Castor Oil has many medicinal and curative uses, and the same properties that make it so effective in healing the body also make it an excellent choice for maintaining beautiful and healthy skin and hair.
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- Castor Oil cures acne
- Castor Oil keeps the skin looking youthful and unlined
- Castor oil and facial hair growth – fact versus fiction
- Castor Oil breaks up external/internal scar tissue and prevents new scars
- Castor Oil soothes shingles
- Castor Oil thickens eyelashes and eyebrows
- Castor Oil prevents hair loss and regenerates hair
- Castor Oil keeps hair looking soft and shiny
- Castor Oil softens thick calluses and removes corns
- Castor Oil cures skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm
- Castor Oil prevents stretch marks
- Castor Oil will remove moles and warts
- Castor Oil will remove age spots (liver spots)
- Tip: Use baking soda to remove castor oil residue after use
- Where to buy castor oil?
1. Castor Oil cures acne
The ricinoleic acid in castor oil works to inhibit many viruses and bacteria, and as castor oil is able to penetrate skin tissue deeply, this makes it an effective treatment for acne.
To treat acne, dab a hot damp washcloth all over your face in the evening before you go to bed. The heat will gently open the pores on your face. After this, massage a little castor oil gently into the skin. Leave on overnight. Repeat this daily for 1 to 2 weeks to see results. You can also repeat this twice in the day, once at night and once in the morning.
2. Castor Oil keeps the skin looking smooth, youthful and unlined
Castor oil’s ability to penetrate more deeply than any other essential plant oil make it an excellent way to keep skin looking youthful and fresh. Castor oil works better than any store-bought anti-ageing creams.
One of the best and easiest ways to use castor oil is to rub in a small amount around your eyes before bed, washing it off the next morning.
You can also rub in castor oil all over your face, but as it’s extremely thick and sticky, use sparingly. A little goes a long way! You can rinse this off after 2-3 hours, but you can always keep it on for longer if you feel comfortable. This type of all-over application might feel more uncomfortable in hotter and more humid climates. Thus, cooler days/nights or fall/winter may be better for castor oil mask applications.
Done daily, this will keep wrinkles at bay and the skin looking fresh, youthful and supple. With consistent use over a few months, this can also help to fade old dark marks left over from pimples/spots.
Note: If you intend to use castor oil intensively (24 hours/day over many consecutive days without significant breaks), you may encounter some temporary “looseness” in the area of application. This looseness/wrinkling effect is temporary, and the skin will tighten back up again in 1-2 weeks if you take a break from castor oil. However, you can avoid this risk by taking regular breaks. This “looseness” should not happen when castor oil is used normally. To clarify, 24 hours/day over many consecutive days = NOT normal use.
|Be sure to use only cold-pressed (or cold-drawn) castor oil that is hexane-free. Any other kind could clog your pores.Another good reason to use cold-pressed castor oil instead of refined castor oil is that cold-pressed oils retain much more of their valuable nutrients. A study by a Turkish university showed that more than 95% of the free fatty acids and carotenoids, and up to 61% of the tocopherols were removed when an edible oil goes through the conventional refining process. Read this comment for more information.
Castor oil is found in several anti-ageing creams, wrinkle creams and undereye creams.
|Reviva Labs Eye Complex Firming Cream
|Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Creme (UPDATE: they’ve since removed castor oil)
|Borba Advanced Aging Recovery Crème
|Commercial anti-ageing creams that contain castor oil
Castor oil and facial hair growth – fact versus fiction
A few commenters have questioned the wisdom of using castor oil on the face given its ability to promote hair growth when used consistently over months. i.e. won’t this cause hair to sprout all over the face?
This is a fair question and deserves a straight answer.
ANSWER: No, castor oil will NOT turn you into a bearded lady or a wolfman!
Yes, it’s true that long-term and consistent castor oil applications will promote hair growth. However, it cannot make hair appear on areas where hair does not naturally occur for you. I have used castor oil around my eyes every day for years now and I assure you, gentle reader, that I have NOT turned into a bearded lady.
