If there’s an ingredient worthy of the title ‘jack-of-all-trades’, it’s castor oil. Made from the seeds of the ricinus communis plant, also known as castor beans, this nutrient-rich oil has many uses. For example, it’s considered a natural laxative because it speeds up the digestion process and it can also induce labour for pregnant women.
Castor oil comes from plants meaning it’s a renewable resource used in different areas of industry. It can be found in certain engine oil brands, but you can also see it in household products like paints, or waxes, or in pharmaceutical products like topical ointments, syrups, or pills.
Castor oil is a popular ingredient in beauty products because it’s a natural moisturiser thanks to the ricinoleic acid content, a monounsaturated fatty acid. When applied on the skin it acts as a humectant, meaning it can form a barrier that prevents moisture loss from the outer skin layer, leaving it soft and hydrated.
It can be used for a few skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and dermatitis, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil can be used on its own or in lotions, creams or cleansers1.
Castor oil is also an emollient, meaning dry skin can benefit from a castor oil treatment. If you suffer from cracked heels for example, rub some castor oil before going to sleep, put some socks on and let it work its magic overnight. You’ll wake up to softer, smoother heels.
Cracked lips bugging you during the winter? Castor oil can save them too! Our Protect Balm, a multi-purpose balm for hair ends and lips, contains a mix of sweet almond oil and castor oil.
Using castor oil is a budget-friendly option to maintain healthy skin, but before adding it into your routine make sure to do a patch test. Castor oil can cause allergic reactions like rashes, swelling or irritation, so better to be safe than sorry.
Castor oil is also a popular ingredient in hair care products thanks to the moisturising benefits mentioned previously. It makes the hair smoother and shinier because it coats and conditions the strands of hair.
Using castor oil on the hair it also prevents breakage and split ends. Remember the Protect Balm that’s great for lips? It’s also great for your ends!
Castor oil can benefit those who struggle with dandruff as well. It can relieve the scalp from itchiness and dryness, and also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that will help clear the skin2.
Used on its own, castor oil might be a bit heavier and harder to remove from the scalp, so it might lead to build-up. Instead, use hair products that are formulated with castor oil to reap all the benefits.
Our No Plastic Shampoo contains castor oil and argan oil. By rubbing the bar directly on your scalp, you’re performing a delicate scalp massage and help the oils reach the roots of the hair as well.
If you are keen to learn more about natural-origin ingredients that do wonders for your hair, then browse the rest of our hero ingredients area for a behind-the-scenes peek.
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