Castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years. It’s made by extracting oil from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. These seeds, which are known as castor beans, contain a toxic enzyme called ricin. This oil is a vegetable oil that is used for a wide range of cosmetic and medical purposes. It is said to provide health benefits for the face and skin. However, the heating process that castor oil undergoes deactivates it, allowing the oil to be used safely.
Castor oil can be used as a natural remedy for occasional constipation. However, it can cause side effects like cramping and diarrhea and should not be used to treat chronic constipation. It can help lock moisture in the skin. Though this natural alternative to store-bought products is considered safe for most, it can cause allergic reactions in some.
Castor oil has a number of medicinal, industrial and pharmaceutical uses. It’s commonly used as an additive in foods, medications and skincare products, as well as an industrial lubricant and biodiesel fuel component. In ancient Egypt, castor oil was burned as fuel in lamps, used as a natural remedy to treat ailments like eye irritation and even given to pregnant women to stimulate labor.
Today, castor oil remains a popular natural treatment for common conditions like constipation and skin ailments and is commonly used in natural beauty products. Castor oil comes from seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, which is native to tropical areas of Africa and Asia. It is typically applied directly to the skin using a cotton ball. Castor oil is relatively safe to use, but some people have reported side effects after applying it to their skin. Castor oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, moisturizing, and some other useful properties.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Castor oil is said to provide the following benefits for the face and skin:
- Acne: The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil make it useful in reducing acne. Ricinoleic acid can inhibit growth in the bacteria that cause acne.
- Texture: Castor oil is also rich in other fatty acids. These can enhance smoothness and softness when applied to facial skin.
- Complexion: The fatty acids in castor oil can also promote the growth of healthy skin tissue, making it helpful in restoring uneven skin tones.
- Sensitive skin: Castor oil has a low comedogenic score. This means it is unlikely to clog pores in the skin and reduces the risk of developing blackheads, making it appropriate for use on sensitive skin.
- Inexpensive: Skincare products, and in particular facial creams and oils, can be very expensive. Castor oil is relatively low-cost and shares many similar properties, such as promoting a healthful complexion or moisture in the skin.
- Anti-inflammatory: Both castor oil and ricinoleic acid have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them useful for treating irritated skin.
- Antimicrobial: It may also protect the skin from bacterial infections by keeping out microbes that can cause disease.
- Moisturizing: Castor oil contains triglycerides. These can help maintain moisture in the skin, making it a useful treatment for dry skin.
- Hydration: Castor oil may have humectant properties, which means that it can draw moisture from the air into the skin, keeping the skin hydrated.
- Cleansing: The triglycerides found in castor oil are also helpful in removing dirt from the skin.
While castor oil contains many chemicals linked to improved skin health, there has been limited research into the dermatological benefits of castor oil. It might be more effectively put to use alongside other treatments.