What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil extracted from castor beans. Castor beans are seeds from the Ricinus Communis Plant. This is also called the castor plant. The oil is derived by pressing the seeds of the castor plant in a methodical manner. Castor oil appears colorless or pale yellow. It has a pleasant, distinct taste and odor.

Castor seeds are known to be rich in triglyceride fatty acid. 90 percent of its fatty acid content is ricinoleic acid. This is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Ricinoleic acid is an unusual compound which is rare to come by in many other edible substances. Castor oil happens to have it in a densely concentrated quantity. This is what makes the oil super valuable and unique.

The Castor plant and its seeds are one of the oldest cultivated crops. Folk health practitioners have been using castor oil to treat a wide variety of health problems for centuries. Its use dates back as far as ancient Egypt down to India. It was adored for its ability to treat ailments like eye irritations and skin problems. It was also used as an antibacterial as well as relieving constipation. Parents give it to their children to naturally boost immune function. It is also believed to speed up patients’ recovery and heal physical injuries.

Castor is used in the production of lubricants, soaps, paints, dyes, inks, waxes, and polishes. Others are hydraulics, brake fluids, coatings, nylons, perfumes and pharmaceuticals. It is also an important ingredient in most cosmetics products. This is because of its immense benefits to the skin. A report published in the International Journal of Toxicology shows that Castor oil is used in over 700 cosmetic products. Ricinoleic acid helps to maintain the texture and consistency of products. It is also thought to increase absorption in the skin. This is why it is not only used in skincare treatments but also in cosmetics and hair products.

Castor oil contains many beneficial compounds. Among them are fatty acids, amino acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. These rich components enrich the oil with properties like antioxidant and anti-diabetic. Other properties of the oil are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and hepatoprotective.

Castor oil can help treat a variety of skin conditions. Apart from ricinoleic acid, other salts and esters present in castor oil also act as skin-conditioning agents. Castor oil can be used in the treatment of a variety of skin problems. Below are ten benefits of castor oil to your skin.

10 Benefits Of Castor Oil For Skin

Acne Treatment

Acne can be very irritating. People with acne breakouts may suffer low self-esteem. It is a skin condition that can cause painful bumps and blackheads. It also causes pus-filled pimples on the face and body. Many of the properties of castor oil can help in the treatment of acne. Regular application of castor oil on the face can deal with the root causes of this skin problem. Acne can be caused by bacterial overgrowths clogging pores.

An outbreak of pimples or bumps on the face can be a result of Staphylococcus aureus. This is a bacteria commonly found on the skin. Castor oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. These may help fight bacterial overgrowth when applied to the skin. Inflammation in the skin can also be a factor in the severity of acne. Castor oil application will help fight inflammation. The oil’s moisturizing abilities will help keep the skin hydrated. This will avoid or cure irritation.

Getting Rid of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are caused by many things. A pregnant woman may start noticing stretch marks on her body. Especially after delivery. This is noticeable in the abdomen area, hips, or buttocks. Stretch marks can also be a result of hormonal imbalance in the body. Individuals undergoing sudden weight loss can also start developing stretch marks. This is due to the contraction of the skin. Aging and swelling are other causes of appearance of stretch marks in the body. The various fatty acids in castor oil and other components make it effective for getting rid of stretch marks. The regular use of castor oil can also help prevent the appearance of stretch marks.

Fights Fungus

Fungi are organisms that may live in the human body. Many of them can cause skin infections. A common skin condition caused by a fungus is ringworm. It grows into a ring-shaped red rash. Many people suffer from this skin infection and it can be difficult to deal with. Castor oil has antifungal properties that can help fight the fungi infection. This is achieved through the undecylenic acid found in castor oil. This biochemical agent helps stop fungal growth. You can mix castor oil with coconut oil to make the treatment more effective. Apply on the affected area and leave overnight until the fungus heals. You may wash the affected area with water before applying the oil.