Castor oil use is ancient, and if it was able to create bearded ladies or wolfmen, the world would have heard about it by now through folk tales and old stories. Not to mention, the modern medical, pharmaceutical and scientific community would also have been all over this “miraculous” effect by now if it were true.
(But as it is in politics and in life, fear mongers will do what fear mongers do. As I always say — when in doubt, use your head!)
What hair growth REALLY means
For most people, when castor oil is used on the face, this means thicker and longer eyebrows/eyelashes and more rapid growth of them.
If you are a man with facial hair (a beard or a mustache), castor oil use over those areas will promote faster growth and thicker hair. This is also the same for some hirsute women.
However, castor oil use does not affect ‘vellus hair’. Vellus hair is the fine, downy and near-invisible hair that we all have on our faces (mostly over the cheeks).
What if you have had laser hair removal?
Applied consistently over months, castor oil can cause hair to regrow after temporary and “permanent” hair removal — including laser hair removal, waxing or tweezing.
For instance, after years of over-tweezing in my teen years, some parts of my naturally thick brows have become sparse. Regular castor oil use has filled in and thickened these sparse areas for me over time. However, if you were born with naturally sparse facial hair, castor oil use is unlikely to do much.
Similarly, if you have “permanently” lost hair from a wound or an injury (like I did from a deep burn on my leg), castor oil will also eventually return hair growth to normal.
If you do not want hair re-growth after laser hair removal, then avoid use over those areas.
3. Castor Oil breaks up external and internal scar tissue, and prevents new scars from forming
Castor oil’s unrivaled deep tissue penetration help to soften and remove both external and internal scars, like those that form following surgery. I have personally removed a deep burn scar using castor oil (I also shared my before-and-after photos in that article).
Castor oil will penetrate deep into the tissues to slowly break up scar tissue. Amazingly, castor oil is able to distinguish between healthy cells and abnormal ones. In healthy cells, castor oil will detoxify and stimulate them, while increasing circulation. In abnormal cells like scar tissue and growths, castor oil will instead work to aggressively dissolve cells thanks to its solvent property.
To break down internal scarring, soak a piece of clean cloth with castor oil and place it over the scar area for an hour or two each day. You can also simply rub castor oil over the scar each day. More serious internal scarring will take longer to break down.
On another note, castor oil can also prevent scars from forming in the first place. Applying castor oil over cuts or scrapes will promote excellent skin healing.
Remarkably, applying castor oil after surgery, cuts or wounds will also minimize scar formation. This could be because of castor oil’s ability to increase our body’s lymphocytes (because of this, castor oil packs are especially useful for people with HIV or AIDS). Lymphocytes, or white blood cells, appear to regulate wound healing. And studies have shown that T lymphocytes may play an important role in wound healing and scar formation. Babies and young children have naturally higher levels of lymphocytes than teenagers and adults, which could be one of the reasons why our skin healed with much less scarring when we were younger.
Several commercial scar reduction creams also contain castor oil (eg Scar Zone, Scar Repairex). However, they also contain more chemicals than they do castor oil!
|Both Scar Zone and Scar Repairex list castor oil as an ingredient
4. Castor Oil soothes shingles
Denise talked about how castor oil seem to be the only thing helping soothe the pain from her shingles.
She wrote, “I have been applying castor oil on my shingles. So far it has soothed them and softened the whole horrible thing. I am going to keep using it as Ive tried everything and its the only thing that seems to be working better than all. What do you feel about shingles and castor oil. I feel its my only hope as I know in the past its relieves pain and redness..”
Shingles are a type of viral infection and as castor oil has been proven to boost the body’s lymphocytes, it could be why castor oil applications appear to be helpful for anyone with weakened immune systems. For more on this, read how topical castor oil applications boost the immune system.
5. Castor Oil thickens eyelashes and eyebrows
Rub a little castor oil over the base of your eyelashes before bed. This prevents thinning and promotes rapid growth, leading to thicker and fuller lashes. In fact, many commercial products for eyelashes contain castor oil.
To thicken sparse eyebrows, rub a little castor oil over the brow line before bed.
