castor oil skincare

Castor Oil for Hair and Skin!

Written by: | February 1, 2018 | 2 responses

Castor oil often gets made fun of and overlooked. My initial tendency to cringe a little at the mere mention of castor oil comes from cartoons depicting it as a punishment. Seeing beloved cartoon characters being force-fed castor oil and then turning green and sickly is certainly why I thought castor oil must be awful and avoided at all cost. The reality is that castor oil is not this awful substance only used to punish cartoon cats, it’s actually quite beneficial for hair and skin and not at all the sickening oil cartoons have led us to believe!

Origins & Composition

Castor oil comes from castor beans from the plant Ricinus communis. It’s been used both internally and externally since ancient Egyptian times. Historically, castor has been used treat many ailments throughout history.  While the exact mechanisms of why this plant is effective have not been made clear, we do know that observational evidence indicates its efficacy. Most of the traditional uses come from folk medicines and word of mouth.

Mainly cultivated in Africa, South America, and India, the castor plant grows optimally in tropical summer rainfall areas. The primary composition of castor oil is ricinoleic acid (85%-95%) along with other constituents like oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, a-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and dihydroxystearic acid. The hydroxyl functionality of ricinoleic acid makes the castor oil extremely stable against oxidation and rancidity giving it a relatively high shelf life compared to other oils.

Hair and Skin Benefits

Ricinoleic acid, the main constituent of castor oil, it helps the scalp by replacing natural oils lost to washing. The antioxidants in castor oil also support the keratin naturally found in hair to help make it stronger and less frizzy. Castor oil is also said to help against hair turning grey, although I’m skeptical of this as there isn’t any scientific research to back this claim.

The unique composition of castor oil has a long list of well researched, time-tested, scientifically proven benefits for the skin, most of which we cannot discuss here due to FDA regulations. We can tell you that it’s great for all skin types. It works wonders for aging skin, dry skin, and even though it might sound crazy, it is fabulous for oily and chaotic skin.

Castor oil is truly amazing for lip balms and polishes. It’s a viscous oil so it stays on the lips, leaving them moisturized, nourished and kissably soft. And also offers the feeling of great slip and slide!

Ready to give Castor Oil a try? Check out this great recipe for Lip Plumping Polish using Castor Oil


½ cup (0.3250 LBS)          USDA Certified Organic Castor Oil

½ cup (0.2195 LBS)          Pink Himalayan Salt Fine Grade

¼ Tsp (0.0018 LBS)           Lip Plumping Essential Oil Blend

You can get all of the ingredients to need to make this simple polish here: Lip Plumping Polish

Total time to make: 10- 15 minutes
Yield: approximately ½ pound
Difficulty Level: Beginner


Add all ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisk until fully blended.

Use about 1 teaspoon of Lip Plumping Polish per application.
Gently rub onto lips in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds.
For best results, leave on lips for 2-5 minutes.
Rinse with water and enjoy your naturally plump lips!

NOTE: You will feel a slight tingling sensation that should dissipate within 5 minutes of application. If you experience any negative effects, rinse lips with water and apply jojoba or olive oil. If irritation persists, seek medical advice. DO NOT USE if you have an allergy or sensitivity to cinnamon.

You can easily modify this recipe as well by substituting 1/2 of the Pink Himalayan Salt with sugar. This will make the polish more pallatable and reduce the tingling sensation of the essential oil blend. If you want to leave out the cinnamon entirely, simply substitute the Lip Plumping Essential Oil blend with a combination of any of the following oils: peppermint, anise, or ginger.


Mein EA, Richards DG, McMillin DL, Nelson CD. Transdermal absorption of castor oil. Evid Based Integrative Med.2005;2(4):239-244.
Kennedy DA, Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor Oil. Int J Nat Med. 2012;5(1).
Vieira C, Fetzer S, Sauer SK, et al. Pro- and anti-inflammatory actions of ricinoleic acid: similarities and differences with capsaicin. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2001;364(2):87-95.

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