Natural Moisturizer

Ricinoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid. This makes castor oil a good natural moisturizer. The acid retains moisture by preventing water loss through the outer layer of the skin. This is why castor oil is often used in cosmetic products. It promotes hydration when added to lotions and makeup. Using castor oil alone will help moisturize your skin. This will prevent you from the harmful effects of most synthetic moisturizers found in stores. Most of them contain dyes, preservatives, and perfumes. These components can cause skin irritation in some people.

Castor oil can also help hydrate chapped lips. This is the work of the fatty acids found in the oil. They can hydrate and moisten dry, chapped lips. You can achieve this by applying castor oil to your lips regularly. You may also mix castor oil with lemon juice and glycerin.

Wound Healing

Castor oil has moisturizing, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This qualifies it as a wound healing agent. Applying castor oil to wounds creates a moist environment around the affected part. This promotes healing. It also prevents sores from drying out. Open wounds often lead to infections. Castor oil decreases the risk of infection. This is achieved by stimulating tissue growth. This way a barrier is formed between the wound and the environment.

The buildup of dead skin cells often delay wound healing. Castor oil reduces this and also prevents dryness. The oil can also be used to heal pressure ulcers. This is a type of wound that develops from prolonged pressure on the skin.

Reduces Skin Inflammation

Inflammation can result in skin irritations. This can cause swelling, itches, rashes, and redness. Castor oil can help heal rashes, itches, and swelling. This is because of it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can heal bug bites and redness as well. Its moisturizing effect will help relieve dry, irritated skin, especially in those with psoriasis. For effective results, soak a bandage with castor oil and apply it on the affected area. If the affected area is large, a bandage may not work. You may use a cotton ball. Soak the cotton ball in castor oil and apply it to the affected area. Repeat several times. Rinse it off after an hour each time.

Relieves Sunburn

Castor oil can be used to ease painful sunburns. Blisters start popping up when you have sunburns. These blisters can become infected. Once this happens the sunburn takes a more problematic dimension. Ricinoleic acid will protect blisters that pop up from being infected. It also reduces the inflammation caused by sunburn. Applying castor oil regularly can also prevent you from getting a sunburn in the first place.

Eliminates Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Castor oil can serve as a reliable remedy for wrinkles and fine lines. This is because it penetrates deep into the skin. It boosts the production of collagen and elastin. These two components are responsible for skin tautness and elasticity. They help to soften and hydrate the skin. So, the skin is rejuvenated by making it softer and smoother. Keeping your skin hydrated will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Treat Scars and Dry, Cracked Heels

Castor oil does not only reduce the appearance of scars, it also prevents it. This is achieved through the lymphatic system in the body. This system is essential for preventing scars. The fatty acids in castor oil stimulate the lymphatic system.

The hydrating properties of castor oil are what qualify it as a remedy for cracked heels. The vitamins and essential nutrients in the oil help to achieve this. Rub the oil on your feet and put on a pair of socks and leave it overnight.

Removes Mole and Skin Tags

With castor oil you can get rid of moles and skin tags. This can be done through the moisturizing properties of the oil. It penetrates the skin and attacks the root of the moles. You may add baking soda to castor oil. Apply it to the affected area and cover it with a bandage.

How to Use Castor Oil to Treat 5 Different Skin Conditions

The following are procedures you can follow when using castor oil to treat certain skin problems. Adherence to the steps below will help to ensure a more effective application of the oil. It will also help you achieve your desired outcome within a shorter period of time.

How to Use Castor Oil to Treat Acne

Get a bowl of boiled water.

Get a towel and hold it over your head.

Lean over the bowl of water and keep your face over it for several minutes.

This will help to open up your pores and allow the oil to penetrate when you apply it.

Moisten a washcloth with warm water.

Sprinkle a small amount of castor oil on the cloth.

Rub the affected area with the washcloth in small circular motions.

Make sure you do this gently. Leave the oil on your skin overnight.

Wipe your face with a damp towel the following morning. Splash your face several times with cold water. This will shrink your pores.

Dry your skin and use a facial cleanser to remove any remnants of the castor oil.

Repeat this procedure everyday for 2 weeks.