6. Castor Oil prevents hair loss and regenerates hair
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of ricinoleic acid in castor oil protects the scalp and hair from infections that can cause hair loss. The omega-9 fatty acids in castor oil also nourish the hair and prevent the scalp from drying.
Rubbing castor oil on your scalp and the roots of your hair will regenerate new hair growth within months. This will also thicken thinning hair.
To treat baldness, it is also a good idea to look at improving your overall diet and seek to maintain healthier mental/emotional states at the same time. Otherwise, baldness may simply recur after castor oil treatments. Many things can lead to baldness, but one of the most common causes is magnesium deficiency, which is rampant in modern society.
Even if we have a healthy diet, sustained fear/stress/anxiety will deplete our bodies’ magnesium stores. Drinking coffee, alcohol, smoking or excessive exercise will also do this. Thus, eating foods that are high in magnesium (such as dark green vegetables or certain nuts/seeds), supplementation with magnesium chloride/magnesium citrate, or transdermal magnesium therapy can help greatly. Magnesium also has a wonderful calming and relaxing effect, which will be especially useful if stress is your issue (read my original comment about this).
For a deep healing treatment, rub castor oil into your scalp and leave it on overnight. You can wrap your hair up in a towel or a shower cap to keep the oil on your scalp and away from your bed linen (castor oil stains are almost impossible to remove).
For a lighter treatment during the day, rub a very small amount of castor oil into your scalp or hair (whichever you feel needs help). Castor oil is very thick and viscous, so a little goes a long way. You can either wash this off at the end of every day, or leave it in if you feel comfortable (to maintain your regular schedule of hair washing, whatever that may be).
However, if you have fine or weak/brittle hair, it’s a good idea to mix castor oil with a lighter oil so that it’ll be easier to wash out later (baking soda will also help remove castor oil, but it can be temporarily drying).
Some have reported good results from mixing castor oil with coconut oil or olive oil. Coconut oil is especially good for restoring damaged and weak hair because of it’s high nutrient content.
nautress wrote, “I mix virgin coconut oil and castor oil together and they do wonders to my hair. I mix 1 ounce castor oil and 2 ounces of virgin coconut oil. I oil little all over my scalp and massage it in, which later comes down the shaft of the hair, and oh my goodness, softness.”
Anonymous wrote, “I find that castor works!!!! I am going through menopause and my hair was falling out something awful. I recall reading in a beauty book long time ago when i was a teenager about castor oil making your hair grow. Well it is true.i can’t stress enough how it rescued me, i once had a woman to ask me did i have on a lace wig and i received many compliments about my hair and lots of women ask me “if it is my hair”, even my own sister did a double take. My hair grew longer and thicker. Be careful not to apply too much, the oil is thick, but i swear by it. They also say olive oil does the same never used it but thinking about trying a lil mixture of both castor oil and olive oil. But i tell many of my african sisters about this especially when i see the damage extensive weaves have done,and around the edges where too-tight braids have thinned the hair. I swear by this product and will use nothing else.!!!!!!!!!”
bb wrote, “I can verify that castor oil works for lengthening and thickening hair… it does not need to be rinsed out. If you wash hair regularly (for me that is 3x/week) and apply small amounts of castor oil to the ends, leaving it in, it does wonders for keeping the hair protected and moist so that it can grow and not break… ”
Retta wrote, “…I have started using the castor oil in my hair, (via internet reviews :youtube etc.). I don’t use the Jamaican black castor oil. But I use a grocery store brand, I paid $3.00 for a relatively small bottle. Any way, it was very thick and seemed somewhat sticky; I mixed mine with some tea tree oil, rosemary oil. I have been using it now for two weeks, 3 times per week. Some complain of build up, I don’t have that problem at all, my problem is my hair soaks it up!!! I mean, it has helped my hair a great deal. In two weeks I have noticed a remarkable difference in my hair, and its texture, it is so soft, it also feels thicker. My only regret is I wish I would have known about castor oil when I was a teenager, I would have better hair this very day…”
rbooh wrote, “Thank goodness I found castor oil!
