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Castor Oil: Benefits, Uses for Hair, Skin, and Lashes

Overview of Castor Oil

Castor oil, once an age-old folk remedy with an infamous taste is now a trendy, budget-friendly beauty hack. Thanks to fans such as actress Charlize Theron, castor oil has gained massive street cred among skin and hair care aficionados.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a thick, odorless oil made from the beans of the castor plant, Ricinus communis, naturally found in Africa, India, and South America. Its usage dates back to ancient Egypt, where Egyptians used it as lamp fuel and then later during medicinal and beauty treatments. It's said that even Cleopatra believed that castor oil would brighten the whites of her eyes.

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Cleopatra was close! Today, castor carrier oil is sometimes used to give lads and ladies full lashes for a captivating gaze, but its benefits don’t stop there. Its nourishing qualities have also made it a must-have for natural skincare enthusiasts.

To make this nourishing carrier oil, castor beans undergo an extraction process known as cold-pressing whereby the beans are pressed until it becomes a pale-yellow vegetable oil. This method captures the "essence" of the plant's beauty benefits for skin and hair.

Name Castor Oil
Botanical Name Ricinus communis
Native to Tropical regions
Properties Emmenagogue, galactagogue, anti-inflammatory, insecticide, spermicide, antiarthritic, laxative
Main ingredients Ricin, linoleic acid, ricinoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid
Aroma Slightly unpleasnt
Blends well with Coconut, olive and sesame seed oils
Category -
Substitute Pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil
A castor plant

Castor Oil Benefits

Read on to find out why castor oil is now the upcoming, budget-friendly beauty must-have that’s great for beautiful skin and hair.


It Nourishes Dry Hair

Dry or damaged hair can especially benefit from an intense moisturizer like castor oil. Adding fats like castor oil to the hair on a regular basis helps lubricate the hair shaft, thereby increasing flexibility and decreasing the chance of breakage.


It’s Moisturizing For The Face & Body

Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. It’s a humectant that retains moisture by preventing water loss through the outer layer of the skin, keeping all the moisture you need locked in for softer, smoother skin.


It Has Impressive Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Research has shown that when castor oil is applied topically, it can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The anti-inflammatory qualities of castor oil may be particularly helpful to those with sensitive skin that’s easily irritated. It could also help with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis.


It Can Increase Blood Circulation

Scientific bodies have found a link between healthy lymphatic system and other organs of the body. Castro oil can keep the lymphatic system healthy. This promotes better blood circulation from the heart to various organs of the body.


Useful in Skin Treatment

The carrier oil has undecylenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid that is known to treat skin diseases. It can even treat skin ulcers resulting from bacteria and fungus. The benefits of castor oil for skin make it an irreplaceable natural remedy. It is also used in skin care products and medicines to deal with burns, sunburns, cuts and bruises.


Treat Minor Skin Irritation

Inflammation of the skin can cause redness, itching and swellings. Clean the part of the skin and topically apply castor oil to curb inflammation. A few tablespoons or drops of castor oil can be applied directly without any fear.


It is Also A Libido Booster

Who knew that a carrier oil can increase libido? It was usually a property reserved for essential oils. But, castor oil absorbs the fat molecules and thus regulates the hormones and increases blood circulation. Hormone regulation reduces mood swings and PMS symptoms.


Used By Pregnant To Induce Labor

Studies have shown that castor oil is a popular oil for women. Castor oil has been in used by midwives to induce labor. Now, research has proven that the oil causes uterine contractions. This is caused due to the ricinoleic acid in the oil. An obstetric research proved that women who had castor oil increased their likelihood of labor within 24 hours. The report was published in the Scholarly Journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in January 2000. (1)


Causes Bowel Movement

Constipation is one of the problems occurring during pregnancy. Castor oil is used as a laxative to clear out the bowels. However, consult a doctor before using castor oil when pregnant. The ricinoleic acid not only improves bowel movement, but also improves the absorption of nutrients. Research conducted by L. Ayuba, and S. Agboire published in 2017 reported that castor oil could be useful in treating infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus. (2)


Apply on Fungal Infections

Castro oil has antifungal properties which are useful in treating ringworms, Athlete’s foot, moles and any other fungal infections.


