Castor oil is an age-old remedy with an unpleasant taste, which has undergone a makeover recently. People use castor oil as a moisturizer for skin, hair, and eyelashes. Castor oil is extracted from the plant, Ricinus communis, also known as the Castor Oil plant.
The castor beans get pressed into a pale yellow, versatile vegetable oil with a distinct smell and flavor. And while modern medicine has eclipsed its historic use as a cure-all, castor oil is now a trendy beauty product. Let us find out what are the benefits of castor oil.
Similarly, like other oils, castor oil provides moisturizing benefits. It comprises ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid. It plays the role of an emollient, smoothing flaky skin and making it feel softer.
It can also offer a barrier over the skin and protect against loss of moisture. For hair, castor oil acts as a lubricant. With this oil, you can coat and condition strands to enhance shine and smoothness.
In a nutshell, because of these benefits of castor oil, you must include this oil in your beauty regimen.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a radiant liquid, yellow in color. It is an active ingredient used for different household purposes, from cleaning items to paints. There are plenty of uses and benefits of castor oil. It is also used for treating different medical conditions, mainly digestive problems. Castor oil is broken down into ricinoleic acid in the small intestine.
One of the major benefits of castor oil is it improves the digestion process. Though the evidence is less conclusive, there are several benefits of castor oil for the skin and face.
Ricinoleic acid and castor oil can increase the absorption in the skin and are at times used for treating different skin conditions, like psoriasis, acne, and dermatosis. There are also several studies that prove the benefits of castor oil in promoting hair growth, including eyelashes.
Benefits of Castor Oil
Utilized topically, the fatty acid in castor oil helps in moisturizing and nurturing almost all body parts. Here are some of the major benefits of castor oil for your skin and hair.
- Improves your lashes and brows: Applying some castor oil regularly can nurture your eyebrows and eyelashes. The best and no-mess method to apply is, buy an empty mascara bottle and fill it with castor oil. Brush your eyelashes with castor oil at night.
- Get healthy and shiny hair: It is one of the popular benefits of castor oil. Applying castor oil two to three times in a week helps in preventing hair breakage.
- Use for making your hair smooth: Smoothen your hair by using a bit of castor oil. For this, you need to apply a bit of castor oil along the hairline.
- Acts as a powerful laxative- It is one of the major benefits of castor oil. It is a stimulant laxative, which means it can increase the movement of muscles that mush the material through the intestines, helping in clearing the bowels. Stimulant laxatives act fast are commonly used for relieving constipation.
When consumed through the mouth, castor oil gets broken down in the small intestine, releasing ricinoleic acid, the most important fatty acid present in castor oil. It is one of the important benefits of castor oil, especially for those who have digestive issues.
The ricinoleic acid is then absorbed by the intestine, stimulating a powerful laxative effect. Several studies have proved that castor oil can help in relieving constipation.
One study found that when aged people took castor oil, they experienced fewer symptoms of constipation, including less straining during the defecation and fewer reported feelings of deficient bowel movements.
While castor oil is regarded as safe, when taken in small quantities, larger amounts can cause serious side effects including diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and cramping.
Though castor oil can be used for treating occasional constipation, it is recommended as a treatment for any long-term problems.
- Natural moisturizer- Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid. It is a monosaturated fatty acid. This kind of fat acts as humectants and can be best used for moisturizing the skin.
Humectants are good at retaining moisture by avoiding water loss through the outermost layer of the skin. Most often, castor oil is used in cosmetics to promote hydration and is often added to various products like makeup items, cleansers, and lotions.
There are many moisturizing products available in the market that contain harmful ingredients like perfumes, dyes, and preservatives, which could cause skin irritation and harm one’s overall health condition.
Replacing these products with castor oil can reduce exposure to these additives.
Also, castor oil is less costly and can be used on the body and face without worrying about any side effects. As castor oil is thick, it is generally mixed with other skin-friendly oils like coconut oil, olive, or almond oil to make a hydrating moisturizer for your body and face.
Although applying castor oil on the skin is safe for most, it can cause allergies in some. So, it is always better to consult a dermatologist before using castor oil.
- Helps in reducing acne- Another one in the list of benefits of castor oil is it helps in reducing acne. Acne is a skin condition that can result in blackheads, pus-filled pimples, and painful bumps on the body and face.
It is generally found among teenagers and young people.
Castor oil has many qualities that may help lessen acne symptoms. Inflammation is believed to be an important factor in the development of acne, so applying castor oil on the skin may help lessen inflammation-related signs.
Acne is related to the inequality of certain kinds of bacteria generally found on the skin, including Staphylococcus aureus. This oil has antimicrobial properties that may help fight against bacterial growth when applied to the skin.
- Moisturize the rough skin: After applying moisturizer, you can rub castor oil your elbows, knees and other areas where you have dry skin. Applying castor oil will seal the moisture in the skin.
- Condition your cuticles: Castor oil is a great product for a manicure. For applying castor oil on your cuticles, you must dab a cotton swab on your nails. This will add extra nourishment to the nails.
Other ways to use castor oil
Earlier, castor oil was not applied on nails, skin, or hair. During the old days, it was used in the form of a laxative or a product to induce labor. And yes, the Rinconelic acid present in castor oil can help in getting rid of occasional constipation.
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of castor oil make it very useful in lessening acne.
Ricinoleic acid can stop the growth of bacteria that causes acne.
Castor oil is rich in other essential fatty acids too. These can improve softness and smoothness when applied to the face.
The fatty acids present in castor oil promote the growth of healthy skin tissue, making it great for restoring uneven skin tones.
Castor oil comes with a low comedogenic score. The application of castor oil does not block the skin pores and lessens the risk of developing blackheads, making it a perfect ingredient for sensitive skin.
Be careful while using castor oil
The unhealthy amount of pesticide that our crops are sprayed with could potentially neutralize the nutritional content of Castor oil.
You must make sure you choose cold-pressed, hexane-free castor oil. This is good as it is extracted without using heat, so you can get its organic content.
While the popular benefits of castor oil cannot be overlooked, it is worth mentioning that it is heavier compared to other oils, which can make it a pain to clean.
When used in hair care recipes, make sure you apply it in less quantity. If possible, try to apply castor oil overnight so that your skin and hair absorb it totally and you will have less work for cleaning the next morning.
These are some of the common benefits of castor oil. Try using them and find out how it enhances your skin and hair.