I moved to a new city and my hair was not adjusting so I tried a few different things ( I do NOT recommend the “no-poo” method if your hair is color treated BTW ) and wound up breaking TONS of my waist length hair off. I was desperate to find something and I stumbled onto castor oil. After researching it I tried it as an overnight leave in and my hair just LOVED it; my hair was 75% better after just one use. I mixed a generous dollop into my hair conditioner and use that as well as a light leave-in application of straight castor oil on my damp hair.
I also did my own experiment using castor oil on my face. I used castor oil on one half and my regular lotion ($50.00 for a few oz) on the other half and in just one week I noticed a visible difference. The castor oil side was plump, smooth and blemish free, not to mention my luscious lashes.
Most amazing of all!! Castor oil totally, as in completely!! removed a WART from my chest. I can’t believe its gone since I’ve had the darn thing for 6 months and even 1% Retin A didn’t do a thing for it. I rubbed pure castor oil into the wart for 2 nights before bed and voila, GONE.
Perhaps not everyone needs the heavy oil and I read quite a few negative opinions about using it straight in your hair, but if you have really dry hair and skin, it truly is amazing. The odor is kind of odd and can take some getting used to. But I love that I can touch my face after touching my hair and not worry that my hair products will make my face break out.
I highly recommend castor oil to anyone, I even use it on my 9 year old sons eczema!”
7. Castor Oil keeps hair looking soft and shiny
Castor oil is a humectant as it draws moisture into the hair and skin. Applying castor oil on hair will keep it looking soft, shiny and strong.
8. Castor Oil softens thick calluses and removes corns
Castor oil application will soften any rough or thickened skin, including calluses and corns. To treat corns, apply castor oil over your feet and put cotton socks on before going to bed. (Incidentally, sleeping with castor oil socks on will also soothe painful heels and foot pain.)
9. Castor Oil cures skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm
Apply a castor oil soaked cloth on the affected area. If it is small enough, a bandaid with a few drops of castor oil can be used instead.
10. Castor Oil prevents stretch marks
Rub a small amount of castor oil over your stomach and thighs daily to prevent stretchmarks during pregnancy or periods of weight gain.
11. Castor Oil will remove moles and warts (apply heat for faster results)
Rub castor oil into moles or warts every night. The moles (or warts) will start to shrink over a few weeks, and continued use will eventually remove the mole without any scarring. Complete removal may take 2-3 months, but this slow healing will also ensure there is no “hole” in your skin. (The surgical removal of moles will often leave a hole where the mole was. This indentation can often be permanent.)
Diana kindly shared a useful tip she discovered. She wrote, “I used castor oil on moles, but I think the secret is to use heat with it. For instance, keep a hot, wet towel on the mole for a minute, and then apply castor oil, and then reapply the hot towel, for another minute. Do that for about 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times every day. I did this and I started to see results in 4 days.”
12. Castor Oil will remove age spots (liver spots)
Rub castor oil into your age spots every night. The age spot will lighten over time, and continued use will eventually remove the age spot completely.
Tip: Remove castor oil residue with baking soda
Castor oil is thick and viscous, but it can be washed out with regular soap and a good lather. However, if you find it more difficult than usual to wash castor oil out of your hair or skin, try mixing in some baking soda and water. Baking soda can cause some temporary dryness, but is very effective in removing all traces of castor oil.
Where to buy castor oil
Castor oil can be found in most good health food stores. Check the label to make sure it’s cold-pressed (or cold-drawn) and hexane-free. This is especially important if you plan to put castor oil on your face, around or in your eyes, or if you plan to ingest it for internal cleansing.
Some supermarkets or pharmacies may also sell castor oil in small bottles in the laxatives section/shelf. Again, check the labels.
You can also find castor oil in shops that cater to Indian communities. If you have a ‘Little India’ in your town or city, you can probably find it there as castor oil is a popular hair tonic among Indians. However, the downside is that these mom-and-pop stores are unlikely to sell castor oil that’s labeled cold-pressed or hexane-free.
If you prefer to buy castor oil online, several websites sell bottles in a variety of sizes. I buy mine from iherb.com (I found the shipping to be reasonable even for the largest, heaviest bottles. There’s a discount code at the top-right of this page if you’re interested). Other websites that sell castor oil include Vitacost and Amazon.