Mitigates Rheumatoid Arthritis

Castor oil is one of the oils that not only mitigate the symptoms of rheumatism, but also the progress of the disorder. It is used as a massage oil is rustic regions as it lowers the inflammation of the joints. The three fatty acids - ricinoleic, oleic and linoleic – are responsible for providing relief from joint issues. It is also mixed with essential oils for joint pain relief.


Also Good for Back Pain

The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil are good for a relaxing back rub. The oil mitigates pain and relieves stiffness.


It is Good for Hair and Scalp

The properties of castor oil including fungicidal and insecticidal protects the scalp from infections, thus this oil preventing dandruff, hair loss and other conditions. It also nourishes the scalp.


Assists in Birth Control

Castor oil is also a spermicide that prevents pregnancy. It is due to the protein ricin. It is used as an ingredient in contraceptive gels and lotions.


Regulate Menstruation Naturally

The ricinoleic acid in castor oil makes the oil a natural emmenagogue. It has been used in Ayurveda to stimulate menstruation. It also lowers the pain and discomfort during menstruation.


Improves Milk Secretion

Castor oil is a galactagogue that boosts lactation. Due to the presence of many fatty acids castor oil increases the quantity of milk and also eases its flow. This oil must be taken in small doses.


Oil Good For Eye Care

Eye conditions including dry eyes, cataracts, and eye infections can be prevented by applying the anti-inflammatory castor oil. The oil is also useful against puffy eye bags and dark circles. A study published in 2021 highlights the importance of castor oil for eye health. (3)


Good For a Foot Rub

In fact, castor oil does more than just a foot rub. It is used as a natural remedy for Plantar Fasciitis. The oil has shown to provide relief to people suffering with plantar heel spur.


Maybe a Remedy for Fibroids

What are fibroids? The benign or non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus are called fibroids. Castor oil relieves constipation and can hence prevent fibroid. However, there is no scientific evidence to state that castor oil definitely prevents fibroids. The use of castor oil as a laxative has been established in a study published in 2012. (4)


Natural Treatment For Genital Warts

These annoying soft growths on the genitalia can be treated and cured with castor oil. In traditional medicine castor oil and crushed garlic is used to dry out the warts. The health benefits of using castor oil include removing body corn as well. The leaf of castor oil plant has antiviral properties as per a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2021. (5)

Uses of Castor Oil


Relief from Arthritis

The oil is mixed with any minty essential oil and massaged on the arthritic joints (and even sore muscles). Castor oil to treat physical pain works as it boosts the anti-inflammatory properties.


Eliminates Stretch Marks

The stretch marks caused during pregnancy can be diminished by applying castor oil. Mix it with coconut or almond oil and massage several times in a day for quick results. Castor oil along with other carrier oils penetrates deep into the skin and regenerates skin cells.


Acne Treating Carrier Oil

For using castor oil to treat acne, first cleanse the face with steam which opens the pores and allowing the oils to penetrate the skin. Later apply the castor oil and massage it into the skin. Clean the face with cold water after 30 minutes. Doing so regularly will eliminate the risk of acne. It is also good for treating skin inflammation. Castor oil pack is available in the market for acne. Castor oil may help both dry skin and oily skin. Do not leave the oil on your face too long; if you do so, wash it off thoroughly.


Boost Body Immunity

Apply the carrier oil directly on the abdomen, and parts below the ribs. The absorbed oil will increase the immune strength of the body. A cup of castor oil with essential oil on your skin will boost immunity.


Get Rid of Constipation

Getting rid of constipation is one of the popular uses of castor oil. Here, mix 30 ml of castor oil in warm water with crushed ginger and ingest the mix. It takes a few hours for the medicine to take effect. The oil from the seeds of the castor plant is popular natural laxative.


