The beauty benefits of castor oil
The wellness community is no stranger to well-known oils such as The wellness community is no stranger to well-known oils such as coconut, sunflower, and even grapeseed, but castor oil is one of the less hyped underdog ingredients, despite its many benefits for hair, skin, and nails.
Castor oil is extracted from castor oil, which is the seed of the castor bean, says Dr. Seal Desai Solomon , a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Preston Dermatology + Skin Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina. The plant is technically native to tropical East Africa, but can travel around the world and is found in the southeastern United States.
According to Solomon, castor oil is rich in omega-6, omega-9 and vitamin E, making it a nourishing and hydrating ingredient. Castor oil also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties due to its high ricinoleic acid content. All of these make it a well-balanced beauty oil with many topical uses.
1. Improves the quality of your hair (but not the growth)
There are myths floating around the internet that castor oil can make your hair grow, but there is no real science to back up those claims. The main benefit of castor oil for hair is that it helps to produce shine. In a 2003 study , says Dr. Dean Robinson , a board-certified dermatologist based in Westport, Connecticut. People are claiming [via anecdotes] evidence of hair growth, but there's no real supporting research.
Solomon adds, adding a few seconds to that statement, it's not scientifically proven to be an effective way to stimulate your hair follicles, although that's not to say it will hurt your hair growth efforts.
You can, however, apply castor oil directly to the ends of your hair to seal the cuticles and help with the appearance of dry split ends. It can also be applied to the entire hair to reduce frizz and improve the shine of the hair. A very small amount is sufficient and can be applied to wet or dry hair.
2. Removes dandruff and moisturizes the scalp
Castor oil can be used as an inexpensive scalp treatment because of its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. Massaging it into the scalp can help replenish moisture and relieve dandruff, rashes, and inflammation, says Dr. Solomon. In this sense, castor oil can be useful in your hair regimen.
3. Moisturize Anywhere on the Body
Castor oil also works as a rich, hydrating quick moisturizer, whether you're battling cracked heels, dryness after shaving, or flaky dry skin on your arms, legs, neck, lips, or abdomen. It is a moisturizer, which means that it attracts moisture wherever it is applied. This leaves your skin moisturized, balanced, and soft to the touch.
4. Softens the cuticles
Castor oil is an excellent alternative for lathering cuticles to prevent drying, peeling and tearing, says Dr. Solomon. She especially recommends applying it right after getting a manicure or pedicure. You can also apply castor oil to your cuticles before bedtime, or keep a small vial of castor oil next to your desk or in your purse to rehydrate your cuticles a bit throughout the day. Castor oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, so it can also help prevent infection from torn cuticles.
5. Soothes sunburned skin
Even aloe gets a lot of attention. When it comes to sunburn soothing treatments (which it deserves), castor oil is another effective ingredient that you can try if Ms. Sunshine gets the best of you. When castor oil is applied directly to sunburned skin, a slight cooling sensation is felt, quickly relieving the terrible thorny pain. Meanwhile, ricinoleic acid helps to reduce further inflammation.
6. Heals wounds, inflammation, and rashes
Just as castor oil soothes the skin after overexposure to the sun, it can also be used on small wounds, rashes, and other inflamed skin areas to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and pain. Needless to say, if you are dealing with an ongoing problem, severe pain, or major scarring, a doctor's visit should be your top priority.
7. Fighting Acne
A lesser known acne treatment is the use of castor oil. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, you can spot treat acne, pimples, acne, or you can apply a thin layer on your face as a moisturizer and acne fighting treatment. Our dermatologist recommends that you do a spot test in an inconspicuous area behind your ear or under your chin where it is perfect, and wait a day before applying it to the rest of your face.