You will have heard about the benefits of castor oil for hair growth. But did you know that it could also be good for your skin? But no, applying castor oil on the skin will not make you a “giant hair ball.” It is also ingested, although in very small quantities. In many cultures around the world, castor oil is one of the first things a newborn is fed. While Asian countries use it to clean the baby’s stomach of any fluid from the uterus that has accidentally ingested, Latin American countries use castor oil to help the baby expel mucus. Pressed from the seeds of the castor or Ricinus communis plant, castor oil has a unique chemical composition. It is a triglyceride , composed of fatty acids, of which 90% is ricinoleic acid. It was used medically in Ancient Egypt, China, Persia, Africa and Europe and is now also widely used as a main ingredient in skin care products and cosmetics.
1. Lubricates and Tones Dry Skin:
The moisturizing property of castor oil is what makes it a major ingredient in many branded skin care products. It is also used as common massage oil. Massaging the body with castor oil before bathing not only keeps the body hydrated but also induces sleep well. An oil bath of this type is recommended once a week for healthy and flexible skin. You can also massage your hands and feet before going to bed to keep them soft. In some cultures, women who have just had children massage their breasts with castor oil, as it is believed to stimulate the mammary glands and increase the flow of breast milk.
2. Helps Control Eczema and Other Skin Diseases:
The antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, mainly due to ricinoleic acid, help control skin conditions such as eczema and scalp such as milk crust in babies. There is even a patented composition for both conditions that contains more than 80% castor oil and 20% other mineral oils. To obtain the best results, this mixture has to be sprayed on the affected area and then massage the skin or scalp.
“Castor oil is also a good lubricant that can be used as a soothing emollient to treat conditions such as dry skin, dermatitis, sunburn and open sores among others”.
The anti-inflammatory property of ricinoleic acid is responsible for the effect of castor oil on sunburn and dermatitis. If castor oil seems too thick and sticky, you can also use avocado pulp to treat skin diseases.
3. Cleanses the Skin and Cures Acne:
A hydrogenated version of the oil is also used in skin cleansing agents mixed with substances such as liquid paraffin, dyes and perfumes to clean the pores and keep the skin younger for longer. Castor oil is also known to work wonders for mild acne, thanks to the antibacterial fatty acids present in the oil. Castor oil has many uses in folk medicine, such as reducing wrinkles and age spots. It is believed that castor oil helps increase the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. But this oil function has not yet been clinically proven. However, since castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid, all of which help to lubricate the skin and retain moisture, it can keep wrinkles away. Wrinkles are more visible on dry skin.
4. It is Antibacterial and Heals Wounds:
Although castor seeds have potential toxic effects, the oil that is extracted from them has been shown to have antibacterial properties. According to a study conducted in 2015, bandaging wounds with films in which castor oil was used as the main ingredient could effectively combat bacteria and accelerate the healing process. In another study, the use of castor oil in donor areas of skin grafts (areas from which skin had been removed for grafting) helped heal wounds within 11 days in all patients without any complications.
5. Prevents Skin Problems by Detoxifying the Body:
Acne, skin rashes and other skin problems are often an indication of the toxic burden on the body. Castor oil is believed to improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, although we need research to support that claim. However, the effectiveness of castor oil as a laxative is well known. This is what Mussolini used as a humiliating weapon against his dissidents. The ricinoleic acid it contains activates a certain receptor called prostanoid EP3 , which causes contractions in the intestines and uterus. As a laxative, you can eliminate the problem at the root of skin breakouts. But because it has strong effects, do not self-medicate. Ask your doctor for the correct dose.
How to Use Castor Oil for Skin Problems?
Now that you know the benefits of castor oil for the skin, let’s see how it can be used for the best results.
- Moisturizer:Mix with another vegetable oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil in a ratio of 1: 3 and apply on the skin.
- For dry and flaky skin:Mix castor oil with coconut oil and let it act for 20 minutes before rinsing.
- For acne:Wash your face first with warm water and then massage with a little castor oil with your fingers. You can leave it overnight and rinse it in the morning.
Castor oil is one of the essential oils in your pantry due to its many proven health benefits. However, do not ingest it without supervision, as it has been found to cause diarrhea and dehydration. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not ingest it either. So with a little care, you can achieve soft and beautiful skin.