Better Eyes and Vision

Regularly massage the face and eyelids with castor oil to avoid the ailments that bother eyes. The oil is results in thicker eyebrows.


Perfect Oil for Nail Health

Castor oil is rich in vitamin E and when applied on a regular basis softens the cuticles and prevents nail breakage. You can soak the fingers in a mix of castor oil, baby shampoo and warm water.


Castor Oil For Hair Growth

Apply castor oil on the scalp and massage it for a few minutes to spread the oil uniformly and trigger blood flow in the scalp. Avoid the hair as the thickness of castor oil will be hard to remove. Do this for two months and promote hair growth. It is used in other hair treatment for hair health.


Oil for Soft Heels

Apply castor oil on the feet before bedtime. It hydrates the heels and treats cracked heels. Apply castor oil on the heels and wearing socks also gives good sleep.

5 Recipes of Castor Oil

1. Hair Growth Serum With Castor Oil


  • One and half tablespoons Castor oil
  • One tablespoon of argan oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil

2. Scalp Treatment with Castor Oil


  • 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil

3. Hair Mask Oil Blends


  • 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil


  • Gently warm the mix before applying on scalp.

4. DIY Lip Balm


  • 2 drops lavender oil
  • 2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 1 drop Vitamin E oil

5. Makeup remover Oil Blend


  • 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 drop Vitamin E oil

How To Use Castor Oil

Historically, castor oil was used as a natural laxative and to induce labor. Today, it’s widely used as an ingredient in cosmetics, which makes sense because this rich oil is packed with beauty benefits from head to toe.

Castor Oil For The Face

Moisturizing castor oil is really thick so you should mix it with coconut oil or almond oil before putting it on your face. You can also add it to shea butter to make an extra-moisturizing concoction! Apply it to your face after cleansing and before bed. Leave it on overnight or wipe it off with a warm wet cloth after 10 minutes for soft, supple skin.

Castor Oil To Thicken Brows & Lashes

Applying a little castor oil daily can help nourish your eyelashes and eyebrows. Due to its moisturizing properties, castor oil can help condition and thicken the hairs of brows and lashes. Our tip is to buy empty mascara bottles on Amazon and fill them with castor oil to brush on your lashes and eyebrows before bedtime.

A woman has closed her eyes and shadow of hat is falling on her face

Castor Oil As A Moisturizer For Rough Skin

A bit of moisture goes a long way when you’ve got dry, rough and bumpy skin. After applying your usual body cream, rubbing in a little castor oil on the knees, elbows, heels and other dry patches will help seal in the moisture for better results. Use it once or twice per day as needed and enjoy softer skin in no time.

Castor Oil As A Carrier Oil With Essential Oils

Carrier oils such as castor oil are often used to dilute essential oils to ensure they’re skin-safe. We’d recommend pairing castor oil with essential oils that share similar benefits, such as cedarwood oil for hair growth, turmeric oil for scalp cleansing or myrrh oil for flawless skin. As a good rule of thumb, one drop of essential oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil is enough dilution for topical application.

Using castor carrier oil for skincare & haircare

Safety When using Castor Oil

  • Castor oil is safe but excess use of the oil will lead to nausea and vomiting.
  • Excess use of castor oil can result in dehydration.
  • Castor oil might be allergic to some skin types and may cause rashes, hives and itching.
  • Side effects of castor oil when applied to the skin include irritated skin and it may aggravate skin condition.
  • The laxative nature of castor oil can cause side effects like muscle cramps
  • Excess use of castor oil can cause Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats.
  • Castor oil must not be used on infants and children.
  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers must avoid consuming castor oil or consult their doctor before using castor oil.
  • Castor oil is a multipurpose vegetable oil, but it can result in weakness.
  • Large volume of castor oil consumption can cause potassium deficiency.
  • Do a skin patch test taking the oil directly to the skin.

Recommended Skincare Oils

Our gentle carrier oils are ethically sourced and contain only 100% pure and organic ingredients. Check out our full range of ECOCERT Certified carrier oils for your skincare needs here.

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