How Good is Castor Oil for Your Skin? Benefits and Side Effects!

We all know that castor oil is being widely used as a laxative. Many of us are not aware of the fact that castor oil nowadays is being used in cosmetics for skin and face. Before knowing about the benefits of this oil for skin, we will first understand what this oil is. Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of a plant Ricinus communis. This plant is widely grown in tropical areas of South America, Africa, and Asia. India, being a tropical nation, is one of the largest producers and exporters of castor oil/seeds. This is a translucent liquid with a yellow tint, and is an essential ingredient in a wide variety of household items, from painting to cleaning products. This oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing properties making it one of the right cosmetic products.

Castor Oil 2Benefits Of Castor Oil For Face And Skin:

Castor oil is naturally packed with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which makes this oil more nutritious to the skin than any other oils. Some of its benefits are listed down

  • Anti-inflammatory:

Castor oil plays an essential role in treating inflammations, both internally and externally, as it is loaded with Ricinoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. Studies have shown that ricinoleic acid has the ability to reduce pain and swellings. (1) Researchers say that castor oil, when applied on topically on the skin, showed significant results in treating psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Anti-aging and Prevents Wrinkles:

Castor oil contains antioxidants that fight the free radicals on your skin. The free radicals are the main culprits for skin aging. These free radicals are also responsible for destroying the collagen level in the skin. With the decrease of the collagen from the face, wrinkles and lines start to appear. By applying castor oil regularly prevents aging and wrinkles on the face.

  • Treats Acne:

Excess sebum secreted from the sebaceous glands blocks your skin pores that result in acne. Blackheads and pus-filled pimples are other issues faced by many teenagers and youngsters that are negatively impacting their self-esteem. Castor oil can do wonders in treating the acne. The antimicrobial properties of castor oil help fight bacterial overgrowth when applied on the face, just by applying a few drops of castor oil on your skin and keep it that way for 15 minutes. This process unblocks your pores and absorbs all the unwanted impurities, thereby reducing the occurrence of acne any further. (2)

  • Natural Moisturizer:

Castor oil consists of monounsaturated fats such as ricinoleic acid that work as a natural humectant. Humectants help in retaining the moisture and water content through the outer layer of the skin. Being an inexpensive oil, castor oil can be used as a natural moisturizer. Castor oil is thick, and hence mixing this with other skin-friendly oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil can give you desired results.

  • Soothes Sunburns:

The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil can ease the pain associated with sunburns.

  • Promotes Wound Healing:

Castor oil is believed to promote wound healing. Applying this oil on the wound creates a moist environment that promotes wound healing. It is also said that castor oil stimulates tissue growth that decreases the risk of any further infection on the wounds.

How to Use Castor oil for Skin and Face:

Castor oil is a very thick oil. Hence it can or cannot be used directly on the skin or face. Doctors suggest using castor oil in combination with some other light oils for better consistency and easy absorption into the skin.

1. Castor Oil with Coconut Oil:

It is said that this is the best combination that can be used. Castor oil blends easily with coconut oil without losing any of its essential properties. This mixture, when applied on the face, has the potential to retain moisture on the skin and has the ability to decrease dark spots.

How to Prepare and Apply:

  • Mix thoroughly 60-40 of castor oil and coconut oil in a bowl.
  • Gently massage this mixture on your face and leave it overnight.
  • Continue this process for 10-15 days to obtain desired results.

2. Castor Oil with Honey:


Honey and castor oil are considered as natural humectants. The combination of these two will give you a wonderful face mask that helps in moisturizing your skin besides treating the acne scars.

How to Prepare and Apply:

  • Mix equal quantities of honey and castor oil in bowl thoroughly.
  • The resulting mixture will be so thick that it can be easily used as a face mask.
  • Slowly apply this mixture on your face and skin (where you need moisturizing) and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
  • Peel the mask off and rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Continue this process for 15 days to view the changes in your skin and face.

[ Read More: Castor Oil For Dark Circles Under Eyes ]

3. Castor Oil and Olive Oil:

Olive Oil

As we know that the consistency of castor oil is so thick, and hence application of this oil on to the skin or face directly is harmful. To reduce the texture, this oil should be used along with carrier oils to reduce the thickness. One such oil is olive oil. Castor oil, in combination with olive oil, will show amazing benefits for the skin. This mixture will help treat the blackheads, pigmentation, and, most importantly, the acne scars.

How to Prepare and Apply:

  • Mix 1 spoon of castor oil along with three spoons of olive oil in bowl thoroughly.
  • Gently massage this oil on your face or skin and leave it for 20-30 minutes, or you can leave it overnight.
  • If you intend to clean your face after 30 minutes, consider using steam so that the oil gets absorbed into the skin for nourishment.
  • You can observe the results within a week.

4. Castor Oil and Butter:

Shea Butter

This is a great combination that was practised in the olden days. This combination is used as face packs. The application of castor oil for some skin types may cause skin burns and redness. Butter, when mixed with castor oil, will help in reducing the skin burns and redness. This mixture can be used by persons who have very sensitive skin.

How to Prepare and Apply:

  • Take equal proportions of butter and castor oil and mix thoroughly to obtain a consistent paste.
  • Apply this paste on to the skin or face and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
  • Gently peel the mask off to avoid any skin irritations. Now wash your face with cold water and pat dry.
  • If you do not experience any side effects like redness or skin burns, continue using this mask for one week to view desired results.

5. Castor Oil and Almond Oil:

Almond Oil

Carrier oils are generally mixed with castor oil to reduce the thickness and also avoid any skin irritations. One such carrier oil is almond oil. Almond oil was one of the main beauty products in the wardrobes of our ancestors. The combination of castor oil and almond oil has numerous benefits for the skin.

How to Prepare and Apply:

  • Take equal proportions of castor oil and almond oil in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Gently massage this oil on your face or skin and leave it for 20-30 minutes, or you can leave it overnight.
  • If you intend to clean your face after 30 minutes, consider using steam so that the oil gets absorbed into the skin for nourishment.
  • You can observe the results within a week.

[ Also Read: How to Use Castor Oil for Eyes? ]

Precautions and Tips for Using Castor Oil:

  • As we know that castor oil is very thick, it is advised not to use it directly on your skin or face, as this may cause skin problems which may lead to dermatitis. Hence this should be used along with some carrier oils.
  • Perform a patch test on your skin before using it. Look out for any allergic reactions for 2-3 days and then start using this oil on your skin.
  • Use steam for the face after applying this oil so that the oil gets absorbed into the face.

Side Effects Of Castor Oil For Skin:

  • It is always better to take up a patch test to confirm if you are allergic to castor oil for a span of two to three days to confirm allergy and if not, you can go on using it.
  • Many products in the market have a balance of castor oil with a combination of other ingredients to have no side effects and are deemed safer than pure castor oil.
  • Skin rashes, itching, and swelling are the common side effects that are reported. If you experience any of these effects, it is better to take medical advice.

Final Thoughts:

With the benefits mentioned in this article, castor oil along with some carrier oils can do wonders to your skin and face, and it can give you all the things that you need to make your skin glow. Although using castor oil can have some side effects on your skin both internally and also externally, use the castor oil at the comfort in your home duly following the above-mentioned tips and reap all the benefits it has to offer. Try the above masks and let us know how this article has helped you!

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