Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor beans found in the Ricinus communis plant. The seeds contain a toxic enzyme, ricin, which is deactivated during the oil processing which includes heating to be ready for a safe use.
Castor oil can be used for numerous cosmetic purposes focusing on skin and hair. The fluid has anti-inflammatory, cleansing, and moisturizing functions on the skin and scalp in addition to hydration and repair of damaged hair as well as improvement of hair growth.
The oil is rich in the monounsaturated fatty acids called the ricinoleic acids; these type of fats, combined with, triglycerides, used through topical application moisturize the skin by hydrating the tissues and preventing excessive water loss through the outer skin layers. Having such function, castor oil is a commonly used ingredient in cosmetic products, especially face lotions, body oils, makeup cleansers, and dandruff treatments.
Castor oil can be applied to wounds to promote healing. The way such functions is by moisturizing the skin, acting as an additional barrier, and creating an environment ideal for the immune system to renew skin and fight off infection in the shortest time possible. One of the most common uses of castor oil is to treat existing acne and reduce the visual damage of it.
Besides hydrating, rhinocelic acids found in castor oil also help treat skin inflammation. From treating minor irritations to decreasing the painful effects of psoriasis, the oil's components work to reduce inflammation and pain.
Hair Growth and Repair
Castor oil advances hair growth and thickening by creating a healthy environment inside of the hair follicles through nourishing them. Also, it repairs damaged hair by moisturizing it just like skin, leading to shiny and beautiful hair. The oil can be applied on any skin area where hair grows or is meant to grow - you can improve your hair density and length or renew removed hair on the eyebrow area, for instance. It is significant to note that due to such function of castor oil, it promotes facial hair and body hair once used as a moisturizer.
Cosmetic Application Method
Using natural substances rather than commercial products prevents the build up of artifical ingredients and chemicals added to the manufactured products. In order to use castor oil as a substitute, you must obtain it from any store carrying it in stock, such as the drug store or natural supplements shop, along with cotton pads for application and another oil for mixture. It is strongly suggested to dilute castor oil with another oil, such as coconut, almond, or olive, with a ratio of 1:1 because it is naturally heavy and quite dense. To properly moisturize the skin, soak the cotton pad in diluted oil, squeeze the excess out, and wipe the target areas. Such must be completed regularly - once or twice daily, for excellent results.
To be used for hair application, castor oil should be diluted as well with an oil of preference with a ratio of 1:1. The mixture should be distributed throughout the hair's length in small amounts with a focus on the ends
If you’re interested in using castor oil for hair growth, try rubbing just a few drops of the oil into your scalp. You can also massage a few additional drops of castor oil into your hair’s midsection and ends, which may protect against breakage and improve hair texture.
Besides in helping enhance appearance, castor oil also has other uses which must be taken into consideration, including:
- Natural laxative: prescribed by nutritionists to cleanse the digestive tract or alleviate constipation.
- Labor inducer: assists doctors by inducing birth in pregnant women due to medical conditions.
- Antimicrobial: used as an active solution in prevention of infections
Remember that it is important to note that castor oil is extracted from a plant, meaning it may cause an allergic reaction in those people sensitive to its natural components. If you are aware of your histaminic response occurring through topical sensitivities, check with your medical professional prior to use. It is generally suggested to try the oil on a sensitive part of the body (i.e. wrist) in small amounts to check for any reactions; by doing so, you will ensure the substance is safe to apply on all parts of the body in appropriate amounts.