Which oil, once a staple of your Granny's medicine shelf, is an amazing skin cleanser and treatment for inflamation? Read on to discover the top 5 skincare uses for Castor oil
When you were little you probably heard of Castor oil as a cure for constipation and something your Granny used and swore by. No longer used internally, due to its, well...... violent results castor oil is an amazing skin cleansing oil and is proven to reduce inflammation.
How is Castor oil made?
Castor oil is a natural oil made by extracting oil from the beans of the Ricinus Communis. These beans contain a substance, ricin which is toxic but through the process of extracting the oil this toxin is rendered safe. The resulting oil is pale in colour but quite viscous compared to other popular oils like olive and sunflower. Castor oil was a favourite of the ancient Egyptians with castor beans being found in tombs dating back to 4,000 bc with Egyptians choosing to use it for medical and beauty treatments.
How does it work?
Castor oil is rich in ricinolaic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which act as a humectant when applied to skin. Humectants help to draw water towards skin and as such help with the overall condition and moisture level of skin.
Studies have also shown that the ricinolaic acid in castor oil reduces inflammation when applied topically and has been used in the treatment of arthritic pain and swelling. Its antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities are also useful in the treatment of wounds showing improved wound healing and less sever scarring than wounds given no treatment.
How can Castor oil be used?
01: Use as a cleansing oil: Dilute with a carrier oil such as almond or organic sunflower oil. 10% Castor oil with 90% carrier oil.
02: Use as a nourishing eyelash treatment: Apply a tiny amount along the lash line with a biodegradable cotton bud. This will condition the skin along the lash line causing less lash breakage and lash loss.
03: Use to treat aching joints or sore muscles: Apply neat to an inflamed area such as aching joints or a pulled muscle. Cover in clingfilm to prevent the oil from staining your clothes. Apply a hot water bottle or heat pack.
04: Use to help with menstrual cramps: As with sore joints, apply neat castor oil to the abdomen, cover in clingfilm and apply a heat pack or hot water bottle.
05: Use to treat dry scalp and dandruff: Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties applying to your scalp can help with dryness and dandruff. It can be difficult to wash out so only use a small amount.
Do not take internally as it will cause diarrhoea and will induce labour in pregnant women.
Can cause skin sensitivity in some people. Like any topical product do a patch test first.
Why not give it a try! Let us know how you get on in the comments. Do you already use castor oil? Let us know how you use it and what effects you've noticed.