin as it would our own plant cells. It is naturally hypoallergenic and contains powerful antioxidants, Omega 6 and fatty 9 acids, as well as vitamins A, D and E, which are known as skin healing vitamins.
The use of jojoba has been reported to increase skin elasticity and suppleness by 50 percent, improves skin hydration and reduces moisture loss.
It is suitable for use on all skin types, including the most sensitive baby skin and acts as a calming and soothing remedy for scars and burns, rashes, dermatitis, nappy rash, cradle cap and acne, and is also used in beauty products to reduce wrinkles, stretch marks, nourish hair.
The Jojoba Company range only contains pure jojoba, grown sustainably and with no chemicals used, and the entire production is personally managed, right from the nurturing of the tiny seedlings to the meticulous cold press of the beans. The beans begin by naturally falling to the ground as they mature, and are dried slowly on the earth’s surface, concentrating the nutrients.
Harvest at the Yenda property is due to occur again in March and then the gentle process to cold press the beans to retain the vitamins and nutrients begins, and filtering 14 times for absolute purity also takes place.
The plants are carbon negative – as it grows it removes carbon from the atmosphere – and have been known to grow in the wild for more than 300 years. They are suited to our dry environments, the plants are salt tolerant, and need very little water.
The Jojoba Company has now expanded and products are now sold as far as the United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. Certainly another way our local agricultural production is proving how diverse it can be.
Words: Rosie O’Keeffe