Castor oil is a well known substance in today’s holistic field that has been used for ages as a natural, multi-purpose remedy for a range of conditions and ailments. It has been used historically and modernly as an aid for digestive, gastrointestinal, lymphatic, and even respiratory health. (1)
Castor oil is rich with a powerful agent called ricinoleic acid, which is what gives castor oil such diverse healing properties. (2) While this fatty acid occurs naturally in the seeds and oils of other source plants like olive oil and cottonseed, (3) it is found in much higher concentration in the seeds of the castor plant. Once pressed and refined into an oil, the incredible substance is primed for amazing health applications.
Unexpected Beauty Uses Of Caster Oil
Because it has such an impressive variety of uses, it can be a surprise to learn that the most common use of castor oil today is perhaps the most simple! With all that it has to offer, you may not suspect this oil to be your next go-to addition to your beauty routine. However, castor oil has been known to work as a wonder-treatment for the hair and skin!
Hair And Scalp
The ricinoleic acid in castor oil has strong antimicrobial properties (4) that, when applied to the scalp, can help combat conditions such as folliculitis (5), dandruff, and various scalp infections. The lymphatic properties also increase circulation in the scalp, which can improve hair growth and reduce hair loss! (5) Ricinoleic acid is also rich in antioxidants, which strengthen the keratin in your hair, resulting in stronger, smoother, less damaged locks!
Easy, DIY Hair Treatment
1-2 times per week:
- Use a glass dropper to apply a few drops of castor oil to your palm or directly to your scalp at your natural part.
- Massage into the area (this also helps with circulation) then re-part your hair and repeat until your scalp has been evenly coated.
- Leave in for an hour at first, then increase the length of time for future treatments according to your personal preference.
Longer leave-in can increase absorption into the hair and scalp, making it easier to wash out after! Another tip to remove the treatment is to condition your hair before showering, then wet and shampoo as usual. For best results, treat hair that is slightly damp, rather than wet.
Face And Skin
Castor oil is an incredible, natural answer to acne and poor complexion. The ricinoleic acid’s antimicrobial benefits can help reduce the growth of acne-causing bacteria! (8) Anti-inflammatory priorities can also reduce redness and soothe skin irritation. Additional triglycerides moisturize the skin and promote ongoing hydration, and can also help gently remove dirt that can clog pores. That in turn results in smoother, softer, more even looking skin. Its low comedogenic score (10) means it is lightweight enough to be used without clogging your pores itself.
To apply, dab castor oil lightly onto your skin with a cotton ball or directly to your face in modest amounts (a few drops should do!). For better absorption, dilute 1:1 with another carrier oil such a coconut or olive oil.
Important Note On Sensitivity
Even though castor oil has an abundance of benefits, always be sure to perform a small, isolated skin test to make sure you don’t have any sensitivity or reaction to the oil before performing a full treatment. Once done, you can safely enjoy the amazing benefits of castor oil!
Written by Zoe Freeman