How to Use Castor Oil to Eliminate Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Wash your face with cold water.

Pat your skin dry with a towel.

You can use a cotton ball soaked in toner to clean your face better.

You may also use rose water. Allow it to dry.

Pour a small amount of castor oil on your palm. Rub both palms together to allow the friction to warm up the oil. In small circular motions, rub the oil on your face. This should be done gently.

Repeat the procedure every day at night before going to bed.

Clean your face the next day as instructed under treatment for acne above.

How to Use Castor Oil to Treat of Stretch Marks

Rub enough castor oil over the stretch marks with your finger. Let it cover all the affected areas. You may mix two tablespoons of coconut oil with one tablespoon of castor oil. You may also use almond oil instead of coconut oil. This will increase the moisture.

Cover the affected area with a thin cotton cloth. Leave the cloth there for about 20 minutes. This is to ensure the oil penetrates deeply. You may also cover the area with a heating pad. This will make it more effective.

Repeat this procedure as often as possible. You will soon start seeing a significant reduction in your stretch marks.

How to Use Castor Oil to Remove Moles

Wash the affected area with warm water.

Get a towel and dry the area with it.

Mix two tablespoons of castor oil with a little baking soda. Mix it together well enough to achieve a gum-like texture.

Apply the mixture directly on the mole.

Put an adhesive bandage over the mixture. This should be done before going to bed at night.

The next morning, remove the bandage. Wash the area with cold water and dry it with a towel.

Repeat this procedure twice everyday for two weeks.

How to Use Castor Oil to Treat Ringworm

Wash the affected area with warm water.

Get a towel and dry the area with it.

Pour a small amount of castor oil on your palm. You can mix castor oil with coconut oil to make the treatment more effective.

Rub both palms together to allow the friction to warm up the oil. In small circular motions, rub the oil on the affected area.

Leave overnight. Wash your face in the morning. Repeat the procedure until the Ringworm heals.

Side Effects And Safety

Castor may cause allergic reactions in some people when applied to the skin. You can prevent this incident by taking precautions. Apply a small amount of the oil to a tiny patch of your skin first. Then observe how your skin reacts to it. Make sure you keep the oil away from your eyes or the inside of your nose. Folk health practitioners used castor oil to protect the eyes from irritation. Many modern health practitioners frown at this. Castor oil should also be kept away from children and pets.

Castor oil has been reported to cause skin inflammation in some people. Others complained of itching, especially when used topically. Stinging sensations and rashes may also occur. You should immediately seek medical help if you notice serious allergic reactions after using castor oil.

If you have any medical conditions you may want to speak to your doctor before using castor oil. This also applies to people under particular medications.

Castor Oil Recipes For Different Skin Types

Castor oil can be used to care for any skin type. You only need to know the right usage and combination. Here are castor oil recipes for three different skin types.

Oily Skin

Oily skin easily produces acne and other skin problems. The oil on the face clogs the pores. Clogged pores are fertile grounds for acne. This can leave permanent scars on the face. Use this castor oil recipe to avoid clogged pores:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Castor oil
  • 7 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sunflower oil

Dry Skin

Dry skin often cause itching, scaling, and cracking. Dry skin may be your natural skin type. Dry skin may also come with old age. This castor oil recipe will help you moisturize your skin.

  • 1 Tablespoon of castor oil
  • 9 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sunflower oil

Combination Skin

Those with combination skin have dry skin in some areas and oily skin on other areas of their face. This condition is found in many people. Here is a castor oil recipe for oily-dry skin. It is like that of oily skin, only that you are using less castor oil and more sunflower or extra virgin olive oil.

  • 2 Tablespoons of castor oil
  • 8 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil


Castor oil is a natural remedy for many skin conditions. The oil is cheaper than many of the cleansers and beauty products you find in stores, yet it works wonders. Using castor oil will save you from the risk of being exposed to the harmful effects of some of the chemicals used in most beauty products. But, make sure you get your castor oil from a trusted source. The extraction method used is very important. If the oil is not properly extracted, it may become harmful to your skin.

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