For most of us, castor oil probably drums up images of old movies or advertisements in which an ailing child is given a big spoonful of the stuff as a cure for digestive issues. Horrified, they purse their lips as they force down the vile-tasting liquid.
Although it may have developed a negative reputation thanks to its taste, the truth is, castor oil is an excellent ingredient in modern beauty products, used in everything from cleansing the skin to skin hydration. In this article, we’ll discuss what castor oil is, what skin types it’s good for, 10 castor oil skin benefits, and answer some frequently asked questions about castor oil.
As long as you don’t actually drink it, we think you’ll find castor oil highly beneficial!
What is Castor Oil? Where is it from?
Simply put, castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the castor bean or Ricinus communis. Generally found in Eastern Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, and parts of Asia, the castor bean is also grown in tropical regions around the world. When pressed into oil, it has just a slightly yellow-ish color.
Used as far back as 4000 B.C., castor oil was thought to have been used by ancient Egyptians to fuel lamps. In fact, Cleopatra herself--one of the great beauty influencers of all time--was said to have been one of castor oil’s first champions, using it to brighten the whites of her eyes. Since then castor oil has been used in everything from motor lubricants to paints, but don’t let that scare you off! We promise castor oil for face is excellent and very effective!
Castor Oil: 10 Benefits for Skin
Although castor oil is currently enjoying a reputation for encouraging scalp health (we’ll get to that in a minute), there are many, many other castor oil benefits for skin! Here are 10 castor oil skin care benefits you should know about!
1. Castor oil smoothes the skin – Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid which is a fatty acid. That means that when applied to the skin, castor oil gives the skin a look of smoothness. If you have issues with roughness or other skin texture issues, look for products with castor oil in them.
2. Castor oil moisturizes the skin – Castor oil is a triglyceride which helps moisturize the skin, making it great for people who need a little extra moisture in their skin!
3. Castor oil hydrates the skin using moisture from the air – Castor oil acts as a humectant, which means that in addition to providing moisture to the skin, it also draws moisture from the air to hydrate the skin.
4. Castor oil protects the skin – Castor oil is an antioxidant which means it helps protect the skin from environmental stressors that harm it.
5. Castor oil has a calming sensation on the skin – The fatty acids in castor oil replenish moisture to combat temporary discomfort.
6. Castor oil is low on the comedogenic scale – That means it won’t clog your pores, making it great for skin that clogs easily.
7. Castor oil promotes an even skin tone – We know we keep harping on the fatty acids in castor oil but when something works, it works! If you have an uneven skin tone, consider using products with castor oil to even it out. The fatty acids will help keep skin healthy, which, in turn, helps keep skin tone even.
8. Castor oil can be used as a cleanser – Not only can you clean your face with castor oil, you can even take off eye make-up with it!
9. Castor oil can encourage optimal scalp health – In fact, if you’ve read just about any beauty blog lately, you probably know that beauty influencers have been using castor oil for scalp health.
10. Castor oil is a great anti-aging ingredient – Between its moisturizing powers and its ability to soothe the skin, castor oil is one of those ingredients that really makes the skin look its best—and youngest!
11. Castor oil gives you hair that extra shine – Yes, we know we said this list would be “Castor Oil for Skin: 10 Benefits” but we thought we’d put in a bonus benefit! Castor oil gives your skin—and your hair—and instant shine, so the next time you do your hair, run just a little castor oil through it!
What skin type is castor oil good for?
One of the best aspects of using castor oil skin care is that it has a use for pretty much any skin type you can imagine. Let’s take a look at how castor oil works for each skin type.
1. Castor oil for dry skin – As we mentioned above, the triglyceride aspect of castor oil helps pull moisture from the air into the skin, keeping it hydrated, making it great for dry skin--on the body as well as the face.
2. Castor oil for oily skin – Scoring low on the comedogenic scale, castor oil won’t clog pores, giving your skin the appearance you desire.
3. Castor oil for people in their 20s – Even in your 20s, your skin may still be affected by hormone changes which means you probably want to use products that are low on the comedogenic scale, making castor oil an excellent choice.
4. Castor oil for skin experiencing discomfort - As mentioned above, castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid which replenishes moisture to combat temporary discomfort.
5. Castor oil for aging skin – Castor oil’s ability to hydrate the skin helps prolong a more youthful appearance as it nurtures and moisturizes the skin. And remember, aging skin doesn’t mean old skin! Just skin that’s getting older and needs a little help getting that glow back with a product like castor oil or our Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum!
