With more and more people turning towards nature and its remedies, instead of looking at pharmaceuticals for a solution, castor oil is proving out to be one of those trendy beauty and natural remedies. Not only does it do wonders on your hair and skin, but it is also used in food products, medications and has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Castor oil is derived from the seeds of Ricinus communis or castor beans. Castor beans usually contain toxic enzymes called ricin. However, after undergoing intense processing and heating, castor oil then becomes fit for human use, minus the toxicity.
Hair & Skin
Just like virgin coconut oil, organic cold pressed castor oil has the ability to moisturise hair and skin and keep it moisturised. The presence of a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid, which is one of the main fatty acid components present in castor oil, is the main ingredient that helps strengthen and rejuvenate your hair and skin. It traps moisture in the skin and hair, gets rid of flaky skin, and prevents moisture loss. Castor oil is humectant in nature, which means it can absorb moisture from the air and into the skin, keeping it hydrated and smooth. Plus when it comes to hair, castor oil is known to strengthen, lubricate and condition your strands to give it a silky, voluminous and smooth texture. Don’t believe me? When it comes to her hair and eyebrows, even Charlize Theron stands by it. Castor oils are considered much better in terms of moisturising skin as compared to store-bought moisturisers and lotions. They are much better natural alternatives because many a time lotions and moisturisers from stores contact certain ingredients, perfumes and preservatives that could irritate your skin and be harmful to your health.
Even though natural alternatives are pretty safe, some people may be allergic to castor oil which is why I always recommend trying a quick skin patch test on a small area on your arm or leg, 24 hours before actually using any sort of organic oils including castor oil. If you have any allergic reaction such as itchiness or swelling, contact your GP or doctor as soon as possible.
How to Include Castor Oil in Your Daily Skincare Routine?
Castor oil is straightforward to use and for those of you who are confused as to where to buy organic castor oil from; they are readily available in stores or even online. For stronger and silkier hair, massage castor oil into your hair once every two days and leave it on for 2 hours before shampooing your hair like you usually do.
For stronger, darker and longer eyelashes and eyebrows, I recommend using clean mascara wands. Dip the mascara wand into some castor oil and brush it on your eyebrows and eyelashes at the end of your nightly skincare routine before going to bed. This nurtures and lengthen your eyelashes and make your eyebrows darker.
After moisturising your body with your favourite moisturising cream, rub in some castor oil over the driest patches of your skin. This will lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated all day long. You could even use castor oil on your nails to nourish and strengthen them. Rub some castor oil into your cuticles or nail beds after your manicure.
Anti-inflammatory & Anti-microbial
Ricinoleic acid, which is one of the components of castor oil gives it its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. According to a few studies, organic castor oil has been known to help curb down swelling and pain in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Due to its moisturising ability, castor oils can help reduce irritation and dryness in individuals who have psoriasis, plus, it locks in moisture. If you’re someone who suffers from acne, try adding castor oil in your skincare routine.
Its anti-inflammatory property will help reduce inflammation of the sebaceous glands in your skin that causes acne, and its anti-microbial properties will fight off bacteria and other microbes that infiltrate these sites of inflammation, therefore reducing pus-filled pimples a.k.a. acne and blackheads on your skin. You can use castor oil on your skin by simply dipping a cotton ball into the oil and rubbing it on spots where there might be acne or any other irritated, dried or inflamed spot on your body. Since pure castor oil takes a lot of time to be completely absorbed into the skin, I always recommend diluting castor oil with other oils like peanut or olive oil so that castor oil could be better absorbed into the skin, and remember to keep the ratio of both the oils equal that is 1:1.
Other Uses of Castor Oil
Your grandma might be able to tell you one of the most important medicinal uses of castor oil, and it has nothing to do with hair, skin or your nails. Castor oil has been used by many cultures to induce labour in pregnant females, and it is also used as a laxative. To relieve constipation and its symptoms, taking around three tablespoons of castor oil (if you are above the age of 12), will help you find relief. However, since castor oil is pretty fast-working and intense, it can be effective within 2 to 6 hours, which is why I highly recommend not consuming it before going to