5 Benefits Of Castor Oil For The Face

5 Benefits Of Castor Oil For The Face

You might be thinking, “Isn’t castor oil known for its laxative properties?” You’re not wrong, but castor oil has had numerous uses for thousands of years. In Ancient Egypt, for example, castor oil was used to treat eye irritation and induce labor in pregnancy. Nowadays, you can commonly see castor oil in skin and hair care applications, particularly because it has incredibly moisturizing properties. 

What Is Castor Oil?

Extracted from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, castor oil is a vegetable oil that must go through processing for safe usage. The reason for that is because the seeds, castor beans, contain high levels of ricin, which is a toxic enzyme. Ricin is removed during processing, making it safe for people to use. Nowadays, castor oil is a common ingredient in many lotions, makeup products, and cleansers as a humectant, hydrating agent, and moisturizer. Continue reading to learn how using castor oil benefits facial skin

May Reduce Fungal Infection

In a 2013 study, researchers aimed to determine the antimicrobial activity of different natural extracts against Candida albicans and Enterococcus faecalic in root canals. The results indicated that castor oil was able to significantly reduce the number of CFU of the tested bacteria. Candida albicans is the fungus that can cause nail fungus, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, and jock itch

May Soothe Sunburn

According to anecdotal evidence, the moisturizing properties of castor oil may soothe the irritation and pain of a sunburn. Researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil are responsible for this ability. 

Exhibits Moisturizing Qualities

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids, which work to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. It acts as a humectant, creating a barrier on the surface of dry skin to help lock in moisture. In doing so, castor oil can help prevent moisture from evaporating from the skin. Skin and hair care manufacturers add castor oil to beauty products for this reason. It’s also added to these products as an emollient to promote hydration. Because castor oil is thick, you may want to dilute it in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil, prior to applying it to the face. 

Can Help Soothe Inflamed Skin

One study found that the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties in castor oil helped reduce inflammation in mice. Researchers observed similar effects in guinea pigs. Although gels containing ricinoleic acid can reduce inflammation, more human studies are needed to fully understand the scope of castor oil’s ability to soothe inflammation.

May Exhibit Antibacterial Properties

According to scientific studies, castor oil contains analgesic, antihistamine, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. A study from 2016 aimed to determine if castor oil exhibited antibacterial activity. Study authors noted that the protein from castor seeds contained antibacterial and anti-proliferative properties, inhibiting the growth of S. aureus, which causes acne

How To Use Castor Oil

As mentioned earlier, you can incorporate castor oil in various creams, lotions, or oil combinations. Because it is thick, you may want to dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it on your face. Alternatively, you can dip a cotton ball in castor oil and gently dab it on the face and neck. In circular motions, gently massage the areas of application for three to five minutes before washing your face with a mild cleanser. 

Risk Factors Of Castor Oil Use On The Face

When testing any new oil on the skin, you run the risk of irritation. One study found that undiluted castor oil caused severe irritation on rabbit skin, while only causing mild irritation on rat and guinea pig skin. In human trials, castor oil wasn’t found as a skin irritant. That said, people with sensitive skin or occupational dermatoses (a form or skin inflammation) may experience skin irritation. Castor oil may also cause eye irritation and discomfort if it gets in your eye, so be careful when using castor oil on the face. A few tips to follow include:

  • Always do a patch test: This rule applies to any new oil or skin care product you have concerns about. Test a small amount of the oil on your hand or arm and allow it to sit for 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.
  • Check the label: The preservatives in castor oil may cause irritation. Always read the label to check the ingredients, as not all oils are created equal. Choose oils that are cold-pressed organic without any additives.



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