6. Castor oil for uneven skin – Again, castor oil’s over-achieving fatty acids help even out uneven skin tones by keeping it healthy.
7. Castor oil for sensitive skin – If you have sensitive skin, you probably have a hard time finding products that don’t make a bad situation worse. Luckily, castor oil has a gentle effect on the skin, leaving skin feeling smoother and calmer. It’s also an antioxidant which helps protect the skin from environmental stressors that affect sensitive skin.
8. Castor oil for combination skin – Combination skin is all about balance which is why castor oil is so great for combination skin. It’s ability to hydrate the skin combined with its low comedogenic score makes castor oil perfect for combination skin.
9. Castor oil for people that prefer natural ingredients – Even a natural ingredient can irritate the skin and castor oil is no exception, but if you have a skin type that reacts better to natural products than those with a lot of artificial ingredients, castor oil might be a great choice. If you’re not sure if castor oil will irritate your skin, try using it in one small area on the skin before using it on your entire face. We’re big fans of sampling a product before you buy it, which is why we created our sample pack —so you can see what the product is like before you commit!
10. Castor oil for dry scalps – Not only is castor oil good for dry facial skin, it’s great for dry scalps so if you have a dry, itchy scalp, try massaging a little castor oil into the scalp. We think you’ll experience quite a relief in no time!
How to Use Castor Oil for Skin
So, now that you know some of the castor oil skin benefits and what skin types castor oil is good for, let’s talk about how to use castor oil for skin.
1. Use castor oil as a cleanser – As we mentioned, castor oil is a natural cleanser, cleansing dirt, oils, and impurities from the skin. That’s why we put it in our So Clean! Natural Facial Cleanser! After you cleanse with it, be sure to lock in moisture with our Rose and Shine Rosewater Toner!
2. Use castor oil as a moisturizer – Castor oil’s fatty acids like ricinoleic acid make it a great moisturizer and not just for the face but for the hands and feet! Although your extremities will probably be fine, your face might be a little sensitive to straight castor oil so think about combining it with something like our Crème de la Cream moisturizer.
3. Use castor oil to soothe the skin – Between the environment, hormones, and even diet, facial skin can get, well, difficult. Castor oil can alleviate temporary discomfort, leaving skin feeling smoother and calmer.
4. Use castor oil to even skin tone – If you have uneven skin tone, try using a little castor oil on a cotton ball to even it out, making sure to try it on a small patch of skin first to make sure it won’t irritate it. If you have really sensitive skin, you can also add it to a moisturizer or other oil to dilute it just a bit.
5. Use castor oil to give your hands a little extra glow – Let’s face it—hands need a little boost, too, which is why a little castor oil on the hands will help keep them looking their best.
Frequently Asked Questions about Castor Oil
1. Is castor oil good for your skin?
Yes! Although we recommend testing it on a small patch of skin before using it on your entire face, castor oil is definitely good for your skin! Containing ricinoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, castor oil is a great non-chemical skin moisturizer.
It’s also great for skin prone to clogging as it’s low on the comedogenic scale which means it’s unlikely to clog pores.
2. Is castor oil safe for skin?
Yes, definitely! Not only is it safe, there are a lot of great castor oil benefits for skin as we’ve outlined above.
3. What does castor oil do for skin complexion?
Castor oil can help smooth the skin, even the appearance of skin tone, and minimize the appearance of dark spots to promote healthy looking skin. A little applied after cleansing can also give the skin a glowing apprearance.
4. Is castor oil a good moisturizer?
Yes! The fatty acids in castor oil help keep skin hydrated, helping to soften fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Is castor oil good for your hair?
Castor oil not only encourages scalp health, it can give your hair a gorgeous shine! Just rub a little into your hands and over your hair and you’ll see what we mean!
We hope this look at all the castor oil benefits for skin has been enlightening! Hopefully, the next time someone mentions castor oil to you it won’t make you wince at the thought!
Fleur & Bee: Know Who You’re Buying From
At Fleur & Bee, we’re a small, close-knit team that makes natural skin care that's good for you, good for your wallet, and good for the planet.
Our clean skin care products are packed with carefully selected botanical ingredients that are time-tested and proven to work gently. Our collection is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and are free of nasties like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, and artificial fragrances. Oh and everything is under $30!
We’re also a sustainable skin care brand. Our products are crafted with sustainably sourced ingredients and are made with 100% renewable wind energy, and our packaging is up to 90% recyclable!
If we sound like your kind of clean skin care brand, check out our product lineup! Also, stay tuned to our blog for tips on easy, affordable, good-for-you skin care choices and ways to get your glow on!