What Is Castor Oil? Everything You Need to Know About It

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Beauty oils are stealing the spotlight, and castor oil suddenly catapulted to stardom. You might be wondering – why is it such a hot commodity? Before getting lost in all the praises and testimonials on how great castor oil is, let’s start with the most basic question – what is castor oil?

Castor oil is a clear liquid with a yellowish tint obtained from the castor bean. The bean looks a lot like a tick which is why its scientific name, Ricinus communis, translates to common tick. Every part of the castor plant contains the toxic protein ricin, which is lethal even in small quantities.

Don’t be scared, castor oil is not toxic. Using castor oil dates as far back as the first century BCE. The Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra, was believed to have used this oil to brighten the whites of her eyes.  

Since 2000 BCE, India has been using castor oil in Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis. This oil is an ingredient in industrial products and cosmetics because of a special component.


What Is Castor Oil Known For?

Castor oil is tasteless, odorless, and it has awesome health benefits. If your grandparents are big on using natural remedies, you’ve probably used castor oil at some point.

Castor oil is a laxative – a tablespoon of this oil can ease constipation. Castor oil packs also became popular. Research found these packs improve the immune system.

Castor oil also cures hair loss and it’s a top beauty oil. It also became a popular remedy for having longer eyelashes. Unfortunately, most of these reports are just testimonials and research on castor oil benefits and side effects are lacking.

What is Castor Oil Composed Of?

Castor oil is not just special because Cleopatra supposedly approved of it or because it comes from a toxic plant. What makes castor oil special is the unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid ricinoleic acid. Castor oil is 90 percent ricinoleic acid.

Ricinoleic acid is valuable for industrial use. Some of its applications include manufacturing of inks, coatings, lubricants, and paints. This oil is also a major ingredient in soaps and waxes.

Ricinoleic acid is also the reason castor oil became a scene stealer as a natural remedy and a beauty product. This acid helps with bloating, indigestion, and abdominal cramps. Aside from improving stomach health, ricinoleic acid also inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

What makes this acid even better is its ability to penetrate better into the skin. Avoiding acne and getting better-looking skin is possible with this natural remedy.

Aside from ricinoleic acid, castor oil also contains four percent linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 essential fatty acid also known as Vitamin F. This acid is also common in skin-nourishing products.

Linoleic acid can reduce inflammation and allows the skin to heal quickly. This acid can minimize mild scarring, treat scars, and other minor wounds.

Aside from those two, castor oil also contains three percent oleic acid. This acid is also an omega-9 fatty acid which is a staple ingredient in beauty products. It has a moisturizing quality that keeps skin supple, soft, and radiant.

Then there’s stearic acid which makes up one percent of castor oil. This ingredient is also common in skincare products. Stearic acid reduces water loss in the skin’s surface.

With all of these components combined, it’s not surprising why castor oil does wonders for the skin.

What Beauty Products Contain Castor Oil?

Watch this video to complement your knowledge about the wonderful uses of castor oil.

With all its amazing ingredients and healing abilities, tons of products containing this miraculous oil gained popularity. Some of those products are:

While these beauty products work wonders, I prefer using organic castor oil. In fact, I have a list of castor oil products I love. Check out my top 10 picks in this post.

Is Castor Oil Right for Me?



Castor oil is a natural remedy for skin ailments. Remember castor oil has a thicker consistency, so, you have to apply it sparingly.

If you are new to using castor oil, introduce it gradually to your skincare routine. This way, you are less likely to suffer from breakouts.

Pro Tip: Before using castor oil on your face do a patch test. Apply the oil on the inside of your arm first and see if there are any adverse reaction before using it on your face.

While it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to castor oil, it’s also possible that the problem lies with the product you’re using. Due to castor oil’s consistency, some companies mix aromas which can cause skin irritation.

Check out the ingredients in the oil to see if there are any other potential allergens. Don’t forget to check the brand you bought and do a quick Google search – this can save you from making the wrong decision.  


Quick Reminder Before You Go Gaga Over Castor Oil

Castor oil is the ultimate skin food.  However, be cautious of using it especially if you are sensitive to ingredients in this oil. There are many claims of castor oil having dramatic results but there is limited research on its efficacy and side effects.

If you suffer an allergic reaction to the product, stop using it. For distressing symptoms, get in touch with your doctor. You don’t want to aggravate any skin condition after all.

Now that you know more about castor oil, you can decide whether you should try it out or not. Who knows, it might be the solution to your beauty woes.

Did you ever try using castor oil? What can you say about it? What is castor oil most effective for?

We’d love to hear about your favorite beauty routine using castor oil. Share your thoughts on the comment section below.

Related video: 6 Epic Uses Of Castor Oil You Wish Someone Told You Earlier


Source: beautyshortcutips.com

Top Editor's Choice on Castor Oil

NOW Solutions, Castor Oil, 100% Pure Versatile Skin Care,...
Ingredient: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil; While its use is applicable to many other areas of wellness
Castor Oil 64 oz Cold Pressed | Hexane Free | for Hair...
Castor Oil is derived from the natural seeds of the flowering Ricinus communis plant; Half gallon bulk size is great for glass bottles, kits, packs or mascara refills

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