Castor oil has been around for centuries and is legendary. It’s what grandparents used for illnesses and ailments, what parents used for punishment, and was even sometimes used by dictators for more nefarious reasons. Whether it has any true medicinal properties is debatable, though it’s still used widely in alternative medicine. However, it is excellent for your beauty routine.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil, also known as arandi, among other names, comes from the castor bean. It is either colorless or very light yellow and can have a unique odor and taste. It’s high in ricinoleic, oleic, and linoleic fatty acids, which make it a great natural moisturizer. It’s often used in cosmetic oils, moisturizers, and hair conditioners.

Beauty uses of castor oil include:

  1. Regrowing Hair: The fatty acids in castor oil have been shown to help hair grow longer, thicker, and fuller by increasing scalp circulation. It can also be used on eyebrows and eyelashes. Massage in nightly for best results.
  2. Moisturizing Skin: Since this oil is full of omega-6 fatty acids, it’s great for moisturizing. Add a few drops to any body moisturizer. Or apply a few drops to particularly dry patches, such as elbows, before moisturizing. Massage into cuticles to repair and protect.
  3. Shiny Hair: Brush a little bit of this through your hair to add shine (or, if you have curls, spritz a little onto dry hair). Castor oil has also been shown to help with split ends and hair breakage.
  4. Anti-Aging: Apply castor oil to skin after toning and before moisturizing. The fatty acids will absorb into skin and help not only with dryness but may help with smoothing wrinkles as well by aiding in collagen production.
  5. Reducing Acne: Castor oil has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties, so if your breakouts are caused by the p. acnes bacteria which lives on skin, castor oil can help control it. It also has the added benefit of minimizing existing acne scars.
  6. Eliminating Dandruff: The anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties of the oil may also help eliminate dandruff and other scalp inflammations. Apply to scalp and leave on for most of your shower, then shampoo and condition as normal.
  7. Dry Lips: Massage a small amount onto your lips and then follow with a lip balm to help lock in the oil. You can also apply to lips before you shower. The heat from the shower will help the oil absorb and soften the lips.
  8. Preventing Stretch Marks: Castor oil can help with the skin’s ability to stretch, including promoting collagen and elastin production. Apply warm castor oil nightly to areas where stretch marks are a concern. It can also help fade existing marks, making them less noticeable.
  9. Makeup Remover: Oils can be used to remove makeup, especially eye makeup. Castor oil is a natural way to remove makeup, and it can help with lash growth. Apply to cotton pad and gently pat over face, then wipe to remove makeup. Add a bit of oil back to skin for increased moisture and then follow with your nightly routine.
  10. DIY Beauty Products: Have a broken blush? Mix the powder with a bit of oil and use as a sheer lipstick. Dry mascara? Add a few drops into the tube.

Buying Castor Oil

Buying an organic, cold-pressed oil is a good way to start adding castor to your routine. Molivera Organics Castor Oil and Organic Castor Oil by Sky Organics are two great ones to try. You can also find castor oil in a variety of products, such as the Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil or the Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser.